Demand for digital marketing is soaring. And, as I’ve covered in previous posts, online freelancers are capturing a large chunk of this work.

For agencies, this is a challenge, with more skills needed and projects becoming more complex.

In times of economic struggle it’s good to hear that according to the Office for National Statistics, employment increased by 212,000 to 29.6m in the three months to August – the highest on record since 1971.

Marketing job posts have seen a significant rise since 2012, on Elance we’ve seen company demand for skills such as social media marketing going up by 157%. Marketing strategy is up by 136% and lead generation by 136%.

Businesses around the world today have more channels than ever to connect and engage with potential customers, which is increasing connectivity and fuelling demand for marketing services online.

Take the increase in job posts for web design for example. Demand was up by 46% from 2011 to 2012 and rivalling those of IT and programming which are traditionally the top categories for online work.

This means many web design agencies are facing the challenge of growing their business while keeping overheads to a minimum.

It’s crucial to hire people with the right skills but these people can be hard to find and can be quite expensive, when hiring staff on a project basis or for a limited period of time. Using freelancers is a clear solution to the problem but finding the right candidate can be time consuming. 

Finding the balance between online and offline 

The key benefits of online outsourcing are lower operational costs, reduced risk, quicker turnaround times and smaller investment for company growth, while global outsourcing means that work can be delivered very quickly.  

How agencies can make the most of online freelancers:

  • Give a precise brief when outsourcing work to online freelancer. The clearer your instructions the higher the chances of getting good results.
  • Build a good relationship with your online freelancers. If you are likely to be looking for help on a regular basis, i.e. copywriting or accounting, having a reliable freelancer at hand is invaluable
  • Know your limits. Sensible outsourcing is key to business success and it is crucial to know what parts of your business you can outsource to ensure best results