Session: Evolve From Freelancer to Agency
Are you a seasoned freelancer? Is the amount of work on your desk bursting at the seams? When you have more work than you can handle, it becomes clear that it's time to expand.
This Session, written by Thursday Bram, will assist you with the growth of your business. There is a clear path to take from freelancer to agency, many have walked this path before, and you can too. Learn how to draw more clients, structure your agency, keep your team busy, market to the right clients, and set your agency up for the long run.
Building an agency allows you to keep working on the types of projects you like in a much larger quantity and raises your earning potential dramatically. Running an agency isn’t exactly something to jump into without prep work, but if that’s the direction your freelance career is evolving into, it’s a surprisingly practical option.
One of the key decisions in establishing a creative agency is how to structure it. Putting a solid structure and clear workflow in place that shows how different tasks pass through your business processes are necessary for an agency to grow.
When you’ve got a whole team working at your agency, you have to make sure that you have enough projects to keep them all busy. You’re going to have to shift your client attraction strategies to bring in big work. Let's look at targeting the quality customers and commissioning the right amount of work for your agency.
Depending on how you choose to grow your agency, you may continue to rely on contractors well into the future. But that means that you’re going to have to take on the role of client: you’re going to have to decide who you are comfortable sending your agency’s work to.
When you establish an agency, you need to be on top of getting the creative is on target, keeping clients happy, you also need to assign work to everyone else at the agency, if not keep checking to ensure everything get’s done. It's important that there’s a good system in place and that you know what your priorities are. Provided you feel comfortable with a little management responsibility, getting everyone organized is very doable.
When you’re first marketing yourself as a freelancer, you have to make sure that your clients trust you. The entire point of your marketing is to convince each prospective client that you, personally, will do an awesome job on their project. But that approach doesn’t work when you won’t be personally doing every piece of work that passes through your agency. You’re going to have to make some major changes in how you handle marketing in order to get your agency’s name out there.
While you do get to define your team’s roles at the agency, you’ll still have your hands full with work of your own. The big question becomes what work you’re going to take responsibility for at your agency.
Exactly how far you want to grow your agency is a question of your own goals. You may have modest ambitions, like building up enough business to be able to afford some great health insurance. You may have bigger plans, like being able to bring home six figures a year, beyond what you need to pay everyone working for you. No matter your goals, however, you’ll need to keep growing your business to meet them.