It’s no secret that the freelance economy is here. Freelancing is growing 3x faster than in-house jobs, and 50% of millennials are already living a freelance life. In the creative class, the numbers accelerate even more.
You’ll have to fill out your freelance creative bench soon, whether you want to or not. The world is changing for all of us very quickly, and that’s a good thing.
Here are some of the macro-economics that have shaped the reality of freelance acceleration:
- Big media broke apart starting in the late ’90s, laying off 100,000+ creatives. All-in, countless content-related jobs were affected. The armies of writers, editors and designers have fragmented, freelanced and changed forever.
- High-speed Internet and Internet availability have become ubiquitous across most of the globe. Remote work has exploded in popularity.
- The millennial mindset is different from prior generations. On average, they marry later, have kids later, explore the world more often and don’t drive for wealth in the way that their parents did. Millennials make up the largest segment of the U.S. workforce.
- The mobile Internet has turned us all into screen junkies, and Internet addicts. The average American spends more than 5 hours per day connected to content.
- Global financial economics and the overall standard of living is at an all-time high, which means that individuals can risk an unsteady paycheck and still live a good life on a comparative basis.
- Laptop portability and power, battery life, and mobile camera technology have all become so advanced that creators can conduct business anywhere, at any time.
With all of these economics at play, it’s no wonder the creative class is going freelance. The good news is that all of these factors make it much easier for you to find, hire and work with the best talent in the world to help catapult your success. We just put out a brand-new study to give you insights into what freelancers charge for different types of content.
Let’s face it – if you don’t have great content at every level of the buyer journey, you’re going to have a difficult time being successful in today’s consumer market. That comment should be a forgone conclusion. But if you don’t believe me for some reason, just take a look at Salesforce’s State of the Connected Customer survey.
Here’s the good news:
- You now have access to talent on a global level. Need a subject matter expert on cloud computing? There are hundreds, maybe thousands of freelance writers and editors who are experts in that particular field and who are ready to help your brand dominate industry thought leadership. You don’t have to source that expert in your backyard anymore.
- Need help creating a content plan for your business? Experienced talent does this for a living. You can learn a lot by assembling a network of smart industry experts. We believe in fostering, teaching, and learning from talent.
- Need to throttle content up and down? A freelance talent network is elastic. They can handle the spikes and survive the slowdowns. You don’t have to hire and fire people.
- Experienced freelancers consider themselves a business. They understand that they have to deliver every time or face being turned over. The good ones are highly professional and will give you great work.
- Do you really want to force your creatives to deliver during the periods of time in which you conduct office hours? The great works of art weren’t developed on a 9am-5pm schedule. Creative people deliver their best work when they have the freedom to do what they do best.
- There are myriad talent networks, workflow systems, content strategists and subject matter experts out there to help you.
To address some concerns head-on:
- The notion that freelancers can’t learn your brand voice is false. You just have to work with experienced people, not commodity-driven content farms. High-quality talent will likely improve your brand voice and messaging. You have to clearly articulate what you want. They can’t read your mind and won’t deliver what you want if you aren’t communicative.
- As an in-house marketer, one of your biggest challenges might be in managing reviews and approvals internally. In my opinion, that should be one of your primary focus areas – especially, if you have to worry less about hiring, firing and managing people.
- Don’t get caught in content strategy paralysis. Never stop creating content and evolving your message, topics and approach. Content strategy evolves organically. Doing nothing or waiting on a 100-page strategy guide that will never be completed isn’t a strategy at all.
The time is now. Go forth and conquer your category with your own freelance content team!