This week on Marketing Mojo, we sat down with Greg Kihlström, founder and CEO of Career Gig, to discuss how he has adapted his startup to drive growth despite the pandemic. We spoke to him about startup culture, the gig economy, how economic downturn opens up doors, and what makes the ideal team in the startup space. Plus, Greg made some interesting predictions for the future of the freelance economy.
Career Gig is an innovative platform that connects companies and freelancers in the digital space. As an enterprise that is not even a year old, we talked to Greg about how he launched his startup during a global pandemic. As an experienced entrepreneur, Greg explained his previous encounters with economic downturn. He noted that recessions bring new opportunities in the startup sphere as big changes, such as layoffs and furloughs, create significant market ripples that generate new opportunities. For Greg, in the wake of unemployment skyrocketing during Covid-19, these shifting market forces provided him the perfect opportunity to establish Career Gig.
As the recently unemployed shifted to freelance work, Career Gig filled a significant gap in the Market. This is because Career Gig provided all the benefits to freelancers that a day job would have, such as affordable health, life, disability, vision, dental, and pet insurance, and legal advice. With Career Gig, switching to freelance work would be an easy transition.
Launching in a pandemic was no doubt difficult. However, Greg described to us some helpful tips on how Career Gig made everything work. He recounted how Career Gig had only one target market which made it easier to both spread the word about their platform and get feedback from relevant stakeholders. Another aspect that Greg mentioned as being critical to his success was an acquisition of Moonlighters, a platform with 850k freelancers. Greg explained how not only did his team get access to a massive relevant audience but also, they gained an amazingly creative, synergistic team to bring on board. This acquisition was critical to jumpstarting Career Gig’s success.
Another aspect that Greg highlighted was the importance of paid advertising. He described how word of mouth works well in tight-knit communities such as freelancing, but noted that at a certain point, paid advertising is even better. This aligns with the trends we have been seeing as well: leveraging social media platforms without spending money often does not go far enough. As far as advertising goes, Greg recommended that startups should be in-tune with their target audience and really try to personalize their content for them.
As for the future of the freelance economy, Greg stated that he thinks remote work, and freelance work in particular, is here to stay. He predicts that the freelance economy will continue to grow especially if another financial crisis comes to pass in the future.
For other future startups, Greg had some advice to offer. He reiterated the need for a great team. He went on to describe how a mix of risk-tolerant and risk-averse individuals creates the ideal conditions for a startup team. He also emphasized the importance of knowing when to cut your losses in the startup sphere, but mentioned that everyone fails many times– before they don’t.
To keep up to date with Career Gig, follow them on IG: @careergig and Twitter: @Career_Gig. To keep up to date with Market and Grow, follow us on all socials @mktandgrow. In two weeks, tune in to the next episode of Marketing Mojo.
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