The workplace of the past was a very different place. Since you had to commute to work, it didn’t make sense to work for 15 different clients for the month. At best, you would have some local clients, but even then, people who commuted for work so much had trouble getting everywhere in time.

Today, there are no such restrictions whatsoever. After all, you can work for one or a few clients every day without ever leaving your chair. 

💡Read Media Monitoring: The Ultimate Guide

Although this may sound chaotic, the truth is that it has so many advantages. First, you don’t have just one source of revenue, which makes you more financially resilient and independent. Second, it gives you a more flexible (even more challenging) business model. 

It brings new challenges, as well.

First of all, securing so many jobs is too difficult. You have to manage your reputation, inflate your personal brand value, and be on the lookout for new hiring trends.

Second, unlike in traditional workplaces, you need to keep up with the industry on your own. After all, firms are not going to onboard you so that you can handle this new task efficiently – they’ll hire someone who already knows how to do it.

So, how does a freelancer know what to do in these scenarios?

One of the ways is to engage in extensive media monitoring. Here’s how this form of research can help you understand freelance market trends and adjust to them more efficiently. 

Positive-negative sentiment ratio in a media monitoring tool

Understanding Media Monitoring

Do you know the story of the story “The Ghost of Christmas Past?” It’s the one where Ebenezer Scrooge gets to see his past, present, and future selves, which leads to the story of his redemption.

Sure, there’s some benefit to being able to see your life in retrospect, but this is just one of the three parts of his journey to get to know himself. After all, there’s no temporal distance when observing presence and seeing the future without personal growth, which would happen until that point, which wouldn’t make much sense either.

No. This is the story of someone who gets to see his life from an outsider’s perspective.

This is exactly what media monitoring is – seeing things from the perspective of an outsider.

Customer complaint Pepsi

Here, you’re observing what’s going on and drawing conclusions on the behavior of the masses on media without entering your personal biases into the equation. More importantly, it’s about seeing what other people think when they don’t know you’re listening. 

Just think about it: as a freelancer, you’re always getting to see the hiring process from your very own narrow point of view. Even if you do develop a great reputation with your future employer and they reveal what they used in their hiring process, this is just one instance (or few instances).

With the help of media monitoring, you’ll be able to recognize all these hiring trends. You’ll also be able to get it from both sides (both freelancers and potential employers). In large enough numbers, this will give you far more conclusive information.

Ideally, you would get to know each employer individually, but the reality of the gig economy is that you’ll always be in the process of application. So, knowing the statistics may be more important than you would usually assume. 

Now that we understand how you can use media monitoring to pick up on some of the latest freelance market trends, let’s see what are some of these current trends. 

In the past, freelancers were often people you would hire to handle simpler tasks that you just wanted to outsource. Today, these are the people with skills in computer programming, marketing, IT, and business consulting. The number of these specialists in the freelancer market is now over 50%, which makes a huge shift.

You see, one of the biggest misconceptions about freelancers is that these are people who can’t find steady employment. No, these are the people who don’t WANT traditional employment. They don’t like the standard business structure, like the flexibility of being able to walk away at any moment, and prefer to work on a multitude of projects instead of being pigeonholed into a single task for the majority of their work life. 

Also, the whole world is joining in.

PR Trends and Challenges in 2024

The pandemic was a huge turning point. According to official Payoneer statistics, in 2020, the freelancer revenue in the Philippines grew by 208%, in India by 160%, and in Japan by 87%. Sure, this was when everyone had to work from home but now that the pandemic is over a lot of people are still in the industry. 

For a lot of people, freelance work was something that they weren’t very familiar with. The first time they saw what it was first-hand was when they decided to go for it.

Social media played a huge role in normalizing and standardizing this way of life and way of work. Although it may sound silly, remote work memes alone did a lot to put this idea under the public spotlight. 

Value of Media Monitoring and Gig Economy for Freelancers

Freelancers sometimes have to cover the later news or create content based on these topics. For instance, during the pandemic, everything was about health, research, and various theories. When BTC exploded, everyone wrote about crypto, and when the war in Ukraine erupted, every content creator became a military expert and a conflict analyst.

Keeping your finger on the pulse of public discourse will help you stay ahead of the curve when it comes to content.

Another thing worth mentioning is the importance of being able to predict shifts in industry demand and client needs.

Determ's media monitoring software
Determ offers 24/7 media monitoring.

Just think about the increase in AI tool capabilities and numbers. Today, most freelancers are relying on AI tools. Generative AI can create content or generate effective outlines for content. It can write code or review your code in the same way that it can fact-check your content. Finding an all-in-one media monitoring solution that includes features important for marketing, branding, audience engagement, and a live-streaming solution can help freelancers stay on top of their game. 

Overall, when this trend first appeared, there was a lot of fear-mongering about how AI would replace everyone in the job market. While we’re still not out of the woods on that front (yet), the truth is that now, the majority of remote workers (including freelancers) and students heavily rely on AI.

Those who got there first saw so many amazing advantages, but this is not the last trend that will take the job market by storm. You have to be prepared, and the only way to be the first to hear of this is to engage actively in continuous media monitoring using trend-tracking tools.  

How Can Freelancers in The Gig Economy Leverage Media Monitoring?

Media monitoring is handy for revealing industry secrets. This way, you can get a lot of insight that will make you more hireable. With freelance, it’s all about getting hired. If you do your job right, you’ll get an endorsement that you can use to make yourself more hireable. 

Also, since you’re usually not building a long-term career in a company, what you’re working on is your hourly rate. The longer you’re in an industry, the higher your rate goes, but this also depends on the current state of the industry. What are the amounts currently paid to people with similar experiences? You usually won’t be able to go far above that.

Identify Relevant Keywords

The first step in effective media monitoring is identifying the most relevant keywords and phrases for your niche. These keywords could include specific skills, industry trends, or emerging technologies that are important in your field. Tools like Determ, Google Alerts, Mention, and Brandwatch can help you track these keywords across multiple platforms, providing you with real-time updates on relevant discussions and developments. Regularly updating your list of keywords ensures that you are always capturing the latest trends and conversations, allowing you to stay informed and adapt quickly.

ysl as a query in determ

Choose the Right Tools

Selecting the appropriate media monitoring tools is crucial for maximizing the benefits of your efforts. There are numerous tools available, each with its strengths and features. Determ offers comprehensive monitoring solutions, including real-time alerts, extensive coverage of social media and news platforms, and user-friendly dashboards. Investing in a reliable tool can save time and provide valuable insights that help you stay ahead of the competition. Evaluate different tools based on your specific needs and preferences to find the best fit for your freelance business.

Analyze Competitor Activity

Keeping an eye on your competitors can provide valuable insights and inspiration for your strategies. Use media monitoring to analyze their content, client interactions, and overall strategies. Understanding what works for them and identifying their strengths and weaknesses can inform your approach and help you differentiate yourself in the market. Tools like Social Mention and Ahrefs can help you track competitor activity and uncover useful information that can give you an edge. By staying informed about your competitors, you can adapt your strategies to better meet client needs and stand out in your field.

media monitoring competitive share of voice

One of the main advantages of media monitoring is staying updated on the latest industry trends. By following news outlets, influential blogs, and social media discussions, you can identify emerging trends and shifts in client demands. This knowledge allows you to adapt your skills and services to stay relevant and competitive. Tools like Feedly and BuzzSumo can help you discover and track trending topics, ensuring that you are always in the know. Staying on top of industry trends helps you anticipate changes and position yourself as a knowledgeable and adaptable freelancer.

Monitor Client Feedback and Sentiment

Understanding client feedback and sentiment is essential for improving your services and maintaining a positive reputation. Media monitoring tools like Determ and Talkwalker can help you gather feedback from social media, forums, and review sites. By keeping track of what clients are saying about your services and your industry, you can identify areas for improvement and tailor your offerings to better meet client expectations. Monitoring client sentiment also allows you to address any issues promptly and maintain a strong, positive relationship with your clients.

Enhance Your Content Strategy

Effective media monitoring can significantly enhance your content strategy. By tracking popular topics, trending hashtags, and viral content, you can create relevant and engaging content that resonates with your audience. Tools like BuzzSumo and Feedly can help you discover trending topics and content ideas that are likely to attract attention. By staying informed about what is popular and engaging, you can develop a content strategy that drives traffic and engagement, ultimately helping you attract more clients and grow your freelance business.

Network with Industry Influencers

Media monitoring can also help you identify and connect with industry influencers. Engaging with their content, participating in discussions, and building relationships with influencers can provide valuable insights and help you expand your professional network. Influencers can share your work with their audience, providing you with increased visibility and credibility. Tools like Mention, Brandwatch and Determ can help you identify key influencers in your field and track their activities. By networking with influencers, you can gain valuable insights, stay informed about industry trends, and enhance your reputation as a knowledgeable and connected freelancer.

Freelancers, Media Monitoring and Determ

Determ, a comprehensive media monitoring tool, offers freelancers the ability to track and analyze relevant information from a multitude of sources, helping them stay ahead in their field. Here’s how freelancers can effectively use Determ for media monitoring:

Real-Time Alerts

Determ provides real-time alerts, allowing freelancers to stay updated on the latest news and discussions relevant to their niche. By setting up alerts for specific keywords, freelancers can receive notifications whenever these terms are mentioned online. This feature ensures that they are always aware of emerging trends, client feedback, and potential opportunities, enabling them to respond quickly and effectively.

Media monitoring Spike Alerts
Determ’s Spike Alert notifies its users of changes in the number of mentions or sentiments.

Comprehensive Coverage

One of the key benefits of Determ is its extensive coverage across various media platforms, including social media, news websites, blogs, and forums. This wide-ranging coverage ensures that freelancers can gather information from multiple sources, providing a holistic view of the market. By monitoring these diverse platforms, freelancers can gain insights into public sentiment, industry developments, and competitor activities, helping them make informed decisions.

In-Depth Analytics

Determ’s in-depth analytics features allow freelancers to analyze the data they collect and extract valuable insights. The platform offers various analytical tools, such as sentiment analysis, trend tracking, and engagement metrics, which can help freelancers understand the broader context of the information they are monitoring. By leveraging these analytics, freelancers can identify patterns, measure the impact of their own efforts, and refine their strategies to better align with market demands.

media monitoring analytics in determ

Customizable Dashboards

The customizable dashboards in Determ enable freelancers to organize and prioritize the information that matters most to them. Freelancers can create personalized dashboards that display key metrics and insights, making it easier to track performance and stay focused on their goals. This customization ensures that freelancers can efficiently manage their media monitoring activities without being overwhelmed by unnecessary information.

Collaboration Features

For freelancers working in teams or with clients, Determ’s collaboration features can be particularly useful. The platform allows users to share insights, reports, and dashboards with team members or clients, facilitating better communication and collaboration. This feature helps ensure that everyone involved is on the same page and can contribute to the overall media monitoring efforts effectively.

By utilizing Determ’s robust features, freelancers can stay informed, competitive, and proactive in their industry, ultimately enhancing their ability to secure new clients and deliver exceptional services.

Future-Proofing Your Gig Activity

There are always more and new trends coming up, and you can’t afford to wait for something to become so painfully obvious that you just can’t ignore it. Sure, you can, but why would anyone hire you over the person who is already doing this one thing efficiently (and for a while)?

The online discourse constantly evolves, but it’s not the only thing that does. The nature of the conversation changes, the jargon changes, and everything with it. This is why media monitoring cannot always be fully automated. From time to time, you have to make some tweaks, audit the keywords that you’re getting notified for, and try to see what the discourse is all about.

At the same time, some level of automation is necessary. Even if you could afford to scroll down social media the entire day (which you can’t since there’s work to be done), you can’t be everywhere at the same time.

Just think of these tools like an unemployed buddy who is scrolling their feed 24/7 and giving you a short recap at the end of the day. 

Next, you need to analyze the job market. Figure out what’s in demand or what’s in the making of being the next big thing. This way, you can start working on gaining experience. Think about it: when a new tool appears, or a new trend sprouts, no one has any experience. If you get just one month of experience before anyone else, you already have a massive advantage. 

This might be enough to get some of the best gigs that you can use to bolster your CV and get even better gigs. It’s a continuous loop that will set you up for a more successful future. 

Wrap up

Ultimately, social media monitoring is a challenging task that you have to handle to stay afloat in a field that is as competitive as the gig market. Here, you’re always on the lookout for work; it’s not like you just got a job, and you’re set (you can forget about your LinkedIn page and CV file for the next few years). In other words, you need to be proactive and do your best to track the public discourse. 

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