March 8, 2021

New Year, New Freelance Career? New data shows significant increase in searches for freelance services

For anyone looking to make the leap into self-employment, the moment might just have arrived. Insurance broker PolicyBee has uncovered that online searches for freelancers increased over the last year, particularly for individuals with digital marketing skills.

So, while the pandemic has been an understandable challenge for most businesses, the freelance area of the job market seems to have benefitted. In particular, searches for freelancers with SEO skills made a year-on-year increase of over 90% in 2020. 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, behind the consistently popular web development freelancers who 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. Other statistics from the data include:

• 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%

Indeed, it is no secret that covid-19 has driven businesses into allowing typically office-based staff 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. Equally, the economic uncertainty that the pandemic has brought with it will no doubt have steered some employers towards freelancers as a way of avoiding the bigger commitment of full-time employees.

Kerri-Ann Hockley, head of customer service at PolicyBee, commented: “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. 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. 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. 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!”

For more information on most in-demand freelance skills 2020 visit https://www.policybee.co.uk/blog/most-in-demand-freelance-skills