Communo CEO Ryan Gill will deliver the closing keynote address at FREECON in Austin on September 12, where he will rally freelance business owners to embrace the sharing economy.

FREECON is the largest gathering of freelancers in the US and was started by Emily Leach, president of the Texas Freelance Association (TFA). About 400 people are expected to gather at various sites across Austin to learn from business experts and entrepreneurs.

The Texas Freelance Association is dedicated to helping freelancers be more successful. While solo businesses are on the rise, many will fail because business owners don’t have the right set of skills to be successful, according to Leach.

That’s why she invited Gill to address the conference and share his 7 hacks for success in the sharing economy as outlined in his recent book, Community, Inc.

When Leach heard about Communo’s sharing economy platform for creative professionals, she immediately recognized the value it can provide to freelancers around the world.

“Being a freelance business owner can be scary. But others find it exhilarating!”

“What I love about Communo is that it’s the first platform I’ve seen that puts community first. Communo is different because, yes, you’re able to find work and companies can hire you, but you’re also able to get business advice, coaching and build valuable relationships with other like-minded creative people.”

Leach calls herself “genetically unemployable.” As an engineering designer, she was never a good employee and only held jobs for 4 months to less than a year. For these types of people, a 9-5 job just doesn’t work. These people are best suited for freelance work, while others may need a lot of guidance and support along the way.

“There’s a ton of freelance business owners who don’t find it scary, they find it exhilarating, but those typically aren’t the ones I hear from. For some, it’s just intuitive to move through challenges and find solutions. At FREECON, we’re always looking for ways that we can better support freelancers and make them more successful.”

66% of freelancers have a high need for business development advice

A new survey from Nation 1099 shows that while full-time freelancing continues to be one of the fastest growing segments of the workforce, freelancers and solopreneurs struggle with finding new clients and growing their business past the five-year mark. Here’s a look at some of the stats:

  • 27% of freelancers have 10 or more years of experience
  • $70, 536 is the average income of a full-time freelancer with 3-10 years of experience
  • 66% of freelancers indicate a high need for business development advice

Drawing on insights from a 20-year career in the marketing and advertising industry and most recently as the founder of Communo, Gill is convinced that freelancers, solopreneurs and creative professionals can leverage shared talent, projects and resources to grow and scale their business.

“The beauty of the sharing economy is that solo business owners no longer need big capital and infrastructure to be successful. Sharing resources and talent with others in a community increases their opportunities to grow and decreases the financial risk,” says Gill.

“But, it’s hard. You need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable,” he adds.

There will be a live stream of Gill’s keynote at FREECON on September 12 and you can watch a pre-recorded conversation between Ryan Gill and Emily Leach on Facebook Live.


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