Lumanu Staff

Apr 9, 2024

How to Pay Marketing Freelancers

The role of marketing freelancers has become a growing and indispensable role in today's business world. As companies strive to maintain agility and competitiveness, the demand for specialized marketing talent has skyrocketed. And hiring marketing freelancers has emerged as a popular strategy for businesses of all sizes in all verticals to establish or augment their marketing function. 

In this guide, we'll explore the intricacies of paying marketing freelancers and uncover how platforms like Lumanu can streamline this process to drive efficiencies throughout your organization.

What is a Marketing Freelancer?

A marketing freelancer is a self-employed professional who offers their services on a contractual basis to businesses seeking assistance with various marketing tasks. These individuals possess specialized skills in digital marketing, content creation, social media management, SEO optimization, graphic design, and more. Unlike full-time employees, freelancers typically work remotely and may handle multiple projects simultaneously. 

Platforms like Upwork, Fiverr and other freelance marketplaces have made it much easier for businesses (mainly small businesses) to get access to top tier marketing freelancers and pay them at an hourly rate. 

Understanding the Different Types of Marketing Freelancers

As we think about what a marketing freelancer is, it’s important to understand that they come in various different forms.  Each type of marketing freelancer has a speciality, specializing in different aspects of marketing. Common types include:

  • Content Writers: they specialize in creating written content for various purposes, typically for online platforms such as websites, blogs, social media, or marketing materials..Content writers are skilled in researching topics, understanding target audiences, and adapting their writing style to suit the tone and voice of the client or publication they are writing for. They often collaborate with editors, SEO specialists, and marketing teams to ensure that their content aligns with the overall goals and objectives of the organization or project.

  • Graphic Designers: a graphic designer will combine art and technology to create layouts and designs that convey a specific message or concept. It would make sense to work with a graphic designer if you needed help creating an advertisement, website, packaging, graphics for social media and more. 

  • Social Media Managers: a social media manager is responsible for overseeing and managing an organization's presence on social media platforms. Their primary goal is to create and implement strategies to increase brand awareness, engage with the target audience, and drive traffic or sales through social media channels.

  • SEO Specialists: a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) specialist is a professional who focuses on improving a website's visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) through organic (non-paid) methods. Their primary goal is to increase the quantity and quality of traffic to a website by optimizing various aspects of the site to align with search engine algorithms and user intent.

  • Paid Media Specialist: a digital marketing professional who specializes in managing paid advertising campaigns across various online platforms (examples include Google Ad Words, LinkedIn or Facebook) . Paid media specialists focus on utilizing paid channels to promote products, services, or content and drive targeted traffic to websites or landing pages.

  • Influencer Marketers: they specialize in providing influencer marketing services to clients on a contract basis. Influencer marketing involves collaborating with individuals who have a significant following and influence on social media platforms to promote products, services, or brands to their audience.

Importance of Hiring Marketing Freelancers

Whether you are a large or small business, hiring and onboarding a marketing freelancer (or independent contractor as some call them) to help with your marketing efforts has many different types of benefits for your business. Examples of the types of benefits associated with hiring a marketing freelancer) includes:

  • Access to specialized expertise without the commitment of hiring “regular employees” 

  • Flexibility to scale marketing efforts according to project needs and budget constraints

  • Cost-effectiveness compared to maintaining an in-house marketing team

  • Ability to tap into a diverse pool of talent from around the globe

Freelance work can help you provide deliverables to your business faster than you could either by yourself or with your current team in place.

Establishing a Payment System for Marketing Freelancers
While hiring marketing freelancers brings numerous benefits, managing payments can sometimes be a logistical challenge and a major time suck. This is why it's crucial to establish a streamlined system and process when setting up your freelancer payment methods. 

When considering implementing a system for paying marketing freelancers, it’s important to consider the following: 

  • Payment Method: Determine the best payment method for your freelancers. Some common methods of payment include: credit cards, ACH (also known as direct deposit), Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), paper checks, Venmo, and PayPal to name a few. We will dive into this a bit more shortly. 

  • Paperwork: Ensure all necessary paperwork is in place, including contracts, invoices, and tax forms such as W-9 or W-8BEN.

  • Tax Obligations: Be mindful of end-of-year tax obligations, such as issuing 1099 forms for U.S.-based freelancers who have earned more than $600 in a calendar year.

While these may seem like a headache to set-up and pay attention to, they are an absolute must for any business - whether a small or large business - to pay close attention to anytime they deal with paying marketing freelancers. 

Ways to Pay a Marketing Freelancer

Paying marketing freelancers involves more than just a simple money transfer via a wire transfer or a bank transfer. It requires careful planning and execution to ensure smooth transactions and compliance with relevant regulations. Knowing this, let's delve deeper into the different types of payment options that you may want to consider offering marketing freelancers. 

After you’ve found the perfect marketing contractor, you must align on a suitable way to pay them. If you are wondering what some common payment options are when paying freelancers, here are some options to think through:  

  • Credit Card: credit card payments offer convenience and speed, but they come with transaction fees and processing fees. Knowing this, it’s important to understand how this may or may not impact your business's bottom line as a 2-3% fee per payment will add up.  

  • ACH (Automated Clearing House): ACH transfers (also known as direct deposits or bank transfers) are secure and cost-effective for domestic payments in the United States. This method of payment requires that you connect your company's business account to the marketing freelancers before you pay them. ACH transfers usually can happen on the same business day. 

  • PayPal: PayPal is widely used and accepted globally, making it a convenient option for international payments - this may be an attractive option for freelancers that work remotely (and are based internationally) as all they need to have is a PayPal account. 

  • Online Payment Platforms: Platforms like Stripe and Square provide secure payment processing tailored to freelancers' needs.

As you begin to bring on marketing freelancers, you must weigh the pro’s and con’s of offering each type of payment method. If you are dealing with lots of international marketing freelancers, some payment methods (like PayPal for example) will be more attractive than others because you won’t need to deal with currency conversions or exchange rates. 

Offering more payment methods will make it easier for the freelancers that you work with to find a payment method that works for them. However, as the business owner, you must determine which payment options work best for you. 

Navigating Paperwork and Tax Obligations

As we touched on earlier, proper documentation is essential when paying marketing freelancers. This includes contracts, invoices, and tax forms. Ensure that you have clear agreements in place outlining the scope of work, payment terms, and any other relevant details. Invoices should be accurate and detailed, including the freelancer's contact information, services rendered, rates, and payment terms.

When it comes to taxes, staying compliant is crucial. In the United States, U.S. based companies are required to issue 1099 forms to freelancers who earn more than $600 in a calendar year. Ensure that you collect W-9 forms from your freelancers to obtain their taxpayer information. For international freelancers, familiarize yourself with any tax obligations or treaties that may apply.

Enhancing Payment Security and Efficiency with Technology

Technology can play a significant role in streamlining payment processes and ensuring security. Platforms like Lumanu offer features such as automated tax form collection, invoice management, and secure payment processing. By leveraging such platforms, businesses can save time and minimize the risk of errors or fraud.

Additionally, consider integrating your payment system with accounting software (like QuickBooks for example) to streamline record-keeping and financial reporting. This integration can help you track expenses, reconcile payments, and generate reports for tax purposes. 

As it happens, Lumanu has an integration with Plaid which makes it safer for those that get paid within Lumanu to move money between the 7,000+ financial apps that are powered by Plaid (like Venmo, Betterment and Robinhood). 

Best Practices for Establishing a Payment System For Paying Marketing Freelancers

Just having a payment plan in place to pay marketing freelancers is not enough. You need to ensure that your system is optimized to pay your marketing freelancers. Examples of the types of systems you should have in place when hiring and paying freelancers include: 

  • Establishing clear payment terms and communicating with freelancers as to when they should be expected to be paid.

  • Implementing time tracking, which can be helpful especially if the freelancers are taking part in remote work. 

  • Set up recurring payments for long-term contracts to ensure timely payments.

  • Monitor payment trends and address any issues or delays promptly.

  • Keep accurate records of all payments and related documentation for auditing purposes.

  • Regularly review and update your payment system to incorporate any changes in regulations or best practices.

By following these best practices and leveraging technology solutions like Lumanu, businesses can create an efficient and secure payment system for marketing freelancers.

How Lumanu Can Help:

As we’ve outlined above, there’s a lot to think about and plan around when paying marketing freelancers. Lumanu is a comprehensive platform designed to simplify and streamline the process of paying marketing freelancers, contractors and influencers. Lumanu can help make the working relationship more seamless with freelancers. 

The major benefits of leveraging Lumanu to pay your marketing freelancers and independent marketing contractors are as follows: Streamlined Payments: Lumanu offers a user-friendly interface for managing payments to freelancers efficiently.

  • Compliance: The platform ensures compliance with tax regulations by automating tax form collection and distribution.

  • Transparency: Lumanu provides transparency throughout the payment process, allowing businesses to track transactions and manage invoices seamlessly.

  • Security: With secure payment processing and data encryption, Lumanu prioritizes the safety of financial transactions.

As you have learned above, paying marketing freelancers requires careful planning, attention to detail, and adherence to relevant regulations. By choosing the right payment method, navigating paperwork and tax obligations, and leveraging technology solutions, businesses can streamline the payment process and ensure a positive experience for both freelancers and clients. With an efficient payment system in place, businesses can focus on maximizing the impact of their marketing efforts and driving growth in their respective industries.

At Lumanu, we're committed to providing businesses with the tools that they need to pay marketing freelancers in an organized and streamlined fashion. If you are ready to start paying marketing freelancers and need a system like Lumanu, chat with our team to understand how Lumanu can be a partner to your success.


Lumanu Staff

Apr 9, 2024

© 2024 Lumanu, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Lumanu, Inc. is a financial technology company and not a bank. Lumanu accounts are provided by i3 Bank, Member FDIC.

© 2024 Lumanu, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Lumanu, Inc. is a financial technology company and not a bank. Lumanu accounts are provided by i3 Bank, Member FDIC.

© 2024 Lumanu, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Lumanu, Inc. is a financial technology company and not a bank. Lumanu accounts are provided by i3 Bank, Member FDIC.

© 2024 Lumanu, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Lumanu, Inc. is a financial technology company and not a bank. Lumanu accounts are provided by i3 Bank, Member FDIC.

© 2024 Lumanu, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Lumanu, Inc. is a financial technology company and not a bank. Lumanu accounts are provided by i3 Bank, Member FDIC.