Cambridge University grad (History) – 7 years spent helping to build / grow 3 of the largest freelance strategy recruitment businesses across Europe – all with a view to building a business that solves the numerous inefficiencies / pain points I’ve seen ‘professional’ freelancers and clients face. We’re building a truly fair and transparent freelancing marketplace – and no that isn’t just marketing spiel to us, we truly believe it!
What I’ve built
A ‘LinkedIn for professional freelancers’ (strategists only at the moment – we’re opening up to data scientists and Innovation / Design freelancers in the coming weeks). We’ve been operating for a couple of months and we’re already up to 500+ members across Europe.
The idea is to create a better connected network of ‘professional freelancers’ who can collaborate and network more effectively. We enable freelancers to create an organically growing network through auto-connecting them to all of their alumnus also freelancing in the same region (so when one of their alumnus joins, they’re automatically connected to one another). Unlike ‘gig’ workers (data entry freelancers, Uber drivers, Deliveroo cyclists etc.), ‘professional’ freelancers are use to coming from collegiate environments, working with others and having a lot of day to day support – the loneliness and isolation of freelancing is a harsh reality check for these freelancers. Our organically growing communities will help solve this, where you’ll have other freelancers (with a similar professional background) to lean on for support and guidance.
In terms of freelance projects/clients – recruiters & project platforms have developed an unhealthy ‘professional’ freelancing ecosystem where each individual freelancer is isolated and always in ‘hunt & kill’ mode when it comes to finding new projects / relationships with other freelancers (they’re seen as competition at the moment). Clients view these freelancers as ‘guns for hire’ causing the relationship to feel transactional at best (because they only meet / collaborate when work is on the table). Through these interconnected networks we’re building (where each participant has a small market share / client network), we believe by enabling better collaboration we can build a true ‘marketplace’ for professional freelancing where all freelance projects will come through network connections, not recruiters/platforms. We want freelancers to hold relationships with clients directly (not via recruiters/platforms). Freelancers can help each other/clients scope work, engage with each other on a human level, instead of being introduced by a recruiter/platform as a ‘gun for hire’ and nothing else.
Through a new pricing model (flat fee instead of the insane % of day rate model used by recruiters saving roughly 75% for clients), effective communication channels (dedicated Slack channels for each community), we’re able to connect like-minded professional freelancers + clients.
We believe freelancing is the future and we’re building a model & infrastructure to help support a happier, better connected freelance marketplace.
What we need help with!
Recruiters / project platforms have a stranglehold over client relationships, which is why it’s an industry that’s never truly been disrupted and ‘intermediary’ brokers (recruiters/platforms) have been able to get away with propping up this model for so long & charging ludicrous fees for their services. For us it’s just a quest for exposure now, if you’re a freelance ‘professional’ in Europe (strategy, data science or innovation design) we’re free to use (and always will be). If you’re a client who uses recruiters/project platforms to hire freelancers from one of these three communities mentioned, please do get in touch for a chat (I think you’ll really like / find use in what we’re building).
Our power will be in our numbers, the more freelancers & clients we can bring into the community to utilise this new model / way of working, the sooner we can start a debate / make existing established players in the market really question whether what they’re offering is helping or damaging the continued growth of the freelancing ecosystem.
Whether you’re a client, freelancer or just someone interested in what we’re trying to do, you can reach me at: [email protected]
Always happy to have a chat 🙂