It’s no secret that the marketing scene is booming, with businesses of all sizes investing time and money into strategies to connect with customers online and offline in a world undergoing dramatic changes in the way we live and consume goods and services.
But the scope of this fast-growing field can feel overwhelming, leading many business leaders to ask: Where do we begin? Which marketing tactics are most effective for our business? And how can we measure the return on investment from our marketing efforts?
Working with marketing freelancers can be a great way for smaller businesses to access expertise and services that may not be an internal priority for them. But marketers aren’t cheap, so it’s important to know whether they’re worth their fees — or if you should just DIY your marketing instead.
Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of working with a freelance marketer, as well as some things you should consider before hiring one.
What Is a Marketing Freelancer?
A marketing freelancer is an independent contractor who is hired on a project-by-project or hourly basis, rather than full time.
Freelancers might specialise in different types of marketing or be a great allrounder like essbee marketing + communications :)
Benefits of Hiring a Marketing Freelancer
Here are a few of the most common benefits of working with a marketing freelancer:
Flexibility - whether you’re hiring a marketer to scale up your marketing efforts or to help you with a specific project, you can hire a freelancer on a project-by-project basis. This gives you the flexibility to hire a marketing expert on a short-term basis and then reassess your needs from there.
You can outsource expertise you don’t have. If you’re looking to ramp up your marketing efforts, hiring a freelance marketer can help you scale your team quickly. You may also want to hire a freelance marketer if you need someone to manage specific channels for your business, such as email marketing.
You can also control your costs by dictating the specific tasks you want done or by hiring on a project or hourly basis. You can even hire a freelancer on a retainer with a set number of hours per week or month. This gives you the flexibility to scale up and down your efforts depending on your business lifecycle and the success of your marketing initiatives without the obligations of having a staff member on your team.
You may only need marketing assistance short term for a specific project like getting your business an effective online presence or write a marketing strategy or create your brand. None of these are a problem for a freelancer to manage quickly and efficiently.
Why Should You Hire a Freelance Marketer?
As we’ve discussed, the benefits of hiring a marketing freelancer/contractor vary from one situation to another.
However, there are a few common reasons why it’s a good idea to bring in a marketing expert for a project. You need specialised expertise you don’t have. You might have expertise in your industry and your customers, but if you don’t have experience in certain marketing tactics, so it may make sense to bring in a freelance marketer.
If your business is growing and you need a marketing team “on demand,” a freelance marketer can help you accelerate your growth without adding full-time staff.
You’re looking to test new marketing strategies. If you’re trying out new marketing tactics and want to keep your budget in check, hiring a freelancer for a short-term project can be a good way to see what works.
Things to Consider Before Hiring a Freelancer
Now that we’ve highlighted some of the top reasons to hire a freelance marketer, let’s take a look at what you should consider before bringing someone on.
Here are a few things to think about before hiring a freelance marketer: What are your needs? What needs does your business have that could be met by a freelance marketer? For instance, do you need help with content marketing, social media, paid ads, or something else? What kind of expertise do you need?
Once you’ve identified your needs, you’ll want to think about what type of expertise you’re looking for in a marketer. For example, if you’re hiring a content marketer, what type of content do you want them to create for your audience? What are your expectations?
It’s important to be realistic about what you’re expecting from a freelance marketer. For example, how much are you willing to pay for their services? How long should the project take? What kind of deliverables or outcomes do you want from their efforts?
The Downsides of Working With a Marketing Freelancer
While it’s clear that freelancers can be a great asset for marketing teams, there are a few drawbacks to hiring a marketing freelancer. Here are a few things to keep in mind before hiring a marketing contractor:
You need to set clear expectations up front. For example, you should let the marketer know what success looks like for the project they’ve been hired to do. You should also set expectations around timelines, deliverables, and agree on payment terms.
You need to be organised - If you’re hiring a marketing freelancer to help scale your marketing efforts, you should be organised enough to manage their work and keep them on track. This also means managing your own work and to-do list to facilitate progress, communication, and access the resources they need.
Questions to Ask a Marketing Freelancer
Now that you’ve learned about some of the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a marketing freelancer, here are a few questions to ask before bringing someone on:
What types of marketing do you specialise in?
What marketing channels are you most skilled in?
What types of campaigns have you managed in the past?
What is your strategy for success?
What is your experience with my industry?
If you’re hiring a marketing freelancer to help you with a specific issue, such as increasing online conversions, you want to make sure they have experience working with other businesses like yours.
Make sure their website is current, appealing and easy to navigate.
Also ask to see their portfolio and provide data on the return on investment they secured for their clients (you can check mine out here).
Reputable marketing freelancers will also be happy to discuss you requirements and give you an idea of costs and their expertise in a no-obligation discussion at the outset.
How Much Does a Marketing Freelancer Cost?
The cost of hiring a freelance marketer will vary widely based on a variety of factors, such as the type of service they provide, their experience, and their location.
However hiring a marketing freelancer will usually be more cost effective than using a large marketing agency because freelancers do not have the same level of cost overheads.
My hourly rate is $100 based on my year's of experience and evidence of the tangible results I provide to my clients. Check out my projects for some examples. However economies can be made if you are a regular client. You can also choose one of my great value packages (view them here) or ask me for a quote on a project basis.
As we’ve discussed, marketing freelancers can be a great asset to any business.
When hiring a marketing contractor, it’s important to identify your needs, set clear expectations, and ask the right questions to find the right fit for your business.