November 1, 2011 Jason

5 Types of Freelancers for Small Businesses

If you’re running a small business in Victoria and don’t have a list of local freelancers at your disposal, you’re either paying too much or not getting the quality you need – or even worse – it might be both.

Most small businesses understand the need to advertise, especially for those just starting up, hoping to create an awareness around their brand.  The challenge is, money is tight.  If you think an ad agency is the only option, you might be surprised to learn how much you can do yourself.  While an ad agency is great for creating a comprehensive campaign, it can be a huge expense. I agree that this is an investment, but if you don’t have the cash flow to keep your business running, it doesn’t matter how many people hear about you. There are many things you can do initially to keep the costs in line, without sacrificing quality. If you can do some project management, here are five ways that a freelancer can help your business:

  1. Freelance Copywriter – whether it’s the words on your website, on your brochure, in an ad, or on your menu – a freelance copywriter can compel your audience to take the action you dictate. But a freelance copywriter can do more than that – they can help you apply for grants to find more money for your business or reply to RFPs to help you land bigger and better projects.
  2. Freelance Designer – you can use a graphic designer to layout your brochure, create an impressive logo, design an effective direct mail piece, or form the graphics standards for your small business, ensuring your brand image is consistent and effective.
  3. Freelance Web Designer/Web Programmer – while a freelance coder is likely a less frequently used option for your small business, it can be a huge savings right up front.  A personal geek to help you create the online experience you want for your customers, including your social media presence.  Instead of choosing a pre-made template, you can have a web designer create a custom look to accurately represent your brand online.  In addition to creating your website, a programmer can help you create the software tools you need to run your business more efficiently.
  4. Freelance Social Media Marketer – If you’re not quite ready to dip your own toes in the pool of social media, either due to a lack of time, interest, or understanding, you can hire a freelance social media marketer to help you find the path that will meet your online needs.  Your online marketer can help you create a conversation within the social media neighbourhoods, create effective campaigns to develop a solid fan base, or help you with your online advertising options, ensuring you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
  5. Virtual Assistant – A virtual assistant (VA) can give you one of the most precious resources available – time.  What a VA can do for you is pretty unlimited, especially if you’ve chosen one with a boatload of initiative.  A VA can research your competition, find grants applicable to your business, source RFPs for you to bid on, review resumes, schedule appointments, and much more.  Once they’ve found the info you need, they can project manage the other freelancers to help you get what you need done. The only limitation is the lack of a physical presence, but your savings more than makes up for that.  If you’re considering a personal assistant, but not sure if you can justify the cost, look for a Virtual Assistant so you can focus on the part of your business that fuels your passion.

As with everything about your business, it’s important to choose the right tool for the job.  When choosing a freelancer, look at the companies they’ve worked with before.  Talk to their previous clients, and look at the actual results.  You probably have more time than money available, so invest it in hiring local freelancers to help you build your business. The ROI will be worth the effort, and you’ll be able to control your cash flow much easier.  When you need a full marketing campaign, you’ll be able to make the investment required with an ad agency – unless you’re like many clients who enjoy being part of the process and continue working with local freelance talent.

These are just a few of the talents available in the freelance world – but there are many more, including:

  • Accountants/Bookkeepers
  • Freelance Videographers
  • Freelance Photographers
  • Traditional Marketers
  • Public Relations Experts
  • Caterers
  • Promoters
  • Business Coach
  • Motivational Coach
  • Productivity Experts
  • IT Consultants

 

And many more – if you’re not sure if there’s a freelance option to meet you need, leave me a note and I will find one for you!

 

 

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