A gig economy is a free market system where businesses contract workers for temporary work. Although it may seem like a buzzword, it is making a large impact on many industries. For this blog post, we are going to focus on the gig economy’s impact on the marketing industry. More specifically, how the growth of freelance workers is changing how people hire and retain marketing talent.
Marketing Benefits That Come From a Gig Economy
In today’s digital age, consumers are becoming more demanding – they expect businesses to address their needs immediately. Unfortunately, most businesses can’t always pick up the pace quickly enough, so they have look for an independent workforce. It’s estimated that more than 36% of US workers now participate in the gig economy. By embracing the gig economy, digital working solutions can bring a significant marketing advantage. Here are some of the ways the gig economy helps the marketing industry:
Easier Hiring and Firing Process
One of the biggest concerns for businesses is the hiring and firing of workers. There are many workforce laws in place to help protect employees. However, in the gig economy, you hire the best talent to help in your marketing efforts. And if you’re not satisfied with their performance, you simply let them go and hire another professional. This fact oftentimes makes freelancers work harder than their “employee counterparts.” There is more pressure to perform properly for higher ratings, better referrals, and so they can keep their position with a business.
An Endless Pool of Talent
Once you’ve decided to expand your marketing force, you will see there’s almost an unlimited supply of experts to meet consumer demands. You can use freelancers in your marketing efforts based on skillset and availability. And because they are not location bound, the variance in timezones ensures they can get to your clients quickly, compared to your in-house team. This adds up to a quick and reliable service (assuming you hire a quality freelance team).
The need to recruit new marketers is more important than ever. When there’s a constant flow of talent, you can acquire a remote working staff rather quickly. Of course, with a large pool of talent, you don’t have to struggle with the process of trying to collect resumes and fill a position from your local talent pool. At least, you won’t have the same struggle than many traditional companies face. Rather, you can quickly fill a void if you lose an employee.
In the world of marketing, the future is so uncertain. When you have gig workers available, you can easily adapt to unexpected changes. This is important because customers are becoming accustomed to real-time service. They don’t have to wait for days or weeks to realize the benefits.
A business with marketing flexibility is better equipped to deal with consumer demands. Also, freelancers are able to work will multiple companies, or small companies, that wouldn’t ordinarily be able to hire them for full-time work. This can be very helpful when a highly experienced graphic design artist, for example, isn’t able to work for you because you don’t have a full-time position available to them. But, if you’re able to offer five hours a week to a freelancer, they are willing to take that offer, while still maintaining their day-job, or working with other freelance style gig projects.
When you hire freelancers to help with your marketing efforts, it will cost less than hiring a full-time employee. Businesses can leverage skilled professionals to take care of short-term marketing projects. For startups, hiring a team of marketers may be way above your reach. In the gig economy, the employer is not hiring someone for a long period. This eliminates costs like insurance, paid leave, etc. According to the latest stats, 40% of businesses expect gig workers to become part of their workforce.
Marketing Challenges That Come From a Gig Economy
Despite the positives that come from the gig economy, there are some downsides to it. However, the downsides can be overcome by some added attention when hiring a freelancer or independent contractor. The more prepared you are when going into the hiring process, the more likely you will have a better outcome. So, be ready to conquer the following downsides.
Since gig workers are self-employed, they are less reliable than traditional employees. And because of the high competition, it becomes tricky to find a professional who is 100% committed to your marketing goals. Some will demand a higher rate you cannot keep up with. Low wages can lead to dissatisfaction and can impact work delivery. This can be challenging when you have a stressful workload.
To avoid the struggles of unknown reliability with freelancers or contractors, always look at their ratings. If they have several reviews reporting the person did not deliver on time or provided low-quality work, reconsider hiring them. While it is normal to have a couple bad reviews after years of working independently, there should not be too many. Turning work in on time is something that is objective. So, if multiple clients of the freelancer or contractor report this problem, it is likely a recurring issue. Only hire freelancers who are dedicated to due dates and who are applauded by their clients in their reviews.
Lack of Experience
Many self-proclaimed marketing professionals lack the experience necessary to market your brand. Some will not show a sample of their work to help in the hiring process. When you hire someone with little or no experience, he or she may not deliver work as expected. Keep in mind remote work requires self-motivation and discipline. If you’re not careful, you could end up with a freelancer who is not as productive as you need, and who can’t finish a marketing project correctly.
To ensure you hire the right person, you should ask some questions. Ask them questions like “How do you handle your tasks to ensure you complete them correctly?” and “Have you had experience doing a task like this?” This can be incredibly helpful in knowing if they are the right person to hire. Back to checking their reviews, see if they have completed similar tasks before. With all of the options available today, you will likely find a freelancer who has already done a project similar to yours.
If there are problems with communication, it can be challenging to achieve your marketing goals on time. It’s not surprising that a freelancer can work for different companies if they choose. This could mean you won’t receive updates on work in progress. Gig workers work remotely and thus it can be difficult to communicate when there’s a spontaneous change of plans. The time zones may also constantly impact communication, so be mindful of that.
Something very helpful when working with freelancers, or remote workers in general, is to set up a weekly meeting. This way, you can explain all of the tasks that should be done and give them a chance to ask you any questions. You can also set up a chat room with them on websites like Slack or Microsoft Teams. It is also important to remember that expecting quality communication skills is understandable. So, asking the freelancer or contractor how they stay on top of communication is appropriate when interviewing them.
There’s nothing more frustrating than engaging in a long-term contract with a gig worker only for them to miss the deadlines. Because they have the freedom to juggle different projects, they can choose the ones to give priority to. Your marketing goals can be derailed if gig workers choose projects based on profitability. And if your marketing project is not interesting to the freelancer, they can simply put it away. To avoid this, give them strict deadlines to meet. Let them know the urgency of the project and that the deadline is not flexible. This way, they have no excuse to put in on the backburner.
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Marketing Recommendations for A Gig Economy
Although the gig economy continues to be a hot debate, it can be incredibly beneficial to marketers. Businesses can practically get the best gig workers to make their marketing efforts a breeze. After all, you have to adapt to what the economy has to offer to move forward towards global success. Let’s jump right into recommendations!
You Must Hire the Right People
As a business owner, you want your products and services to reach your target audience on time. If you’re a startup company, you may not be in a position to hire full-time marketers. With gig workers, you can achieve your marketing goals without spending a fortune. Besides that, gig workers don’t require office space or equipment to get the job done. Since there are so many professionals waiting to be hired, you should use them to help with marketing. Be sure to consider the level of experience and skill levels. Your goal should be to hire a workforce that will bring creativity, quality and experience into your business.
Search and apply for the latest freelance marketing manager jobs here.
Conduct Quality Interviews
You must adapt to the special hiring method required for freelancers or contractors. Instead of conducting short-term interviews, you should understand what each candidate brings to the table. If you want to know your gig workers well, the hiring process could include video interviews. You can also use quirky questions to understand the mindset of the candidate. The goal is to have a powerful workforce that can help with marketing.
However, there are some gray areas. If you don’t pay close attention to the hiring process, you could end up with less reliable workers. This can be a nightmare when running a startup business. Even if you’re in dire need of workforce, do not rush. The last thing you want is to hire gig workers who will ruin your business. Make sure the candidates you hire are a good fit. And if you’re not sure, give them a small project to see how they handle it. Then, if it goes well, give them more and more responsibility. If they don’t work out during a test project, say thank you and then say good bye. Then, give the project to someone else as a test.
Final Words on the Gig Economy
The gig economy is a rising trend with no signs of slowing down or waiting for others to catch up. It offers abundant opportunities for employers looking for a workforce to meet their marketing goals. You can now find the best talents and give them the freedom and flexibility they want.
Many of the staff that work for Joshua Lyons Marketing, LLC are part of the gig economy workforce. We have hand-picked specific individuals from around the world, and worked with some of them from as far back as 2017. This helps us provide high quality services at an extremely good value. Hiring a team of freelancers can be extremely beneficial. Just make sure the people you hire are experienced and quality. Trust us, it can take time to put together a quality team of freelancers. But, if you have the time and patience, it can be well worth it.
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As the founder of Joshua Lyons Marketing, Josh Lyons primarily focuses on business development. He has studied and practiced marketing since 2008 and launched his first company (a marketing agency in Pensacola, Florida) in 2015. When he's not writing blog posts, recording podcasts or consulting, he enjoys spending time with family and friends. He loves listening to audiobooks and checking out different coffee shops. He also enjoys fire juggling, amigurumi, travel and swing dancing; which is how he met his wife.