This is a guest article by Indiana Lee. If you want to submit a guest article of your own, be sure to read the guest article guidelines.
Working as a freelancer has come a long way, thanks to the digital revolution. It’s no longer just about learning to survive as a freelance writer, or any kind of freelancer, but learning to thrive with the help of technology. Technology has grown exceptionally over the last decade or so, completely transforming the way we work — it’s a whole new world for online freelancers now. In fact, some claim there hasn’t been this much transformation since the Industrial Revolution.
Technology and innovation are completely overturning traditional work structures. And freelancers are now starting to come out on top, rather than struggling and not knowing when their next paycheck might come rolling in.
In fact, 36% of Americans now work freelance. The COVID-19 pandemic, of course, did work as a sort of catalyst that spurred this new rise of freelancers. But in truth, freelancing has been gaining in popularity for years as advances in technology have made it more approachable and even lucrative.
So, let’s take a look at some of the many ways modern technology and the digital age have transformed the freelancing world.
1. Access to information
One of the most significant ways modern technology has impacted freelancing is through the exchange of information. The internet is now ripe with information. Anything a freelancer might want or need to know to help them get started and grow their career is right at their fingertips.
There are even countless online courses and training videos now specifically geared toward helping freelancers. Whatever your area of interest is as a freelancer, whatever job you are looking to do, whatever you are trying to learn, and whoever you are trying to contact, the internet is full of easily accessible information that can help.
2. Global opportunities
Technology and the internet have also opened doors to so many more work opportunities for freelancers. There is no shortage of websites and platforms that provide freelancers with available gigs.
Technology has also globalized freelancing. Freelancers are no longer limited to their local area or even their own country. They can take a job just about anywhere in the world while still working from the comfort of their home. Or they can even choose to work on the road or travel to different countries to expand their knowledge and horizons while doing global freelance work.
Furthermore, with advanced tools and systems, freelancers can even take on more than one job at the same time. With faster internet speeds and tools that make doing the job more efficient, they can easily handle multiple gigs or projects at a time.
3. Ease of communication and cooperation
Physical barriers that once made it hard for freelancers to communicate and collaborate have also now been eliminated, thanks to technology. There are numerous communication apps now and video conferencing tools that make communicating with clients so much simpler.
Technology also makes it easier now for freelancers to join together to merge ideas and cooperate with one another. Instead of feeling alone, the internet has made it possible for freelancers to connect, support one another, and expand their network.
4. Better security and payment systems
If there is one thing that used to be a major point of contention for most freelancers, it was the unreliable payment structure. But now, with all the various financial apps and platforms, getting paid is a breeze.
Cybersecurity has also significantly improved with technological advances over the years, meaning payments are also safer and more secure. The private and sensitive information freelancers share with clients or through payment systems is also now more secure, thanks to technology.
5. Ease of marketing
Getting your name out there as a freelancer also used to be a lot more difficult than it is today. Now, with the internet, marketing yourself as a freelancer is so much easier.
Now, all you have to do is direct people to your website or online portfolio, and they can find everything they need to know about you in one place. And, of course, social media has also significantly upped the marketing game for freelancers.
With platforms like Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and now TikTok, there are so many more opportunities for freelancers to market themselves and find new clients. Having a strong social media presence can even help you retain more customers and clients.
And social media only continues to expand what is possible for freelancers. There is no telling where the future of social media marketing will go, but we are already seeing advancements that are changing the way we think about marketing, such as AI and augmented reality.
6. Accessibility of tools and services
Advances in tech have and continue to result in numerous tools and services that make working as a freelancer so much easier, more efficient, and more convenient. We’ve already mentioned social media and communication tools, like Slack and Zoom, but there are countless other digital and internet-based tools and services out there.
Services that simply make access to the internet easier, like ISPs, for example, are incredibly helpful for freelancers, especially when they work remotely and on the road.
Internet Service Providers (ISPs) have improved and expanded their offerings over the years thanks to newer and better technology. Now, instead of only offering traditional equipment and wired hookups, ISPs allow freelancers to connect to the internet in a number of ways using wireless and mobile services and customizable plans.
In summary, the possibilities are endless today for freelancers, thanks to modern technology and the digital age. It’s likely that as flexible work styles become more popular, we will only continue to see new tech that makes freelancing even more convenient and successful.
About the author: Indiana Lee lives in the Northwest and has a passion for the environment and wellness. She draws her inspiration from nature and makes sure to explore the outdoors regularly with her two dogs. Indiana has experience in owning and operating her own business. Feel free to follow her on Twitter @indianalee3.