It’s no secret that the freelance economy is growing. More than a third of the current U.S. workforce identifies itself as independent, and a new report by marketing talent platform Wripple illustrates just how much of today's freelance workforce now counts marketing professionals as well.

According to the report, which surveyed marketing/creative freelancers and the companies that hire them regarding the challenges and opportunities that exist in today’s freelance marketing space, both freelancers and companies generally hold positive views about their collaborations. According to the report, 90 percent of freelancers and 99 percent of companies that hire them said they’re satisfied with the freelance work arrangements they have. More than half (51 percent) of companies that use freelancers said they get a good value for the quality of the work that’s delivered, a level of satisfaction that has increased 15 percent since 2022. For freelancers, that satisfaction is also up by virtually the same amount: 14 percent

What’s more, 82 percent of freelancers said they anticipate the number of opportunities they accept will increase in the next two years. On the other side of things, 92 percent of companies said they similarly expect to increase the volume of the freelance work they hire.

Wripple’s “2024 Team Up Report” surveyed more than 400 marketing/creative freelancers and companies in late 2023

When it comes to the type of work organizations are hiring marketing freelancers to do, marketing creative (87 percent), technology (78 percent), media (75 percent), data and analytics (74 percent), experience design (74 percent), artificial intelligence (71 percent), strategy and planning (63 percent), multimedia content (51 percent) and project management (36 percent) were named as the marketing gigs with the most demand.

However, the freelancer’s role within the marketing workplace comes with limitations as well as persistent cultural and operational differences, suggesting companies would be wise to engage with the freelance staff they hire and ask them how their relationship might be improved. For example, while a majority of freelancers (53 percent) think the freelance experience should have stronger standards and professionalism put into place, less than a third of companies (30 percent) believe this is a present issue. And while nearly half (47 percent) of freelancers think the freelancing world faces persistent operational challenges and has a long way to go before it’s managed and viewed as a core part of a company’s workforce, only a little more than a third (36 percent) of companies that hire freelancers believe such challenges persist.

Overall, 79 percent of freelancers believe the role of freelancing isn’t managed consistently in ways that make it integral to a company’s workforce. Similarly, 75 percent of companies that hire freelancers believe freelancing’s overall role in its workforce is constrained.

According to freelancers, other ever-present challenges in the freelance world include a lack of professionalism or partnership (42 percent), a lack of clarity regarding the work (38 percent), a poor cultural and/or team fit (31 percent), a lack of expertise (31 percent) and lack of management (30 percent).

The top reasons freelancers say they stop working with a client include operational challenges (63 percent), a lack of professionalism and partnership (49 percent) and a lack of commitment to DEI (36 percent).

On the other side, the top reasons why a business decides not to move forward with a freelancer includes that person not being a good fit (22 percent), the talent asks for too much money (20 percent) or the talent asks for money too low to be taken seriously (18 percent).

According to the report, staffing firms are a popular route for part-time freelancers to find work, but full-time freelancers are more likely to rely on company acquisition teams, their own marketing or talent marketplaces.

Despite recent freelancer growth, the report found that the average full-time freelancer has been in the freelance market for between five and six years.

Wripple’s “2024 Team Up Report” surveyed more than 400 marketing/creative freelancers and companies in late 2023.