A new site is trying to take the guesswork out of freelancing -- for both independent professionals and the agencies that hire them.
"Working Not Working," hopes to streamline the process of hiring and getting hired through a social network-like platform, and some handy tools. It was created by Justin Gignac (right), freelancer, artist and former art director at agencies like Toy, Fallon and Ogilvy & Mather and fellow Ogilvy alum Adam Tompkins, CD at DraftFCB who also worked at Amalgamated.
Freelancers who sign up create profiles that include their availability status as well job titles, years of experience, categories of experience, location, "vouches" they have gotten from hiring managers or from fellow freelancers on the site and, of course, rate. The latter can feature a single dollar sign (up to $49/hour or $499 day) to four (upwards of $150/hour or $1,500/day). Participants can share the love, too and recommend others in their place for when they're already working or unavailable. Hiring managers can "follow" and "favorite" freelancers they are interested in, and do searches based on filters.
The site is currently in beta and free, but will be behind a paywall starting Monday. Then, for $275 a month, hiring managers can get an unlimited profile, with access to all the freelancers on the site.
The idea was borne out of a tool Gignac had on his personal portfolio site, a "freelance status apparatus" . It had a blinking neon sign that showed whether he was available or not, and when his status changed, he would send a message out to his Twitter and Facebook followers.
"Justin's freelance status apparatus was the first tool I saw for an individual freelancer," said Tompkins, who used a more traditional method of finding work: "tons and tons of desperate emails."