Benchmark Bytes: In What Job Categories is the Freelance Economy Strongest?

As part of the ritual of examining local commerce and SMB Saas strategies, Localogy goes right to the source: SMBs themselves. How do they feel about marketing and operational software? What features do they want? And how has their hunger changed in a pandemic? This is all a moving target.

But as part of that excercise, we sometimes broaden the subject matter beyond traditional SMBs. In the latest Localogy study, done in collaboration with Mono Solutions, we looked specifically at freelancers. Why is this important? The Covid-driven “great resignation” has boosted the freelancer economy.

With that backdrop, who are freelancers and what makes them tick? The report, The Freelance Channel – A Growing Reseller Resource dives in. After examining high-level attributes for freelancers last week, we switch gears this week to drill down into how different-tenured freelancers map to job category.

Breaking down the results, less-tenured freelancers over-index in virtual assitants, marketing services and software development. More-tenured freelancers are meanwhile more prevalent in HR, Accounting and management consulting. These results were gathered in November 2020.

Localogy members can access full charts and SMB survey reports. Non-members can purchase reports

What Does it All Mean?

Going a bit deeper, a few things jump out at us:

– Similar to age-related factors we examined last week, less-tenured freelencers over-index in job categories that are more digital in nature (e.g.,marketing services and software development).

– In this sense, less-tenured freelancers align to some degree with younger individuals, who likewise overindex in digital-heavy fields like software development..

– These results speak to the greater degrees of technical savvy and software orientation among younger individuals.

– More-tenured freelancers converesely overindex in more traditional professional services like HR and accounting.

– Here again, there’s alignment with last week’s age-based results, where there’s a correlation between older individuals and more-tenured freelancers.

– For example, the biggest profession among freelancers with greater than five years experience is HR. That’s followed by accounting.

– In both of these fields, more-tenured individuals exclipse younger generations by a large margin.

– That situation is flipped in software development which is dominated by individuals with 1-5 years experience (60%).

–The story is similar in virtual assistants where with between 1-5 years freelancing experience have the greatest share.

The Freelance Channel – A Growing Reseller Resource

Time to Shine

Stepping back, SMB online marketing – website-based or otherwise – continues to grow rapidly.  SMB SaaS startups and online services providers are correspondingly thriving as it continues to grow as a leading subsector of the broader SaaS universe. There’s a long-tail opportunity at play.

Meanwhile, new SMB SaaS users could represent permanent adopters – a concept that’s accelerated in the Covid era as SMBs are forced to boost their digital transformation. This sends them into the arms of SaaS providers to accomplish a range of marketing and operational functions.

We’ll return in the next installment to go deeper into SMB marketing and website adoption. That will include their goals and success factors. Let us know what additional insights jump out at you from the above data, and stay tuned for more breakdowns in our Benchmark Bytes series.

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