Digital Content And Freelancing Fuel Each Other’s Rise
The marketing industry is currently undergoing a tremendous shift, which should have long-lasting effects for companies and workers alike. The digital content creation market reached a value of $10.69 billion in 2017. However, it is projected to continue growing at a rate of almost 17% until at least 2025. The market’s growth has been accompanied in recent years by the sharp growth of the freelance workforce. The result of these two seemingly separate facts has been a revelation. The growing digital content industry can easily be supplemented by the many freelance workers who submit their resumes for each open position.
A Match Made In Heaven
Today, about one in three workers in the U.S. are freelancers. Respected analysts expect that number to rise to half of all workers in the United States becoming freelancers by the year 2020. The reason for this dramatic change in the working population can be attributed to a few key factors. First, the new generation populating the workforce has different attitudes about employment than their parents did. Instead of placing their jobs above everything else in their lives, millennials are starting to prioritize what’s important to them. The new workforce understands that the flexibility offered by freelancing is a great way to make more time for family, pursue passions, and travel, among other things.
While this attitude may have existed in previous generations, the sophisticated technology and economics needed to enable its pursuit have only blossomed recently. Businesses today are starting to take advantage of what is colloquially known as the “gig economy”. Companies can lower their costs by hiring workers just when they need them rather than keeping them on salary. Similarly, technological advancements like cloud computing, better telecommunications infrastructure, and cheaper personal hardware and software are keeping the costs of freelancing down for workers and employers alike.
By The Numbers
This shift is reflected in the numbers as well. A recent survey of data collected from a popular freelancing job board shows that digital content was one of the fastest growing freelance jobs offered and completed in 2018. Digital content is a broad term, which covers things like writing, design, and animation. The same data analysis also shows that companies are still hiring freelance web developers to help them create beautiful landing pages for their new digital content to be displayed on.
Making The Decision To Become A Freelancer
There are several paths freelancers who want to become a part of the gig economy generally take. The first step of all of the paths, though, generally involves a careful analysis of the pros and cons that come in this line of work. On the pro side, freelancers enjoy setting their own schedules and spending more of their time pursuing their non-work interests. Since freelance work can be done anywhere, those who pursue the line of work often use it as a way to finally take those trips they’ve always dreamt of. Some freelancers decide to use their newfound freedom to move to new cities that they’ve always wanted to live in, but may have been unable to. One of the best parts about freelancing is its inherent freedom.
While there are many pros to working as a freelancer there are some cons as well. Freelancers need to hustle to find projects that utilize their unique skill set and pay well. The uncertainty of where the next paycheck will come from is enough to turn some perspective freelancers off the idea altogether. However, once they start building up their clientele, they can start to get a better sense of what they need to do to each week to financially support themselves. It’s important to also realize that moving towards a freelance style of work typically involves losing the benefits that employers offer their employees. This is a key consideration for most individuals who consider pursuing a freelance lifestyle.
After weighing the pros and cons, many people do ultimately decide to pursue a career as a digital content freelancer. There are a few distinct routes they often take to get started. First, they typically identify which of their skills potential employers will value the most. For example, professionals who are great writers start by putting together a portfolio to show the employers who may want to hire them. Animators and designers also put together samples of the work they’ve done in the past as they start their project search. Although a strong resume is important, many companies rely heavily on the examples a potential contract worker gives them when making their hiring decisions.
Next, burgeoning freelancers should start identifying where people generally apply for the jobs they want. There is a myriad of online resources that can be used for help during this research-heavy process. The job seekers continue on by reading job descriptions for positions they’re interested in. They generally try to get a feel for what skills employers typically emphasize when looking for candidates. They can use this information to their advantage in order to create a resume and sample portfolio that stands out from the rest.
Ultimately, becoming a successful digital content freelancer is about finding a niche and using the right strategies to market oneself to potential employers. When a freelancer does get hired, they make sure to do everything in their power to exceed their employer’s expectations. That’s important because an employer may end up thinking about them first when they need help with a new project. Referrals are also a big part of becoming a successful part of the freelance workforce. Industry gossip can travel faster than expected, and new freelancers should never give their employers a reason to discount their experience
Entering The New Workforce
Digital content is becoming more and more popular as companies try to target customers online. The industry’s growth has largely occurred on the backs of freelancers in the new gig economy. Freelancing offers a unique lifestyle for professionals, and gives companies a chance to save some money. The freelance lifestyle of flexibility is a unique way that professionals are starting to make their lives centered around their own priorities.