INTERVIEW 2 - COREY WILSON, THE ONLINE FREELANCER
Corey is an established part of the "gig economy". He has worked for Fiverr.com for a number of years, and earns a full-time living via the site.
In this interview he shares his views about the realities of freelancing online, the importance of flexibility when you have family members to care for, and his favourite software for business.
Corey, what do you do, why do you do it and how did you get into it?
One night in 2013, I was browsing the Internet and found a link to Fiverr.com.
I'd already tried registering on Freelancer.com and Odesk, (now Upwork) but they were so difficult to set up and required a ton of information before I could even start bidding for gigs.
I'd also need to pay extra to increase my number of bids and to pass different tests.
It didn't sound promising, so I didn't upgrade to paid membership with them.
I wanted something simple and I found it in Fiverr.
$5 didn't seem like a lot of money, but the website looked modern and interesting, so I signed up. My one and only gig was beta reading ebooks.
I download a lot of Kindle books and the Indie ones always have so many mistakes, from grammar to plot holes and ugly covers - I thought if I could read them before they got published, I could prevent a lot of common errors which would help the authors get better reviews and sales.
I posted the gig, it got approved and then I forgot all about it.
Then, one day I got an email telling me that I'd received an order. I logged in, read the book and got my first 5-star review. Then I added more gigs - things I already knew how to do: audio transcription, PDF to Word conversions, mind mapping, online research and data entry, and that was the start of my business!
What are the biggest benefits of freelancing / entrepreneurship?
Unfortunately, as my monthly income increased, so did the health problems in my family - getting a full-time job was no longer an option.
I needed flexibility and time for waiting rooms, trips to the ER, and home care.
No employer would tolerate that much absence. That is the greatest benefit of freelancing. You have a deadline, but you don't have to work on your gig from 9 to 5, you can work on it at 5 a.m. You also get to work on so many diverse projects.
No two days are alike, and as you work, you're always thinking of ways to complete tasks faster and better, and about skills you could learn to improve your value. It's very dynamic.
Also, there is nobody standing over your shoulder telling you how to do your work.
You can do the job in whatever way you want, as long as the buyer gets what they need.
The downside is that you never know when your next order will arrive. Summers can be very slow, with days without any orders. That can be nerve-wracking if you have bills to pay.
Can you tell us the top tools that have made a significant difference to your business?
You can check out Corey's Fiverr gigs here: https://www.fiverr.com/carbor
Contains copyrighted material from the book: Entrepreneurial Espresso.
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