The hot creative skills of 2022, which freelancers won’t want to be without

At the last count, there were nearly 1.3million job openings in the UK. This tells you everything you need to know about the number of opportunities available, whether permanent or freelance, right now.

The need to grow post-covid? Yes, that affects almost all businesses

This surge in demand for skills is taking place across the board – from transport to hospitality to creative and media industries, as businesses of all shapes, sizes and sectors look to equip themselves with the talent they need to grow post-pandemic.

Focusing specifically on the creative sector, here are some of the hottest freelance skills sought-after so far in 2022, based on our vast experience when placing freelancers in media, marketing, events and digital roles, writes Paul Farrer of recruitment giant Aspire.

1. Performance marketing

As businesses continue to ramp up their online capability, the rising demand for performance marketing freelancers – experts able to manage digital marketing and advertising campaigns – is of no real surprise.

From paid-advertising specialists to SEO experts and PPC consultants, this niche looks set to keep growing in 2022, as businesses increasingly lean on the support of freelancers able to create, deliver and manage entire online campaigns, as and when required.

2. User experience

As brands invest more in their digital offering (which is definitely a trend the pandemic accelerated), user experience specialists are becoming a real asset to businesses.

Whether it’s to support the development of mobile applications or websites, in this day and age the ability to offer customers a smooth, seamless customer experience isn’t a luxury anymore -- it’s a necessity.

3. Marketing analytics

Taking into account all of the above, it almost goes without saying that those freelancers able to offer businesses in-depth, real-time analysis of marketing performance are also in high demand!

With costs under more scrutiny than ever and budgets squeezed following coronavirus lockdowns, having full visibility of marketing performance and a clear return on investment is vital for any business.

4. Media planning

Despite it still being relatively early in 2022, media planning among businesses has already started for 2023!

It means that this time of year is always a busy one for media planners, who are needed to maximise the impact of advertising campaigns across a number of platforms.

5. Creative crafting

The above four are just a handful of the hottest skills of 2022 so far, and they’re also some of the most cutting-edge, innovative and evolving creative specialisms. But that’s not to say designers, copywriters, marketing managers and PR consultants aren’t of equal importance to businesses still adjusting to the ‘new normal.’

The latter creatives -- so those specialising in PR and campaigns, are doing particularly well, with rates of up to £400 a day in London (in our database at the time of writing), on a three-month freelance contract.

Our sense is that the need for creative freelancers has arguably never been higher, thanks to brands across the UK competing to capture the imagination of their customers and make up for time lost to covid-19.

Finally, five top work-winning tips for creative freelancers

If you’re already a freelancer or about to make the jump into freelancing, sourcing work through a reputable recruitment or staffing agency is a smart option. And choosing the best agency for your type of work – one that not only understands your skills but has plenty of opportunities too – will be critical. So here are five things to consider:

  1. Is the agency a member of APSCo or the REC (both industry bodies for the staffing sector)? You wouldn’t fly with an airline that wasn’t an ATOL member!
  2. Does the agency specialise in your discipline?
  3. Is the agency clearly committed to equity, diversity and inclusion? Those that are more likely to have the best, varied, vibrant freelance opportunities.
  4. One of the clear benefits of using a staffing agency is they handle the finances. You should therefore get paid on time and shouldn’t have to chase invoices. Check though -- is the agency itself financially sound, as a business?
  5. Is the agency keen or willing to meet you in person, either physically or over video? You want to develop a relationship with the person who is finding work for you. Something that’s now much more possible with the worst of covid hopefully behind us!


18th March 2022

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