How To Maximize Gig Driver Earnings in 2023

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A month or so ago, we hit that ceremonial time, the new year. You made resolutions. You’ll lose a few pounds. You’ll read more. You’ll be more efficient at work. 

Wait a minute! Did we say work? Yes, we did. But you’re a gig driver. How can you be more efficient when you are at the mercy of a phone app? Questions abound: What’s the best driver app for making money? What about other delivery jobs like Uber Eats and grocery delivery? How much do Instacart drivers make?

Hey! You’ve been reading these blog posts long enough to know that gig driving is more than just luck. Let’s rephrase that, and we’ll use a quote from baseball great Reggie Jackson, “Luck is a combination of talent and effort.”

That’s how you will maximize your gig-driving career this year: talent and effort. And perhaps by the end of this blog post, you’ll have the insight you need to maximize profits from Uber or Lyft, and possibly add some meal delivery to the mix.

In this blog post, we cover

  • Developing a successful gig-driving mindset
  • Preparing for success as a gig driver
  • Taking advantage of other avenues to rideshare or food delivery success
  • Sharing your knowledge about gig driving
  • Refining your business acumen
  • Trying a side hustle that’s completely different than gig driving
  • Remembering the mindset
  • Being a better driver with Gridwise

Developing a successful gig-driving mindset

First, and we don’t mean to get hippie-dippie here, but try perfecting your mindset.

One rideshare driver shared a strategy he developed.

“I live two valleys east of Los Angeles, 50 miles from LAX. I hit the road at 4:00 a.m., traveling the freeway along the foothills through those upper-middle-class neighborhoods, the ones most likely to generate rides to LAX. Nine times out of ten, I have a ride to LAX, or some other airport, within ten minutes of leaving the house. I turn on my app while I’m drinking my last cup of coffee, and half the time, I don’t finish it. I’m headed to the airport.”

This driver strategically placed himself in a good position for the possibility of an airport run, and it worked. 

Preparing for success as a gig driver

What can you do to prepare for success as a rideshare driver? Think about the type of driver you are and your preferences. Do you like airports? Are you an event driver? How about rush hour? Do you like the rides generated by the nightlife and after-hours scene? These all require different strategies. 

As a food delivery driver, you might work the dinner hour. But you find the local colleges or universities are great for late-night deliveries when students have returned to their dorm or apartment after a party, or they’re cramming for finals. Sporting events are huge. A food delivery service in Singapore saw orders double during the recent World Cup. The Super Bowl is right around the corner, followed by March Madness, the NBA finals, and baseball season.

Taking advantage of other avenues to rideshare or food delivery success

There are other ways you can increase your potential as a gig driver. 

Social media

Websites, blogs, and YouTube channels about gig driving are easy to find. These sources are brimming tips and ideas to increase your earnings. They report on developments in the world of gig driving, from the latest on pay, government regulations, tax tips, and hacks that make ridesharing more successful. Start with the Gridwise blog

Earn more tips

As a rideshare driver, ten to eleven percent of your earnings come from tips. Meal and grocery delivery drivers make more, often receiving as much as 50% of their income in tips. What can you do to increase your tips? Surprise and delight your passengers and customers. To learn more, check out recent Gridwise blogs The Gig Driving Jobs with the Highest Tips and 12 Ways Rideshare Drivers Can Earn More Tips

Business cards

Spend a few bucks and print some business cards. Include your name, cell phone number (if you are comfortable sharing it), and information on how passengers or customers can tip you through three or four of the most popular cash apps (a preferred tipping method for some passengers and meal delivery customers). 

Let your friends and neighbors know you’re a gig driver

Despite the popularity of rideshare, many people are hesitant to get in a stranger’s car. You likely have friends and neighbors in that category. You can be their first rideshare driver. Set them up on the app and be with them when they make their first request. They may have to cancel a time or two before the algorithm selects them as the driver, but it usually only takes a few tries. You’ll be surprised how the word about your services can get out. 

Try multi-apping, or refine your multi-apping strategies

There are apps that can help you multi-app more efficiently. Check out a recent blog post from Gridwise titled iPhone vs. Android: Which Is Better for Rideshare Drivers? Pay particular attention to the LG V60 ThinQ 5G Dual Screen (two screens mean you can run two apps). 

Many drivers insist that multi-apping is the only way to go, whether you’re multi-apping rideshare, meal delivery, grocery delivery, or a combination of these. 

Look into side gigs for delivery drivers

There are media companies that pay gig drivers to wrap their cars in vinyl ads, mount a sign on top, or offer games and music to their passengers through tablets. For a complete rundown on these opportunities, check out the Gridwise blog Sweet Side Hustles: Companies That “Ad” Value to Your Ride. Be careful, however. There are delivery and rideshare companies that do not permit wraps and electronic billboards, and in some cities and airports they’re banned. Regulations change all the time with new technologies, so be sure to do your homework. 

Sharing your knowledge about gig driving

You are a veteran if you’ve been gig driving for more than six months. According to Business Insider, some companies relying on gig workers have a 500% annual turnover. As an experienced driver, you’ve learned things that you can pass on to new drivers. How can you do this? 

Driver groups

There are tons of dgig driver communities on Reddit and Facebook. Gig drivers from all over ask questions about driving strategies, what tools to use, and share the struggles that drivers often encounter (drunk passengers, anyone?).

YouTube channels

Join the ranks of YouTube personalities sharing news and tips on gig driving. These channels can be monetized. You may not make a lot of money, but you can make some. Viewers are not expecting Technicolor videos with high-quality production. A cell phone camera in video mode is more than enough, and there are resources online that tell you how to make your videos better. 

Blogs and websites

The most entrepreneurial YouTube video makers diversify their content into blogs, websites, and podcasts. Most of them talk about gig driving, but others expand their sphere into discussing car accessories, restaurants, local attractions, and any number of other things. 

You can get into affiliate marketing, discussing products on your website, blog, or video. You get a commission when a viewer makes a purchase through a link on your website. There are affiliate marketing programs that pay you if someone merely visits a website from a link on your website. Research the web for articles about affiliate marketing, starting with this piece on BigCommerce.com

Refining your business acumen

Ask yourself how much more of your money you could have kept in 2022 had you taken a business-like approach to your gig-driving activities. There are ways you can make more of your earnings stick to you. 

Taxes

Are you deducting everything you can? The gig economy is new to everyone, including the IRS. As a result, rules are constantly changing. One significant deduction is the miles you put on your car—but drivers often don’t keep accurate records. The Gridwise app is the best mileage-tracking app for gig drivers. It does not stop at mileage, either. Anything you purchase in furtherance of your gig-driving activities is tax deductible, even your subscription to Gridwise Plus. You can learn more about how not to pay so much to the IRS by checking out another recent Gridwise blog post, The Tax Write-Offs All Gig Drivers Should Know

Fuel

Gas prices are dropping from their previous highs, but the money you put into your gas tank is still one of your most significant expenses. The Gridwise app might be the best thing you can do to save on gas as a gig driver. Download the app, sign up for Gridwise Gas, and save up to $50 a month at the pump. There are other things you can do. Gridwise recently published a blog post titled 13 Ways to Save Money on Gas as a Rideshare or Delivery Driver

Ratings

Have you ever passed on a ride because of the passenger’s rating on the app? Most drivers have. Passengers will also pass on drivers because of their ratings. Gridwise recently ran a blog post on keeping your ratings as high as possible. Check it out at How to Improve Your Rideshare Driver Ratings

Trying a side hustle that’s completely different than gig driving

Do you have expertise in another area? Is there a way you can monetize it? In this age of the internet, just about everything you do can be turned into a profit center. A rideshare driver told of a chance stop he made at a yard sale. 

“Sandwiched between posters of rock bands and inspirational quotes, I found a pair of framed and numbered prints of African wildlife. They were five dollars each. I know little about art, but I know that a numbered print means something. I bought the prints, took them home, and scanned the internet. I found a site that valued them at $400 each.” 

That’s quite a profit. Many people make a tidy living finding collectibles at yard sales and reselling them. Go on YouTube and watch episodes of Antiques Roadshow and American Pickers

You have a lot of behind-the-wheel experience if you are a gig driver. You can give driving lessons, or teach at a driving school. 

If you are the type of driver who travels the city, you can review restaurants for a local magazine. For something different, you can review food trucks. The best part is that many of these activities dovetail into your gig driving. 

Remembering the mindset

We said it at the beginning of this blog post. Amazing things can happen if you allow for the possibility, from getting a good parking space to having a good night as a gig driver to finding an invaluable piece of art or that little hole-in-the-wall restaurant that’s perfect for a review. A positive, confident, and optimistic mindset can work wonders. 

Gridwise can help you be a better driver

Let’s step back from the side hustles and refocus on gig driving. Being able to track miles, expenses, and earnings all in one place is a crucial part of being a gig driver. Using tools that do that for free is what separates an efficient driver from the rest of the crowd.

Drivers who want to know the profitable times and places to drive are using Gridwise’s Insights features to help them drive smarter, while tracking essential info like miles and earnings – for free!  

Try out Gridwise’s free mileage and earnings tracker now

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