The world of freelancers continues to grow. As of 2021, there are more than 6 million independent professionals in the U.S., according to freelancer platform Fiverr's 2022 Freelance Economic Impact Report.
Fiverr defines "independent professionals" as those who earn their income outside of traditional employment, who do not employ others and who offer creative services like video producing, technical services like IT, and professional services like accounting. They make up 3.9% of the U.S. labor force and earned an estimated $247 billion in revenue in 2021.
While some of their skills are regularly in demand, the work their clients need can change over time. Fiverr analyzed data from its millions of searches across the platform for its Small Business Needs Index, to see which services have seen significant increases in the past six months, compared to the previous six months.
Here are five of those "trending skills," as Gali Arnon, Fiverr's chief marketing officer, calls them and how much freelancers are charging for them.
Businesses are always looking for the best ways to reach their client base across social media platforms like Facebook and TikTok. Video ads created specifically for these various platforms help them do that.
The term saw a 453% growth in search over the last six months.
Similarly, businesses are constantly in need of social media mavens to create content for their Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube channels and more to ensure they're building relationships with their clients.
Projects in this space are "great opportunities for young people," says Julia Pollak, labor economist at ZipRecruiter, because "they're jobs with no set education or experience requirements" other than simply knowing how to use the platforms.
A logistic website is one that helps businesses keep track of cargo and transportation to see when their product shipments may arrive, what their delivery costs could be and so on. With so many disruptions to the global supply chain over the last few years, businesses looking to build these sites may be hoping to get a better of sense how they can best deliver their products.
This term saw a 268% surge in searches, according to Fiverr.
Three-dimensional CAD, or computer-aided design, modeling is used to create digital renderings of a product before it's made. It helps companies get a sense of what their products could look like and how they could function before they invest in building them.
Three-dimensional modeling is also used in industries like architecture, and Fiverr attributes the term's popularity, in part, to the growth in metaverse interest.
Though 3D CAD modeling saw a 297% surge in searches in the last six months, the term, "has been flourishing on Fiverr in the last few years," says Arnon, adding that, "everything from 3D modeling to 3D CAD modeling and all those new technologies are great opportunities for architects, designers, 3D designers."
The world of NFTs has exploded over the past year. In the last 24 hours alone, as of press time, more than $20 million worth of sales have been made in the space, according to crypto price tracking website CoinMarketCap.
Naturally, "companies are trying to see how they can get in on this game and how they can make sure they're not left behind," says Pollak, perhaps by hiring independent contractors to help them create their own unique assets.
The term "NFT art" saw the most growth in the last 6 months on the site by far, jumping up 3,504%.
When it comes to work in the world of new tech, experts warn that there's less precedent for where it might go. In the world of cryptocurrency and blockchain technology, for example, "you have sustained peaks and valleys" in interest and demand, says Stéphane Ouellette, CEO of FRNT, an institutional capital markets platform.
Still, "a lot of the skills will be transferable," says Pollak of where Fiverr has seen growth.
"There will always be a need for tech-savvy entrepreneurs and innovators who can share what they've learned," she says, "and often what happens with technologies is, perhaps they don't take off the way they were intended, but there are spillover effects, and they end up being used in different ways."
Ultimately, if any of the above are of interest and you think they could come into use in your career in some way, "learning a new skill," says Arnon, "I don't think it will ever be a waste of time."