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Here’s What Readers are Saying About Our 2022 Trends Report

The Voices Annual Trends Report has once again uncovered the invaluable perspective of brands and businesses of all sizes who hired freelance voice actors, audio engineers, translators, singers, and musicians on Voices over the past year. Through survey data collection and internal data analysis, the report shed light on some vital areas of interest for anyone who works in a creative profession, a human relations profession, a marketing and advertising profession, and any speciality in between. After crunching the numbers, the trends we discovered, and made predictions about were grouped together:

  1. Remote work is here to stay
  2. Freelance talent is on the rise
  3. The benefits of hiring freelancers are clear
  4. Audio presents new opportunities for authentic marketing

Survey data and internal data analysis led us to these discoveries, but after creating the report and releasing these trends and predictions, we received feedback from readers just like you. The comments you see below are from professionals who did not participate in the survey, nor are they Voices clients but echo our findings and agree with the proliferation of the trends through 2022 and beyond!

Before reading the feedback, watch the summary video to see if you agree with what we’re predicting, too! Let us know in the comments below.

Remote Work is Here to Stay

In the report we highlight that 90% of survey respondents confirmed that their business will be permanently offering remote work opportunities to their employees. Workplaces are seeing the benefits of remote work models as their employees’ productivity, creativity, collaboration, happiness, and engagement all skyrocket when given a flexible remote work environment. 

We received comments reporting exactly this, and more:

Mike Funkhouser, CEO of Small Business Mentor, shared his team’s success with remote work after being thrust into it by the pandemic.

“We started working remotely as soon as the pandemic hit and we’ll never consider going back. We are more productive, able to serve more clients, and our team is happier than ever.” 

Paige Arnof-Fenn, Founder & CEO of Mavens & Moguls, feels strongly about the ability to offer Work From Home (WFH) models as employees come into the awareness of the power they hold when evaluating potential employers. This awareness has been a great topic of discussion in the wake of the pandemic and has been aptly titled The Great Resignation. Paige sees how appealing to employees’ needs is no longer considered a “work perk,” but a necessity. 

“To be competitive in the war for talent now, this is mandatory to attract and retain the best people, it’s not a ‘nice-to-have’ but a ‘have-to-have’, not negotiable.”

Phil Strazzulla, Founder of SelectSoftware Reviews, commented on the effectiveness of remote work for his company and how the absence of locational restrictions is a benefit to the WFH model.

“My organization SelectSoftware is 100% remote. We have employees across different countries and even continents including India, Columbia, and in Boston, USA. Since the pandemic, I’ve only seen an increase in the number of remote/hybrid teams and I’m certain this trend is here to stay. I completely agree with Voices’ 2022 Annual Trends Report.”

Christine Alemany, CEO of TBGA, has seen long lasting effectiveness of remote work as the marketing agency has always offered remote work to its employees. The agency recognizes the need for flexibility and agrees that it’s the primary way of onboarding high performing employees.

“We provide an alternative model for professionals who want to balance both— whether it’s raising a child, caring for an ailing family member, or becoming an active member in the community. Our business model requires remote work.”

Agreeing with Phil and Paige, is Shaun Heng, VP of Growth & Operations and Chief of Staff at CoinMarketCap.

“So many people have realized that remote work actually benefits their mental health, family life, and not to mention their finances. Businesses have to at least offer hybrid work options in order to keep up with the workforce, or risk long-term staffing issues.” 

Freelance Talent is on the Rise

Voices saw a 245% increase in talent sign ups during 2021. There’s no other way to say it—people are embracing the freelance lifestyle unlike ever before.

Freelance talent being on the rise is so complementary to the rise of remote work models, especially in the eyes of our readers. As you’ll read below, they shared their inferences between the two trends and how The Great Resignation is playing a major role. It’s giving way to a higher expectation of employment that, when unmet, drives people to consider a freelance career that offers them what “traditional” employment cannot—flexibility and a work/life balance that is defined by the freelancer and not by an employment contract. 

It’s happening on epic proportions and the comments we’ve received on the trends report show that The Great Resignation is an employment movement that carries significant negotiation power for job seekers. 

Shaun at CoinMarketCap, weighed in on this trend, too:

“One of the many incredible things we’ve witnessed in the labor market this year is the power that workers—including freelancers—have amassed. The Great Resignation is a cultural movement largely based on the collective desire for improved control of work/life balance, and an overall healthier approach to living.”

Scott Spivack Marketing Director, United Medical Credit sees The Great Resignation as a cultural movement just as Shaun does. He believes the pace at which freelancing has grown is a direct result of professionals’ having a desire for work/life balances that are within their own control. 

“Freelance talent is on the rise in response to The Great Resignation. The pandemic has forced professionals to realize the power of freelancing. It’s convenient and allows people to work at times and schedules that suit them best. I think this recent surge in freelancing is closely related to the idea of having some mental freedom. The pandemic has fried people both mentally and physically, creating a much-needed urge for some breathing space.”

Through personal experience, Phil at SelectSoftware Reviews is able to report that a hybrid model of hiring freelancers and offering remote work to full-time employees is an advantageous employment design for employers just as much as it is for employees.

“At SelectSoftware, we work with freelancers and full-time employees simply because of the flexibility that it gives us. We hire freelancers for writing, editing, managing paid campaigns, and even graphic design. So I’d definitely say freelancing and remote work is the way to go.“

The Benefits of Freelance Talent are Clear

With the benefits to hiring freelancers being clear in the minds of leadership teams of businesses of all sizes, the frequency in which freelancers are hired increased 13% for weekly hires, and decreased for quarterly hires. Meaning the teams are outsourcing aspects of the workload more often—about once per week. 

While the Trends Report contains our interpretation of the benefits of hiring freelancers, we’re here to highlight the feedback we received from readers on this topic. They expanded on the same points you’ll see in the report, but uncovered other benefits as well.

Scott at United Medical Credit touches on the absence of geographic boundaries just as we did, but brings the conversation to an even more important benefit. Hiring freelancers helps businesses incorporate more diversity and inclusion when they access talent pools outside their local area:  

“Hiring freelancers allows companies to connect with exceptional talent irrespective of geographical boundaries. Plus, companies see this as an opportunity to embrace diversity and create an idea of inclusivity.”

Becky Brown, CEO and Co-Founder at ShoppingKim.com, comments on how the benefits of working with freelancers will only come through if the company is able to work strategically and have a strong sense of the end result of the project.

“We will continue to see an influx of freelance talent in the coming years, and it’s all going to come down to who can utilize the talent better. All options are open when working with freelancers, so it’s up to businesses to come up with creative ways to utilize freelance talent.”

Echoing the points made by Becky and Scott is Thom Cunningham Burley, Director of Consulting at Freshminds. He points out the need for pre-planning before hiring freelancers, as well as the benefit of how freelancers diversify the approach to a project.

“We often talk to clients about how tapping into high-quality freelance talent can transform their business. Flexibility, agility, diversity of thought, and dynamic capacity are just some of the more obvious advantages to hiring freelancers. Blended teams, and the talent strategies that support their development, are mission-critical. Access to a curated network of freelance experts lets them draw in the skill sets for distinct elements of a challenge. And by augmenting core teams with freelance talent, there is an opportunity to upskill and insource solutions rather than outsourcing problems.”

Chara Yadav, Press Director at AskAnyDifference, also touched on the ways that freelancers propel forward the diversity and inclusivity as desired by consumers today. 

“Freelancers bring different experiences and different ways of thinking to what could be a staid culture, which can only benefit the final product that they are working on and encourages those hiring them to think outside of the box.”

Audio Presents New Opportunities for Authentic Marketing

When we speak to audio opportunities, we mean the ways in which the human voice impacts us when we hear it, and how authenticity more than anything else needs to be center stage in a business’ marketing strategy through the use of voice, specifically. The comments we received on this trend and the prediction of audio dominating the marketing landscape in 2022 helped to confirm our findings.  

Scott at United Medical Credit has a clear understanding of the role that audio will play in the marketing strategy at his organization. 

“When customers hear an actual human voice, the interaction feels natural and easy. Plus, it cuts the hassle of reading and gives them a glimpse into the brand effortlessly. More importantly, it saves valuable time and produces a stronger impact on the audience. As we dive into 2022, sonic branding will help businesses create genuine connections with customers, leading to better business growth.”

David Reid, Sales Director at Vem-tooling.com, also sees audio as a primary tactic in 2022 as he recognizes people’s visual capacity is maxed-out.

“I think now, more than ever, it’s time for brands to think about what they sound like as the audience is a step away from the screen and adapted to more listening experiences. Now it’s time to think about audio branding as a core component of any successful marketing strategy.”

Stephen Light, CMO and Co-Owner of Nolah Mattress, hits the nail on the head with his focus on authenticity and the role that audio will play in conveying an authentic message. 

“Authenticity is both one of the most important keys to successful marketing and one of the most difficult to master, and is crucial to building trust. So it makes perfect sense that audio is being incorporated into brand strategy considering how differently we respond to human voices vs. text on a screen.”

Do You Agree with the Trends Report Predictions?

Hearing from readers who didn’t participate in the survey and who have an unbiased review of the Trends Report confirms that the four trends pertaining to freelance talent, remote work, and audio content strategy, we predict are in fact right on the money! 

Now that you’ve watched the Trends Report summary video, and read the comments from Trends Report readers, what do you think?

If you’re ready to take your next project to new heights with a freelance voice over talent, sign up for an account on Voices and post your job today. 

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