If you run one of the nearly 2.4 million small businesses in Australia, there's a pretty good chance that after the bills are paid, your customers are looked after, and supplies are ordered, there's little time left for you to think about marketing. For many small businesses, investing in marketing is an afterthought and only when they get to the stage that DIY is too slow, do they consider outside help.
The Value Of Freelance Marketers
Free can often be associated with cheap. It's an old-fashioned view of freelancers - that they are a cheap shadow workforce, sometimes with training required. Pools of freelancers on platforms like Fiverr and Upwork can contribute to the stereotype by sheer numbers - both volume, and price.
However, many of the best marketing freelancers avoid positioning themselves on platforms like these because they, in turn, are avoiding employers with the orthodox view. As such, the most skilled marketing freelancers are often found independently. Tracked down by reputation, content and organic search.
Freelancers help businesses grow, faster
Over time the perception of freelancers has shifted to one of appreciation for specialist skills as well as the freelancer's ability to contribute toward growth targets. Both business owners and corporate executives alike have found that they can grow faster by pulling expert contributors in at different stages of the business journey.
Now, according to one UK survey, it's only a minority of businesses are using low-skilled freelancers. A freelance marketer is normally a specialist, a skilled, specialised workforce that enables innovation, reduces financial risk, and enhances agility and efficiencies, particularly for small businesses or startups.
Freelance marketers are now complements rather than employee substitutes, adding additional ability.
Freelances used to be perceived as employee substitutes, but now, they are appreciated for adding additional ability. While cheap labour can distract management from core business, the best freelance expertise helps the business focus on growth. Favourite hires include Google Ads specialists (Adwords), Social Media Marketing specialists (namely Facebook Ads), SEO specialists and freelance PR consultants. Each marketing specialist contributes unique insight and skills, otherwise inaccessible to many without the freelance business model.
How much does a freelancer marketer charge?
Most marketing consultants have a daily rate, or charge on a per-project basis. Whether you’re working with a marketing consultant through a large firm, or with an independent operator the maximum rate in Australia sits at around $4000. Marketing specialists like Google Ads and SEO specialists have variable rates but normally operate on a retainer model.
Should you hire a marketing freelancer or agency?
It depends. Nearly every business uses a freelancer at some stage. In one UK Study, over 70% of firms surveyed use at least one freelancer. Here's why:
- Business can grow faster, without the overheads: freelancers enable businesses to use greater specialisation of labour, offering opportunity to scale all while avoiding the resource cost of expensive employee downtime. For both parties, freelancing offers financial flexibilities.
- Facilitate innovation: Freelance marketers are sources and conduits for innovation and entrepreneurship in both the corporate and small business world. For example, we reduce barriers to market entry for startups.
- Enhance business agility: Freelance marketers liberate businesses from the limit of their internal resource base, enabling the use of exceptional talent and diverse skills that are not always feasible to hire otherwise. This, in turn, increases the entreprenurial appetite for risk, leading to a faster pace of growth. Sometimes, this is purely through the action of freeing up current employees, via the introduction of an additional resource.
- Increase your ability to compete against larger firms: many small businesses cannot afford to take the risk involved in growth, but freelancers' variable skills and costs such as pay-as-you-go models, increase both strategy and financial efficiencies.
Agencies can be fantastic, offering you access to a broad range of specialists in a set package but these specialists are usually only accessible via the account manager. A freelancer offers you direct access to expert contribution. You're no longer a small fish in an agency's big pool, but a valued client.
"A freelancer offers you direct access to expert contribution. You're no longer a small fish in an agency's big pool, but a valued client."
The world is moving fast, and companies need people that are able to adapt. Freelance marketers bring a breadth of experience across industries that most in-house marketers have not yet been exposed to. Their client base enables them to see what is and isn't working across multiple sectors, and they draw upon this experience to bring the business a blended mastery of them all.
You may also be interested in: outsourced marketing management.