The value of content marketing has been established. It works. There’s also a significant amount of effort that goes into the process. There’s content creation, publication, promotion, and analytics, just to rattle a few things off. All of these tasks are worthwhile, but they aren’t always where you should be spending your time.
Content marketing in that gray area of, ‘very important, yet not always the best use of your time and resources’. Then there’s the matter of skills. Yours are probably relevant to your product or service, not digital marketing. Just like you might bring on talent to:
- Do your taxes.
- Keep your computers and peripherals up to date.
- Keep your mechanical systems in order.
- Ensure building security.
It may be time to consider using freelance talent take on all or a part of your content marketing.
The Role of The Freelancer
Here, we are talking about hiring one or more freelancers, not a digital agency. Depending on the size and scope of your business and campaigns, the role of your freelancer can vary. You might use a freelancer to do very specific tasks such as blogging or social media analytics. You might hire one on to run an entire campaign. Here are some other duties that commonly fall to online marketing freelancers:
- Search Engine Optimization
- Content Creation
- Web Design And Optimization
- Keyword Research
- Competitive Analysis
- Market Research
- Social Media Management And Engagement
Before you do anything else, you have to decide whether to hire a freelancer, how many, and the scope of their duties. If not, there’s no good way to determine whether they’re working to your standards, or your investment was worthwhile.
Know When You Might Need a Freelancer
You’ll spend valuable time and resources finding the right freelancer. Not only do you need to take the process seriously, you should learn to recognize the need. This way you can get the search for a freelancer going with enough time to prevent a crisis. Here are some signs to look for:
- Your staff is stretched beyond their skill set and time
- You aren’t prepared to hire new staff or train your current staff
- Your campaigns aren’t performing for you
- Things aren’t getting done
- You don’t own or have access to premium content marketing tools
- You’re spending too much money due to frequent mistakes or simply slow progress
If any of these ring true, it’s time to consider outsourcing, at least temporarily. There may be other things you can do as well. We’ll cover those down stream.
Understand The Pros and Cons of Using Freelance Workers
It’s important to know where you will see the most benefit from using freelancers, and where you might experience some friction.
Freelancers Are Great Pinch Hitters
Do you have a project that must be done over a weekend? What about an urgency that’s going to require hours of overtime. With freelancers, things are often feast or famine. When they get work, and the pay is good, many have no qualms putting in intense hours or working late. They know they can bank the extra money away, and use it when things are lean.
A good freelancer can also jump into a project midstream, and use their skills to be productive from day one. If you find yourself short-staffed, that can be a real blessing.
Freelancers Have Varied Skills
Many seasoned freelancers have worked on numerous content marketing projects. Along the way, they have picked up various skills. If you are looking for a content marketing ‘generalist’ then there are plenty out there for you.
They Also Have Focused Skills
On the other hand, there are just as many whose skills run deep rather than wide. These are the folks who have concentrated on a single area, and developed a specific set of skills. They might specialize in SEO, web design, or analytics for example.
You Can Save Money
If you only focus on wages, it may not seem as if you are saving much by hiring a freelancer. Once you realize that you aren’t paying benefits, training, or workman’s comp, the advantages become clearer.
You’re Counting on One Person
Because freelancers work solo, there’s nobody to back them if they are unable to do the job. If a freelancer becomes ill, or is proven to lack competence, there’s no backup. You have to find a replacement, or deal with a delayed project.
There Can be a Lack of Loyalty And Buy In
A freelancer might not be as passionate or knowledgeable about your branding as your staff. They may not have the commitment to quality, or the same desire to see your company succeed.
Are You Better Off With an Agency?
As you consider freelancing to solidify your digital marketing efforts, there’s another option for you to ponder. A content marketing or digital agency can step into assist you with your campaigns. They can take over your content marketing efforts entirely, or just provide specific assistance on projects you choose. For example, if you need content creation or editing/proofreading a provider like rewarded essays can provide the help you need. There are other agencies that can help with website optimization, or provide help with PPC.
Quick Tips For Getting The Most Out of Your Freelancer
If you decide to use a freelancer, there are things you can do to ensure that you get the best value for your money. These include:
- Set clear expectations.
- Get referrals from multiple clients.
- Ask to see a portfolio.
- Define scope clearly.
- Have everything readied for them. The less time they spend waiting for other people to do their jobs, the better.
If you make the right choices, your business can really benefit from the help of a freelancer. They may have expertise your staff doesn’t. A freelancer can also help you meet staffing shortfalls in the short term. The guide above can help when it’s time for you to walk through that process.