The times, they are a-changin’. Whereas getting everything done in-house used to be the norm, today, off-site contract workers are increasingly being sought by employers.
This didn’t just happen overnight. This trend has been underway for a few years, as employers begin to realize the benefits of outsourcing their content creation.
Freelancers are professional and highly skilled individuals, many of whom come from onsite work backgrounds and have made the transition to part- and full-time freelance careers.
If you’re a midsize company aiming to optimize your content production and distribution, it’s time to take advantage of the freelance economy.
Benefits of Outsourcing vs. In-house Employees
One of the main attractions to outsourcing is it saves you money because you’re only paying contractors for the actual work they do on a project. Compare that to a “real” employee, whom you have to pay even when they’re on vacation or out sick — and who also wants healthcare benefits and a 401K.
You might think that those working from home are less productive than their in-house peers because they have all the distractions of home life getting in the way. But this Forbes post references a study by economics professor Nicholas Bloom, in which he determined that at-home workers got more done than their in-office counterparts. The freelancers in his study successfully made more business calls than their in-office counterparts, essentially creating an entire, additional day of work during the workweek.
Freelancers are very good at what they do and only at what they do. For instance, copywriters are awesome at writing copy and understanding the ad industry; web designers and developers are great at building websites and user interfaces; and SEO specialists can offer actionable advice for growing your Google search rankings. When you hire a freelancer, they tend to always be on-point in their industry, because that’s the focus of their career.
Outsourcing Your Content Creation is Growing
One of the primary reasons to take advantage of freelancers is because their numbers are dramatically rising. That means more of these independent professionals who specialize in various jobs are going to be more readily available to perform the specialized task you want done.
And the more competition there is, the more it drives down prices, so midsize companies are actually in a favorable position to have their pick among a very talented pool of independent workers.
According to a recent CMI study, 75 percent of large organizations, 54 percent of medium ones, and 37 percent of small ones outsource part of their content creation and marketing efforts.
This intense spike in freelancing opportunities was naturally fueled by the increasing popularity and use of the internet.
How Freelancing is Evolving
Freelancing gets a bad rap in some circles due to a lack of awareness of what it’s really like. This is beginning to change, as more studies show how well freelancers are really doing.
- Last year annual earnings by US freelancers grew by $100 million, now totaling $1.3 trillion.
- Over half of freelancers have a postgraduate education
- Nearly 47 percent of workers worldwide are freelancers
Source: Exploding Topics
Shopify creates content with freelancers
As Courtney Symons, Shopify’s Partner Marketing Manager, puts it:
“My team runs the Shopify Web Design & Development Blog, and we publish between four to five articles per week. We’re a really lean team, and sometimes creating that much content gets in the way of other challenges we want to tackle — things like webinars, guide books, and offline events.
To keep on top of our blog content load, we’ve come to rely on trusted freelancers who create content for our audience. We’ve curated a small list of freelance writers who understand the web design and development world and who can emulate our voice and tone, so that the content fits seamlessly into our publication.
Not only are freelancers an awesome way for us to scale effectively, but it also allows us to diversify the voices and perspectives we can offer to our readers. Industry experts who have insights we may never have dreamed up are able to share their vision with our audience because of this freelance relationship. It’s a beautiful way to enhance our blog without straining our small team.”
Tools & resources to find freelancers
So where do you find freelancers? Here’s where to look:
- At ClearVoice we have a Talent Network of 4,000+ freelancers across 200+ industries. Through our talent managers, you’ll get matched with content creators who are aligned with your budget, timeline, and topic needs.
Your go-to blogs & websites
Much of the content on your favorite industry blogs and websites is likely produced by freelancers and not in-house employees. If you find a particular author whose voice you enjoy and whose content you find engaging, approach them directly. Most of these freelancers have bios on the same site that provides their contact info, such as their own website or social media profiles. If not, then a Google search usually does the trick.
An alternative to looking for freelancers is posting job ads to get them to come to you. You can post ads for freelancers on such sites as ProBlogger, LinkedIn, Craigslist, and Indeed. Be selective, however — while you’ll get a good number of responses, all applicants aren’t created equally, so you’ve got to really review resumes and experience to make an informed decision for the freelancer you hire.
Professional freelancers will have social media profiles (Twitter and LinkedIn, and perhaps Facebook) where companies like yours can get in touch with them.
Make the blended workforce work for your brand
Companies are increasingly realizing how outsourcing is a big part of the solution to their content production problems. Studies show that the freelancing industry is getting stronger and delivering great results for companies.
Looking to Outsource Your Content Creation
It can take months of trial and error to find the right talent to match your brand’s budget and needs. At ClearVoice, we do the work for you. We have over a decade of experience pairing expert freelancers with companies of all industries and sizes. Talk to a specialist today to maximize the potential of your brand.