Which gigs will freelancers find most profitable?

The freelance sector is constantly growing, with the younger generations breaking the barriers set by traditional jobs. Fixed hours and being controlled by managers and bosses is a lot less appealing to millennials than their predecessors. Subsequently, it’s not surprising that freelance workers are making huge contributions to the UK economy, with £119 billion contributed in 2016 alone. There are also approximately 2 million freelance workers in the UK.

Freelancing can be daunting, without the comfort of guaranteed work and regular pay checks, however those who take the plunge, reap the rewards of the risk. Freelancing does mean a lot of ‘hustling’, there are of course both positives and negatives of being your own boss. Therefore, it’s important for freelancers to focus on what work will make them the most money and what kind of rate they should charge for their service.

Hubstaff carried out research into freelancing and looked at the gigs that pay the most to freelancers, how to gain long term projects and relationship between clients and freelancers. Here are some of the findings from the study, conducted to gain an insight in the freelance sector.

Long term contracts

When it comes to income for freelancers, 54.4% of the profitability came from long term projects. Additionally 29.9% of profitability came from services that will recur over time. This insight should encourage freelancers to seek out long term projects. Building relationships with clients can promote the idea of recurring service. It is much better for a freelancer, in terms of income, to take on bigger and longer projects than working on multiple different small projects. Taking on long term contracts, which can be anything from three months and more, will save time and effort for the self-employed workers. The time spent dealing, negotiating and marketing to clients doesn’t earn an income, and for that reason working on longer projects will mean a more of a steady income.

There are long term gigs available for many different industries of freelancers. For example, if you are a writer, then perhaps offer your service to maintain blogs and social media for businesses. Another example is, if you are a developer, then you could offer your service to work on software development and maintenance for companies.

Increase rate of service

If you are just starting out and establishing yourself as a freelancer, then you will obviously charge a lot less than someone with a fully established career. However, make sure that you don’t undervalue yourself, or sell yourself short. In order to find the rates you should be charging, research the rate of living, and invest time in finding the right rate you should be charging.

In the study, it was found that to really increase your value to prospective clients you should create and set up a website. It was found that freelancers with a website charged 65% more than those who didn’t, hence it’s really worth investing in a website; which will allow you to showcase your talent and help build a portfolio.

When it comes to acquiring gigs for freelancers, 30% of work came from referrals by current or previous clients. Therefore, if the client is impressed by your work, ask them to promote and recommend your services to others. Freelancers received 22% of work from prospective clients that were conducting background search on them. Lastly, 11.5% came from ratings of freelancers on various different freelancing platforms.

The findings of the survey suggest that long term projects are more beneficial to freelancers than multiple short projects. Therefore, freelancers should make attaining long term contracts a priority. Additionally, don’t be afraid to increase the rates of your service. As you gain experience and become an established freelancer, you will have to increase rates, as your value will increase.


Dec 13, 2017
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