In a struggling economic climate, more South Africans find themselves carrying two or more job titles. Increasingly so, independent professionals are using mobile technology to create ecosystems of work they enjoy.

Who says you can’t drive an Uber in the morning, design websites all afternoon and cater your own food company at night?

“Freelancing full- or part-time is an appealing way to secure multiple income sources, but it’s not always easy to get established and make the money you want,” says Melina Lewis, Head of Business Development at mobile commerce and networking app Chat Find.

Once stigmatised as an inability to secure permanent employment, the word “freelancer” is starting to shed its negative connotations

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The Old Mutual Savings and Investment Monitor survey for 2017 found that 37% of 943 working respondents reported having more than one job, with many branching out from their primary career with an unrelated offering.

Mobile commerce apps are embracing the trend

“Freelancers and businesses can now create their own mobile shopfronts, where they showcase their skills and services, and make themselves available for other users to contact and endorse,” says Lewis.

The Chat Find app, which is available for download on Android and IOS, offers business owners and freelancers invoicing, secure mobile payment and direct chat capabilities.

It allows users to search for specific services, within broader categories as well as exact geographic locations.

The Chat Find app, which is available for download on Android and IOS, offers business owners and freelancers invoicing, secure mobile payment and direct chat capabilities

In the process of getting local businesses and freelancers on board, Lewis and her team have gathered insight on how individuals can best market their services.

Here are some of her tips for cracking the freelance market:

Get your name out there

A presence on sites like LinkedIn and industry specific portals is key. These platforms lend credibility and provide a wider online presence.

Grow social

Social media is a powerful platform for freelancers, offering the ability to target specific customer groups and build your brand creatively. That said, in order to be seen, posts need to be boosted for a fee. With this in mind, make sure to read up on how to get the most bang for your buck.

Go mobile

South Africans increasingly use their phones to search for services and contact providers. While websites are good repositories of your past projects, they can be cumbersome and difficult to navigate from your phone.

Make sure your customers can view your profile on their phones and get in touch instantly.

The easiest way to do this is to create a Chat Find profile – over and above putting your service offerings out there, you can invoice clients directly from the app as well as build new business relationships. All Chat Find posts can be automatically shared to Facebook – so it’s one post, that appears in two places.

Signing up and posting on Chat Find is free, there is no mark-up on payments or sales processed through the app. A video guide to using Chat Find for freelancers is available here