Freelance Market Research Jobs: What to Expect

Freelance market research is a bit different from the agency version of the role. The relationship with clients is on a different level, and the workload is different. Freelance market research can be a great career option and has excellent upside potential in terms of achievement.

The Work Environment

Freelance market research includes all facets of the work:

  • Surveys
  • Demography
  • Market segmentation
  • Analysis
  • “Number crunching”
  • Reporting

You will find there’s a lot of actual work involved. The first major difference between freelance market research and agency work is that you may find yourself responsible for all these functions, not just one or a few. As you will have instantly recognized, that can be a very different ball game, particularly in more advanced jobs and dealing with a lot of data.

The reason for this sudden increase in workload is that freelance market researchers, unless outsourcing for agencies, get the whole job, not just part of it. You have, in effect, become an agency, or part of one. You may be collaborating with others and pitching for bigger roles or, if you’re a specialist, dealing with specific functions.

Time Management

Time management is an essential skill in freelance market research. Like agency work, everything works on time frames. This tends to bank up when it gets to the reporting stage, which may include full presentation preparation. You have to work very efficiently and preferably well inside deadlines. Use a task-based approach, aiming at reliable progression of the work.

Quality Issues

Above all, allow some time for quality control.  This is the marketing industry, and it’s an often picky environment. Make sure your presentation looks good, and your content quality is excellent. Use a good market-standard template for your finished products. (You may also need to check regarding client requirements for information formatting. Some use their own report formats, etc.)

Client Relationships

A big issue in freelance market research work is working with people. This is a critical area because communications need to be good when working with technical issues and market research objectives. Your phone and your email can be a great help in getting clear answers and explanations regarding jobs.

Finding Freelance Market Research Jobs Online

The best place to start looking for freelance market research jobs online is on specialist freelance sites like the major US site www.ifreelance.com. This is a bidding site where freelancers compete for jobs and give quotes for their work. This is “market research” of a kind itself because you can see at a glance what rates people are charging for the different types of job. Check out thoroughly how the bidding system operates and select jobs on the basis of your strongest skill areas.

These are contract jobs. Your role is specified, and you can evaluate the job in terms of contract specifications--very useful in terms of forward planning. You’ll notice from the job ads that some people in this field are in fact small agencies, freelancers with extra capacity for workloads. This is an indicator of the needs of the job, and you may want to consider your options for some tasks involved in the contracts.