In 2015, I wrote about the death of the agency. 3 years on and the move away from agencies is as prevalent as it was back then. Early stage startups rarely work with agencies – they simply can’t afford them but even more importantly, they can’t get access to the talent they need when they need it. So they reach out to a team of freelancers and build a team around them.
… that is where I fit in and it works really well.
However, one person can only do so much. While I can take care of brand, design (web and app), UI and UX, there is often a need for expertise across the board to fill in the gaps that the founders and internal team don’t have. And we are all aware that launching a startup is hard and requires many different skillsets to come together.
How does my business model work?
Although I have enough work to cover 2 or 3 designers easily, I deliberately don’t employ anyone . Simply put, employees are expensive and quality talent will always be looking for their next job on the career ‘design’ ladder. Instead, I work with a team of like-minded individuals which frees me up to concentrate on what I am good at.
- I only work with freelancers or very small outfits.
- The talent I work with are always experienced individuals who hit the ground running. I’d rather pay a little bit more to get a brief completed quicker and experience counts for a lot within the design and marketing sectors. The more experienced talent tends to have seen it and done it and can think strategically for your business.
- I don’t work with anyone who is employed full-time as you need to be able to access their services during working hours.
- My team will bill you directly and you are free to work with them independently of me – big savings for you and a much more efficient process.
… so who can I put you in touch with?
Design is one component, but quality design often requires many other areas to come together. A Ferrari is a well designed car but it won’t start without fuel in the tank.
Developers (web and mobile app)
Of course developers are critical to my line of work. I’ll design in the code when building a website on WordPress, but for the more complex custom builds, I work with world-class developers no matter what the chosen codebase is – PHP, .Net, Ruby, Python, Javscript, iOS, Android etc.
Content is King and it’s not as easy to write clearly and concisely as you may think. A good copywriter will bring your story to life and keep your user engaged.
Video is everywhere and users are consuming video at an incredible rate. There are very few businesses that would not benefit from a professionally shot video and it doesn’t need to cost the earth.
Sometimes, the iPhone just doesn’t cut it and a professional photographer is required. I can put you in touch with the right photographer for the job at the right price point.
Tread carefully when it comes to SEO. It’s an ever-changing landscape (that I will write a blog post on at some point!) that is vital to both tech and non-tech businesses. It’s vital that you work with someone who knows exactly what they are doing to help you generate the traffic you require for your product or service.
Paid Advertising (Google Adwords)
I have 2 suppliers (one in Melbourne and one in London) and they are the best in the business. They keep it simple and work with small and large budgets.
Social Media Strategy and Implementation
Social Media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) are powerful marketing platforms but they require a big investment in time, Much of this can be done internally by your team but there are areas such as data integration, retargeting and analytics work that require some serious expertise to reap the rewards so that you know exactly what your customers are doing (and not doing).
My team are located around the world but I appreciate that sometimes you need a supplier who is local. That’s fine and I will source the right person for you. But for most tasks, the right expertise is far more valuable than the location they work from. There is only so much that can be achieved by meeting up for a coffee and we all work remotely using the very best communication tools available. Think Slack in case you haven’t checked it out.
So next time you have a brief that requires multiple skillsets, don’t forget that I have a team of world-class freelancers ready to help you. And for the right startup concept, we can be tempted by an equity based arrangement.
Drop me an email to discuss further.