A Conference on "The New Normal" for Creative Professionals

Make the Gig Economy Work for You—Angela Heath

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Angela Heath HeadshotAngela is a Washington DC-based speaker, trainer, consultant, and president of TKC Incorporated. With clients including Marriott, the State Department, AARP, and 40Plus of Greater Washington, she works with adults in mid-life and beyond, helping them adapt to the changing freelance workforce. Angela has appeared in the pages of USA Today, Essence, and local news outlets across the country. She is the author of Do the Hustle without the Hassle and the host of The Gig Worker Summit.

Artists in The Gig Economy

  • “You’ll find that people are entering entrepreneurship for a whole lot of different reasons, but that freedom undergirds all of it.”
  • “It’s a real shift in mindset that you are the owner, you’re not the employee anymore, and that the responsibilities for the success of this operation is really on your shoulders and not the company’s shoulders.”
  • “People are more responsible for what they put out into the universe than ever before. So if you’re an emerging artist for example, you have to put out into the world who you are.”
  • “The only way to grow in anything—whether it’s art or anything else—is to introduce it and give it to the world. And the world may not always say: ‘Ah! That’s the greatest thing since sliced bread!’ and that’s ok, because it gives us the opportunity to refine our craft.”
  • “If your experience has been that you have all of this age discrimination against you, does it disqualify you [in a grant application] if you don’t choose say [your age]?… I would ask the grantmaker who is asking this question: what is the purpose of this? And then say: ‘I’d prefer not to answer.’ ”
  • “The whole ‘gig’ terminology— it just kind of puts a little grey shade on things, but none of this is new—we’ve had contractors and freelancers since way back…What is new is the technology that enables us to find opportunities quickly, cheaply and affords the corporation to do the same thing.”

Uncertainty & Transitions

  • “This idea of steady income, it’s a nice notion but it doesn’t have to necessarily be the only way to profit and to be comfortable […] That fluctuation is always there, but that’s not necessarily a detriment…I think sometimes when people talk about a steady income they what they’re saying is: I want to make the same amount of money every week like I have a job.”
  • “I have a process where I do my planning at the beginning of the year. I have a yearly calendar, I put all of my family commitments on it that I know about, like vacations. When I set up my quarterly goals, I decide exactly what I need to meet them.”
  • “You start to get an idea about what’s realistic to make in a month, with the amount of time you want to dedicate to it. Then you have to think through whatever family obligations you have, and financial commitments you have, how you fill that gap, and then you go for those opportunities. And that’s when it may mean you’re doing some fast-pack ways to cash. Because maybe the thing you want to do is not as easily accessible, or it may have a long sales-cycle.”
  • “I always tell people: have the possibilities all before you. Prep them up.”
  • “We are actually in control and we can patch our income together from several different sources. And technology makes that alot easier.”

Planning for Business Growth & Retirement

  • “If you’re an entrepreneur, a gig worker, you’re an artist—because you know that every month your income might not look the same, you have to live beneath your income.”
  • “Most of the time, if we really take a look at our [financial] vices, don’t give up everything, but take a part of that and stash it away for the future. So that you can, as you get older, have an additional little nest-egg somewhere.”
  • “My definition of retirement is a period of time where I am working as little as I want.”

Marketing & Networking

  • “The first thing is to develop your thought leadership, so that simply means you’re speaking, you’re writing, and you’re showing. So for the artist…you’re showing people how intelligent and gifted you are, and they are sitting and waiting for your every word. Because you are. And if you present yourself that way, they believe you.”
  • “You have to take every opportunity to show your artwork to everyone who wants to take a look at it. [In DC], when individuals who are well-connected in the community have large parties, many artists will rent their art out for the evening, with price tags on them.”
  • “Always try and give your customer a bonus. It doesn’t have to be anything that costs you anything: it could be the email you send with a special touch that reminds them that what they bought was one-of-a-kind, or what you were thinking when you developed the artwork. Something they can take away and say: ‘Hey, I bought this art from Jeff’ and tell their friends they know the artist.”
  • “I learned many years ago as a young professional, I had an older mentor who said: ‘you never go anywhere for your business without an objective.’ ”
  • “If you try to approach [networking] like: ‘I met you today, and I’m going to sell you today.’ No you’re not, in most instances. You met me today, you’re going to try to establish enough of an interest in me so that perhaps I will have a phone call with you, or have a cup of coffee with you or begin a relationship with you.”
  • “If you always give more than you ask, then networking is effective.”

How to Sell More Art

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AvatarDaniel DiGriz
Daniel DiGriz is CHF's Creative Director and Director of Educational Programming. He's a founder at corporate consulting firm Free Agent Source Inc., and Digital Ecologist® at MadPipe which provides creative direction and marketing leadership to multiple firms. His background in Fortune 500 life is in sales and education. Daniel is a corporate storyteller and collector of brand stories who speaks at conferences and hosts podcasts, including The Thriving Artist™ Podcast. His personal website is DiGriz.com.

1 thought on “Make the Gig Economy Work for You—Angela Heath”

  1. Avatar

    This was a very informative and interesting podcast. I enjoyed it quite a bit and got some terrific tips for my own business pursuits.

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