Gig Economy Speaker

Patrick Schwerdtfeger is a business futurist specializing in business trends including the freelancer / gig economy, artificial intelligence and the social media revolution. Patrick is the author of the award-winning book Marketing Shortcuts for the Self-Employed (2011, Wiley) and a regular speaker for Bloomberg TV. All four of his books cater to small business owners and self-employed service professionals, so he is intimately familiar with the freelancer business reality. He has lectured at various academic institutions including Purdue and Stanford Universities. The macro trend from centralized to decentralized power structures is fueling the DIY mentality and the aspirations of entrepreneurial people to work for themselves. Patrick’s focus on disruptive innovation and exponential technologies provides perspective for attendees and allows them to see the larger movement that they are (often unknowingly) a part of.

Speaker on Freelancers




Past speaking clients include:


Freelancer Business Speaker


Recent speaking destinations include:



Expert on DIY / Gig Economy Platforms

We are witnessing a wholesale cultural shift in our economy. Technology is allowing once-centralized power structures to be replaced by decentralized alternatives that provide better outcomes for fewer dollars. At the same time, excess supply of human talent has shifted the power from workers (after peaking in the late 1960s) to employers. The result is less job security and eroding benefits. Meanwhile, the social media revolution has allowed individuals to promote themselves as effectively, or better, than large corporations. The result is a new and exploding population of self-employed service professionals. The benefits include freedom and flexibility, but these occupations are often challenging with uncertain income streams. Any discussion about the freelancer industry must incorporate both the opportunities and the challenges of self-employment.

Self-employed professions are generally characterized by massive income inequality. 90% of practitioners struggle to pay their bills each month while 10% make a fortune. The difference is determined by marketing. Marketing requires practitioners to spend money without knowing what the investment will deliver. It involves risk, so the vast majority spend little or no money on marketing. Of course, for the very best practitioners, their high-quality work alone generates enough referrals for the business to grow. But for everyone else, they need to actively promote themselves and their services in order to grow and thrive on their own. Patrick knows this process well. He spends plenty of his own money promoting his services as a keynote speaker. As a result, his presentations for other self-employed professionals consistently return enthusiastic reviews.
Patrick builds his keynote programs by studying case histories and success stories. In new areas like like the freelancer economy, the best way to monitor developments is by following the platforms that cater to those DIY gigs. Of course, many platforms cater to specific industries like Uber, AirBnB and 99designs. But for broad job categories, the leading “gig economy” websites include:

  • Upwork: Hire Freelancers & Get Freelance Jobs Online
  • Toptal: Hire Freelance Talent from the Top 3%
  • People Per Hour: Hire Freelancers Online & Find Freelance Work
  • Guru: Hire Quality Freelancers And Find Freelance Jobs
  • Freelancer: Hire Freelancers & Find Freelance Jobs Online
  • Fiverr: Freelance Services Marketplace for The Lean Entrepreneur
  • Simply Hired: Job Search Engine
  • Thumbtack: Consider it done.
  • Task Rabbit: Safe and reliable help in your neighborhood.
  • iFreelance: Find Freelance Jobs & Freelancers
  • Peer Hustle: Hire local freelancers and find local freelance jobs
  • Craigslist: Post anything!
  • LocalSolo: Find the top freelancers in your city



Gig Economy Keynote Speech

Patrick’s keynote programs are built with use cases and success stories, and there are more and more self-employed case histories all the time. The platforms above generate business for literally millions of providers. People learn most from relevant stories. The specific message can be customized based on your audience composition and event objectives. Contact us to schedule a call with Patrick. We would love to learn more about your work environment and how it has been impacted by the freelancer community. This trend will continue to grow of the years and decades ahead, transforming traditional employment markets along the way. The trick is to ensure we’re on the winning side of that equation, not the losing side. Learn how Patrick can help.

Conference Speaker