What Makes The Gig Economy Tick?
“No one will go home and talk badly of me this evening, because I have come here to share ideas and talk sincerely.” Paolo Vendramini said at a recent Fiverr talk on graphic design in London.
Paolo has something. Apart from making branding sound more exciting in an Italian accent. There is something about someone standing to speak humbly before an audience they haven’t met, sharing their thoughts on life, their approach to their career, their passion. The culture of “can do”, a genuine approach and sincerity on a topic you love, goes a long way in a crowded marketplace.
The pioneering Amelia Earhart said, “Some of us have great runways already built for us. If you have one, take off. But if you don’t have one, realise it is your responsibility to grab a shovel and build one for yourself and for those who will follow after you.”
The Americans have their dream, Aussies “give things a go”, the French have their laissez-faire but the Brits seem to be stuck with Harry Enfield’s “You didn’t wanna do that”. There is a strange cultural dichotomy when it comes to entrepreneurship in the UK. We celebrate eccentric inventors, yet caution our young people into conventional, often aspiring corporate job roles. In a fast moving world of tech and startups, things are changing. There’s a greater ability now to run with your ideas and to reach more people directly on and offline. The entrepreneurial spirit is catching.
UK statistics are sketchy, but back in 2016, 82% of young people wanted to start a business.
Getting your idea off the ground and taking action quickly is where online marketplace platforms like Fiverr come in. Launched in February 2010, Fiverr now has over 11 million entrepreneurs online, selling their gigs, starting from $5. Freelancers can join for free. In June last year, Fiverr Pro was launched, a premium service with carefully selected professionals.
Online marketplaces give people the opportunity to outsource and project manage key aspects of their business so they can free up time, concentrate on their area of expertise and maximise their budgets. Vincent Van Gogh said, “Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” Tactical use of the gig economy can help small businesses make great strides. On the flip side, sites like Fiverr represent huge potential for entrepreneurs who want to sell through a platform. Marketplace platforms are like search engines — if your offer stands out you have access to potentially generate a lot of business. Bobby “Wingle” on Fiverr bought a house and paid for his own wedding with his Fiverr profits.
This year, Fiverr’s motto is “Year of Do” and #InDoersWeTrust. The “doers” aren’t to be underestimated. 40 million projects have been completed since 2010, with over 24,700 gigs purchased every day. 10 million gigs have been posted since 2010 with 7,500 services created every day in 2017. Last year 1.5 million brand identities were refined, courtesy of Fiverr.
Paolo’s presentation featured Forbes’ research that 75% of people think they know their own brand and what people think of them, but out of 75% only 15% are right. “Design deepens your relationships” Paolo says, “design’s purpose is to tell stories with an image. It’s an idea into an image.” Most startups seek out some kind of brand. It’s become part of the process to define yourself, tell your story and package your offer. In an online marketplace that means you can check out a vast array of designers’ portfolios before commissioning your chosen work. If you’re a designer how do you stand apart? Paolo suggests requesting to join the “Pro” part of Fiverr immediately, to put your best work into your portfolio and to be patient.
Ultimately winning business comes down to the quality of relationships you build and the quality of service you deliver. “Be yourself fully and prove it with facts. No one likes lies. Ask what they think of you. Be aware. Go to the social media.” Paolo urges. And his sincerity and commitment on this particular evening, earn him the respect of new fans.
[Originally published on 27 March 2018 by Social Songbird]
Learn more about Paolo here.