In today’s growing gig economy, each small job is important to total income. Whether you’re hanging shelves for strangers on Taskrabbit, driving them around through Uber, or caring for their pets on DogVacay, the gig economy means that instead of performing one job for a steady paycheck, those smaller gigs have to stack up to impact your bottom line.

So how do you get those gigs? If you said experience, marketing, or consistency, you’d be right — but one unexpected factor that may help is your smile.

Woman is sitting on a bench with two german shepherds

Smile, You’re Getting a Loan

It may sound crazy, but studies have already shown that people are more likely to want to give money to people with a nice smile. One 2015 study looking into more than 13,000 real microloan requests found that the key to successfully soliciting a loan was inspiring positive emotions, such as excitement, rather than negative ones, like guilt or sadness. For those seeking a loan either in person or through a platform where the loan provider will see a photograph, a smile could mean the difference between evoking a positive or negative emotional response.

Another study from the University of Kansas found that the intensity of the smile was important to the success of a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. The study indicated that a smile could indicate both warmth and competence. While a broader smile did convince viewers that the smiler was warm, it could also have the added side effect of creating a perception of lowered competence. Their conclusion? Smile… but not too much. A slight smile is the most likely to inspire the perception of both warmth and competence.

Smiling and the Gig Economy

If the gig platform on which you work allows a profile picture, the same principles from the Kickstarter study should apply: Smile slightly to appear both warm and competent. But this may play a bigger part in some jobs than others.

For example, if you rent out your spare room on Airbnb, the likelihood of any of your clients seeing your face on your profile or during the gig is slim. In fact, the complete absence of a host is a selling point for many Airbnb listings. But if you’re offering up your services as a children’s party entertainer on Gigsalad or as a maid on Handy, your appearance could play a much bigger role in whether or not you get hired.

Of course, nobody wants to flash a big grin if they’re not confident in their smile. And while the presence of a smile may have been proven to inspire positive feelings in onlookers, those findings may not apply if your smile is crooked, chipped, or yellow. The cosmetics of your smile are important to first impressions.

If you’re in Rockland County and your smile needs a touch-up, we can help. Whether you need a simple whitening treatment, Invisalign to straighten out crooked teeth, or even dental implants to fill in the gaps, an experienced cosmetic dentist can give you a smile you’ll be proud to show off — and maybe even a smile that will score you some gigs! Call (845) 627-7645 or contact us online to make an appointment.