• Nicky

Think Freelance First

Updated: Feb 14, 2019

There are a lot of benefits to hiring freelance talent:

FAST turnaround times are a given when working with freelancers. And we’re not talking “rushed”. A freelancer’s reputation rests on their ability to provide top-class work within short timeframes.

There may be a requirement to urgently beautify a PowerPoint presentation, design a new brand logo or write a long-form piece on the latest topical events. Whatever the brief, time is of the essence.

You are paying for a resource to complete a remit within a set period. If we fail, we lose your business. Whilst full-time employees may enjoy the luxury of a morning chat over coffee or extended lunch breaks, freelancers are paid solely for time spent, so we spend it wisely.

RELIABILITY comes with the territory. There is no safety net when it comes to freelance work.

There isn’t a well-known brand name to hide behind. Freelancers live and die by their reputation, and it’s very often word of mouth from happy, satisfied clients that can elevate an individual from an occasional resource to a preferred long-term partner.

EXPERIENCE is a pre-requisite for any freelancer. It can be a tough enough gig finding regular work when you’re an expert in your field. Imagine how hard it would be if you’re learning the ropes as you go?

I spent over ten years working in marketing with some of the world’s biggest brands before I felt prepared to “go it alone”. Even then, it was a frightening prospect to embrace.

What my first foray into the freelance sphere has taught me though, is that I am regularly re-hired for a reason – I know my stuff. I speak the truth and I’m honest with all my clients. If I don’t think a route is right, for whatever reason, I will say so. I have years of quantitative and qualitative experience to back up my convictions, and I’m rarely wrong as a result. Those who have had the confidence to take on life as a freelance, have done so because they are knowledgeable and passionate about their chosen field, and have value to add to your business.

ENTHUSIASM for a project can be hard to come by in the world of full-time employment. Not so with freelancers.

Not all briefs are equal, and there will be occasions when the topic is dry and mundane, leading to lacklustre responses from the regular team. But what you’ll find with successful freelancers is that it really doesn’t matter.

Any project – whether it’s advertising funeral directors or music festivals – is a new and exciting creative outlet in which to nurture their talent and expertise. It’s another string to their bow and another campaign for their portfolio with no pep talk required!

LIKEABILITY can be a tough quality to quantify, but it’s an essential attribute for freelancers. We may not be the loudest voice in the crowd nor the life and soul of every party, but that isn’t what’s important.

What is important, however, is our strong work ethic, ability to collaborate, politeness and general amiability. Clients tend to re-hire freelance talent based on three criteria – a) availability of work, b) successful outcome of previous collaboration, and c) their general demeanour. If they get on well with your team AND deliver results, then what’s not to like?!

ADAPTABILITY is central to any freelancer’s make-up. Everything is subject to change, at all times. Deadlines move, workplaces move – even the medium in which we work changes as quickly as you can say “Instagram is my favourite social media platform!"

You’ll find freelancers are the ones ahead of the curve and ready for any and all challenges that an ever-changing technological world can throw at them. Whether it be the emergence of new platforms and devices, or changes to the latest youth diction, our livelihoods depend on being adaptable.

NICHE support is more readily available within the freelance community than full-time teams. How often have clients asked their agencies and creative teams for something ground-breaking and new that hasn’t been done before? And how many times has that work then been out-sourced to specialists?

From bespoke illustrations to augmented reality to drone footage, there is huge scope to truly stand out from your competition, but only a limited number of people who can help you get there.

COST-EFFICIENCY may seem like an outlier in this list, but it sits at the very heart of what makes freelance support a viable ongoing option for businesses around the globe. As a company, you can save money on hiring, training, tax, National Insurance and pension contributions, holiday pay and much more.

By hiring a freelance specialist to work on a project, you are effectively cutting out the middle man and going straight to the source. What’s more, by utilising professional networking sites such as LinkedIn, it’s possible to establish a pool of creative talent who are ready and willing to fit you in at short notice AND deliver results, with minimal effort and energy required on your part.

ENTERPRISING is our middle name! Freelancers are imaginative, resourceful and hard-working.

Working on a 100% remote basis – as I do – takes drive and discipline. For the most part, “switching off” is not an option, especially during the early days of securing new contracts and clients. Long hours, dogged commitment and tenacity are all engrained in the freelancer mind-set.

Why on earth do we do it, then? You may ask...

Because we have so much passion for what we do that we risk job security, a steady income and reliable retirement benefits in pursuit of something more – fulfilment.

So, please, next time you need business support – think freelance first. We’re in it for the love of what we do, not the money, and every brief you send our way makes a real difference to lives, not just another top line.