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Revealed: the most in-demand freelancers in the UK

24 October 2023

As the number of freelancers rises, new research finds that digital marketers, data analysts and website developers are some of the freelance roles that are most in demand.

A study of the UK freelance market, conducted by small business insurance provider Toolbox by Admiral, has found that digital marketing specialists are the most in-demand freelancers as we approach 2024.

The findings show that more and more people are taking the leap into freelancing - either pursuing side hustles or leaving their main employment to work for themselves full-time. According to the Office for National Statistics, as of July 2023, there were approximately 4.24 million self-employed workers in the UK.

"A marked increase in the number of self-employed professionals is expected in 2024. There will be a growing demand for certain skills and professions, and those who position themselves correctly can leverage this trend."

The freelancer study has analysed Google search data and checked day rates to identify the most profitable freelance careers. The findings show that the seven most in-demand freelance careers are:

Digital marketing specialist: There are, on average, 1,600 monthly Google searches for freelance digital marketing. These roles include designing online campaigns, SEO optimisation and strategic consultancy. On average, digital marketing freelancers charge a fee of £373 per day.

Data analyst: Companies are placing increased value on data to inform decisions; data analysts interpret complex data, identify patterns and provide actionable insights for businesses across many sectors. On average, there are 390 UK monthly searches for businesses looking for a freelancer data analyst and the average pay for this role is £428 per day.

Graphic designer: Graphic designers are sought-after and there are an average of 1,300 UK monthly searches for designers; they charge, on average, £353 a day.

Content writer: Freelance content writers who can produce engaging and SEO-friendly articles, blogs and website content are in high demand. Even with the rise of AI, businesses need writers; there are around 590 UK monthly searches for freelance content writers. The average day rate for a content writer is £376.

Project manager: With remote work becoming the norm, project managers who can oversee virtual teams are in high demand. Businesses in the UK search 480 times a month looking for specialist support with project management; average pay is £394 a day.

Full-stack developer: A full-stack developer is a developer or engineer who builds both the front end and the back end of a website. With regular Google algorithm updates and the importance of ecommerce, many brands use freelance developers to create their websites. With 170 UK monthly searches for development support, the average daily fee for a full-stack developer is £420.

User experience designer: User experience (UX) designers ensure websites and apps are easy to navigate and meet users' needs. There are, on average, 210 UK monthly searches for this specialist freelance job; UX designers charge £482 a day on average.

Written by Rachel Miller.

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