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Dec 18, 2023
The Future of Freelancing: 12 Experts Share Their Predictions
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The Future of Freelancing: 12 Experts Share Their Predictions

 

As the freelance landscape continues to evolve, we sought insights from twelve industry professionals, including writers and consultants, on the upcoming trends and changes that will impact the industry. From blending AI and personal expertise to capitalizing on the growing freelance demand, these experts share their strategies on how they are preparing or adapting their freelance businesses to thrive in this evolving landscape.

 

  • Blend AI and Personal Expertise
  • Deepen Client Integration in an AI Era
  • Shift Towards Collective Freelancing
  • Adopt Sustainable and Ethical Freelancing
  • Adapt to AI Writing Assistants
  • Focus On Quality and Creative Problem-Solving
  • Discover Niche Expertise Amidst AI Implementation
  • Embrace the Remote Revolution and Gig Economy
  • Expand Skills for AI-Driven Freelancing
  • Master Remote Collaboration Platforms
  • Expect the Rise of Digital Nomadism
  • Capitalize on Growing Freelance Demand

 

Blend AI and Personal Expertise

As a freelance writer and content creator for over a decade, I've seen firsthand how AI is transforming the industry. When tools like ChatGPT first launched, I was skeptical that AI could provide the same level of customization and quality that clients expect from human freelancers. 

 

However, I've been pleasantly surprised at how AI can transform my work. For example, I recently used Claude to help ideate potential blog topics for my blog in the content creation niche. In a few minutes, Claude provided nearly 20 creative ideas tailored to my audience, saving me tons of time coming up with ideas from scratch. 

 

I took the AI-generated suggestions and narrowed them down to the 10 best options based on my experience. While AI is great for ideation and drafting, I still spend significant time reviewing, refining, and adding my expert analysis to all content before sending it to clients. AI cannot replicate the brand voice and expertise I provide yet.

 

Samuel Karugu, Content Manager, The Avalon Writer



Deepen Client Integration in an AI Era

With Google's SGE using AI to promote content, freelancers have to ingrain themselves even more into their clients' work. It's not enough to produce a one-off blog post or graphic. Ask your clients about their goals and company updates.

 

For example, suppose you're working with a national brand. You might create content that appeals to the entire country, but what if you speak with your client and learn that their biggest competitor just closed down in a particular state? You could propose something more localized to capture those customers looking for a replacement, which would help your client reach revenue goals for that state.

 

Freelancing has always been about developing and nurturing relationships while delivering great results. It's time we get back to using our humanity to stand out.

 

Joey Held, Writer and Podcaster, Fun Fact Friyay

 

Shift Towards Collective Freelancing

As someone who has a business that's solely run by freelancers, I've seen some pretty big changes in how we source and hire freelancers. We used to hire a freelancer when we had a single need, and it worked well for a while. What I've noticed recently, however, is that we're now hiring more freelancers from agencies or collectives.

 

As content is becoming more connected—your blog post becomes a video, which becomes a social media clip, which becomes part of a podcast, for example—we need a group of talent rather than just one individual.

 

If freelancers want to earn more business in the future, they'll need to join collectives or form agencies. But this is good news, as it will allow more freelancers to be hired overall. This will hopefully become a "rising tide floats all boats" moment.

 

Bogdan Zlatkov, Lead Instructor for HR and Hiring, Growth Hack Your Career

 

Adopt Sustainable and Ethical Freelancing

The growing importance of sustainability and ethical considerations in business practices is an emerging trend in the freelance economy. Clients are increasingly looking for freelancers who share their values, not only in terms of talents but also in terms of environmental and social responsibility. 

 

As a freelancer, I am deliberately incorporating sustainable practices into my workflow, such as using eco-friendly products and encouraging digital collaboration to reduce carbon footprints. In addition, I am focusing on projects that have a positive social impact. 

 

I believe that by adopting a values-driven approach, freelancers can not only meet the changing demands of customers but also contribute to a more ethical and sustainable future for the independent economy. This strategic alignment with societal ideals supports the longevity of my freelance firm.

 

Edward Kendy, CEO and Editor-in-Chief, BestOnlineForexBroker.com

 

Adapt to AI Writing Assistants

The rise of conversational AI writing assistants will significantly impact the freelance industry. The technology behind these AI tools is becoming increasingly sophisticated, with LLMs paving the way for more natural language processing capabilities. As these tools become more prevalent, they're likely to disrupt content marketplaces that currently connect businesses with freelance writers.

 

Freelancers should adapt by focusing on skills that AI can't replicate. This includes strengthening personal relationships with clients, understanding their specific needs, and providing customized solutions. 

 

By positioning themselves as multifaceted professionals who offer more than just writing services, freelancers can stay relevant and valuable in a market increasingly influenced by AI technologies.

 

Brett Farmiloe, CEO, Featured

 

Focus on Quality and Creative Problem-Solving

Gone are the days of top-of-the-funnel deliverables; just sending over basic information is no longer needed. There will be much less emphasis on quantity and more on quality, as business owners will turn to AI and out-of-the-box tools like Canva to create. 

 

The way I've focused on shifting my business is to focus on rev-ops, marketing automation, and data dashboards as a way to show impact. For me, creativity is no longer in words and pictures; it's about delivering "creative" solutions to technology and data problems—some that business owners didn't even realize existed.

 

Dominique Johnson-Lindsay, Principal and Marketing Strategist, Be Digital

 

Discover Niche Expertise Amidst AI Implementation

The rapid implementation of AI tools in many niches and for various needs will inevitably impact freelancers' work. As an SEO content writer, I believe the demand for novice copywriters and content creators will decrease because AI tools, like ChatGPT and Bard, can do their jobs more effectively. 

 

This shift will raise the bar on content quality and recruiting. Niche content writers with practical experience, niche authority, and unique insights will become increasingly high in demand. SEO is one of the fastest-changing industries, so I must pay attention to everyday Google updates and keep experimenting to stay competitive. 

 

In addition to on-page SEO, I'm deepening my technical SEO skills to write niche content and diversify my services.

 

Victoria Kurichenko, SEO Expert and Content Writer, Self Made Millennials

 

Embrace the Remote Revolution and Gig Economy

Some new information about an upcoming freelance trend is worth sharing. The growing need for remote creative services is one significant trend that should influence freelancers. Freelance graphic designers, bloggers, and digital marketers are in more demand as companies continue to adopt digitalization. 

 

Freelancers can use social media platforms to reach an international client base, improve their online profile, and exhibit their portfolio to adapt to this evolving industry. Freelancers can grow their customer base and access a worldwide market by accepting remote work opportunities. 

 

Thus, to succeed in the freelance market, keep an eye out for these chances and establish yourself as a remote creative expert.

 

Michael Branover, Business Development Manager, Branover Contractors

 

Expand Skills for AI-Driven Freelancing

Right now, the industry is transforming because of the rise of artificial intelligence (AI).

 

If you look at the World Wide Web, you'll see how AI has taken the world by storm. It is reshaping the landscape and presenting opportunities and efficiency to professionals. In fact, almost every SaaS out there is implementing or adding AI to their arsenal.

 

To adapt to this trend, I am actively expanding my skills and testing out AI tools relative to digital marketing and content creation.

 

As a seasoned freelancer with over six years of experience in digital marketing, I've witnessed firsthand how AI is reshaping the landscape, presenting challenges and opportunities for those willing to adapt. 

 

I'm learning to leverage AI for tasks like planning, customer profiling, and personalized content generation, harnessing its potential to provide superior service to clients—the future of freelancing lies in this symbiotic relationship between human creativity and AI efficiency.

 

Riva Vivienne Joy Parejo, Digital Marketer and Owner, RivaVivi

 

Master Remote Collaboration Platforms

The growing popularity of remote collaboration tools is set to change the freelance market. As more firms adopt remote work, services such as Slack, Asana, and Zoom become critical for seamless collaboration and project management. 

 

Recognizing this transition, I've proactively upgraded my skills in these tools and optimized my process to improve remote cooperation. Using these tools not only ensures excellent client connections but also enables my freelance firm to prosper in an expanding digital work environment.

 

Aqsa Tabassam, Digital Content Manager, My Sparkling Life

 

Expect the Rise of Digital Nomadism

One of the emerging trends I've noticed is the rise of remote work and digital nomadism. More and more companies are becoming comfortable hiring remote freelancers, thanks to the pandemic-induced shift toward remote work. It's changing the landscape for freelancers like us.

 

I remember when I first started freelancing, location was a major constraint. I had to turn down exciting opportunities because they were in different cities or countries. But now, I can work with clients from all over the world from my home office.

 

To thrive in this evolving landscape, I'm enhancing my communication skills, especially for virtual collaboration. I'm also investing time in learning about project management tools and other tech platforms that are often used in remote-work setups.

 

Swena Kalra, Lead Writer, Scott & Yanling Media Inc.



Capitalize on Growing Freelance Demand

The biggest and clearest trend is the growing accessibility and openness by organizations to contract freelancers rather than hire full-time employees. Organizations are learning that they do not have to be traditional in a hiring sense, and the benefits can include greater specialization, experience, cost-effectiveness, and “no strings attached” arrangements. 

 

With more freelance work available on the market than ever, I have taken several steps to ensure I am capitalizing on the demand. These steps include:

 

  1. Developing the SEO for my website to rank in Google for “freelancer” searches related to my services
  2. Listing myself on Upwork and other freelance platforms
  3. Optimizing my LinkedIn to appear in more searches for “freelancer” or “consultant”
  4. Applying for jobs advertised as full-time roles, but pitching the business to use a freelancer as an alternative arrangement
  5. Reaching out to alike businesses in the same industry to undertake white-label partnerships, which benefit both parties.

 

Jack Genesin, SEO Consultant, Jack Genesin Consulting

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