I’ve been doing an informal temperature check on the state of the freelancing industry, just to see what 2010 might hold for us in terms of gigs, pay and treating water financially. I can’t reveal my sources, so this won’t sound as authoritative as it could, but for all intents and purposes this is the way I see the wind blowing for the next six months to a year.
One caveat-this is by no means scientific. It’s just my version of reading the tea leaves, but my own personal leading indicators give me reason to believe good things are happening.
There are a few things I use as an indicator that things are trending up or down in the freelance world. One of them is client activity at content marketing companies. If clients aren’t buying, you can easily connect the dots to guess that ad budgets and marketing dollars are tight. My latest research tells me clients are buying again, and money has been shaken loose for 2010 that wasn’t all there for 2009.
Another indicator–one prominent new media figure who shall remain nameless (only because I don’t have time to explain why I use this person as a barometer) recently bailed on a very good gig at a strong firm and took his marketing skills into his own startup venture with a partner. This doesn’t necessarily mean anything at all, but it’s an indicator of this person’s confidence in the market, in the viability of online marketing and media. In other words, there is money to be made online, the bottom has not dropped out of writing, blogging, online marketing and other freelance-related issues.
The Dow closed above 10,000. More money in the markets means more confidence in other places. And that includes media–magazines, websites, blogs, etc.
The housing market is still in the toilet, and unemployment is awfully high in many states, but I do believe the state of freelancing as we round the corner into winter and a new year is looking awfully good–unless we experience another massive setback in the markets which forces more cuts in ad and marketing budgets, etc. Just my two cents.