I was asked at a recent speaking event to state why a freelance marketer was better than an employee. Whilst it’s a simplistic question, my answer was quick off the mark:
“Freelance marketers don’t care about treading on toes.”
Whilst a full-time employee will no doubt produce results, a freelancer is able to help fast track these results because of this one key principle – they aren’t afraid to tread on toes, offend people or ‘play it safe’. That’s not to say they are rude or unfeeling for your team members or business challenges, please don’t get me wrong.
- I will happily state that Janet in customer care has had 18 negative mentions on Trustpilot and she is clearly in need of retraining or exiting the business if she so desires.
- I will speak to Janet myself if you like to show her the principles I am trying to get the company to adopt when it comes to customer engagement and loyalty. I’d love her to be on board.
- I don’t mind saying that the agency you pay for website development is doing a limp job and charging you three times what they should be. I will happily ask for reductions and revisions. They can call me any name under the sun if they wish.
- I would also happily suggest ways for sales to support marketing, and vice versa. Of course, the teams don’t get along – no sales and marketing teams do – but still, let’s all put on our big girl and boy pants and pull together, shall we?
- I will be able to spot changes you could make to your marketing plan and will be comfortable questioning why the MD needs to run 8 golf days with his or her chums, all from the marketing budget pot.
Make me a full-time employee and that edge of brutal honesty becomes a fast track to me eating my lunch in my car alone and being enemy number one – or being silent. After all, I might impress the boss but would certainly be lacking an invite to the pub on a Friday. In short, I would be less likely to rock the boat. Plus – I’m going to be there for 4 years, so what’s the rush?
Freelancers have the ability to offer a birds’ eye, impartial view of all the rubbish stuff and time wasting that’s going on and call it out. By simply asking ‘why’ something is done, we might call it into view and get it under the microscope. That’s valuable.
Being a freelancer cuts through noise. It also means as a business you are better informed.
Take events for example.
As a freelancer, I pay for and attend my own conferences. I make these happen in my own time, and because they come out of my own budget (reserved for chocolates and shoes) I am quite invested in drawing as much benefit as possible from every conference, seminar and webinar. As I see it, my job as a freelancer is to impart the latest news and learnings back to any business I work with. Sadly, full-time employees can not only not make it to every show – or if they do, they are wearing their ‘Your Business Name’ hat. This means they only manage to get a ‘from the bubble’ view of the sector you are in – but none of the exciting ideas gained from going to an eCommerce event or something around payments or loyalty. That’s not their fault – after all, they are contracted 37.5 hours a week to be at your office.
Another issue is that they might also ‘hoard’ information. After all, a juicy insight could be used tactically – after a review meeting or when the shit really hits the fan, perhaps? (I say this as a previous full time marketing manager…)
With a freelancer, there’s no reason for them to hold back whatsoever, and I never need to justify a need to get into the real world for a breath of fresh air.
Should you hire a freelance marketer?
After all that, you probably worry that you’re getting yourself in for some bolshy upstart coming in, calling the shots and making extra work for everyone. That’s not the case. I for one would never comment on a business unless I was invited to be honest and up front. In any case, the main aim for any freelance marketer is simply to get the job done and take away obstacles!
I would say you should absolutely hire a freelance marketer if you want someone who can handle everything for you. Your blogs, social media, affiliate ads, engaging with PR titles and agencies, speaking to clients for case studies and putting out email marketing. After all, studies have proven that those businesses who invest in professional content achieve nearly six times more conversions than their competitors.
A marketing freelancer gives you direction and expertise as well as the value in looking at things from a higher perspective.
I pride myself on offering a highly effective and inexpensive option for businesses looking for a marketing manager or marketing assistant level of support without any ties. Instead of hiring a full-time employee, you get all the benefits of a marketing pro, without holiday, pension sick days or any other worries.
Can I show you how?