Why a stronger freelancer-agency relationship is critical for success

Why A Stronger Freelancer-Agency Relationship Is Critical For Success

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Credit: iStock First there was the pandemic. Then the great resignation. And now possibly a global recession. It’s no surprise then that Verblio’s 2022 Digital Content Survey showed that 53% of marketing agencies rely on freelancers or content marketplaces to help them deliver projects for clients. Agencies need flexible workforces to serve more clients and deliver more projects, but is “freelancers as a growth strategy” manageable at scale? Here are four things agencies need to keep an eye on when working with freelancers (and three tips for managing them). While having a pool of hungry freelancers to work with sounds like the perfect setup, managing them efficiently is an ongoing challenge. Hiring a single freelancer for a single project or task is pretty simple. Still, as soon as you start leaning on freelancers regularly instead of hiring permanent full-time or part-time workers, the challenges stack up. Consider: Sourcing the right people The more a job requires a higher level of skill, smarts and finesse, the harder it is to find the right people. And while freelancer marketplaces are full of profiles with 5-star ratings and tons of reviews, that doesn’t guarantee they can deliver the results you (and your client) expect. Also, the freelancers you work with represent your agency. So keep in mind that if they make a wrong step or don’t deliver, you’re the one shouldering the blame. Onboarding freelance talent When you need to kick off a project ASAP you can’t afford to waste precious time collecting signatures, getting legal advice or granting IT access to specific tools, internal docs and assets. Multiply this by 20, 30 or even 100 freelancers from different countries working on different projects which require different compliance documents, and each with their own currency and payment expectations, it’s no wonder onboarding is such a headache for agencies. Managing milestones and budget Your work isn’t done even after your freelance talent is set up and working with you. You have to stay on top of communications with them to make sure they stay on top of their workload. And managing budget is also a huge problem. Your customers pay you to get the job done, so you have to keep a close eye on your freelancer budgets to make sure you’re turning a profit on their work. Paying accurately and on time Speaking of payments, agency payroll is incredibly complicated since independent contractors might be working with you via a retainer agreement, hourly rate or even per-deliverable pricing. And while you can always pay invoices manually as they come in, what happens when you’re working with dozens of freelancers each month, each with different terms and requesting payment in different currencies? You can easily lose 5-plus hours every week just sorting this out. Tips for agencies to scale freelance work If you’re planning for freelancers to be a big part of your agency’s growth in 2023 and beyond, here’s what you need to do to make sure they become your biggest asset […]

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