An increase in digital marketing skills amongst the global freelance community is on the rise according to a report from Elance – Global Online Employment.

The requirement for more diversity in digital skills to ensure all areas of the digital marketing mix are covered is growing amongst businesses globally. The report speaks about some key areas which could make the idea of freelancing in the world of digital marketing pretty appealing:

  • Increase in pay reported by 57% of those surveyed. Earnings are up year on year as up quarter on quarter up to Q2 2013
  • Skills in most demand are IT and Programming at 57%, but sales & marketing and content are the highest year on year.
  • Top 3 hiring countries are USA, Australia and UK

In addition, a staggering 69% admit to being happier freelancing than in full time employment.

Is this a trend given the increasing need to pull in skills as required in the new age marketing world? We believe so. Organisations should start to think about which core skills are required internally, which are needed as an external source through agency (usually the more complex expertise or a deliverable where team effort is required) and which skills are those required on a project basis best brought in house to work closely as part of the team.

There is evidence to support this trend too. According to a report published by Tower Lane Reporting over 60% of companies expecting to hire more freelancers in the next year.

Demands fluctuate in as the digital ecosystem continues to evolve, so businesses need to learn and understand how best to deal with this increasing trend; Both the change in dynamics and culture this is likely to bring to the internal working environment, and the opportunity access to the full power of digital marketing brings with having a mix between core team members and freelance skills when needed.

From the marketing side of things the ability to plan in advance becomes a question. We know freelancers are usually a must shorter hiring process, but they are individuals just the same and enough care needs to be taken in the recruiting process as is taken to hire permanent staff.

Another consideration for organisations is the benefit to be had through hiring freelancers at the start of a project or when putting a digital strategy in place. Until you know what’s working you are potentially at risk of hiring the wrong people. Bringing freelancers on board to get the best performing mix of digital channels and activities could save you money and time.

Are you planning on hiring freelancers in the coming year?