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Make the Jump from FTE to a Freelance Marketing Career


March 30, 2021


January 19, 2022

Most of us have been working remotely for a full year now. We've struggled to balance 9–5 jobs with all-the-time family commitments, passion projects, or self-care journeys. After a year of that, you may be thinking about making the switch from full-time to a freelance marketing job. We caught up with some of our Right Side Up consultants that made the jump to discuss the pros and cons of going freelance.

Why Switch to Freelance Marketing Now?

In 2020, the pandemic forced a massive shift in the acceptance of remote work. That sparked companies to adopt new policies, tools, and cultural norms. Business as usual continued from home offices, kitchen tables, and couches across the globe. As a result, the past year proved that remote work is feasible. And beyond that, it showed that a remote workforce can be highly effective and cost efficient. 

As barriers to remote work continue to soften, businesses are becoming less hesitant to hire marketing freelancers that work remotely. They're also more willing than ever to take on part-time, external contractors. And the timing couldn’t be better. About 90% of companies believe a blended workforce of full-time employees and freelancers will offer them future competitive advantages. 

The demand for highly skilled part-time marketing freelancers is particularly notable now. Businesses are seeking on-demand support to drive direct, digital relationships with consumers in the uncertain, post-COVID landscape. Right Side Up helps consultants take advantage of that demand by connecting them with a range of freelance marketing jobs. Our freelancers work with early-stage ventures, fast-growing tech companies, and well-established Fortune 500 teams. Think of us as your built-in business development partner.

Freedoms of Freelance Marketing Jobs

Swapping your full-time job for a freelance marketing job can open up a world of opportunities. But don’t take our word for it—here’s what members of our Right Side Up team have been up to since ditching their FTE grind:

Explore the world as a digital nomad

Charles Daly is currently spending time in Strasbourg, France. But prior to that, freelancing gave him the flexibility to travel the world and help his father, a 93-year-old Korean War veteran who worked with President Kennedy, write his memoirs. 

“I've worked from three continents and I don't know how many time zones. I love the freedom and flexibility of freelancing. I love that I get paid for my work, not for my attendance in an office.” Charles Daly, freelance long-form writer

“The freelance lifestyle allowed us to hop around Europe for four months—we came home right before Covid hit. We traveled through Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Greece, Israel, Jordan, and Spain! We would spend the daytime sightseeing, at the beach, etc. and then work after dinner, since everyone in the U.S. was awake during that time.” Jill Parkinson, freelance media planner

“I have worked from Thailand, Indonesia, Pakistan, Colombia and others. Pretty much a digital nomad.” Adnan Jehan, freelancer specializing in SEM, paid social, and growth marketing

Charles Daly's freelance marketing career gives him the flexibility to travel the world, with stops including this market in Cork, Ireland.
Market Day, Bantry, Co. Cork, Ireland, Photo Credit: Charles Daly
Pura Luhur Lempuyang Temple in Bali, Indonesia
Pura Luhur Lempuyang Temple, Bali, Indonesia, Photo Credit: Adnan Jehan
Sunset in Rovinj, Croatia, Photo Credit: Jill Parkinson
View of Oia in Santorini, Greece
View of the town of Oia in Santorini, Greece, Photo Credit: Jill Parkinson

Become a more present parent

Maybe you’re more of a homebody because you’ve got little ones to take care of. Freelancing can give you the flexibility to spend more time with your kids, or at least more time shuttling them between appointments and activities.

“I decided to pursue consulting/freelancing after I returned to work from my first maternity leave. I realized a strict office schedule at a demanding startup was going to be hard to balance with kids. Between doctor's appointments, school days off, parent teacher conferences, and activities, I needed to be able to find a better balance between my work time and my personal time.” Maggie Warner, freelancer specializing in performance marketing, D2C marketing, growth marketing, and ecommerce operations

Dive into creative projects

Freelancing gives Mack Rivkin the flexibility to pursue fascinating side projects. He's managing mural artist Carly Veronica’s business strategy, launching a business with chef Mael Raoult that combines food and art in innovative ways, and building out his ultimate #vanlife dwelling.

A freelance marketing career gives Mack Rivkin time to manage artists, like Carly Veronica who painted this mural in Ventura, California.
Mural by Carly Veronica located in Ventura, California, Photo Credit: Carly Veronica
Colorful mural located in Bir Billing India by Carly Veronica
Mural by Carly Veronica in Bir Billing, India, Photo Credit: Ankit Gupta

“Freelancing has given me the freedom and flexibility to make use of my waking hours how I want to. It's also given me the opportunity to dive into cool side projects, like streaming on Twitch and helping my father-in-law build a mountain bike brand!” Connie Ngo, freelancer specializing in paid search and media acquisition, growth marketing strategy, and conversion rate optimization

Learn across different clients and industries

Working in-house can sometimes feel like you’re destined to fall into a rut. But as a freelance marketer, you’ll have opportunities to work with a range of clients and keep your skills sharp.

“One of the things I love about freelancing is getting to see how different businesses operate, especially at different phases of their lifecycle. That viewpoint makes me stronger for all of my brands because I can really form a POV on what the brand/client needs, and not just a recommendation based on my limited scope from working at in-house brands.” Maggie Warner, freelancer specializing in performance marketing, D2C marketing, growth marketing, and ecommerce operations

“You get to see a lot of processes, perspectives, and softwares that you might not get full-time in-house because you are working with several different clients at a time.” Jill Parkinson, freelance media planner

“Basically, freelancing is like a buffet while in-house roles are like a regular restaurant meal. Full-time in-house roles will help you build the foundational skills and give you structure to understand best practices, but freelancing is limitless—it's going to be as effective of a learning experience as what you're willing and able to put on your plate.” Connie Ngo, freelancer specializing in paid search and media acquisition, growth marketing strategy, and conversion rate optimization

Find a better balance

If logging 40+ hours during the Monday through Friday work week isn’t your style, freelancing offers a more balanced approach. You can work (or not work) whenever you want. That means more time for midday yoga, freedom to embrace your creativity at 3 a.m., or enjoying a four-day weekend every weekend.

“The nicest thing about the freelance lifestyle is setting my own work pace. If I want to get up at six in the morning and finish all my work by noon I can do that! If I want to take a Wednesday off and get a massage, I can do that. If I want to work all Saturday night because I work best at nights, that's an option too. If you're organized and responsible, there is a lot of flexibility.” Jill Parkinson, freelance media planner

“Freelancing allows me to work AND take breaks in ways that best fit my ideal life and work styles. I work in sprints these days, basically taking the “work hard, play harder” philosophy to heart.” Connie Ngo, freelancer specializing in paid search and media acquisition, growth marketing strategy, and conversion rate optimization

What’s the Catch?

At Right Side Up, we’re obviously big fans of remote freelance work. But before swapping full-time employment to go it alone, there are a few things to consider:

  • You’re a one-person business; it’s not just about getting the work done, you’ll have to keep finding work and building client relationships 
  • Benefits aren’t guaranteed, putting the responsibility of handling health insurance, retirement planning, and time off in your hands
  • In-house HR teams are still sorting out how to effectively support freelancers, but they’re taking steps to adapt
  • Organization is key; between billing, accounting, legal considerations, and reporting, you’ll have to get comfortable spinning a few plates

How Right Side Up Can Help You Start Freelance Marketing

If you’re ready to find a freelance marketing job that fits your lifestyle, Right Side Up is here for you. We help with your business development and hook you up to a pipeline of clients looking to hire marketing freelancers. As part of Right Side Up’s talent network, you’ll get an inside look at the marketing teams of some of the fastest-growing companies, like DoorDash, Crunchbase, and Zenefits.

We take care of all client contracting, invoicing, billing, and payments so you can focus on what you do best. And if any problems arise, we’ve got your back and will advocate on your behalf to make things right. We even have a supportive Slack community of full-time, part-time, and flexible freelancers to help you out along the way.

Whether you’ve dabbled in freelance before or this is your first time exploring life beyond the 9–5, now is the perfect time to dive into remote freelancing as a growth marketer. With hundreds of highly skilled marketing professionals in our talent network, Right Side Up can help you launch your freelance career and find the freedom you’ve always wanted. Get started here!

Jes Parker is a writer and content marketer with experience creating B2B and consumer-facing assets that build brands and make complex concepts more human. She has worked with companies and nonprofits like Highstead Foundation, Trust for Public Land, Harvard University, the Museum of the City of New York, and Times Square Alliance to craft accessible and engaging content strategies.

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Let's talk growth

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Let's talk growth

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