Featured News, Freelance Life, Opinion Pieces

Research on Freelancing in Australia

May 13, 2014

In 2012 after realising the Census collected data on what it was like to be freelancing in Australia yet didn’t pass this information through to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, I conducted a survey off my own bat.

Through using sites such as PlanBig and social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter, I was able to reach out to freelancers right across the country.

During a rather overzealous clean out of my website, I deleted the original results by accident. Unfortunately, it was one of the rare blog posts I had not backed up. As a result, the linguistic analysis for the free answer questions has been lost. However the data remained.

Considering the lack of data on freelancing in Australia, I have resurrected the charts and tables based on this data to display here now.

A note about the methodology:

This survey was conducted through self reporting and was unpaid research. Therefore, you can trust the validity of the information as much as you can with a person who is freely sharing their experience without coercion, monetary reward or hidden agenda.

The information was gathered in a Survey Monkey survey of 14 questions- some of which are absent due to their open ended nature, and one of which was a request for email addresses.

All information has been given in confidence to improve the landscape for Australian freelancers.

I hope you find it useful. Any students wishing to use this information for reports and studies, you have my permission as long as you cite the source.

Question 1: Where are you currently based?

The location of most Australian freelancers as per survey conducted 2012.

The location of most Australian freelancers as per survey conducted 2012.

 

Question 2: What kinds of freelance work do you do?

What kind of freelance work do you do?
Answer Options Response Percent Response Count
ACCOUNT MANAGER 1.3% 2
ACTOR 5.0% 8
ANIMATOR / VFX ARTIST 1.9% 3
ARCHITECT 0.0% 0
BUSINESS MENTOR 1.3% 2
CINEMATOGRAPHER 3.8% 6
COMPOSER / MUSICIAN 5.0% 8
CONTENT SCHEDULER 0.0% 0
COSTUME DESIGNER 0.6% 1
CREATIVE & ART DIRECTOR 8.8% 14
DIRECTOR 8.1% 13
EVENT MANAGER 9.4% 15
EXECUTIVE 1.9% 3
EXHIBITION DESIGNER 0.0% 0
FASHION DESIGNER 0.6% 1
FINISHED ARTIST 1.3% 2
FURNITURE DESIGNER 0.0% 0
GAME DESIGNER 0.0% 0
GRAPHIC DESIGNER 13.1% 21
GRIP 0.6% 1
ILLUSTRATOR 5.6% 9
INDUSTRIAL DESIGNER 0.0% 0
INTERIOR DESIGNER 0.0% 0
JEWELLERY DESIGNER 0.0% 0
JOURNALIST 10.6% 17
LIGHTING PROFESSIONAL 0.6% 1
LIFE COACH 1.3% 2
MAKE UP ARTIST & STYLIST 1.3% 2
MARKETER 8.8% 14
MODEL 0.6% 1
MOTION GRAPHICS DESIGNER 0.6% 1
OPPS & ADMIN PROFESSIONAL 3.1% 5
PHOTOGRAPHER 12.5% 20
PRODUCER 13.8% 22
PRODUCT MANAGER 1.3% 2
PRODUCTION / PROJECT MANAGER 9.4% 15
PROPS PROFESSIONAL 0.6% 1
PUBLICIST 4.4% 7
RETOUCHER 0.6% 1
SALESPERSON 0.0% 0
SCREEN EDITOR 2.5% 4
SET / PRODUCTION DESIGNER 0.6% 1
SOUND & AUDIO PROFESSIONAL 3.8% 6
STRATEGIST / PLANNER 5.0% 8
STYLIST 1.3% 2
TEACHER 3.8% 6
TEXTILE DESIGNER 1.3% 2
VISUAL ARTIST 6.9% 11
VISUALISER 3.1% 5
WEB & DIGITAL PRODUCER 5.0% 8
WEB & DIGITAL PROGRAMMER 5.0% 8
WEBSITE & DIGITAL DESIGNER 13.8% 22
WRITER 36.3% 58
Other (please specify) 15.0% 24
answered question 160
skipped question 0

Question 3: How long have you been freelancing for?

how long have you been freelancing in australia

how long have you been freelancing in australia table

Question 4: How long have you been working in your chosen field?

 

how long have you been working in your chosen field how long have you been working in your chosen field table

Question 5: How do you currently source freelance work?

how do you currently get freelance work

Question 6: How effective have the following freelance sites been for you?

how did you find the following freelance services for getting jobs

Question 7: What sorts of issues do you face when trying to find work?

Data not included as opened ended question.

 

Question 8: Are you interested in working with startups?

are you interested in freelancing for startup

Question 9: Why would you be great for a time pressed, cash starved but passionate startup?

Data not included as opened ended question.

 

Question 10: What is your availability like?

how much freelance work do you need

Question 11: Would you be interested in the following services:

what kinds of freelance services would you be interested in

Question 12: Please provide your portfolio link

Data not included as opened ended question.

 

Question 13: Anything else you would like to add about your freelance journey or freelancing in Australia?

Data not included as opened ended question.

 

Question 14: Please include your email address if you wish to see the results.

Data not included as opened ended question.

END SURVEY

What the research into the Australian freelance landscape lead to:

The research I conducted into freelancing in Australia should a distinct pattern and several repeated issues. These issues were things such as creating a steady workflow, the sense of isolation often found as a freelancer, and the desire to become better skilled at the business side of freelance life.

It also showed that many Australian freelancers were seeking out the opportunity to meet up with all kinds of people, whether they were people to work on projects with or clients, or even new ways to learn and expand the skills.

Since doing the survey, I have made a personal commitment to assist Australian freelancers. I have done this through providing articles on freelancing to help bridge the education gap and starting the informal, fun and monthly catch ups that are the Freelance Jungle.

Where to from here?

I am quite seriously considering running the original freelance survey again for 2014 to measure the changes in our industry since 2012. I am also investigating ways to introduce freelancers to warm leads through the Welcome to the Jungle network series.

Finally, I am currently in the planning stages to build something that will highlight the contribution of Australian freelancers and indeed what it is like to be freelancing in Australia for an extended period of time. I can’t say much more than that at this point in time, however if you want to stay informed at developments, please leave your email address below.

What else do you think can be done to help make freelancing in Australia an effective, fun and tangible option to traditional work models? Please leave your feedback below. Every bit of information and input counts! 

 

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    Velly inneresting Bek – great work! I WILL get to a Freelance Jungle meet up one of these days 🙁

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