Freelancers can be a great marketing resource for small and growing businesses. You may not need a full-time resource (yet!), so a freelancer can fill a specific need, whether it’s writing, design, or fractional strategy roles.
Most of my clients are tech startups of varying sizes. Sometimes, I’m one of many freelance resources; sometimes, I’m the only freelancer.
I can usually tell when clients haven’t worked with a freelancer before. They expect the relationship to be similar to that of a manager-employee, where they can issue directives that I’ll follow. Or they’re disorganized, don’t know what they want, and can’t figure out how I can best complement their business goals.
If you’re an entrepreneur thinking about hiring a freelancer, congratulations! A good freelancer is often a niche expert and can be an amazing supplement to your team. But there are some things to remember as you start looking for the “right fit.”
One of the biggest misconceptions about freelancing is that freelancers “can’t get real jobs,” and that they’re the leftovers, a lower caliber than hiring an employee.
When I first began freelancing full-time, I could feel the concern from my parents. Did I have enough work? Was I going to be ok?
It takes a lot of boldness to step out on your own. Many freelancers do it because they can earn more than they would as an employee. And they see freelancing as less risky since they’re not tied to a single source of income.
A freelancer might cost less than a full-time employee, but that’s because they’re (usually) not full-time. They’re not necessarily a “cheap” resource. If you break it down to a per-hour basis, a freelancer is probably higher than a full-time employee. After all, freelancers are also responsible for their own taxes and other benefits (like health insurance and retirement).
What you gain is flexibility: a resource for fewer hours, filling a specific need, or short-term help.