The nature of work is rapidly changing. It is no longer possible to survive, much less thrive, on one job alone, according to Kimberly Palmer author of The Economy of You.
Freelancing, or side gigs as I like to say, are becoming the norm.According to Forbes, there are 53 million Americans who freelance, representing 34% of the workforce. That number will reach 50% by 2020.
That means most everyone will be some type of independent worker in the near future. As a lawyer, here’s how I think you can take advantage of the coming sea-change and position your business to rise with the new tide.
Continued Growth of Freelance Work
As I mentioned earlier, freelancing will be the new norm. You want to be prepared for the ride as that trend grows.
As a buyer of on-demand help, you will enjoy a mind-boggling amount of choice among platforms and providers. The kind that can paralyze you and prevent you from taking advantage of the talent before you.
Where to Start
Outsourcing wasn’t learned in a day to paraphrase an old saying.
First. let’s define outsource. Most people think of off-shoring and big corporations and such. Me, I like to keep it simple.
Outsourcing is defined as asking someone outside of your law business to help you achieve a goal.
Delegation is telling that person specifically how to help you succeed
Next, let’s look at platforms. You can outsource using a variety of companies…
- Independent virtual assistant
- Virtual assistant agency
- Online outsourcing platform
You’ll find it easier to get started on a platform instead of with an independent VA or even an agency. The platform offers some safeguards and security that can be comforting when you are beginning to delegate.
Start studying the different platforms: Upwork, Fiverr, Fancy Hands to determine which works best for you as a buyer. Each platform has a personality and preference. Fiverr is best for when you need a task done quickly, cheaply and it isn’t critical.
When you want more ‘brain power’, turn to sites like Upwork and Fancy Hands. By the way, Elance and Odesk merged to become Upwork in 2015. Personally, I don’t think the merger was a success but nobody asked me 🙂
- The prevalence of so much quality, affordable help means that you finally can take care deferred maintainence on your website. For instance,hire a VA to:
- create a Google Sheet for your tracking (Google analytics, Facebook stats, Linkedin prospects) and have the provider update regularly
- refresh your website to the new marketing trends
- write social posts from your blog posts
- create a custom opt-in form for your website
Save your time and energy for the decisions and work that requires you.
Outsource projects where
1) you lack the skill or talent and 2) your time better leveraged doing something else. That means most things.
Failing to delegate when you can is a form of self-sabotage for your business. It’s hard to get out of the habit of doing it yourself, I know, but try.
Where could your law practice go if you were free to lead it instead of work in it?
Yes, you should be delegating tasks to your virtual team, but first, make sure you have your process and policies in place. For instance, how will you keep track of the freelancers you find on Upwork or Fiverr?
Don’t have to be complicated. Use a Google Sheet to keep track of your talent so you can quickly access providers that you’ve worked with in the past. I suggest you tracking sheet include:
- Provider URL
- Provider service
- Provider name (if available)
- delivery time
- Notes on past work
I’m a belt & suspenders type of girl. I like a backup. I have an A,B, and C team for every category I use often. I have, 3 web designers who vary in their ratings and delivery time in my Favorites. The goal is to put access at your fingertips so you never hesitate, wondering- how am I going to do that? You have team.
Take the time now to consider how outsourcing can help you Keep a list of projects that you’d like to outsource. I’m here if you want to talk through how you can reclaim your time through delegation. Schedule your free consult now