The gig economy is rapidly growing. It is defined as an economy where temporary, flexible, or freelance “gigs” are commonplace. While freelancing or flexible work arrangements have been growing for decades, the dramatic growth in technology has made it possible for freelancing and contracting to become a real viable option for many more people.
But questions and confusion can accompany rapid growth in any industry or profession. Many independent workers don’t realize they have to pay taxes on their side work, don’t track income or expenses properly, and don’t take advantage of all tax benefits. You can help them. But first, you have to find and attract them.
Finding Gig Clients
First, pick your niche. There is such a variety of gigs, so start with something you know. That could be independent service providers (like Uber drivers), social media managers, Amazon/eBay sellers, or seasonal landscapers/snow removers.
Research the biggest challenges your market has. Find organizations or social media groups that cater to your target market. By reading their articles or posts and asking questions, you can find out what concerns or confuses them and how you can help.
Brand yourself for the market in a variety of ways. Gear your website or a section of your website to freelancers and write helpful blogs or offer free seminars and webinars. Run targeted online ads and ask your existing gig economy clients for referrals. Consider the good, old-fashioned flyer to place in common hang-outs or to distribute at freelancing events or conferences. Remember, with technology, you’re not limited to just gig clients in your area, so be willing to branch out.
Common Gig Economy Mistakes
As you reach out to your target audience, draw their attention to some common financial mistakes gig workers make:
- Not making quarterly estimated tax payments
- Not tracking all expenses
- Not reporting all income
- Not separating personal and business finances
- Not budgeting for fluctuations in cash flow
As you write or talk about these mistakes, point out how you, as their accountant, can help set them up for greater financial growth and better tax results by guiding them through these important business processes. If you brand yourself as an expert and demonstrate your value, you should see your gig economy clientele grow.