The United States currently has the largest number of freelancers in the world, with almost 30% of its workforce engaged in some form of freelance work. The population of US-based freelancers grew slightly, rising 2% from 54 million in 2015 to reach 55 million in 2016. Their earnings, on the other hand, rose by 35% to reach US$ 1 trillion in 2016, compared to the US$ 715 billion they earned in 2015. These trends indicate that skilled freelancers are earning more with each passing year without large changes in their numbers.
But how long will this rise in income last? The population of freelancers, gig artists and digital nomads is set to increase exponentially over the next two decades and is expected to attain the incredible figure of 1 billion by 2035. That means increased competition is on the way from low-income countries like India, Bangladesh, and China, whose populations of freelancers are set to explode.
Freelancing, which was once the preserve of the white middle class in the US, is going to witness fierce competition from teenagers in third world countries who first logged on to the Web only after 2010. Those freelancers who are in their mid-20s and early 30s now will be close to 50 when these changes fully play out.
Will you be affected by these trends?
Making money online in 2017 will see disruptions that few of us can imagine. The answer to the above question is both “yes” and “no.” Low-skilled jobs might become uneconomical for Americans to work in because of the fierce pricing power that people from countries with low costs of living have. Highly skilled work will always command a premium. Gaining and honing the right skillset takes years, and if you ensure that you upgrade your skills at regular intervals, you can future-proof your income from any black swan events that might hit the freelancing world. Hitching your career to niche, high-paying jobs will ensure that your earnings do not disappear overnight.
Follow The Leaders
Google and Facebook will remain big in 2017, so gaining mastery over them is one of the key factors that could contribute to your online success. While anybody can use Google’s products and sign up on Facebook to use their services, mastery over these domains takes years. Today is a good time to embark on the journey towards becoming a Google and Facebook certified expert.
Why Get Online Certification?
Google.com has an estimated 2.2 billion active users, while Facebook.com has 1.8 billion monthly active users. Marketers around the globe spend billions of dollars trying to reach these active users. Yet there are only a few thousand certified experts across the globe who know how to target this demographic segment.
Google continues to see enormous growth, and it earned a profit of US$ 46 billion in 2015. A large part of its profits come from small webmasters and freelancers like us who use AdSense and AdWords. So, gaining mastery over these two products could supplement your income disproportionately by helping you gain premium pricing for your services.
Moreover, getting certified is free and only requires effort and time. Look at the free certification programs from these two tech giants below:
· Sign Up To Become A Facebook Certified Professional.
· Free Training Modules For Your Facebook Certification.
· Become A Google Certified Digital Marketer. Take the Online Marketing Challenge.
· Gain a Google Certified Developer Accreditation.
· Get AdWords Certification.
Some freelancers who successfully obtained certifications reported an almost 200% increase in their annual incomes during 2016. Having these certificates on your digital resume can boost your appeal to prospective online employers in 2017. Sign up today to future-proof your online career!
Let us know if there are any other certifications that you feel freelancers should opt for in the comments below.