In the current unstable economy, there are still a lot of people who dare to take risks -- and there is no bigger risk than being totally independent and looking after your own career. I'm talking about freelancers.
Going freelance is a growing trend in the online marketing world. Even big clients are going for the more personal approach. But is this a good thing or bad thing?
Drawn from three perspectives, here is why freelancers rule.
From a Employer Perspective
You, as employer, have a team of very capable employees. They do as you say and help you to make your business profitable.
A great share of profit is needed to pay the (way too high) employee salaries. But in return, they are loyal to you.
When one of your freelance employees asks to work less, to focus on an individual project, will you give your freelancer this kind of freedom, even if there's a risk that the employee might keep or steal business from you? This can be a hard decision. But look what this extra freedom can mean for you:
- More knowledge: As freelancers service their own clients, they are gaining more professional and business experience that can help your business.
- Better proposals: If your freelancers become experienced in how to offer services and optimize their time management, this will translate to more profit for you, and happier clients.
Give your freelancers the space to evolve. There are still many freelancers who will stick to only one day a week on top of a full-time job (only a few will brave souls will eventually give up their social security to become a full-time freelancer).
From a Client Perspective
As a client, you want only the best. Several agencies (and a lot of wasted time) later, you're usually stuck with a shelf filled with strategies and advisory reports and no time to execute any of them.
What you need is an independent consultant who has the knowledge and can translate this to your (full-time) employees. Freelancers have a much more personal approach because they can be part of the higher goal.
These consultants are way more flexible. Those that charge on a fee per project can be even cheaper than an agency that will charge you by the hour, regardless of results.
Other than the costs, freelancers have a great network of very capable people. This means every job could be done by highly motivated freelancers.
From Your Perspective
If you're a loyal full-time consultant for an employer right now and ever thought of freelancing more next to your regular job, definitely give it some serious consideration. The market is still growing and in desperate need of consultants with knowledge, practical skills, and business savvy.
The most important thing is that you build a strong network of people around you. This can have some overlaps with clients of the agency, but make sure there is a healthy balance of non-client contacts.
Attend seminars or conferences with your own title, rather than as an employee for someone else's company. This will pay off for you when you start freelancing.
With a good network, work is never far away. You can make it as a freelancer on your own.
Make sure you communicate your wishes clearly with your employer. If you're honest, your employer won't be shocked or offended once you quit. A good relationship with your employer can help you get more work or even act as a fallback if, unfortunately, your effort fails.
There might not be an entrepreneur in all of us, but you'll never know if you never try.
Freelancers are increasingly being put on projects where agencies normally would take over. Is this a bad thing? Certainly not.
Freelancers keep the economy running. Big corporations fall and have to rely on the government, while freelancers keep the economy running. Power to the freelancers!
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