The Future is Freelance

Change is coming. We all feel it. We all see it.

Modern technology is more ubiquitous, prolific, dependable, and relied upon than any of us could have guessed twenty years ago. It has changed and is changing how we communicate, how we shop, and how we travel.

But for many workers in the US, it hasn’t changed the core of how we work. Yet.

Many workers spend hours upon hours traveling from their homes each week to arrive at a destination meant for no other purpose than to hold working humans, where they sit in assigned seats performing tasks assigned to them by supervisors to earn money for the people who own the company. Broken down in those terms, work in the US hasn’t changed much since …well, the beginning of the country. What technology has changed, though, is the amount of work, and money, each individual worker can produce for the company, while wages for these workers has stagnated or declined over the past four decades. Workers are wising up to this.

Technology has also made work more mobile and more easy than ever before. The speed and ease of communication has many workers looking around them, thinking “Why am I making money for the guy at the top, when I can do this same work from home, earn more money for myself, and have more free time?”

This is why the future is freelance.

Workers are seeing freelance work as freedom. Freedom to choose what to work on. Freedom to choose where to work from. Freedom to choose when and how much to work. If the worker can do all this and still earn as much or more money than he or she could while working in the corporate structure, why would they choose to work in the corporate structure?

The answer: they won’t. Right now 35% of the American workforce is working in a freelance capacity, and we’re on track to hit 50% by 2020. That means that more than 19 million workers will transition to freelance work in the next three years.

That may sound like a bad deal for companies, but it isn’t, necessarily. The average worker is productive for 3 hours per day, but they’re paid for an 8 hour day. That’s five hours of time that a company is throwing out the window for every employee, every day, so the truth is that companies are already getting a bad deal on employees. In a freelance marketplace, however, companies can pick up workers on contract to see specific tasks through from start to finish. They know what they’re paying, and how much to see their job done. This makes far more sense, in a lot of cases, for projects that a company needs done, but don’t need a full-time worker for. Projects like marketing campaigns, website development and maintenance, content creation, programming projects, and accounting management can all be done on a case-by-case basis, ultimately saving money for the company in the long-run, without keeping costly employees in the payroll. It streamlines business costs and timelines, ultimately making those companies more competitive.

Freelance is a win-win for the workers and the companies. Granted, it’s a different structure than the current top-down work environment that we’re used to (and have been for centuries), but technology is changing everything, including how we work.

The future is freedom. The future is freelance.

Maybe You’re a Freelancer (and Just Don’t Know It Yet)

The idea of being a freelancer is attractive to a lot of people. According to last year’s report from the Freelancers Union, 80% of Americans workers polled said they’d consider freelancing on the side to make a little extra money. That doesn’t include the people who are already freelancing.

Think of that for a second. If you’re in a room with 4 of your friends, and you’re not thinking of freelancing, you’re probably the only one.

Why is freelancing so attractive? It’s probably not a huge surprise to hear that most respondents listed flexibility and choice as the reason they would look to get into freelancing, and that once people started, 79% said that it’s better than working a regular corporate gig. Half of freelancers said that they would never go back. Freelancing can be especially attractive for people who don’t have the ability to work a regular 9-5, 40-hours-a-week job. People like stay-at-home parents, the physically handicapped, and those with criminal records might have a fantastic experience as freelancers.

Sounds pretty rosy, right? So how do you start?

There are a couple ways to go about it.

If you want to start freelancing independently, you’ll have to go into it understanding that you’re going to be doing a lot more than just doing the work that is your core competency. Independent freelancing means that you’re basically running a business, but the business is you. You’re going to have to brush up on your accounting, project management, and marketing skills, because you’ll be putting together a lot of advertising and estimates before you’re able to land some jobs. And once you’re doing the work, time management is going to become very important for you. Pricing is also a difficult challenge for most freelancers. What to charge customers so you earn enough to make up for your unbillable time, but still charge little enough to be competitive, is a hurdle many freelancers need to overcome.

If the independent route sounds like too much work, you can always sign up with an online service to find jobs. Most services (which I won’t list here – they’re our competitors, after all), let businesses post jobs on their platform, and the freelancers put together bids to compete for those jobs. This can be a great option for cutting down on marketing. You’ll still spend time bidding for jobs, but hopefully you’ll get some of them, and be off to the races.  The downside of these platforms is that you’ll often be competing with foreign freelancers who can often work for much less than you can, and you’ll still spend a fair amount of time creating estimates in order to land jobs, and you’ll be responsible for collecting on the jobs once they’re finished.

The last option is to take part in MYSA’s platform, which eliminates bidding, billing, and prospecting entirely. As an automated system, once you sign up, jobs will start coming to you. You still have the option to reject the jobs you don’t want, but you won’t be competing with other freelancers. Instead you’ll be matched based on your skills, location, and the amount of time you choose to schedule per week. The drawback, if there is one, is that MYSA dictates the pay scale for the jobs, based on US government wage data, so as a freelancer, you might make less-per-billable-hour than you might if you were doing your own bidding, but the trade-off is that you’ll get more billable hours, and far less unbillable hours, ultimately (hopefully) resulting in a net-gain in pay for you.

Freelancing is a very attractive work option for many people in the US, and it might be a great fit for you. If you want more information on how you can find work through MYSA, check us out online at www.MYSA.io, and sign up to be a part of our beta launch – coming in October 2017.

MYSA’s “Why.”

On the surface, MYSA’s business model doesn’t look that different from some other, much larger, companies online that aim to connect businesses with freelancers.  Without too much research, you can find several of our competitors out there who, presumably, can put you in touch with people who can do your work for you, and possibly even cheaper than we can do it.

That’s because they’re driven first by profit, as many companies are. No judgment – profit is important for any company. But that’s where we differ from our competition.

Though we, too, care about making a profit, MYSA’s first, and ultimately most important goal, is to use our platform to help businesses, freelancers, and communities like yours grow better and stronger.

 

How is my community related to freelance workers?

It may seem a bit counterintuitive to think that a bunch of individual workers in a community can strengthen it. After all, freelancers tend to be pretty independently-minded, right?

That may be true, but think of it this way: When you invest your business’ money in local help, your dollar stays in your community. Our competition uses freelance labor from all over the world. The money you spend with them could (and will probably) go directly to places like China, India, South America, and eastern Europe. Those all seem like great places, and the people there are probably good people, also, but given the choice, we’d rather see our money invested in people where we live. Your local freelancers will go on to spend that money on goods and services where you are – perhaps even your business – and the only reason they’re staying in your community is because they can make a decent living there.

Fighting Brain-Drain

Many professionals, like the local freelancers you’ll hire through MYSA, feel like they have to move away from their respective homes to find a good paying job. They migrate from small-to-medium sized communities to large cities or either coast because that’s where the money is, regardless of the fact that they may love their home communities and want to stay. By hiring talented freelancers in your area at a fair wage, they won’t have the need to move away from your community to make a living. Instead, their talent and your money stay right where you both live, and go on to maintain and promote your community as the great place to live and work that you know it is.

But doesn’t hiring local cost more?

In short: yep – but maybe not as much as you think. There’s an old adage that goes “Good work isn’t cheap, and cheap work isn’t good.” At MYSA, we also think that getting good work doesn’t also mean that it has to be back-breakingly expensive, either. Yes, we’re more expensive than some of our online competitors who use unvetted foreign labor, but when you hire a freelancer through MYSA, you are assured that you’re hiring vetted, local talent who will perform your job to your specifications and your timeline. To get that level of service elsewhere, you’d most likely have to go through a marketing, accounting, programming, or HR firm, or you’d have to hire a temp worker who may or may not fit your needs without training. In terms of the cost of time and money of hiring an agency or a temp worker, we’re definitely the less expensive option.  If you do an analysis of quality-for-the-dollar, we’re confident that MYSA is the best option available.

…but how can I know for sure?

It’s tough, as a business owner, to know what the right choice is when it comes to hiring out work. If you’re interested in becoming a tester for our beta-launch (coming this fall), feel free to sign up, and you can try it out first-hand.  All we can say is “give our people a shot.” If you’ve got a small project you want help with, let us give you an estimate, and you’ll know quickly if you think our services are worth the money. If you just want more information, you can always shoot us an email at MYSA@MYSA.io, and we’ll be happy to answer your questions.

Thanks! And we hope to hear from you soon!

Freelancers

As an expert in your field, you shouldn’t have to move across the country and work hours that are unsustainable just to hold a job.

By joining MYSA’s coalition of freelancers, the work will come to you, wherever you’re at, however many hours you’re able to work, and at a fair wage. No sign-up fees. No bidding, billing, or prospecting. Simply do good work on your terms, get paid fairly, and support your home community in the process.

We need freelancers of all types and skill levels to make this movement successful, so please sign up for our beta release – coming this fall – and we’ll let you know when the work comes in.

Businesses

There’s a lot more to running your business than just the “core business.” Tasks like marketing, human resources, accounting, and programming can take a lot of time and effort – and that’s if you even know where to start. With MYSA, you’ll find help in the form of fantastic, vetted American experts who will help you understand your needs and how to fix them at a fair flat-rate cost. You can feel good that you’re moving your business in a positive direction, while at the same time you’re supporting American workers and keeping your money in your own country, or even your own community.

We need the support of businesses big and small alike to move this project forward, so please sign up for our beta release – coming this fall – and we’ll let you know when we’ve got freelancers in your area ready to work for you and your business.

What is MYSA

Mysa (pronounced MEE-suh) is a Swedish word that roughly translates to the feeling of “coziness.” Think of how you feel when you’re watching Netflix in front of a fire with your sweetheart, or the warm, jovial feeling you get when you’re hanging around a campfire with your buddies. That’s Mysa.

And that’s the feeling we’re developing the MYSA platform around. It’s the way we want you, as a business owner or freelancer to feel about us. It’s how we want you to feel about each other. And it’s how we want you to feel, knowing you’re supporting American businesses and workers when you use our platform.

MYSA, the business, is a collection of energetic entrepreneurs from Wisconsin with a sincere love of our respective home communities, and a passion for helping people stay in, develop, and support their own home communities while having the freedom to work in professions they love.

Want to know more? Contact Us for more information about MYSA, and what we’re about. Or Sign Up for our beta release – coming this fall – to be a part of the MYSA movement.