According to a new report from LinkedIn, 35% of the workforce in the US are now freelancers.
Whether you’re looking to grow your side hustle or want to jump in with both feet, LinkedIn’s data some valuable trends, gleaned from their ProFinder tool, the platform’s recent foray into the gig economy.
LinkedIn’s data shows that business coaches, marketers and designers dominated the freelance marketplace in 2016.
According to the official post, these three categories accounted for nearly 50% of the 9,500 ProFinder survey respondents.
“According to our data, skills-based fields like writing, photography and home improvement are the most popular amongst younger freelancers,” LinkedIn noted. “On the other hand, more senior freelance professionals tend to take on roles as coaches, business consultants, real estate professionals and marketers.”
The data also shows that the average freelancer is an older male, while the more senior a professional is in their career, the more likely they’re going to take on freelance work or transition into freelancing as an alternative to retirement.
The research also shows that 40% of U.S. freelancers are concentrated in just four states: California, Texas, Florida and New York. Finding and connecting with business opportunities, be it by geographic location, remote or some other segment is easy when you learn how to use LinkedIn’s ProFinder service.
Showing You the Money
Some 56% of the LinkedIn members surveyed indicated that they make 100% of their income from freelance work.
“Average hourly rates tend to be in the $50-$150/hr. range, with older freelancers typically charging more than their younger counterparts,” LinkedIn noted. “When it comes to billing, more than two-thirds of freelancers charge either by the project, feature or on a retainer basis, which reduces the need to track hours for projects.”
The data also shows there’s high demand for certified pros, such as freelancers who practice law, offer certified coaching or financial services and can command a bigger fee than other types of freelancers.
Where it’s Headed
As LinkedIn Economist, Guy Berger notes:
“With the U.S. economy continuing to expand and the labor market continuing to tighten, 2017 is likely to be an even better year for freelancers. Employers are going to face intensifying competition for the pool of available talent, improving the bargaining power that freelancers will have. This could mean better compensation, more flexibility and richer opportunities all around.”
So whether you’re among these trending freelance industries, or in one of the others ProFinder supports, you have more evidence than ever to consider LinkedIn as a way to leverage this 2017 workplace trend.
One final bit of advice before you jump into the freelance game and sign up for ProFinder – make sure your LinkedIn profile is what I call “client-facing”, meaning it reads not like a virtual résumé, but instead is all about how you help your ideal clients achieve their biggest goals.
With that in mind, LinkedIn’s looking to help you with that side hustle or full leap into your own gig in 2017, so take advantage.