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Abigail Perrine
Abigail Perrine is the Director of Business Development & Strategy at Lumina Datamatics, where she is responsible for account development and strategic initiatives and workflows. Abby is an advocate for post-secondary educational reform and is particularly interested in removing barriers to education and ultimately the workforce, whether that is by rethinking accessibility features, improving and expanding remote learning opportunities, or creating new supportive technologies. Abby has worked with more than a dozen educational publishers, universities, and EdTech providers in her 15+ years with Lumina Datamatics.

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    VIVA LA FREELANCER REVOLUCION FINDING WORK AS AN EDUCATIONAL CONTENT CONTRIBUTOR
    VIVA LA (FREELANCER) REVOLUCION! FINDING WORK AS AN EDUCATIONAL CONTENT CONTRIBUTOR
    April 7, 2021

    It’s no secret that the gig economy is booming. Even before the pandemic, more and more workers were freelancing; and in 2020, more than a third of Americans reported having done so within the year. And why not? While there are some drawbacks to working as a full-time freelancer (lack of benefits, unpredictability, and difficulty to break in), there are also numerous key benefits—flexibility in hours, the ability to work remote, and—unlike with in-house/staff employment—the ability to pick and choose the types of work you do.

    A “Freelancing By the Numbers” graphic shows the following statistics: 39% US Freelance Workforce (2020): Roughly 59 million Americans freelanced in 2020, equivalent to 36% of the American workforce. Footnote 1. 90.1 Million Freelances by 2028: If the current trend continues, an estimated 90.1 million American will be working as freelancers by 2028. Footnote 2. $1.2 Trillion in Annual Income: In 2020, the freelance sector generated $1.2 trillion in income, up from $1 trillion in 2017. Footnote 3. 62% Hiring Managers Prefer Independent Contractors: 62% of hiring managers state a preference for working with freelancers in order to more quickly complete projects. Footnote 4.

    With employers like Lumina finding new ways to hire and support their freelance workforce, an increasing number of current and former post-secondary teachers are seeking either their next opportunity or a side gig to supplement their teaching income.

    And why not? Like Liam Neeson, post-secondary teachers have “a very particular set of skills,” skills that can, and should, be used to further the quality of learning content. Those of us working in the educational content space similarly have a unique opportunity to connect qualified instructors with the entities that so desperately need freelance workers to create content for the learners of tomorrow.

    Choosing a Marketplace

    But with a number of freelance marketplaces already established, and new ones cropping up every year, it canA desktop computer monitor shows the ExpertSource Pro homepage. be difficult to know where to start. Juggernauts like Freelancer.com (31 million users), Upwork (17 million), and Fiverr (7 million) are well-known and established—but it can be easy for those new to freelancing to essentially get lost in the crowd. Companies such as these have other downsides as well (more on that later). 

    So what is an aspiring freelancer to do? Well, more and more freelancers are turning to smaller, more specialized marketplaces designed to better showcase their unique skills and backgrounds. For educational content, that specialized marketplace is ExpertSource Pro.

    Why ExpertSource Pro

    ExpertSource Pro was created by Lumina Datamatics as a resource to benefit both our partners and our many talented freelancers. We’ve always relied on our (incredible) freelance base of instructors, writers, editors, and other freelancers to create the high-quality content we are known for. But, as with any industry, people come and go, and new fields arise with new types of content expertise needed. ExpertSource Pro was born out of a need to more easily find and connect with our current freelancers, while also continually growing our network to meet our clients’ needs.

     Let’s break down some of the key features that make this particular marketplace the best fit for freelancers looking to break into educational services.

    Profile creation is easy—and as detailed as you want it to be.

    Signing up as a freelancer (or agency) is easy. A “basic” profile can be set up in a matter of minutes. However, we recommend taking the time to fully populate your profile, as doing so will increase your odds of “being found” and offered the right projects for your particular skills. In addition, the site presents optional testing opportunities in the form of:

    • Skill-based testing (copyediting, assessment writing, etc.) 5
    • Predictive testing (by way of any professional writing sample, even emails or memos) 6

    Immediate Searchability: Making Your Specialties Known.

    Lumina team members and clients have specific needs—and you have specific skills as an expert in your field. ExpertSource Pro was designed to take those needs and skills into consideration. If you’re a psychology professor with experience writing test questions, a chemistry instructor deeply familiar with online course design, or an ESL curriculum designer, we want to know—and so do our clients. Within your profile you can select the disciplines you work in, and your level of expertise within those disciplines. You can also identify your skills (e.g., photo research and permissioning) to become immediately searchable by those details. In addition, if you decide to complete any of the optional skills-based testing, you’ll show up in even more granular searches—thereby making you a more attractive candidate to interested hirers.

    A cartoon shows two people with devices and speech bubbles. The first says “The search functionality helps me really zero in on the right candidate. – M.G., project manager.” The second says “As a project manager, I love the ability to look at ratings of freelancers for past projects and find good fits for my project needs.  – J.A., freelance project manager.”

    Easily monitor your work history and performance.

    For every project you participate in, you’ll be given a rating based on three metrics—quality, adherence to schedule, and communication. Ratings will be available to you at all times, and if you disagree with a project rating, you have the ability to request additional details. As your project history grows, clients can search by your rating, sorted by a particular skill—such as question writing or copyediting—allowing for even better refinement of project offers.

    A cartoon shows a man with a device and speech bubble, which says “I enjoy that I can see the ratings; this allows me to monitor the quality of my own work. – J.S., Psychology professor & freelance writer (assessment, supplements, alternative text descriptions)”

    Intuitive invoicing module gets you paid quickly and efficiently.

    Our intuitive invoicing interface removes unnecessary stress from the invoicing process. Invoicing can be done according to each project’s unique agreement, whether that’s hourly, per unit (page, question, PowerPoint slide, etc.), or at a flat rate. When you invoice for a project, you’ll be prompted to enter your direct deposit details (and any applicable wiring fees your bank may charge) into our secure environment.7 Payments typically arrive within approximately 30 days.

    A cartoon shows a woman with a speech bubble, which says “I especially like the emails letting me know where I am in the process and when my funds are direct deposited into my account. So easy and fast! – V.G., Accounting professor & freelance accuracy checker (supplements and assessment/test questions)”

    In addition—there’s no “take” out of your invoice as a freelancer. Unlike Upwork and other large online marketplaces, ExpertSource Pro does not charge any hidden fees to its freelancers—meaning your use of the system is 100% free.

     

    As freelancing becomes more and more prevalent, educators need ways to differentiate their skillsets from the rest of the freelance workforce. By creating a targeted profile in ExpertSource Pro, educational content contributors put their skills front and center to their precise target audience.

    Interested in freelancing for Lumina and its partners? We’re always on the lookout for incredible content contributors! Get started by creating a profile on ExpertSource Pro today.

    For more information on Lumina Datamatics, email our team or visit our website.

     

    SOURCES/ENDNOTES:

    1. Elaine Pofeldt, “The Coming Boom for Freelancers,” Forbes, June 12, 2020, accessed March 23, 2021, https://www.forbes.com/sites/elainepofeldt/2020/06/12/the-coming-boom-for-freelancers/?sh=104d2b355adc
    2. Ashley Stahl, “7 Fast-Growing Industries for Freelancers, Forbes, January 7, 2021, accessed March 23, 2021, https://www.forbes.com/sites/ashleystahl/2021/01/07/7-fast-growing-industries-for-freelancers/?sh=3b7cf3885fef
    3. Astrid Eira, “Number of Freelancers in the US 2021/2022: Demographics, Platforms, and Trends, Finances Online, accessed March 23, 2021, https://financesonline.com/number-of-freelancers-in-the-us/
    4. Upwork, Freelancers Union, Freelancing in America Report, 2017, accessed March 23, 2021, https://assets.freelancersunion.org/media/documents/FreelancingInAmericaReport-2017.pdf
    5. Upon passing a skills-based test, a badge will be added to your profile, and you will be immediately searchable by that test.
    6. This testing is primarily used for ongoing studies at Lumina. Your writing sample can be any professional writing previously created—whether that’s emails, memo, syllabi, test questions, etc. The writing sample is run through a third-party software, which serves up graphical analysis of key personality traits. Lumina’s team is conducting ongoing research into how these treats correlate to project performance.
    7. Limited to freelancers located in Canada; no other wiring fees should be incurred due to Lumina bank locations.

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