Q: What types of projects do you work on with freelancers?
A: Projects are all related to marketing and range from photo shoots and menu design to influencer outreach and Amazon seller program optimization. Such as when we wanted to promote each of the 11 U.S. cake boutiques. It was cost-prohibitive to send an internal photographer to all those locations. We contracted a photographer in each city we have boutiques to take exterior and interior photos of the boutique. We wanted to present the boutique in its neighborhood, so the photographers had to walk around local landmarks and take photos holding a slice of cake.
Having freelancers do it didn’t just save us a lot of time and money, it also allowed us to see our brands through fresh eyes and creative minds. The high-quality work, new ideas, and perspectives are what attract me the most. Like when we were coming up with ideas for April Fool’s Day, a team member suggested we do a post on a new pizza cake. We posted a project that said we needed a designer to photoshop a Pizza Mille Crêpe cake. Within a day, we found someone and got the photos we wanted. It is one of our best performing social posts so far this year and we now have a model for how to repeat this type of project efficiently and affordably with freelancers for the future.
Q: How do you find the flexible talent you need?
A: In the past, we mainly looked for freelancers through our personal networks, but it limited our talent pool. And it was near impossible to find help in a city where we didn’t know anyone. When we did find someone, we had to negotiate terms, draw up contracts, have everything reviewed by legal and HR, then chase down invoices to get the freelancer paid. It was all very time consuming and was not scalable.
Now, we use Upwork Business. It enables us to have multiple freelancers with different expertise helping us in different locations at any time we need. With Upwork, we usually find who we need within a few days, compared to the month it took before using our other process.
Q: How did your team adjust to using flexible talent?
A: Adopting anything new is a process because it takes time to change old habits. But once the team saw the type of help they could get through Upwork, they began experimenting.
I keep reminding team members that their biggest opportunity to grow and impact the business is by learning how to delegate and manage resources. There’s so much to do in a day, we all need to become better project managers instead of the person who gets everything done by themselves.
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