Are you great at getting Instagram followers? Got a TikTok routine that’s nearly guaranteed to go viral? Or are you simply smart at understanding the keywords that can make a blog post stand out? These are key skills required to profit from a booming market for marketing experts.
And, where getting a six-figure job in marketing once required a college degree, all you need to make six figures today is results. This is the job companies are most likely to outsource worldwide, accounting for 33% of freelancer job requests, according to new research by Remote.com, a global payroll and human resources firm. And the average hourly rate paid to these freelance marketing experts was $70.75 — the equivalent of a $141,500 annual salary.
Booming market for marketing
What’s causing this booming market for marketing expertise? Largely market fragmentation, says Jim McCoy, senior vice president of enterprise solutions for ManpowerGroup Solutions in Boston. Corporate marketers traditionally serve as the strategic bridge between a company’s public relations and advertising departments, ensuring that companies portray a consistent image in both news and advertising.
But that job has become increasingly complex as a plethora of new social media platforms emerged and became communication powerhouses, connecting with billions of people around the world. Now, to effectively communicate, companies need experts on dozens of different social media sites. And no two platforms are alike.
“You have to understand what consumers respond to on each platform,” McCoy says. “TikTok tends to be more raw and personal; Instagram more polished; Facebook more staid. And then, of course, you have traditional newspapers and magazines.”
Thus, companies are turning to freelance experts who specialize in these niche markets.
The variety of work in this field is vast. You can specialize in social media strategy — i.e. which platforms deliver the best results for different types of companies. Or drill down to communicating on specific social media platforms — from Twitter to TikTok. You can focus on search engine optimization — i.e. getting noticed by Google. Or ply your skills in paid advertising, email, influencer, or content marketing.
There’s also a specialty niche for “conversion” marketing, which aims to boost the number of people who go from learning about a company to becoming its customers. And, again, you don’t need a degree to establish your credentials here.
“Many of the best people in the business are self-taught,” says McCoy. “It starts with a side hustle and often goes on to becoming a career.”
A number of marketing platforms make it easy for freelance specialists to connect with work. Most don’t require a college degree. But they do ask that marketers fill out a detailed resume that includes their past experience and results. For instance, a marker may say that they grew an Instagram account from 0 – 10,000 followers in 6 months. Or increased sales conversions 25% through website updates. Or boosted the open and response rate on company email campaigns.
Some of the best options?
Mayple enlists seasoned freelancers — those with at least two years of experience — to work with its corporate clients. If accepted to the platform, freelancers are matched with clients via an algorithm that takes 25 factors into account. They also go through an interview and proposal process with the potential client before being assigned a job. A site spokesman says freelancers typically earn between $50 and $200 an hour, depending on the complexity of the job and the freelancer’s experience.
Marketer Hire also carefully screens freelancers wanting to sign up on its site, asking for detailed listings of prior work and results. If accepted, the site allows marketing experts to set their own rates and specialties. The site charges clients for its matchmaking services. It does not impose a commission on freelancer pay.
Global staffing giant Robert Half also helps marketing experts find full- and part-time work, as well as contract positions. This site works with marketers of all skill levels, so you don’t need the extensive experience demanded by Mayple and Marketer Hire. Not surprisingly, pay will vary greatly based on your experience level.
Offers marketing services as part of a broader suite of freelance specialities, including tech, accounting and customer support help. Freelancers are paid based on their skill level, with beginners and non-U.S. workers earning as little as $5 or $10 per hour. However, experienced freelancers typically earn between $30 and $75 per hour.
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