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Your Dose of the Future of Work

Do you really need 3,600 video photographers?

Posted by Henrik Dillman on Jun 2, 2016 8:41:57 AM

The simple answer is yes, but not at the same time.

Modern freelancer networks like Coworks give you both reach and critical mass. How you use them however, very much depends on the nature of your business.

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Topics: How-To

Future-proofing the agency model at Mobile World Congress 2016

Posted by Henrik Dillman on Mar 16, 2016 4:30:00 PM

More than 100,000 professionals descended on Barcelona, Spain, for Mobile World Congress 2016 last month. As well as all the talk of 5G, the Internet of Things, and the potential of connected cars, it was fascinating to witness how the number of advertising agencies and marketers continues to increase each year.

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Topics: agency

Save time and money by managing your freelance network like a pro

Posted by Henrik Dillman on Mar 9, 2016 5:00:00 PM

There are many instances when choosing a freelancer over an employee is not only best for your projects, but also best in terms of saving time for yourself, your HR department, and other areas of your business. Keep these tips below in mind the next time you are looking for someone to complete specific tasks and projects:

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Topics: Productivity Hacks

Talents Every Agency And Marketing Department Will Need In 2016

Posted by Henrik Dillman on Feb 17, 2016 4:00:00 PM

Regardless of the industry in which you work, the winds of change are quickly turning into a hurricane. Retail giant Amazon and other ecommerce sites have changed brick-and-mortar retail forever, while AirBnB hosts more travellers every night than the world’s largest hotel chains. Launched just six years ago, Uber is already larger than the taxi industries in many of the cities where it operates.

Mobile technology and the on-demand economy are upending the value chains of traditional business models, and businesses which fail to react are destined for the scrapheap...just ask Blockbuster Video.

The foundations businesses are built upon may be changing, but thankfully for agencies and marketers everywhere the day-to-day tasks of promoting your business aren’t changing quite so fast - but they are changing. Along with disruptive business models the new economy also provides new ways to access the talent agencies will need in the coming years.

PR Chops
If you work in digital marketing circles you won’t have been able to avoid the phrase “SEO IS DEAD”. The thinking behind search engine optimisation’s demise is that most of the methods used by marketers in the early days of digital marketing have shuffled off this mortal coil. Google has time and again stamped out practices it deems spammy or over-used, making search results harder to influence, and search optimisation a labour of love rather than a simple numbers game.

The truth about SEO is that it’s more alive and important than ever. Google handles around 6 billion search queries every day, up from around 3.6 billion just five years ago. That’s a lot of potential customers.

A huge part of SEO in 2016 will be PR-type activities. Speaking to journalists, pitching feature ideas to publications, conducting newsworthy research, and establishing distribution channels. The smartest companies have already rolled their PR and search marketing efforts together, and being able to have one foot in both worlds will be in invaluable skills in the coming years as old-school SEO becomes more and more ineffective.

Multi-Device Design
As of 2015 the digital world is officially mobile. 2015 is the year that searches on mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) outstripped those on desktops and laptops. In 2015 75% of Facebook’s revenue came from mobile devices. Unless you have a specialist niche, having a desktop-only product is not an option any more.

Whether you’re building a mobile app or website, being able to design for a huge multitude of devices will be a vital skill in the next year - and not a task that can be underestimated. You might be tempted to only build for the latest and greatest mobile device, but that would exclude a huge swathe of potential users.

According to statistics released at the beginning of 2015 only around 15% of iPhone users had the latest model. Around 50% had the previous model, and some 34% used older devices. Android developers face an even more nightmarish prospect - a report by OpenSignal found over 24,000 distinct devices from 1,200 manufacturers running Google’s mobile operating system. Compatibility with as many of these devices as possible is no longer a nice-to-have feature; it’s mission critical.

The core skills that make up the content marketer’s toolbox are in huge demand. Over the last year advertisements for freelance gigs involving copywriting and content production skills have risen by up to 40%, while demand for infographic design and other audiovisual marketing material has risen by around 20%. Inbound marketing is the new normal for forward-thinking agencies and companies, and content marketing is a huge part of that formula.

Community Engagement
Another cog in the inbound marketing machine, growing and nurturing a community is a great way to improve customer retention, and help grow your business using the power of your users’ networks.

Dropbox, who provide online storage and document syncing, were one of the first businesses to use customer advocacy to grow their user base - users simply referred their friends to get more storage. Dropbox users routinely send almost 3 million referral invites every month, all of which replace the need for traditional marketing spend. The company was recently valued at $10 billion, and most of their growth can be traced back to some stunning community engagement insight. Agencies and marketers which can effectively harness community engagement will be in huge demand for years to come.

Data Analytics
Mastering inbound marketing, producing spectacular responsive products, and fostering a supportive community will all be vital skillsets in 2016, but agency clients want results - and providing results in the digital world means digging into masses of data. Platforms like Google Analytics, Facebook Insights and AdWords can provide great glanceable reports, but deeper insights require a head for numbers and the skills to wrangle and interpret them.

Many agencies have adapted to include data analysis and insight departments in recent years, and a strong analytics game will be a key differentiator in years to come as creative agencies struggle to get to grips with the technicalities of big data.

Move Strategically
Many small agencies and in-house creative teams lack the budgets to hire full-time specialists in every key area, and even some larger agencies are thin on the ground in emerging disciplines like multi-device design. If there’s one lesson that can be learned from the rapid changes in the world of business in recent years, it’s that agencies and marketing teams alike need to be agile, and use their resources to maximum effectiveness.

Assembling a team of freelance specialists will provide every talent an agency will need on a flexible basis. With an on-demand freelance team you’re future-proofing your company; part of a freelancer’s job is staying on-trend and learning the latest technologies.

If your agency or marketing team needs a talent injection to keep pace with the new world of work, we can help you make the right connections.

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Topics: talent, agency, marketing, advertising

Work Taskification: Why Outsourcing Is Not Enough

Posted by Henrik Dillman on Feb 10, 2016 4:00:00 PM

The destruction and rebuilding of traditional job roles has been one of the largest economic shifts of the last decade. Some, like car manufacturers, have been broken into their component parts and mechanised; humans rarely need to step onto the production line these days. In other industries shrinking budgets have meant workers now need more skills than ever before. Journalists in 2015 are expected to be writers, broadcasters, researchers, fact-checkers, sub-editors, coders, social media experts and more.

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Topics: Entrepreneurship

Freelance Management Is A $3bn Opportunity For Advertising Agencies

Posted by Henrik Dillman on Feb 3, 2016 4:00:00 PM

Following the great feedback I received from my last two posts on the changing face of the advertising agency industry, namely Advertising Agency BRIC Expansion Without The Fixed Costs and Advertising Agencies Hiring 1,000,000 Freelancers. Are You Onboard?, I now want to share some some insights into the scale of the changes we're witnessing right now.

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Topics: Development, How-To, Remote Work

Why Software Matters In Managing Your Freelancers

Posted by Jonathan Boutin on Jan 27, 2016 11:00:00 AM

Software is eating the world claimed famed tech investor Marc Andreessen in 2011. At the time many disagreed with his assessment, but four years on it’s almost impossible to refute. Every aspect of our working and personal lives is ruled by lines of code - everything from grocery shopping to dating.

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Topics: Entrepreneurship

How Agile Is Your Agency When It Comes To Freelance Spend?

Posted by Henrik Dillman on Jan 26, 2016 10:52:37 AM

As the internet and ICT continue to transform the way we work, making remote ways of working a reality, agency employees are increasingly requesting flexible ways of working. Not only that, but large numbers of consultants in the workplace has become commonplace. But what is the ideal combination of full-timers and freelancers?

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Topics: Development

Forget About Using Spreadsheets For Keeping Track Of Your Freelancers

Posted by Kristi Hines on Jan 20, 2016 12:30:00 PM

Are you still using spreadsheets to manage specific aspects of your business? If so, then it's time to stop. While spreadsheets are great for individuals looking to manage small tasks, business owners and managers need to have better control of their projects. In this post, we'll look at the things you can't do well with a spreadsheet in terms of managing your freelance workforce.

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Topics: How-To

5 Reasons You Need To Build Your Freelance Workforce Now

Posted by Kristi Hines on Jan 13, 2016 1:00:00 PM

Are you thinking about ways to improve your business's marketing strategy in 2016? If so, then you need to start building a freelance workforce now. In this post, we'll give you five reasons you need freelancers as you move into the new year.

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Topics: Entrepreneurship, How-To