It seems that the freelance industry is positively booming at the moment – this week Startups reported that London has experienced a 59% increase in freelance workers overall, and a 95% increase in female freelancers, since 2008. This is great news for both businesses who need a flexible and experienced workforce, and entrepreneurs alike.
These figures were revealed by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE), who say that there are now 159,200 freelancers in London alone, which represents 21% of the total UK freelancing population of around two million.
Why Are People Freelancing?
This does raise the question – why are so many people freelancing? The reason is partly due to the global, and national, economic situation. Many businesses have had cut back on staff to save money, and this has resulted in a rise in unemployment within the highly skilled workforce. Many people have decided to set up their own consultancy businesses, and become freelancers.
Freelancing in the City of London is certainly not a new phenomenon. Individuals have been working as contractors for decades, as it provides a way to work for some of the most exciting companies in the world, but on your own terms. As a contractor, or freelancer, you are essentially a service provider rather than an employee, and this almost always provides a better income while also being flexible and on the cutting edge of change in any industry.
Many people associate freelancers with IT and investment, but we are seeing freelancers in all types of career, from HR and project management to marketing and sales. For many people, it provides a fantastic opportunity to gain meaningful employment on a flexible basis.
Who Is Freelancing?
Freelancing is dominated by skilled professionals with many years’ experience. The average age of a London freelancer is 45, which is younger than the national average of 47. For women who have had children, freelancing is often an easier way back into the workforce – while a business may not be keen to employ a 45-year-old who has been out of the workforce for a decade, a freelancer may come across as an intelligent and highly skilled professional who is offering to work on a flexible basis. It’s a win-win.
Benefits Of Using Freelancers
As already touched upon, freelancers can be very beneficial for businesses. Often, a company will need additional help for a limited time, such as work on a project or help with managing changes within an organisation.
While employing a permanent member of staff may seem like a good idea, a freelance contractor will not only require no training and hit the ground running, but also bring a fresh perspective to the company. Sometimes a freelancer is only required for a few months, but many companies may have projects that run for several years.
Here at Freelance SEO Essex, we started out as SEO freelancers, helping businesses across Essex with their SEO campaigns. Over the years, we have grown and hired some permanent members of staff to help manage our ever-growing client base and network of freelance professionals, who provide expertise in copywriting, PPC and graphic design, without which we would not be able to provide such a high-quality service to our customers.
Freelancing is certainly booming for us. To learn how it can help your business grow, contact Freelance SEO Essex today.