The need for freelancers is increasing dramatically, and that's cool because freelancers are great.
They are cheaper than hiring a full-time specialist.
They are really super effective for project-based work.
They are better at delivering tailored services than agencies.
They are highly skilled.
I've run an experiment. On Google, I typed 'freelance marketing consultant'. Look at what I found!
False expectations on PeoplePerHour.
PeoplePerHour appears almost on top of the search results. Along with Fiverr, it is one of the favourite freelancing platforms for companies in desperate need of a quick fix.
You would find anything on there and at any price, like these examples from Hannah L. and Rick C.:
Here you go, ladies and gents, Hannah thinks the cost of a social media strategy is no more than £30. It's like trying to buy a new car for 2p. Seriously, let's get a sense of reality, please. The trouble with this type of freelancing platforms is that the client sets the price. And as we can see, we can't trust you, client, to know what you are talking about, primarily because if you did, you would do it yourself.
Fear of scams.
It is inevitable. Working with a consultant implies that you will have to trust their skills and their expertise. As a result, a lot of individuals prefer to turn to PeoplePerHour or similar platforms to find the skills they need at a price they are happy with. The low price only reflects the level of risk they accept to take.
So Hannah doesn't know anything about social media. As a result she's aware that she needs a hand. But she also needs to cap her budget in case she hires someone who's trying to take advantage of her social media ignorance.
Fair price model.
Hiring a marketing consultant is not easily done, especially when you need to agree on a price that is fair for the client and the consultant. Most consultants are happy to work with a value-based model which focuses on the value you place in their services.
VentureHarbour explains this model very well. It is about agreeing on 3 levels of compensations.
- A delayed success compensation: e.g. 25% of the incremental growth delivered by the consultant at the end of the project, when the objective is met. So if I promise to deliver additional £1 million in 12months and succeed, you'll pay me £250,000.
- A delayed failure compensation: e.g. 20% of the incremental growth delivered by the consultant at the end of the project, when the objective is not met. So If I only deliver £0.5 million increase, you only own me £100,000 (20% of the increase).
- Standard service fee: This fee will be paid at a regular basis for my services. We also agree that if my services don't deliver any revenue increase, there will be no additional compensation. This method is more cost-effective than hiring a specialist full-time or working with a consulting agency.
Establishing a fair price model enables you, as a client, to know that your consultant will be dedicated to hitting your growth target.
The cost of an expert.
A marketing consultant is an expert who analyses your data and provides an effective and tailored strategy. Success needs understanding, understanding needs time, and time is money. In short, you won't find a cheap expert.
But it doesn't mean marketing consultants are expensive.
A marketing consultant daily rate varies in average from £150 to £2000, depending on the type of sectors they work in and the level of expertise they provide. While you may not always want to hit the high end of the scale, if you want an expert job well done, you'll need to move away from freelancing platforms.
Are cheap consultants money-saving?
So you think turning to PeoplePerHour and similar platforms for your marketing strategy can save you a lot of money? Let's take a look.
Print-Print, a small printing company, bought a full-on SEO strategy for £300. In 2012 the first Penguin update crashed their rankings and caused a drop in sales of over £60,000 that they couldn't improve for the first 18 months after the update.
PressForPT, a fitness startup, posted in 2015 a job for growth hacking for £150 per week. Since then they spent over £5,000 with different growth consultants while still not receiving any growth in sales.
If you think cheap is good, think again. Quality has a price and pays off over time.
What's missing on PeoplePerHour?
You get the quality you pay for. Freelancing platforms often don't allow for side factors to develop such as:
- Time to understand your needs.
- Time to analyse your marketing operations.
- Desire to establish a successful and long-lasting relationship.
- Sense of caring for your objectives.
- Expert tools and skills available on the market.
- Honest and trustful collaboration.
For £30, Hannah will get a bullet-point list of Facebook activities that will not deliver the growth she needs. So think again next time you choose cheap over quality.