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If you have been standing on the fence about “freelancing,” it is high time that you joined the winning side: the gig economy. And in this article, we will show you proof as to why that will be the right choice – with statistics.
However, there is one thing you should know: this article is “really long.” But don’t worry; it won’t be a boring read – we’ve inserted relatable and practical examples. Most importantly, we have sorted the trends and statistics into categories for easier comprehension.
Here are the categories you can expect:
So, let’s begin!
At the height of the pandemic, while Americans were losing their jobs, about 57 million of them (representing about one-third of the nation’s workforce) resorted to freelancing. In the process, they contributed over $1 trillion to the economy. That’s roughly 20K per freelancer!
Doesn’t that make you wonder what the economy could be if two-third of the workforce freelance during the pandemic? The economy aside, what about the impact the proceeds would have on the average freelancer’s life?
The most incredible part: all the said freelancing proceeds happened when the economy was on lockdown. What does that tell you?
Opportunities abound in freelancing regardless of pandemics, strikes, or lockdowns!
Ordinarily, one would expect that freelancers earn only a meager fee. If not, how else would they find that many jobs during the thick of the pandemic? Well, the reality is quite different.
In a survey of over 6000 freelancers, 75% claim that they earned similar money as they do at their respective traditional jobs. And in some cases, they (the freelancers) got even more – $75k or even $150k annually.
Perhaps that survey is going too far. We have some freelancers at Legiit that joined our platform during the pandemic. Since then, they have earned more money than they would at their traditional jobs in their respective countries.
One of such freelancers is Brady Bear, who pulled off $12K sales in just a month during COVID. Today, she oversees her business and has employed other people. You can read her full story here.
We understand that one of your fears might be that you won’t make sales as a freelancer. And considering that millions of people join the gig economy almost daily, you might wonder if you will ever have a consistent flow of work.
If you put in the work, you can get consistent sales as a freelancer. Thankfully, the frequency of freelancing jobs has been ever increasing since 2014. Presently, over 37% of freelancers get daily jobs from clients and prospects. You can be part of such top-sellers too!
But like we said, you have to put in the work, market yourself, and always show up with an A-game.
Another fear that you might have regarding “freelancing” is if the markets will plummet. Will the freelance marketplaces like Legiit stand and exist in many years to come? Can you make freelancing a long-term thing?
The answer to both questions is a resounding yes. The market share for freelancing increases by the day – so, why not? Take SEO services, for example; studies show that sales and proceeds in this category will reach almost $20B in 2025.
Mind you, that figure is just for SEO services. What if there were a quote for all freelancing niches? In that case, we’ll be talking many zeros. In either of the cases, you will arrive at the same conclusion:
Freelancing is long-term, and the market for remote skills and jobs will always be on the rise!
Have you been backpedaling your decision to join the gig economy because of the choice of clients? Do you think only startups hire freelancers? Or perhaps you thought you wouldn’t feel the sense of responsibility and vision working as a freelancer!
Well, we are here to surprise you – startups are not the only clients on freelancing platforms. In fact, 30% of the so-called fortune 500 companies are always looking for talent in places like Legiit.
Funnily enough, you might never even know that these fortune 500 companies are hiring if not for “freelancing.” So, what about the sense of responsibility and vision?
That part is an intrinsic value that reflects your attitude to work. Whether startup or not, you should always bring your A-game for your clients. Freelancing isn’t a traditional job where you can stroll the job without care.
The result of an online survey of 3985 respondents showed that 51% of freelancers wouldn’t bulge about freelancing – regardless of how great an offer a traditional job might bring. While that statistic, by itself, doesn’t talk about opportunities but stop and think. Why won’t they (the freelancers) leave the gig economy?
Are the opportunities in freelancing as much as projected? Or could the reason be the working condition?
We can’t answer the question for the 3985 respondents of the MBO survey. But we can tell you that “freelancing” has excellent work opportunities as much as a healthy work-life balance.
Want to know how fun the gig economy can be? Read this: Hilarious Freelancing Memes That Will Tickle Your Funny Bone
Now, we have discussed the opportunities in “freelancing.” Let’s see just how much you can earn as a freelancer.
Though the rates would vary from one niche to another, you can still expect an average of $19 hourly as a freelancer. So, how much will that amount to at the end of the month?
Say you work 8 hours per day for 22days. You’ll get $3344 monthly. But remember, that’s only a baseline estimate. We have freelancers on Legiit who earn triple that quote monthly.
Spoiler alert: what you will eventually earn as a freelancer relies on how much you’re willing to work and your marketing skills.
We fail to mention that the type of services you offer as a freelancer also matters. If you sell highly-technical services or do jobs in specialized fields like medicine and law, then you’d earn more than $19 hourly.
In fact, in your case, as a skilled freelancer, your median hourly rate will be around $28. And using the 8-hour estimate, you’ll earn roughly $4928 monthly. Again, that’s only an estimate!
Regardless, a skilled freelancer averagely earns 70% more than a U.S. worker hourly. There goes your clue!
As we said, what you’d get as a freelancer depends solely on you. If you have the time, the skill, and dedication, you can earn as much as $75K annually. We have seen those that crushed those numbers within three months here on Legiit.
But ultimately, you can set a baseline of $75K and be one of the top earners in the 31%. And here are a few tips to achieve that feat:
While working for an employer, there is a cap to how much you can earn. Funnily enough, there are several rules about grading and salary. And often, you’d only scale up at least after six months of constant and significant contribution to the company.
Fortunately, all that drudgery doesn’t exist in “freelancing.” That is why 60% of freelancers earned twice, even triple, what they did at their former jobs. There is no limit unless the one you set.
And besides, “freelancing” helps you go about things like a businessman. As a result, you’d earn more directly as the sole proprietor. But what if you’re using a team?
Your team and you can work more. That would translate to more earnings. Ultimately, everyone would be happier than they would be at their traditional jobs.
This statistic is more like a continuation from where we stopped earlier. As we said, companies or employers have rigid structures that wouldn’t increase your pay until 6months – that’s even if you’re not on probation, LOL.
Within those 6months, the chances are that you’d earn more than you did at your traditional job as a freelancer – 33% of freelancers did!
But say the sales weren’t forthcoming or your marketing copies aren’t convincing enough, you’ll still topple your old earnings within 6months – 24% of freelancers did!
Note: you won’t get sales in freelancing without work; it is not rocket science. And mind you, even when you get orders, the way you treat them still matters. Your professionalism and quality work go a long way to bringing you more sales.
There is no rule on how you should charge your clients. But you can follow the 48% freelancers and work on fixed rates. Or you can do both!
Regardless of which one of the fixed or hourly rates you pick, you should know how much time you spend per project. Doing so can help you plan your work schedule and maintain a work-life balance. Also, monitoring how much time you spend on your project can help you measure your proficiency.
Our take: do what your clients ask. But ensure you don’t undervalue yourself!
Want to know the right skills to fetch you that annual $75k? Check these statistics out!
Writing, undoubtedly, is one of the top-drawers for freelancers all over the world. And the reason for that is because the skill is not hard to learn. You only need to understand basic grammar and how to structure your content.
And because most content online is written in the English language, 82% of U.S. freelancers stuck to the niche. But that’s not to say you can’t make a fortune even if English is your second language.
Though the earnings depend on your skill, you can still earn up to $80 hourly writing content. You might not command such a fee at the start. But with a few reviews and marketing, you can scale up.
Another thing you should note is the type of content you do. If you write technical articles, they are pricey. You’ll make the $80 mark!
Outside technical articles, copywriting can also fetch you a beautiful paycheck. In some cases, you can make up to $250 hourly as a copywriter. But for that to happen, you’d obviously have proof of the metrics your copies pulled for your previous clients.
Besides writing, entertainment also pulls in an excellent wad of cash for freelancers. So much so that 50% of U.S. entertainment workers do freelancing.
And the best part of it all is that entertainment content, though tasking, can be evergreen. For example, say you created a viral ad for a fortune 500 company. The chances are that you’d continuously receive royalties for the ad.
The only sideline to entertainment content is that you can hardly learn it. If you are not creative, the chances of gaining your audience’s attention would be slim.
Much like entertainment, art and design workers require creativity. And unfortunately, being confined within the walls of an office can limit your creative geniuses. That is why 75% of art workers are freelancers. If you have the skill, you should jump ship to freelancing too.
And trust us, this niche is highly lucrative. For example, a graphics designer can earn up to $150 hourly. And while you are at it, you can create NFTs as a side hustle.
Imagine your arts selling for $69M just as much as Beeple’s “Everydays: The First 5000 Days!”
Construction is just as specialized as IT and medical niches. As a result, it also commands excellent rates. So, if you have any affinity for construction, you should join the 55% freelancers and offer your services on freelancing platforms.
The best part: you can even have a consultation service. But of course, the most money will come from your designs and rendering.
By now, we believe you know how to use the software in the construction niche. If you don’t know, you should start learning.
The cream of the crop is undoubted IT. If you have an IT skill or can learn, you should ditch your 9-5 job and start freelancing right away.
The beauty of IT is that there is endless opportunity here. You can sell web design and development services. Or you could decide to do app development, hosting, or whatever suits you. And in any case, you’ll always find clients.
Let’s correct that statement. You won’t just find clients – you will find the high-ticket clients. And they would pay as long as you can create their designs. So much so you can earn up to $1k per hour!
To earn $75K annually, you can’t do meager jobs like data entry. Or how much data entry work would you do? That’s even if you don’t run out of juice!
You need to learn a skill if you don’t already have one. The majority of the freelance jobs are skilled services. Plus, 50% of freelancers you would be competing with are skilled. So, do well to have one too.
And even with a skill, you need to improve yourself to make a living as a freelancer. Here is why:
Once you started freelancing, you’d find that skill-related education is crucial to surviving. Well, your clients might not ask for college certificates. Notwithstanding, they would expect that you’d undergone the basic training required for your niche.
For example, it would be amiss for a content writer to lack SEO writing skills. Clients who want to rank their websites in the Google snack pack would test your knowledge of tools like Surfer SEO. So, what happens if you can’t use it?
You’d lose a high-ticket job!
This statistics is particular to niches like IT and construction. It is far easier if you have a background in such a niche before listing them as services. That way, you would have enough samples on your portfolio to show your client.
And if you’re a goal-getter, you might already have a freelance career as a student. But it’s okay if that’s not you – you can start yours even after graduating. The gig economy doesn’t hold latecomers.
Also, don’t let your degree limit your freelance career. If you fancy IT jobs, go to sites like Udemy and Coursera and learn.
We have established that “freelancing” is more hands-on than traditional jobs. Well, that’s for those that want to succeed at it. To be a 7-figure or even a 6-figure freelancer, you need to partake in a series of training.
And mind you, we don’t mean the training as a classroom affair. It could be a live video where you’d learn what’s new in your niche. We did something like that a lot doing COVID here at Legiit, where we’d answer freelancers’ questions.
Outside Q&A sessions, you can enroll in short, learn-at-your-own-pace courses too. Either way, ensure that you get more training as a freelancer – and even more so as a full-timer.
In addition to improving your skills, you need the training to outmuscle your competition. And believe us, after you have gained tons of reviews like the top-rated freelancers, it will come down to who is most proficient for the job. How would a client decide that?
By assessing your knowledge on the subject! However, that might not be the case for low-ticket jobs such as speed optimization. But when you’re on a large-scale project like designing a dynamic and intuitive website, the client would test you.
Earlier, we mentioned that freelancers could earn more than they would at their 9-5jobs in the gig economy within six months. Well, 70% of those that did actually undergo some training. Else, bridging the gap could be somewhat impossible.
Note: sometimes, the training you need as a newbie freelancer isn’t even skill-wise. You might already have all that you need to kickstart your career. Even at that, you still need to know how to create a persuasive copy, pitch your sales, and win over a client.
Though rare, 27% of the time, your clients can cover the cost of your training. But that would be if you show promise or have been in the team for some time. Else, you’d pay for your education yourself – regardless of how expensive.
Either way, master the art of building interpersonal relationships. It will help you win over your clients. Who knows, they might pay for the much-needed freelance training.
We understand that paying for courses and training items without earning seems odd. However, if you have the funds, it’s worth it. But if you don’t, you can always find free courses and pieces like the ones we have on our blog on how to start or upscale your freelance business. Use them!
So, what next?
All work without play makes Jack a dull boy. Well, you’re not Jack; but you deserve some work-life balance too. The following statistics would provide insights on how you can achieve it as a freelancer.
The drudgery and stress of commuting to daily work alone contribute to health problems. But thankfully, “freelancing” has significantly reduced the pressure. As a freelancer, you can choose to work wherever suits you.
Even better, you can free up space to visit your friends and family, attend the gym, and prepare a home meal. All these factors are what will eventually contribute to your overall health.
While it is true that “freelancing” also has its rush hours, especially during black Fridays, even at that, you’d hardly be overwhelmed with work. In fact, only 4% of freelancers handle more than ten large projects at once. That’s your cue!
One of the appeals of “freelancing” is its “less stress, more pay.” Unlike traditional jobs, you can finally enjoy the things that truly matter to you. You can even build your freelance career around what appeals to you.
But we have to warn you – don’t get too comfortable; else, you would cede to your competition. Most importantly, ensure you create a mental work time.
The only way to truly enjoy the comfort of “freelancing” is to set a schedule. Set a reasonable deadline on your services for you and your clients. That way, you can have time to handle your other businesses.
About schedules, be as professional as possible. There would be times when your client might need their work urgently. In essence, even in your freedom, learn to be flexible.
Whichever option appeals to you, “freelancing” offers you the chance to work anywhere. However, if you will be working from home, ensure you set aside a working space. By doing so, you can break mental blocks and get yourself into the right mood.
Also, we’d advise you to use public spaces if only you enjoy occasional distractions while working. Else, you’d be better off working from home.
As we said, “freelancing” affords its players comfort and luxury. As such, it’s easy to understand the view of 84% of freelancers.
But while affording the lifestyle you wanted, always work with a budget. Why? Although rare, there can be sunny days with few orders. On such days, you don’t want to be left hanging.
The allures of “freelancing” are too wonderful not to love. Or what’s there not to like? You work when you want; you decide how much you want to earn! Isn’t life beautiful?
The average U.S. freelancer agrees 63% of the time!
This statistic means that freelancers are happy with the gig economy. Either 42% or 63%, freelancers are enjoying the flexibility to enjoy life as it comes. Plus, they can finally have time to build what is truly theirs – a business or legacy!
When you decide every detail about your work-life balance, it is easy to be satisfied with the outcome. That is what happened to the 84% of freelancers in that statistics. They earn what they want and do it the legit way.
While all the statistics pointed to the allures of freelancing, this part paints the “real” picture. So, are we saying there is no comfort in the gig economy? No!
However, if you want to hit the maximum heights for your talent, you’d still be busy as a freelancer. At least, you’d mostly have four projects at a time. But the good thing is that they would often have different deadlines.
So, cheers – it’s still all good.
And now, let’s discuss the last set of freelancing statistics in this piece!
We already talked about the opportunities in the gig economy – we even briefly assured you that the future for freelancing is bright. But this section does better. Here, we will provide you with just a few more statistics to back our claims.
Yearly, the numbers recorded on freelancing platforms increases. Just as the revenue grows, so do the players and actors. For those reasons, 91% of freelancers believe that the gig economy will always have an upward curve.
Already one of the top destinations for freelancers worldwide, the U.S. is even expected to grow its freelancing networks. And as more sellers join the frame, more competition will ensue.
But don’t fret; remember our tip that constant education can help you rise above any competition. Besides, more freelancers mean clients will pay you even more because quality work will become rare.
With the upward growth curve of the gig economy, more jobs will ensue. When that happens, freelancers will have enough money to upscale their business and fill the gaps employment and pandemic has created in the economy.
While the number might seem insignificant, we can tell you factually that our freelancers on Legiit don’t doubt freelancing. We treat it as long-term. It is a business and a pool of opportunity wide enough for everyone to swim. So, come and swim with us!
Start your freelance career today by opening an account on Legiit!