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Seeing gig workers as entrepreneurs

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SCORE certified mentor Question: Are freelancers really entrepreneurs or just gig workers? Answer : All gig workers are entrepreneurs. They have ventured out from the security of the workplace, opting not to work for a business that provides a regular paycheck and some form of benefits. The mind of an entrepreneur is different from one who finds complete satisfaction working for someone else. They put themselves in challenging positions that don’t have the security blanket of other-owned businesses. They are always in motion, attempting to add value from all of their activities. They see failure as part of the process of growing, learning and experiencing all that is necessary to become successful. They find networking a valuable way to learn, expand their sphere of influence and discover what is working for others and what is not. They approach problem-solving differently. Instead of looking for the easiest, fastest solution, they look at a situation from many different perspectives and then choose the one that seems most likely to achieve the desired result. They revisit their vision regularly and critically. They are constantly testing whether they are seeing the future objectively. And they are lifelong learners, reading and consuming information from many sources so they have a variety of views on any one subject. As a freelance entrepreneur, you need to think about how you are marketing yourself to get visibility in a crowded marketplace. Develop a brand : A brand is the physical representation of the values entrepreneurs bring to their customers. Brand is a perception, and perceptions become facts. This step precedes creating business cards, PDF flyers, brochures or even your website. After the name is created, defining the brand by detailing the values that define it is the next step. Reliability, trustworthiness, customer focused. Although there is a start to building a brand, there is no end, since it is a continual process with many iterations. Consistency is critical from platform to platform. That is why defining the brand comes before the creation of other marketing communication tools. You need consistency across all platforms to communicate your brand. When a buyer sees your message on your business card, website, the trade press or commercial advertising or emails, they need to see the same message in content, context and image. Before expenditure of any funds on marketing communication tools, test the name, brand and tagline with potential customers or prospects. The look and feel of the brand needs to reflect you, but also needs to be relatable by the marketplace in order to take the business’s call to action seriously. Having a name that communicates who you are, what you do and what the business offers is important so there aren’t extraneous words to deliver the brand’s message. Tell your story : When buyers engage a freelancer, they are not just acquiring the skills, but accepting the person who represents the brand. It is important to share your business’s story — the journey. How did you get from where […]

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