Freelancing for the win - By Ellie Brade

New Zealand is a country full of small businesses, many of which are developing some incredible innovations and exciting products, often on a shoe string budget. It’s not for nothing that New Zealand has a reputation for a culture that encourages creativity, and it’s sometimes hard to believe that some of the country’s coolest, best known brands had very humble beginnings.

Unfortunately, with a small business can come very small budget for marketing, PR, communications or indeed anything beyond the busy schedule of everyday operations. Sometimes business owners can find themselves with a real success story on their hands, but absolutely no idea how to talk about it, deal with the media or create the material needed to spread the word. There often isn’t the budget for a full time marketing employee and any self-promotion or marketing tasks get filed in the ‘too hard’ or ‘not enough time’ basket. From updating a website to creating some engaging new copy and marketing materials or proactively reaching out to promote a product, there’s almost always something on the ‘to do’ list that isn’t getting done.

That’s where freelancers can be the perfect solution. It’s the ideal compromise, with businesses being able to make the most of a seasoned expert without the commitment of a full time marketing employee. Even better, you can call upon different experts for different tasks to get the best of all worlds. Fresh ideas and insights easily at your fingertips, with the flexibility to work with someone different as is needed.

With predictions of 50% of the workforce being freelance by 2020 its likely that businesses will work more and more with freelancers over the coming years, so if you’ve been on the fence about reaching out to ask for help on a project then don’t shy away from the idea. It’s a win-win for everyone. Apart from the obvious fact that freelance work is how I make a living, I love the variety that freelancing offers and the huge range of interesting projects I get to work on and contribute means my day is certainly never dull. That in itself helps me to keep coming up with exciting new content and ideas, which again is a good thing for clients. Over the years I’ve had the privilege of working with a number of incredible small Kiwi businesses, helping to tell their story both as a journalist and as a PR contractor, and it’s an incredibly satisfying thing to see the work you do having tangible results and watching your clients businesses grow.

To finish up, for those considering working with a freelancer, here are a few tips to help you make the perfect match. Make sure you do your research – pick a freelancer that is a good fit for you and your business. Ask to see their work, be confident that their style fits with your style and vision. Be clear on what you want from your freelancer and set out objectives before project starts. Make sure you both agree that these are achievable and you are on the same page. Talk budget, so there are no surprises. With an abundance of talented creative freelancers out there – not least the talented lot here on The Freelance Village – you’ll be spoilt for choice. 

Ellie Brade is a freelance writer and one of our talented villagers. Check out her profile here