Digital freelancers riding off 'peaks and troughs'

Finding a digital agency likely to have ‘peaks and troughs’ in its workload remains the best bet for freelancers in the sector to pick up work, a UK-wide analysis shows.

Having quizzed 132 digital industry leaders over the summer, E-consultancy found that the need to manage “fluctuations in work-stream” was still the most common reason for agencies to outsource project parts.

And when they do export work, contract and freelance workers are the likeliest recipients – in fact more than half (53%) of the time, ahead of other agencies and specialist production companies.

One-person creators being in front of better-resourced outfits may relate to the mark-up agencies charge - 38%, whereas freelancers, rather modestly, only charge for about 70% of the time they put in.

The more technical the work - the less likely freelancers will feel hard done by for missing out on the remaining 30%, or so it appears, as assignments requiring strong tech nous tend to be the top payers.

For example, the service paid the highest amount for by the UK agencies was for Microsoft .Net, with such freelance programmers commanding an average daily rate of £640.

AJAX development, CSS and HTML all emerged as a close second in terms of its likelihood to be outsourced, but the latter skill, specifically version 5, is yet to live up to expectations of overtaking its closest rival.

E-consultancy reflected: “Although Flash has been said to be in decline recently, those predicting its demise may be premature, as almost 100% of the respondents said that Flash design and build skills are the most required by their agency”.

As to the overall picture, the group added: “This survey shows that outsourcing to agencies and freelancers works well for those who find the right people. Official Website:

“Outsourcing can be a highly effective way for agencies to access skills and digital knowledge that they don’t possess in house.”


11th October 2012

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