This is a guest post by Connor Gillivan, co-founder and CMO of FreeeUp.com. If you’d like help growing your business by utilizing pre-vetted Amazon freelancers, visit FreeeUp.com/SellerLabs to receive a $50 coupon toward getting started!
The freelance economy is changing the way businesses and workers alike think about an honest day’s work and freelancing. A few years ago, freelancing was the exception. It took courage and a bit of ‘craziness’ to freelance. Often the risk of surviving ‘out there’ was higher than the freedom it brought. It is no longer so. In fact, freelancing has become an economic force with its own dynamic growth that Amazon businesses can’t afford to ignore.
In 2017, 36% of the American workforce was composed of freelancers. That’s more than 57 million Americans. Currently, 50% of millennials are freelancing. Can you imagine how freelancing will escalate with the next workforce generation?
The projected estimate is that by 2027, the majority of the American workforce will be freelancing.
One of the characteristics of freelancing is filling the gap, doing the task that is necessary, stepping in for that assignment that other workers aren’t skilled to do. If a freelancer wants to stay competitive in the freelance industry, he or she must stay up to date with the trends, technology, new skills, and tasks that the growing industry requires. Freelancers adapt according to the needs of the market. This makes them uniquely suited for doing work on a rapidly developing platform like Amazon.
Many kids in school today will be, in just a few years, doing task types that don’t even exist yet. Considering the growing freelance economy and the adaptability of the freelancing industry, it is very likely that these kids are the future freelancers. It is, therefore, easy to understand that freelancing will contribute more and more to the economy and to online businesses in particular.
The growing freelance economy is impacting the global economy. In the US alone, the growth of the freelance economy is three times faster than the growth of the American workforce in total. In the UK, more than 50% of the workforce will be freelancing within five years. It is a fast-growing trend worldwide.
According to Forbes, 63% of workers freelance because they want to. In addition to the flexible hours and autonomy, a great attraction for the freelance community is choosing gigs that complement their skills and abilities.
From an Amazon seller’s perspective, this means that the seller can hire an experienced professional for each specific and technical aspect of the business, and thus get an expert in every area.
Freelancers don’t work for a regular salary. Therefore, they don’t have to feel obligated to take on assignments that they don’t have the skills for or don’t like to do. They have the freedom to choose the projects that they feel most comfortable with and that they are truly interested in.
Professional freelancers are passionate about their work because they choose to do what they love and therefore love what they do. Freelancing is their business, too, and Amazon sellers know how great it is to run your own business. Like any other business owner, freelancers work hard to grow and expand. Often, they will work longer hours than an average 40-hour week and they aren’t always limited to a 9-5 schedule. In essence, despite the freedom, they are ‘workaholics’ with the same passionate attitude that business owners and entrepreneurs have. They are excited to embark on new projects, are meticulous with due dates, and take pride in ensuring the professional completion of specific tasks.
Freelancers grow their businesses by growing their clients’ businesses. They may be working remotely from another country on the other side of the globe, but a freelancer will often be more involved in each business than its current workforce. And like Amazon sellers, freelancers rely heavily on feedback and reviews and brand/reputation building. Like you, they have to deliver if they are to continue selling their services.
For an Amazon seller, this can be a winning combination.
Freelancers are naturally focused and productive because they are doing what they love. Amazon sellers who hire freelancers get workers who know what to do and who do it with dedication and great attitudes. Freelancers tend to specialize in specific areas within a market and are therefore experts in their specific area.
The Amazon Marketplace isn’t static. It is constantly influenced by consumer demand, which is in turn influenced by how the consumer culture changes. Also, the Amazon Marketplace evolves and constantly changes as new rules come into play, trends are initiated, innovations and technology become available, and as the eCommerce industry influences individual Amazon businesses.
To maintain and grow your Amazon business, you need to stay up to date with these changes and to adapt your business accordingly. As a business owner, you don’t always have the time to stay ahead of every aspect—but you must if you want to grow your business. Freelancers can help you keep your business current, fresh, and relevant to customers.
Freelancers understand staying ahead with a competitive edge. They update their skills more often than regular 9-5 workers do. As an Amazon seller, the freelancer you hire is likely to be up to date with trends, technologies, and processes in their field. Business owners like you don’t have to spend time getting workers up to speed because they have already gained the necessary experience. They are ready to jump in and to start operating immediately.
With the growing freelance economy comes a growing talent pool. You can hire a professional freelancer for every aspect of your business, and only when you need them. This means you can diversify and hire according to your business needs. You’re not obligated to hire one person and fill their hours. You don’t need to find someone who can or is willing to do everything. Instead, you can create a highly effective group effort by hiring a different expert freelancer for each task. For example:
- Product Trends Research. To grow your business, you need a continuous stream of new products; on-trend products that will sell. Those items the consumer is searching online for to buy today. A product research specialist knows how to research new products and to stay ahead of the latest trend.
- Customer Interaction. Interaction with customers builds relationships that lead to more sales and loyal customers who will refer your business. Customer relations for Amazon sellers is about much more than just getting feedback; it’s about brand building and loyalty and compliance with Amazon’s rules. Freelancers with customer-service knowledge will interact on your behalf with customers in real time.
- Social Media Management. It takes time to create new content, to maintain and update social media platforms, including any connected blogging platforms. Freelance copywriters can manage this complex and time-consuming social media aspect of the business for you. Social media platforms are great tools to introduce new customers to your products, and you shouldn’t table it because you don’t have the time to keep it alive.
- Amazon Product Pages. High-quality unique photos enhance the attractiveness of your products. Hire a freelancer to take product photos, to edit the photos and to update your product page regularly. The same goes for optimizing listing content and keywords using tools like Scope. As mentioned above, creating content takes time and effort that you likely don’t have, but a freelancer does—not to mention a specific love and talent for it.
- Call Centers. International call centers, particularly in the Philippines and India, are in great demand because of their round-the-clock operations. They offer convenient and affordable services, but the degree of specialization can be limited. Hiring freelancers gives you that level of specialization, plus an extra layer of being directly on-boarded to work for your specific business. Hiring freelancers in different time zones carries the same benefits as call centers, and more. It ensures that you are selling products at all hours. It improves customer care with representatives who respond immediately to customer concerns, no matter the hour. Following the true nature of online business, you can be open anywhere in the world, no matter what time of the day or night the customer wants to ask you a question before buying your product.
An Amazon business needs access to a large talent pool of expertise and skills. You need time and money to build such a talent pool. Often the time and money invested are wasted when workers leave the company.
One way of decreasing your turnover rate is to outsource assignments. The global freelance workforce enables you to hire the relevant talent you require at a fraction of what it would cost you to get regular workers onboarded and organized.
Overheads are less because you pay only for services rendered. When a project is completed, the contract ends automatically. No need to keep the person busy because you’re paying a regular salary.
There’s no risk that workers will leave after you’ve invested so much time and money to get them up to your desired level of expertise. By leveraging the vast international freelance workforce available to you, you can find the perfect person for that specific assignment you need to be done. This means you hire only as and when you require a specific skill or ability.
Freelancers and Amazon Sellers: A Natural Fit
With an annual contribution of $1.4 trillion, the growing freelance economy impacts all industries and businesses, particularly online businesses such as Amazon stores.
When Amazon sellers outsource tasks and assignments to freelancers, they free up their time and their talents to grow their businesses.
There is no shortage of highly skilled freelancers. Businesses aren’t limited to local talent. With the Internet, the talent pool is global. Freelancers from different countries and cultures bring a fresh and different perspective to the table. Their experience working with international companies is a valuable contribution to your business and project needs.
The growing freelance economy isn’t a passing trend; it is a move that is changing the face of work. Amazon sellers are now faced with the choice to either ride the wave or get left behind.
Author bio: Connor Gillivan is a serial eCommerce entrepreneur and an expert in online hiring, eCommerce, and bootstrapping businesses. With his first eCommerce business, he sold over $20 million worth of product and managed over 60 freelance workers. He is now the co-founder and CMO of FreeeUp.com, the hands-on hiring marketplace connecting hundreds of online business owners with reliable, pre-vetted remote workers. He is an avid writer on his own site, ConnorGillivan.com, and his business advice can also be found in top publications such as WebRetailer.com. He currently lives in Denver, Colorado.