Agencies' fulltime staffs are smaller than ever, so to meet clients' growing digital and branded-content needs, agencies today are using freelance writers, designers and production and post-production talent more than ever.
But there are unique challenges in managing a group of people without a long-term commitment to the agency's brand. Here are three tips to help small agencies integrate freelancers into their workflow.
Take ownership of work done for the agency.
It's commonly known that creative done under a "work for hire" model belongs to the one who's doing the hiring - in this case, the agency or the brand. However, many freelance creatives are social media masters looking for their next gig. Sometimes that means they get ahead of the campaign by hyping the awesome work they've done on behalf of a brand. Make sure to spell out in writing exactly where, when and how freelancers can use the work as part of their portfolio.
Make freelancers a part of the team.
Having freelancers work in the office with the team is ideal for tapping in-house knowledge, but it's not always possible. That means clear and frequent communication is essential. While freelancers who are former employees or regulars may need less hand-holding, don't ignore requests or leave them unattended. Then when the project is done, say a firm good-bye.
Work with marketers to allot appropriate budget to hire freelancers.
Before you start patting yourself on the back for cutting staff and overhead, remember that freelancers aren't actually free. When drafting client agreements, remember to build in allowances to enable you to hire freelancers as needed.
If you are a small agency looking to get your work in front of marketers, LookBook can help.