Online searches on Google for freelancers has increased over the past year, particularly for those with digital marketing skills, according to a report by insurance broker PolicyBee.
So, while the pandemic has been an understandable challenge for most businesses, searches for freelancers with SEO skills made a year-on-year increase of over 90% in 2020, according to Google statitsics.
Searches for copywriters went up 26% last year (43% over the past three years) and are now the second most searched for freelancers from all sectors. Consistently popular web development freelancers continue to remain at the top of the table.
“Perhaps it is no surprise that these services are increasing in popularity as the commercial world becomes more digitally-focused in response to a global pandemic that is forcing people to stay home,” said Policy Bee.
- Over 13% rise in searches for graphic design services in 2020
- Searches for Pay Per Click (PPC) and social media freelancers both jumped by 31% in 2020
- Marketing freelance services were also in demand with searches increasing last year by over 18%
Covid-19 has driven businesses into allowing typically office-based staff have more flexible, remote working practices that would historically have been reserved for freelancers. This shift has enabled otherwise traditional companies to trial a less restrictive working approach that may well have proven surprisingly successful, said the report.
Equally, the economic uncertainty that the pandemic has brought will no doubt have steered some employers towards freelancers as a way of avoiding the bigger commitment of full-time employees.
“With so much uncertainty across the job market at the moment, it is encouraging to see that there are plenty of opportunities to be found if you are willing to take the plunge into freelancing, particularly if you have digital marketing skills,” said Kerri-Ann Hockley, head of customer service at PolicyBee.
Hockley said for those who do decide to go self-employed, it is important to ensure you do some basic preparation, making sure you have a plan to handle important areas such as the accounts and IT.
Freelancers and small business owners as of this year will have greater protections for prompt payments for their products and services, as previously reported by The Freelance Informer. To learn more click here.
“It’s also important to protect yourself with adequate insurance. For example, professional indemnity insurance protects freelancers against allegations from clients that they have not carried out their job properly. In addition, office and property insurance covers the workplace and equipment you need to do your job, even if your office is your garden shed.”
She added, “Once you have everything in place, the only thing you need to worry about is what jobs you want to go for. Hopefully, with the freelance market growing, the world will be your oyster!”