6 Freelance Trends for 2019

by | Dec 10, 2018 | Freelancing, Service Business, Small Business

December, 2018



Every year more and more people turn to freelancing and side gigs. 

The freedom of freelancing comes with a lot of responsibility and no shortage of stress. You’re on your own, responsible for your business health and your future security.

Not only that but freelancing can lead to physical and emotional problems, including isolation and stress.

Planning for the worst can help. Here are 6 trends and concerns to keep in mind for 2019.

There are a lot of pluses if you track the minuses.
Photo by hj barraza on Unsplash
1. Expansion of the Social Workspace

Working from home seems great, but you can’t do it every day. At the same time office space is expensive and often unneeded.

The privilege of the freelancer is to not be tethered to anything, but as people we still need to be part of a community. We actually want some tethering. Social workspaces, either from companies like WeWorkThe Riveter and Spacious, or online spaces like discord (which is going beyond games) and hopefully our own Zig, will help fill that void.

“I’ve never lost that freelance mentality. You can’t take a holiday because you’re worried the work will dry up.” – Charlie Brooker
2. Increasing Solutions for Income Security

Income security is the main source of stress for freelancers. Not only is a source of general stress, it also leads to physical and emotional challenges from overwork and the inability to leave work behind at the end of the day.

As more and more freelancers come to grips with these issues solutions for income security will become increasingly important. I think this will take a few forms.

  • Increased insurance options including medical insurance, critical illness insurance, and parental leave to help deal with the general challenges of life
  • Marketing automation for freelancers including networks, content services, and marketing funnels
  • Invoicing and billing services dedicated to helping freelancers make sure they get paid
3. Support and Mentorship

You might sense a theme here, but connection for freelancers is incredibly important.

Because of this I think more freelancers will start seeking out mentors and other sources of support, including mental health experts.

Study after study shows how hard freelancing can be. Finding outside support and an understanding ear will be of increasing importance.

4. New tax services

Working on your own means getting your own taxes done. Governments are starting to ramp up their revenue collectors to make certain that everyone contributes what they owe.

In response companies like Hyke are moving to help freelancers get set up in ways that can reduce their taxes and simplify the process.

5. Increasing specialization

Technological proliferation will increase the need for specialization. This is actually one of the forces that’s driving the increase in freelancing in the first place.

From augmented reality specialists, to drone pilots, to food photographers, the more defined your role the easier you will be to hire.

6. Teaming up 

In an effort to tackle issues on income insecurity and increase opportunity freelancers will start teaming up more and more. This is the common state in industries like construction, and Freshbooks has noted this as an increasing trend amongst freelancers in general.

Of course these trends only apply to emerging freelancer economies. Nothing is new here. More and more, freelancing will borrow ideas from among the oldest of freelancers – the skilled trades. Concepts of guilds, roles, accreditation and mentorship were all created for a reason, and they apply equally well to the digital as the analog.

Looking for freelancer resources? Try some of these.

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