Lindsay Olson

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Now is a Great Time to Freelance in Marketing

If you want to dip your toes in the marketing world, but aren’t ready (or aren’t hireable enough)  full-time job, give freelancing a try. Apparently it’s a good time to do so.

Every quarter and year, Elance looks at which industries are hiring freelancers. Looking at last year’s data, marketing grew in leaps and bounds in specific niches:

  • Digital marketing
  • Social media
  • Content writing
  • Blog writing
  • Web design
  • Graphic design

Local Economies No Longer an Issue

One hypothesis on why earnings have increased so drastically (just digital marketing saw a 190% increase year-on-year) is that geography is no longer a barrier to finding good talent. So if an employer runs an office out of Church Point, Louisiana (population 4,575), he can find talent anywhere in the world. That opens up the possibility to finding better talent. What that means for you as that talent is that you aren’t limited to finding a job within commuting distance.

The report showed that Rhode Island, whose unemployment rate is 10.2% showed an 89% increase in earnings for marketing freelancers. So in addition to removing geographic barriers, the freelancing industry is helping alleviate a bit of that unemployment rate to boot!

More Marketing, More Jobs

While a few years ago, companies of every size held back on social media and blogging as part of their marketing strategy, they’re embracing them like crazy now. And that means that they need more bloggers, social media strategists and overall Internet marketing experts. But that doesn’t always mean they want to hire full-time roles. Often this work can be done part-time externally, which saves the company on benefits, salaries and overhead.

If you’re smart about it, you can piece together a decent living through freelancing. Find a few clients who need content marketing, design work or social media execution — all of which tend to be ongoing work — and you’ve got yourself a paycheck!

How to Start Freelancing in Marketing

Step 1: Search for Gigs. If you’ve got some experience in marketing, you can start looking for projects on sites like Elance, as well as and others. Beef up your profile as much as possible: add samples of your work to your portfolio so potential clients can see what you’ve done.

These sites let you search categories for projects. Some will be one-time projects, while others may need someone long-term. Make sure you have the skills the project requires, and send a well-crafted application letter, targeting the key points you feel make you qualified. If you’ve worked on similar projects, make sure to say so, as many employers would be more comfortable with someone who has worked in their industry before.

Step 2: Get a Website and Blog. Build a simple website that also highlights your work, outlines your services, and provides contact information. It’s wise to start a blog and write about the areas you want work in. The more you demonstrate your expertise, the easier it is for potential employers to trust in your skills and hire you.

Step 3: Network. Reach out to companies in your area — especially smaller ones that might not have in-house marketing and let them know the services you offer. Also connect with marketing agencies, as often they have more work than they can handle and need extra help.

It may take a while, but you’ll find that once you get a few projects under your belt, you’ll have some experience to back you up and it will because easier to close a new project.


Six Things You Didn’t Know About Solo PR Practitioners

This is a post by PR columnist, Alison Kenney.

In the world of PR, solo practitioners have a bit of mystery about them. Without an affiliation to an organization they can be hard to place. And while each individual PR professional has their own unique qualities, here are a few universal truths about solo PR pros that you may not have known:

Solo PR pros are self-motivated – working independently means they come up with their own program ideas and strategies and put it all into action themselves. While there is give-and-take with clients, solo PR pros have to be their own boss when it comes to staying motivated and delivering results. Consider also that solos take on the risk of finding work and keeping their income flowing steadily.

They can become your most dedicated partners – depending on the nature of their PR work (i.e. short projects versus long-term programs), most solo PR pros work with a small circle of clients at one time. Each client is therefore important to them and their workload. They also may be able to accommodate certain needs or workstyles in a way that a larger PR agency can’t do.

Not all types of solo PR pros are the same – I like to categorize independent PR practitioners as either a freelancer or consultant. Freelancers will take on projects or pieces of projects, such as writing, researching, etc., or may fill in as a PR team member for a temporary period, while a consultant will play a more strategic role and take on the development, as well as the execution, of a PR program.

Their work is personal – many choose to go solo for lifestyle reasons, e.g. to balance work with other needs such as child care, a serious hobby or relationship, or perhaps just because they like the freedom of working for themselves. Being the one who calls the shots also means they typically can pick work that interests them personally.

They have a niche – unlike big PR agencies that can serve a wide range of client types in different industries because they have a large staff to draw upon, a solo PR pro’s niche is defined by their actual experiences. This might be obvious, but with those solo practitioners who don’t call out their specialty, potential clients will have to ask questions and find out more about the person, their experiences and how they work. Most PR pros wouldn’t have the guts to go solo if they didn’t possess a solid command of all the PR basics, and they may say they can apply their expertise to any type of program, but a look at their experience and current roster of work will tell you what their area of expertise is.

The name “solo” is misleading – independent practitioners wouldn’t survive without networks that include connections from pre-solo days, professional associations, partners and other supporters.

Alison Kenney an independent PR practitioner with more than 15 years of PR consulting experience. She is based on Boston’s North Shore and has worked with organizations in the technology, professional services and consumer industries. She writes a bi-monthly PR column on You can find her at Learn more about Alison Kenney.


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