OK, so you might be thinking I’m a bit biased here, but I haven’t always been a freelance marketer. In fact, it’s quite a recent thing! Before this, my working life has been spent as a full time employee for various businesses, in a number of different sectors.
However, this post isn’t about cheap outsourcing – such as the person who will design you a logo for a fiver; write you 10 blog posts a day at 0.02p per word; or get you onto page one of Google, starting from £3.50.
I wanted to look at this from a business perspective. What are the most compelling reasons to consider a freelancer for that next big marketing project? Why might a business look to a freelancer or consultant rather than choosing to hire a new employee?
What are the advantages of using a freelancer?
1. Quality and Delivery
A freelancer is always relying on the next job. Whilst new clients are obviously highly desirable, the establishment of a long term relationship with an existing client is even more so, as it will lead to repeat work.
For this reason, a freelancer is always going to be motivated to produce the best work they possibly can. Their ability to pay the bills next month might depend on it!
Good work and mutually beneficial relationships can lead to referrals and recommendations, which is another huge motivating factor. In addition, getting work done on time is a priority. After all, there isn’t a pay packet at the end of the month even if the work doesn’t quite get finished!
2. Flexibility and Freedom
Most freelance marketers choose to become self employed so they can enjoy more flexibility, but of course it works both ways. This can mean flexibility in working hours (evenings and weekends), and the ability to do work at very short notice.
A business can engage with a freelancer as much, or as little, as they like. It could be the case that a sudden rush of work means a requirement for additional resources, or a major project requires someone with a skillset slightly different to those already available within the company.
A freelancer is used to working independently. As long as the brief has enough detail and they understand your business, you can leave them to get on with the job. On the other hand, if the project requires regular updates, they will be eager to provide them.
3. Innovation and Perspective
An advantage of engaging someone who does not work for your company is that they will not have preconceived ideas about how things can, or can’t, be done. They won’t suffer from the common “but we’ve always done it this way” or “we tried that before and it didn’t work” conditions.
A fresh set of ideas and opinions on a problem cannot be underestimated. A freelancer can look at things from a more objective and honest position, without couching their words due to office politics and conventions.
Communication with a freelancer can be direct, and doesn’t have to be filtered through layers of management. The client sets the goal posts and they try to aim for them, often with the freedom to introduce new and innovative ideas.
4. Experience and Expertise
If you decide to hire an independent contractor, then you have the freedom to select someone with exactly the required skills and experience. Often you will be able to see examples of their previous work, and in the digital age, you are by no means limited by geographical location.
A good freelance marketer will naturally have built up experience working on a variety of different projects, for a diverse range of clients in varying industries. Being able to tap into this seam of knowledge at will is a huge advantage, especially if it is only required for a specific project over a finite period of time.
Of course money can be invested in further training and development for existing employees, which is crucial in any company. For smaller businesses however, the ability to quickly find people with the desired skills can provide a swift and cost effective solution to an immediate problem.
5. Cost and ROI
So aside from the examples I gave at the start of this post, there is a genuine financial benefit from working with an independent contractor. As they often work from home, freelancers have low overheads, and can offer competitive rates relevant to their skills and experience.
The potential risk involved in taking on a full time employee is negated, and a freelancer will not have to be paid for holidays, pensions or sick pay – this is usually their concern. This can particularly be of benefit to small and growing businesses that cannot commit to more employees, or office space!
Freelancers are efficient, only being paid for the work you require them to do. Finally, as already mentioned, success is very much in the interest of both parties at all times, so providing results on time and on budget will always be a priority for an independent contractor.
So here’s the plug. I’m a freelance marketer based in Ripley, with convenient access to most of the Midlands and South Yorkshire. Having said that, I’m more than happy to talk with clients further afield.
Please feel free to read more about me, and also what I can do for your business. I’m actively looking for new clients, and would love to hear from you if you think your business could benefit from the advantages hiring a freelancer brings.
I have access to a network of professional contacts with varying skills and areas of expertise. This enables me to work on a wide variety of marketing projects, for businesses of all sizes. I can work as a freelancer on a small one-off project, or act as a consultant for something bigger.