The literal definition of a freelancer means a person who works for himself and earns his money through his skills. These people develop their skills according to the industry they want to work on and keep on evolving their skill set according to the changing environment. It is also called the gig economy. It is considered a new era in the employment sphere where people sustain themselves on their own. There is no boundation of a 9 to 5 job. People can be their own boss and work at their own comfort and pace. With the starting of the concept of co-working spaces, this sector in the economy was also on a boost because of the advancement of technology. This industry has been both the phases and the freelancer needs to mould himself accordingly. Some freelancers are earning lakhs right now while some are not even earning a penny. Let us consider both cases and analyze them.
But there is one challenging issue in this industry. People need to find their work on their own. They need to meet clients and pitch to them and tell them why they are the best amongst everyone else. This tedious process is very time consuming but often leads to good results. And this is why the freelancing community is on the rise.
During the lockdown, these freelancers cannot go out and which to the clients. This is the major reason why they cannot build a relationship with the customer and hence they are not able to generate customers for themselves. Some freelancers are using social media and their previous clients to pitch to new clients. But every freelancer cannot do this because they deal with exhaustible projects. This is one of the major reasons why freelancers are facing a lot of difficulties right now. Moreover, people are offering their services at a very low cost an hour disrupting the market rate which has been created for good quality services.
Now when we talk about the year 2020, the situation has not changed but has taken a very huge turn. Many freelancers today are out of work because of the pandemic. People do not have money and hence they are not catering down the work to these freelancers. These people are not able to pitch the right customers so that they can have the right profit margin. It is often felt that freelancers charge less than the big agencies. But at the same time with the rise in the number of freelancers in the market, quality services are not insured by every person. This is the major reason why some people do not go for freelancers. One flawed person in the whole community creates a bad name for the entire group. A report in the Economic Times said that the domestic payments for freelancers have been delayed by 19 days. Now the number of the days has reduced by the earlier number of 24 days, but the fact is that why is the payment being delayed? This is basically because a lack of trust exists between the person and the customer. There are various freelancers available and some of them are the best while some of them are absolutely the worst.
If we consider the post lockdown scenario, it has been stated many times by leading researchers that the freelance industry will be on a boom. This is mainly because freelancers offer a lot of:
Creativity: freelancers tend to be more creative and be more open to new ideas given by the customer. They tend to mend their ways according to the customer demands and enhance their own skillsets a lot.
Feasibility: You can hire a freelancer whenever you want. If you have a revenue crunch, hire someone who demands is less money and your fixed expenditure is not allocated to a freelancer the entire time. At the same time, if you are hiring an agency on a contractual basis, you need to allocate some funds and some work every month to them.
Not very costly: after the lockdown, people won’t be having a lot of funds. The companies have not been able to mint money right now and their revenues are next to zero. With this trend going on, whenever the firms start operating later on, they would try to cut down their cost. This is the major reason why they would opt for freelancers instead of full-time agencies.
Good services: Freelancers need to fend for themselves the entire time. This is why they try to add something special in every customer’s kitty so that the customer comes back to them. This is the major reason why freelancers tend to give away more than they get money for. According to the Indian mentality, discounts, extra services, etc are a major hit when it comes to customer retention. This is why the freelancers will be preferred over any other agency. Some agencies are money minting organizations that usually do not care about customer retention but care about getting more and more customers every day. Whereas, when it comes to freelancers, they talk to the customers with a passion that drives the customer to them.
The majority of the freelancers are happy with their work and they have chosen this as their career path. It is true that the freelancers are not getting the work right now, but it is also true that they can build their portfolio right now. And the good freelancers are on a boom at the moment. Chris Keene, CEO of Gophr said that the demand for skill sets has increased tenfold during the lockdown. This is why the freelancers might have a surge in demand later on because they have excellent skill sets. Freelancers keep on updating their skills according to the market trends and customer demand. Creativity, resilience and higher EQ are demanded for the urgent projects. This is all that freelancers offer.
Also, since firms have given work from home opportunities, the demand for freelance jobs is on the rise. There was about a 75% increase in the number of freelance positions published on the internet. This rise was seen in the hospitality sector, quick service restaurants, IT, and various business companies. The CEO of Flexing It said that their platform has seen a spike in demand for skilled independent consultants who have top tier skills in marketing and technology. The shift from the traditional method to the freelancing method would cut down the cost and would also provide a flexible advantage to the companies. Various companies such as Infosys, Deloitte, EY have said that roles that require niche skills and are in demand for a short duration and this will result in changing these jobs to gig jobs. The HR head of Infosys has said that they have been using freelance talent for quite some time. They use this talent to meet variations in demand jobs or to fill positions that need highly specialized skills.
The start-up ecosystem will now be replaced by the freelance ecosystem. We hope that this way will be positive because the Indian start-ups are usually based on copy-paste models but it is seen that the Indian freelancers are very hard-working and are in demand in the international markets also. This change will lead to a positive increase in income for the people of the country. When nothing is going right, freelancers will give a boost and a push to the GDP