So I’m enjoying a few drinks with my fellow freelancers, it’s a party for the end of 2014 and hopes for 2015. In between the jokes (many at the expense of traditional employment) I was often asked many wonderful and interesting things by fellow freelancers, but I was taken aback by one such question asked by a mother of 2 and recently turned freelancer. The question was something along the lines of “So why is social media/networking so important for freelancers?” I downed my drink as manly as possible and tackled this problem “here’s the thing, social networking is fundamentally changing the way society functions, and the labour market along with it” I answered, all be it with a slight slur.
As big business begins to look more and more to freelancers with the aim of building an on demand workforce, social networking plays an ever increasingly important role by creating a more productive work environment, prompting more capital being sent our (Freelancers) way which in turn, helps to boost the freelancer economy. As I set fourth my wonderfully thought out (all be it slightly drunken) statement, a rather puzzled look crept across the face of my newly freelancing friend. It seems the idea that social media could somehow be promoting trust between freelancer and potential client alike was almost entirely alien to her, never mind the idea of it actually “boosting” the economy.
At this point, others started adding their own statements and ideas based on my initial comments. All of a sudden what had started out as a simple explanation had become a workshop of ideas for all within in earshot. For if parties are the social media of the real world, we’d just created a threadnaught.
Newbielancer2014: wait, what? ….I can’t even..
ProlancerWolf: Well social media connects people right? So it’s just connecting us with clients… just more so
Anonlancer1234: What Wolf is trying to say is, it makes people more invested in the project they’re working on
Newbielancer2014: Well ok, maybe… but does that help?
Anonlancer764: It helps build trust!
ProlancerWolf: Which in turn, helps more people invest in freelancers, which helps me pay for coffee
Anonlancer289: Pffftt casual…
As the conversation continued, the hivemind of the room came to a number of census which can be summed up in following 3 points:
Be more productive, acquire coffee
When trust bleeds directly into the labour market, it offers an incentive for both seller and buyer of labour alike to reach a job well done. In this age of work via anonymous online profiles, the chance to build actual trust via a given project can make all the difference when it comes to a project being given the same care and attention as say, a more permanent opportunity.
More money for more freelancers
As more and more businesses are finding gold online in terms of freelancer staff, so too are the budgets for freelancers increasing. More money being put aside for the acquisition of freelancer services is great, but an interesting side effect of this trend is the increased need for freelancers to stand out more from the competition. So this increased capital also applies to freelancers ourselves, by paying for continued professional/skill development, certifications, licenses and further/ongoing education, this re-investment into yourself can really help set you apart from the crowd.
Growth of the freelancer economy means growth for us all!
Despite the idea of working entirely indecently being this whacky crazy new thing to the labour economy, the independent workforce is expected to reach around 70 million by 2020. An insanely large number that I suspect social media will pay a very large part of creating, if there’s one thing social media/networking is good at, it’s the sharing of ideas. The idea better known as “Freelancing” has made its way into the feeds and streams of millions of people around the world, a fact traditional companies have not only taken to heart, but they’re building the recruitment plan of tomorrow on.
Wolf Vanberg was on Wall Street before it was cool.