We hear of freelance writers, freelance editors, and freelance designers, but rarely do we hear of freelance "marketers." But that is beginning to change. Now that telecommuting is commonplace and workers are more mobile, freelance marketers are starting to sprout up all over the place.
Though searching for the right people means reviewing their background and experiences, you can't even get that far if you don't know where to find such people in the first place. Fortunately, one good place to start is a tool you are using right now: the Internet. Another is that always trusty resource: networking. If you're looking for industry-specific help, through networking you're more likely to find marketers who have contacts and experience in the industry.
Read on for other sage advice from your peers about using these two methods to find freelance marketers.
Finding the perfect name.
Help Wanted: Where are the experienced freelance marketers?
I recently was hired as the marketing director of a small manufacturing company. I have two other marketers on my staff, but in order to accomplish everything the CEO wants to do, I need to periodically hire additional contract marketers or vendors.
In my last job, I had a regular stable of people who attended staff tradeshows, wrote and designed brochures and direct mail campaigns, responded personally to emails from existing online marketing campaigns and so on. But I’m in another city now and am not sure where to turn for help. The previous marketing director left on poor terms, and I’d be embarrassed to ask the CEO. Where's the best place to find experienced marketing help at a reasonable rate—either budgeting per hour or per project?
—Tamiel, Marketing Director
Tamiel, there are plenty of resources to help you find the freelance marketing talent you need. Readers recommend following these two approaches:
1. Use the Internet
2. Focus on networking
If you rely on those two avenues, you’re sure to find a freelance marketer that is a good fit and meets your requirements.
Use the Internet
There are several agencies on the Internet that post jobs for freelance marketers and represent freelance talent for businesses. A reader recommends www.aquent.com, a freelance recruitment agency. This agency is available in Canada and England, so it has an international network.
The reader also references www.LinkedIn.com, a professional social-networking Web site. Users can find opportunities by searching job titles, geography, or both to find professionals with skills you need in the locations you want, if location is important.
Andrew Olsen, account directory with Strategic Fundraising, points to one thing—www.talentzoo.com.
Another site recommended by an anonymous reader posts jobs and bios for freelance talent from around the world, including marketers: www.allfreelancework.com.
If you don’t want to go through an online service or agency, you can also have good luck by posting an ad for exactly the type of talent you need. One reader recommends www.craigslist.org as a valuable resource for finding people in specific cities around the world. All you have to do is post an ad in the "marketer" category, and then wait to see who responds to your ad.
Andrea J. Stenberg, freelance commercial writer, agrees that searching for freelance marketers online is the best way:
In Canada try www.jeffgaulin.com—this site caters to journalism, but you'll also find commercial writers. Another site is www.wellfedwriter.com, a site for commercial freelance writers. The writers' forum attached to that site has members from all over the world.
These two sites focus more on writers than marketers, but maybe they'll have information to help find freelance marketers. You can also find freelance marketers by using a search engine with keywords of "freelance marketer" or "freelance marketing." The search engine returns plenty of results that will keep you busy for a while. Employing a freelance marketer or agency to market your tour also provides insight into finding the right person or agency.
Focus on networking
Not fond of spending too much time on the computer? The age-old technique of networking also works quite well for enabling you to find freelance talent. And it can help you make specific connections in your industry for freelance marketers who already understand your business before they begin working with you.
John Brady, vice-president with Business and Legal Reports, encourages networking, among other things:
Network, network, network. And go ahead and ask your new boss. On the other hand, even in another city, there is probably not much reason why you couldn't use your old stable again, unless they need to be in your office. Go to trade shows and read the industry newsletters: a lot of the people speaking/writing are there to try to drum up consulting business. If you see ads you like, try to find out who wrote them.
If you rely on the Internet and networking and have a clear idea of the type of freelance help you need, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for. And you may be surprised at just how quickly the right person appears.
Next Marketing Challenge: Can You Help?
It's not unusual for companies to have two names: the company name and the brand name. I'm curious how marketers and others go about searching for the perfect name. How do you find a dream name for your company or brand?
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