inflation and recession blog post

Inflation + Recession: What This Means For Freelance Marketers 

Let’s talk about the big scary stuff blasting all over the news right now … the continuing rise of inflation and the possibility of an upcoming recession.  Or the possibility that a recession is already here!  As a freelance marketer who relies on yourself for your income, these topics ARE scary.  You may not even know what a recession is (don’t worry – here is a whole article about that if you are interested).

As a freelance marketer, you might already be noticing some things started to shift in anticipation of a recession.


You are probably wondering if clients are going to start turning you down. Are you worried that you might start losing clients soon?  Your clients may already be making some changes in their businesses.  Maybe they are starting to offer new products or change their delivery structure.  Maybe they are restructuring their own teams.  All these things can lead to the feeling of nervousness!

Let’s be honest, companies are going to have to start making tough decisions.  I would not be surprised if we see a widespread round of corporate layoffs in the near future.  If companies aren’t making the margins they were making previously, they are going to need to make some changes to their long-term investment decisions, which will also include the decision on whether they should be hiring permanent employees or not.

Organizational priorities are going to be shifting.  

But do you know what this means?!  A massive opportunity if you are a freelance marketer. 


Freelancers are seen as the “pay as you go” model.  The workers that do not require overhead costs, or a permanent commitment.  And while, yes, we freelancers generally charge more than a salaried employee might make.  When you take into account the overhead, deskspace, IT support, benefits, vacation time, healthcare, 401k, and retirement contributions… permanent employees can tack on quite the cost.  And freelancers can come to the surface as a potentially cheaper route to go when there is still work that needs to be done. Freelancers are an effective way for a company the receive the value they need without the long-term commitment.

And yes, marketing departments tend to get cut first. But let me help ease your mind.  If you are a freelance marketer, not an employee, you actually have a massive opportunity here.  Freelance marketers can jump in and fill this gap. The gap that is created as companies lean down their employee base but still need all their work to be completed.

Businesses will still need to market themselves.  Marketing is a core business function that cannot just go away. That is exactly where you can step in.  Businesses, whether small or large, will need freelancers and fractional Marketing Directors to help fill the gap.  Freelance marketers who can step in and take the most vital work over without the need to pay overhead on a full-time staff member.

This is where YOU can step in as a freelance Director of Marketing.


How are you going to do this, you might be asking yourself.  Well, you are going to communicate your value and provide results.

There is no better time than now to nail down your messaging and how you will communicate your offer and your value to current and potential clients.

You are going to lean into your skillset.  During a recession, I (along with so many other thought leaders) recommend investing in yourself. More specifically, invest in your education and your skill set.  A recession can be your opportunity to reevaluate where you are now, what you want to do, and where you want to go.

Did you hate your 9-5 job anyways? Maybe it’s time to change careers!

Has your income been stagnant? Learn new skills commanding higher pricing.

If you have a slow period, whether it is during a recession or not, take the time to invest in yourself.

Prepare by putting money aside for an emergency fund to keep your business afloat.

Remember, freelance marketers will forever be in need, and this role cannot be replaced. A freelance Director of Marketing can fill a business’s marketing needs during a recession.


Want to start building your own recession-proof freelance marketing business? Start with my free Director of Marketing Roadmap.  Sign up for it now.

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Lindsay White

Hi, I'm Lindsay!

After working as a Director of Marketing for the last 7 years (5 in corporate, 2 while freelancing), I have figured out the exact skills it takes to create a fulfilling life as a marketing authority while earning the income of a CMO, oh yeah and still being a park-going, snack holding mama.

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