Los Angeles is a city that is comfortable with the term "independent contractor," thanks to the large mechanism called the entertainment industry. Cast and crew are often hired on a temporary basis during production and then released to tackle the next project. Come tax time, many L.A. mailboxes are stuffed with 1099 forms.
We’ve all read the headlines about job lay-offs, foreclosures, and businesses struggling to survive. What we don’t see, are the numbers of independent contractors who are thriving right now. As a freelance writer in Los Angeles, it behooves you to take advantage of the abundance that this city has to offer. Not only are Angelinos comfortable with the concept of the independent contractor or freelancer, but our economy is ripe for this type of business relationship. It's the perfect storm of opportunity.
Last summer, CNNMoney.com published "The Rise of Freelance Nation," reported that roughly 42 million workers, about 30 percent of the job market, is made up of this type of worker, and these numbers are expected to rise. Independent contractors, part-time employees, temporary hires, and the self-employed are here to stay.
Businesses may be cutting back on staff, but they still need the work done. An independent contractor is a great solution because we can do the work without the cost of benefits and overhead. We are also task-specific. In the past when a company had a new project, it would hire someone to get it started and possibly even assemble a team to get the project off the ground, but once it was up and running, those employees were often under-utilized. Now, an independent contractor can come in, get the job done, and then go on his or her merry way leaving behind a happy client.
The Write Approach is a perfect example of a freelance writer taking advantage of this economy. This small Los Angeles business has experienced more growth in the last year than any time in its five years of operation and is now expanding, bringing on additional writers to offer even more types of writing services to more clients.
There is definitely opportunity out there for freelance writers. Yes, it's true that publications are not paying what they used to, and selling a screenplay is hard no matter how talented you may be. But, there are so many ways a writer can apply his or her skills and be profitable, and there is definitely a need. The demand is there. Let's make sure we provide the supply.
Additional reading: "Temporary Workers and the 21st Century Economy"