57 million people are part of the gig economy in the United States right now.
Let that number sink in for a second.
57 million people!
While that number certainly encompasses tons of people who aren’t contributing to marketers’ overall well-being by doing things like driving folks around or delivering food, there’s still a gigantic sum of people who are doing highly skilled crafts from the comfort of their own couches. Companies of all sizes—from start-ups that operate on super strict budgets to global organizations that just need a hand with a particular project—are cashing in on the benefits independent workers offer their organizations.
Why? Let’s take a look:
1. Freelancers Offer a 24/7 Network of Expertise
For clarity, your go-to freelancer isn’t going to be on call for your beckoned needs all day, every day, but there are thousands of freelancers who are able to help with your projects any time, any day. Because freelancers set their own schedules, you can usually find someone available all hours of the night if you have a last-minute project to complete. If you’ve planned ahead (which is hopefully the case), you can work out deadlines, calls, and milestones that work well for everybody in your group.
2. Freelancers Own Their Businesses
Successful independent contractors treat their work like any other small business owner does; they adhere to deadlines and do the very best job possible to please their clients. When they work with you, they become an extension of your own team. It’s important for them to do best by you so you’ll come back with more business. After all, that’s what makes any economy go ’round, right?
Four-star business and legal WriterAccess writer Neth W. describes his role in the gig economy as follows:
“One of the greatest things about a gig economy is that it works on your availability and rewards initiative. If you have the drive and put in the time, you are guaranteed opportunity — it’s just on you to take advantage of it.”
Independent contractors who have the drive are the people marketers want on their teams, and there are plenty of those professionals to go around.
3. Specialized Skill Sets are Hard to Come By
Let’s say you need to redesign your website. You’ll need a web designer, a content writer, and maybe someone who creates logos and graphic designs. You might want to send a press release announcing the new face of your company, and, now that you’ve got a shiny new website, you’ll need blogs and a solid content strategy to ensure you’re driving inbound traffic to your new place in the cyber sun.
You probably don’t have people who can do most of these things on your payroll because they’re specialized skills that are only needed for a particular project. But, do you know who you can turn to? Freelancers. That’s right. Each role described above can be contracted out to independent workers who specialize in their specific function. This gives you the opportunity to employ the best of the best without actually employing anyone at all.
4. Freelancers Don’t Take a Hit on Your Payroll Headcounts
Gig workers offer a win-win for everybody; they get to work on their own schedules and set their own rates, and you don’t have to try to justify an additional full-time headcount to your senior leaders—a position which would be costly not only because of the salary, but also because of benefits, vacation time, and the ghastly expenses associated with onboarding, training, and retention. And let’s not forget the obvious—if you hire a person full-time but only have a single project in mind, it’s going to be up to you to find stuff for this person to do for the duration of his or her employment.
That sounds like a lot of costs to justify for no reason. That’s why freelancers fill the void quite nicely.
5. Your Budget and Workflow Can Fluctuate
Speaking of money and the workflow pipeline, even the most consistent organizations have ebbs and flows in their workloads and bottom lines. When you bring freelancers on your team, you don’t have to deal with layoffs or go on scavenger hunts for busy work to justify their existence because you’re only paying them when they’re actually doing stuff for you. They’ll go off and find another project when you’re in a lull or short on allowable expenditures. When things ramp up again, you can simply reach out and see if they’ll be willing to come back aboard. Of course, communication is key here. It’s never a good idea to ghost a freelancer because you don’t know when you’ll need them. Treat them like a member of your team, communicate what’s going on, and they’ll show you the same respect.
Are you a marketer who’s looking to find the right freelancers for your projects? We’ve got them right here? WriterAccess is 15,000 writers strong and includes a network of content strategists, translators, and editors. You can start building your team right now!
Kristin B is interested in anything that teaches her something new or gives her a different perspective on something she already knew. She’s a self-proclaimed Learn Nerd, which means the world is her educational oyster, and she’s always seeking opportunities to learn from life’s experiences and her clients’ assignments.