Professional Ethics for Freelance Marketing Jobs

Once virtually unheard of, freelance marketing jobs have exploded into visibility the last few years. Advances in communications technology have made it easy for freelancers to connect with employers. The employers can concentrate on the nuts and bolts of their businesses while the freelance marketers achieve unprecedented freedom in their careers. However, freedom doesn't mean freelance marketing jobs don't operate within ethical considerations. Here are a few of these considerations.

Honesty and Honor

Marketing can be a highly competitive and even cutthroat business, but that's no reason to engage in unethical behavior. When making a claim for your client or his product, make sure to stick to the facts. Do not falsify or invent attributes for the product. Emphasizing the positive and ignoring the negative is a marketer's job, but outright fabrication is not. You might get away with dishonesty for a while, but it will almost certainly come back to bite you and your client. A bad reputation is not worth the risk.

If the client insists you push something that is not true or is dangerous, you might be better off looking for another client, even if it costs you a job in the short run. As a freelancer, your career depends on your reputation. Make sure yours stands for integrity.

Confidentiality

A big part of maintaining that reputation is keeping your client's sensitive information confidential. You will be privy to your employer's business strategies and product information. Hold this information in strictest confidence, even when you are no longer employed by that person. Don't make offhand remarks or even hints to friends and colleagues, especially when you are off the job. If word gets around that you have divulged secret information, be prepared for a long dry spell. Few clients will take a chance with somebody who might reveal sensitive data.

Accountability

Take responsibility for your actions in freelance marketing jobs. If you have made an error in judgment as far as marketing a product or event, own up to it. It is not easy, but getting chewed out for not revealing it when you had the chance will be worse.

One of the most difficult errors to own up to is if you find out the product or service you are promoting is hazardous or dangerous. You need to fight for your client's integrity as hard as possible, but if it is proven beyond the shadow of a doubt that there is a legitimate problem, both you and the client need to focus on repairing the damage. Above all, do not "ditch" the client once this kind of a problem emerges, unless the client is unwilling to try to repair the damage. Loyalty in hard times is also an ethical decision.

Simple Decency

Even in a world of "guerrilla marketing," basic standards of conduct should apply. Trying to get an advantage on a competitor is never wrong, but slinging mud, using insults and employing other harsh tactics are poor strategies in the long run. People don't like loud bullies, so try a different method in your freelance marketing jobs.