Getting your business or product ready for launch can be an exciting prospect, but it also requires a lot of consideration and planning.
Namely, assembling a marketing team. As the gig economy flourishes, more and more businesses are leaning towards flexible talent rather than in-house talent.
In 2020, an Intuit report discovered that 80% of large corporations intend to substantially increase their use of a flexible workforce.
And it is a trend that is here to stay. Find out how to turn this trend to your advantage by creating a freelance marketing team that will take your business launch to the stratosphere.
And if your business nature is similar to one of these online businesses that are proven to work, it’ll indeed be a match made in heaven.
Why Hire A Freelance Team?
As flexible work models become increasingly prevalent due to increasing connectivity, the rise of startup culture and the digitization of workflow processes, many brands and small businesses are beginning to embrace the benefits of hiring a freelance team.
And not to mention the trend of the modern employee–millennials opting for more work flexibility in choosing remote or part-time work, reinforcing the premise of the gig economy.
These are a few reasons why hiring a freelance team will benefit your business.
1. Accommodating An Evolving Digital Landscape
As digital platforms are constantly evolving and increasing by the number, the onus is on every business to stay ahead of the curve, and this is where the marketing function comes into play.
It is responsible for creating brand awareness, positioning your brand firmly in the minds of your customers, and, most importantly, differentiating your brand from a sea of competing brands.
Hiring flexible talent will allow you to instantly fulfill any specialized needs by bringing onboard a wider variety of skill sets and edge ahead of the competition.
2. Cost Savings
A Business Standard analysis of 67 BSE 100 companies discovered that employee costs in FY19 as a percentage of net sales fell from 10.17% to 9.39% in FY17.
Evidence that a balanced mix of freelancers across different areas can allow businesses to optimize costs and increase the return on investment.
And there is no doubt that it saves more time to hire a freelance team than a full-time team due to the lower levels of administration work required.
3. Hire Talent Regardless of Location
Many experienced marketing professionals worldwide choose to freelance, using their years of experience to earn some side income and do more varied work as full-time work can become monotonous.
Some may turn to platforms that offer freelance services; others may go solo and promote their website instead.
Nevertheless, the presence of social media plus the abundance of many freelance platforms gives businesses direct access to a pool of talented individuals across different parts of the world.
4. Free Up Valuable Time
As many small businesses initially begin with lean teams, business owners often find themselves in the position of doing 90% of the work, including marketing their services. It may be expected in the short term, but it could lead to fatigue and decrease productivity in the long term.
And this is where the freelance marketing team comes in. Freelance marketers can relieve the workload of business owners, allowing them to focus on core business functions.
Business owners can do this by developing a marketing strategy that does not need to be driven by themselves, helping them build their brand and find their voice.
5. Increased Productivity And Scalability
Busting the myth that remote employees lack commitment and are slacking off is a Stanford study that reveals freelance employees who operate out of their homes are more productive than their full-time peers.
As remote employees are freed from the costs and fatigue of commuting, this gives them more time and energy to focus on the work that needs to be done, done, and the right employee hour calculator can only prove it.
Moreover, a varied selection of workflow management tools in the digital space allows employers and employees to get on top of things right away without any delays.
Finding The Right Talent
One of the challenges employers face is finding suitable talent for the job, which involves finding the relevant skillsets.
The work involved in marketing is endless, but there are fundamental roles that you should always be on the lookout for when assembling your freelance marketing team. Below are some of the types of roles required.
1. Head Of Marketing
The head of marketing is someone responsible for managing the marketing team’s responsibilities, the individuals on the team, and its success and failures.
Some responsibilities include:
- Creating an overall marketing strategy
- Setting objectives and establishing key success metrics
- Managing marketing team members
- Ensuring all marketing activities align with business objectives
Some soft skills are also needed to manage the team effectively:
- Clear communication
- Leading by example
- Good listening skills
2. Content Writer
A content writer is essential in expressing your brand message, beliefs, values and delivering copy that engages your target audience to drive sales, loyalty, and clicks. Three criteria you should stick to when hiring a content writer include:
- Industry Experience: This is crucial as the nuances of your content will not shine through, particularly in highly regulated industries such as finance and medicine.
- Portfolio: You can discover the writer’s style and determine if it suits your brand image.
- Work Experience With A Marketing Team: Writers in a marketing team will need to consider how their copy can drive sales.
Initially, you may hire only one writer to write blog posts, email newsletters, website copy, landing pages, sales material etc.
You can consider separating responsibilities once your team grows, for instance, by having a dedicated writer for email newsletters to encourage subscribed users to take action.
Likewise, you could also hire a content strategist who will give you a clearer idea of a style guide, tone of voice, and what needs to be done to grow brand awareness and acquire new customers.
3. Data Analyst
A data analyst takes the data gathered and turns them into actionable insights. Their essential tasks include:
- Track user behavior across channels
- Analyse buying and market trends
- Provide recommendations on ways to improve campaigns
- Measure campaign performance
- Report on marketing objectives
4. Social Media Manager
A solid social media presence can be an excellent sales tool with the right balance between engaging content and promotional content. And it is vital for these reasons:
- Engage with customers
- Provide speedy customer service
- Nurture leads
An excellent example of this is Wendy’s series of hilarious Twitter roasts in 2017, earning the fast-food chain the #1 spot on Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies list of 2019 in the category of Social Media.
Image source boredpanda
5. SEO Specialist
Besides ranking for keywords, the SEO specialist is tasked with optimizing the website experience and ensuring the correct pages show up for relevant search queries on Google.
Some essential tasks include:
- Implementing and maintaining title and meta tags on your web pages.
- Staying on top of Google’s latest algorithm updates and ensuring necessary changes are implemented on your site.
- Getting links from high-quality sites.
- Selecting the right keywords for your business, taking into consideration relevance and competition.
- Recommending technical changes to your site that can affect search ranking, page loading speeds and mobile experience.
Keeping Your Team In Sync
Now that you’ve formed your dream team, staying aligned is crucial to ensure high productivity. To foster a sense of collaboration and maintain morale, here are five things that will make your freelance team think highly of you.
1. Define Clear Expectations
Providing critical details about the project to your freelancers can help them hit the ground running. As it can help save time and facilitate high levels of production. Key details include:
- Buyer personas
- Desired targets
2. Tell Them The ‘Why’
Your freelance team works best when they understand the value of your service or products as they can better engage your target audience to make a purchase and create content that motivates them. If they know the value of your product or service, they’re better equipped to sell it.
3. Be Available To Answer Questions
Sometimes written requirements are insufficient, and making yourself available to answer any questions your freelancers have in real-time can increase productivity and improve workflow.
You can also consider including freelancers in informational meetings to solidify requirements.
4. Agree on Reasonable Deadlines
Freelancers do what they do in part to avoid corporate drama. Thus keeping them updated on timeline shifts, hang-ups, or other changes that might derail deadlines in advance will provide them with the notice they need to accommodate these changes.
5. Adhere to a Regular Payment Schedule
Most freelancers piece work together from various clients to meet their expenses, meaning if a 30-day payment cycle turns into 90 for no good reason, it’s tough for them to continue.
Therefore making payments according to an agreed schedule between both parties and notifying them if something comes up can go a long way.
Productivity Tools To Use
Keep the momentum going with some tools that will aid productivity and improve collaboration among your team members.
This is a marketing automation system that allows small teams to measure and create effective campaigns, with key features including:
- Reporting and analytics
- Behavior tracking
- Lead generation, management and nurturing
- Email marketing
Keep track of everyone’s progress with this online workflow management platform. From the required actions, due dates, and any ad hoc changes. It’s a flexible platform that allows you to use options and templates Asana provides in a guided or completely customized way. You’ll be able to:
- Prioritize items
- Update each task anytime
- Quickly add tasks, ideas or reminders
- Manage your work via list view or Kanban boards
Mistakes To Be Aware Of
The last thing to be aware of is the common mistakes to avoid when creating your freelance team. Although it’s not the end of the world, it’s always better to get things right from the start.
1. Getting The Cheapest Option
While you save on upfront costs, you might end up paying much more to fix the disaster from your first purchase.
Instead, work out the average hourly rate via Glassdoor, and use this formula: annual income ÷ hours worked across the year.
Avoid the perils of micromanagement and the charges freelancers incur for their time by using collaboration tools such as Slack for communication, or Notion, Trello, or Asana for workflow management.
3. Paying The Whole Fee Upfront
Set up an agreement and payment milestones instead, documenting clearly when your freelancers receive payment at which stages of the project. Because paying everything upfront is like putting all your eggs in a basket.
4. Treating The Working Relationship Too Casually
You could find yourself in a legal pickle if you skip the formalities with your freelancers. Keep both parties safe by drawing up a contract that includes:
- Basic Information: Names, contact details and addresses of those involved
- Pricing: Agreed prices, hourly rates or fixed rates
- Revisions: Agreed costs and timescales for any revisions
- Project Scope: A clear outline of the project
- Deadlines and Cancellations: Due dates of the project and happens if the project is cancelled
Successfully assembling your freelance marketing team for your product launch will undoubtedly be easier when you know what to look out for.
We’ve covered everything from sourcing the right talent to taking the proper steps in ensuring everything runs smoothly.