How The Creative Industry Is Leading The Freelance Charge

How The Creative Industry Is Leading The Freelance Charge

The way the world works is changing! With a huge shift towards freelancing, we’re taking more control than ever before over how we work. And thanks to research from Vidsy’s Big Creator Survey, we know the creative industry is leading the way…

With our Big Creator Survey, we wanted to know how creatives work, what drives them to create, and where they think the industry is heading. We’ll be releasing our insights week by week, just to keep you on your toes.

Starting with the first in the series: how the creative industry is leading the freelance charge…


EVERYBODY’S DOING IT

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Whether you identify as freelance full-time, or you’ve got a little side hustle on the go, a whopping 95% of creators work freelance in some capacity.

The majority of creators who responded to our Big Creator Survey claimed the freedom of working for yourself was the main motivation for freelancing. “To be able to wake up and decide for yourself what you’ll do to grow” said one creator, “I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything else”.

It’s this freedom of working for yourself that allows 66% of creators (the biggest chunk, in fact), to use the time and money to pursue their ambitions as a creative artist. With more control, comes clearer ambition.

And the U.S. are masters of this way of working. A huge 97% of creators work freelance at some point in their professional year, compared to 91% in Europe.


IT’S ALL ABOUT CONTROL

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On every continent, the percentage of people working freelance within the creative industry is higher than the general workforce average.

In the U.S., the percentage of people working freelance within the general workforce is 34%. Within the creative industry specifically? We’re looking at a huge 48%.

And that gap is much higher in the UK, where 42% of the creative industry identify as freelance, against a national average of 7%.

It’s not about the money for most creators. It’s about the control. From our Big Creator Survey, we learned ability to experiment creatively, and grow your skills in your own way, is the main reason that freelance is a more lucrative prospect than working full-time. “Working freelance allows me to explore, experiment and grow more than working in an agency ever has,” said one creator. “That’s what motivates me”.


THE ONLY WAY IS UP

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The number of people working freelance is going to increase steadily over the next few years. In the U.S., it’s estimated that over 50% of the entire workforce will be freelance by the year 2027. That’s a phenomenal stat.

And our Big Creator Survey results back that data up. At the moment, 58% of creators identify as freelance, with at least 24% of those still in full-time employment intending to join them in the near future.

The challenge with freelancing is establishing yourself. A lot of creators agreed, with “getting started” and “finding consistent work” being referenced as the hardest parts of any fledgling creative career. And that insight is reflected in our data. The older you get and the more experience you have, the more likely you are to work freelance. 82% of over 34s identify as freelance, compared to only 46% of those starting fresh in the 22-25 year-old bracket.

It’s clear that, with experience from increased expertise and growing contacts, that creators can overcome the initial hurdles and cement themselves as freelancers within the creative industry.

We’ve got loads more insights from the Big Creator Survey to come! In the meantime, see what else is going down in the creative industry…


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