It seems everyone is talking about Artificial Intelligence right now. That’s for good reason, because it’s moved out of the early adoption phase and become part of the mainstream.
A series of successful applications of AI in business for CRMs, and for the B2C market, especially in ecommerce, means there has never been a more exciting time for AI enthusiasts. But what about freelancers?
Fear not about the doom and gloom taking work away from digital nomads because it’s been vastly over-exaggerated. If anything, it’s going to help freelancers like you do more and to work more efficiently.
Here are some ways in which the meteoric rise of the freelancing economy will benefit from artificial intelligence and technology in 2019.
If we’re honest with ourselves as freelancers, we would get more done if we were better able to control our worst vices and get organised.
One of biggest drawbacks of being a work from home freelancer is procrastination A second drawback is fake work – spending too much time Tweeting or writing Facebook updates that don’t achieve much for our businesses.
There are many tools available in the Cloud that freelancers can use to organise.
Tools such as Futurenda which help you organise time spent on tasks, monitor your deadlines, and set alerts.
Or the Worklife bot on Slack, which keeps you up to date automatically on the day’s schedule.
Don’t forget online collaboration tool Trello which facilitates communication across platforms. It now uses AI in the form of bots to set instructions and alerts.
Job Matching from Hiring Clients
Although freelancers reaching out to clients is far more common, clients reach out to new freelancers every day, usually through word of mouth or a careful web search.
It’s not as common or as regular as the other way around, of course. But new developments in artificial intelligence technology means freelancers are about to get a boost in freeing up more of their time to work, while businesses can connect with the right freelancers much easier.
Data scrapers are finally moving into recruitment, harvesting data from the web on candidates to better understand broader experiences. This will also apply to freelancers as the small business market continues to surge and businesses rely more heavily on outsourcing, ensuring they get the right people for the job.
Better Cold Calling of Potential Clients for Freelancers
In an ideal world, you wouldn’t need to spend much time cold calling to businesses. But the fact is, freelancers need to budget time for this. That client pipeline is not going to fill itself.
Many freelancers don’t like doing it; too few respond, and it sometimes feels like you’re fighting an uphill struggle to find more.
Knowing how to approach clients is a delicate balancing act. Some don’t take on freelancers at all. Some don’t want your services,while others reject you because your pitch was poor, or you approached it in the wrong way.
Boomerang from Google uses a smart app called Respondable which analyses an email and provides a score of likelihood of response. It checks grammar, spelling, politeness, and openness.
Freelancers don’t just need to be good at their jobs to succeed, they need to know how to market too. Marketing is about reaching out to the right people at the right time and in the right way(s) and this is one area where most freelancers fail.
The other side of the coin is that no freelancer wants to spend all their working time marketing unless that is what they are being paid to do.
Social media marketing technologies used to monitor and manage campaigns and outreach are nothing new, but they’ve come of age in the last year or so thanks to artificial intelligence and smart analytics.
Crystal, arguably the largest of these right now, analyses information about when your audience is most likely to see your content. With voice control and self-learning, this could revolutionise marketing for non-marketing freelancers and solve one of the biggest headaches we have.
Keeping Up With Meetings and Conferences
Does it feel as though you spend too much time in online conferences or meetings with clients?
There is so much choice in terms of platforms and most clients insist upon freelancers checking in regularly.
The more meetings you have, the harder it is to keep on top of them. Wouldn’t it be great to have a tool that can extract the most relevant information from a conference call and provide it in an outline or summary?
AI is enabling this through apps such as Wrappup. As text recognition and machine learning improves, it’s getting easier for AI technology to filter out the social pleasantries and the irrelevant back and forth comments.
Finding Images Faster
Many types of freelancer require photographs and images. They are a necessity for a wide range of areas such as design, marketing, and social media. But, not everybody has a good quality camera or can take a great photograph, even if they did own such a device.
Access to stock images (either paid or unpaid) feels like a constant search. Most freelancers who regularly need images likely have a long list to check.
But artificial intelligence is making this search far easier.
Google Image search is one of the best-loved, but even that gets it wrong a lot of the time. Dedicated apps such as Everypixel are taking it a step further. Using machine learning, it improves your image search prospects, speeding up the process of finding great photographs.
2019 Will Be An Exciting Year
The growth of freelancing has been meteoric across Europe and North America.
Whether web technologies are the cause or the consequence of this is a matter of debate, but we do seem to be in a place where technology serves the needs of small business thanks to Cloud technology and mobile connectivity.
Are we about to see another revolution through AI and the applications listed above?