We have all come to see that a freelancer position is not a bad thing; agencies love freelancers because when work gets a little heavy and they still cannot bring on someone full-time, a freelancer can help them carry on. Brands like it because it feels like using a mini-agency, with much less of the politics.
The actual freelancers, though, have it tough. Just recently, we were perusing some sites that regularly send things to our email, like Guru.com, E-Lance, and Mosaic — the LinkedIn-type network for creative — seeing what kind of freelance or part-time marketing gigs were popping up.
The results were terrifying.
People posted entries like "Need Affiliate Marketer to boost my site and make money" and "Working on super-confidential product but need to drum up awareness" and more like "Need market research for top-secret product, budget under $250."
Our mind nearly exploded.
Some sites are free, and with free, those freelancers looking for quality posts are going to find what they pay for. A majority of the marketing posts one finds are not only garbage, but a sizable plurality couldn't even fall under marketing.
See, though we are not big self-promoters, we can give credit where credit is due. Talent Zoo does a terrific job making sure each job — whether it's full-time, part-time, seasonal, or freelance — is a qualified lead. You apply, and your application doesn't get sent to No-Man's Land, but to actual people.
On the other sites, who knows where you are sending that information? What a disappointment.
So freelancers, now is the time to do your due diligence and make sure you are bidding for projects that actually exist, have someone behind you making sure you succeed, and allow time for your other engagements.
Dwayne W. Waite Jr. is partner and principal at JDW: The Charlotte Agency, a marketing and advertising shop in Charlotte, NC. He enjoys consumer behavior, economics, and football.
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