Is it a good time to be a freelancer? 2022 Freelance Report – The Lowdown
Yes, the last couple of years have been hectic and we’ve faced some challenges, putting it mildly! But these challenges have meant that we small businesses and freelancers have had to rethink, remodel, and put contingencies in place that we might not have done had we not been chucked in at the deep end.
It really is an understatement to say that we’re operating in ‘uncertain times’ but it’s true. We’ve witnessed well-established businesses going under, and a rise in remote working that’s helped rather than hindered many freelancers. A new widespread acceptance of remote and flexible working has meant that many organisations are now outsourcing to freelancers and virtual assistants rather than continuing the traditional on-site employee operations.
And it’s worth mentioning that of course there are vast numbers of people who have been negatively affected by the awfulness of the last couple of years, we’re certainly not going to deny that fact, however this post is focussed on the freelance industry and the trends we’re seeing, rather than the overall working population.
A huge number of people have entered the freelance space either because it was their only viable option, or because they saw opportunities arise to leave their current roles and start their own business. This number continues to rise, in part due to some becoming familiar with working remotely and then having this option removed once organisations began opening back up.
There are plenty of reasons for people starting out in the freelancing world as virtual assistants or otherwise – varied but equally unsurprising… Among the top reasons given were:
- Desire for meaningful work
- Quality of life (e.g. flexibility, freedom, autonomy)
- Desire to work from home
- Desire to travel
- Desire to align work with values
- Toxic work environment
- Corporate burnout
- Desire to follow a dream
- Desire to be own boss
- Lack of fulfilment in previous work
And what about those who have been freelancing for a while?
According to the Freelance University survey, a mammoth 80% of respondents reported that their business either remained the same or grew during the pandemic. That’s such a positive result!
On top of that, 76% of respondents said that they believe opportunities are still on the rise – so clearly, hope remains strong within the freelance community.
The variety of skills on offer in the freelance and VA world is massive, from those that offer several skills to those who focus on one particular area of expertise. Skills such as communication, service, and problem-solving were atop the ‘soft’ skills list which will likely always remain in the top spot for us virtual assistants.
Other ‘soft’ skills that were deemed important if not necessary were:
So, this indicates that those of us who pride ourselves on delivering the very best for our clients will always be sought after and valued because let’s face it, us VAs are a fabulous bunch, aren’t we?!
The findings are evidence that plenty of organisations are looking for experienced and skilled professionals, virtual assistants, and freelancers alike. And it’s been said that this is a great time for those considering going freelance to do so.
So what are the most requested services? Brace yourself because there are quite a few that apply to us virtual assistants, (and this isn’t even all of them!)
- Content Creation/Editing
- Virtual Administration, Assistance and Support (e.g. general admin, personal assistance, filing,
- organising, virtual office management, travel arrangements and planning, human resources sup-
- Executive Virtual Assistant for C-level Executives
- Calendar Management (e.g. diary management, meeting coordination, scheduling, time management)
- Email Marketing & Management (e.g. email automation, inbox management and cleanup)
- Data Entry (e.g. Excel spreadsheets)
- Financial Management (e.g. bookkeeping, invoicing, tax return preparation)
- Digital Marketing Management
- Virtual Event Management
- Social Media Management and Marketing
- Customer Service, Management and Support
And finally, unsurprisingly the most popular way of gaining new clients was through professional connections, past employers, and suchlike followed by social media and online groups. So, make sure to check in with who you already know when hunting for new leads. It’s often an untapped resource.
These findings strike me as hugely encouraging considering what our businesses have endured over the last couple of years. If we remain firm in our values of delivering top quality results to our clients and continue to grow our skill sets, virtual assistants will maintain the position of being highly sought and valued in the freelancing world.
If you’re looking for a highly skilled team of professional virtual assistants who will deliver results, look no further!