For this episode of Freelance Friendly, I spoke to Tash Menon of Mash, a global creative company that curates bespoke teams, specific to the brand and the brief, all without the overhead of staff.
Mash is one of those new-breed businesses which has a small core team, and has built its offering based upon a wide pool of trusted freelancers who they curate and attach to specific briefs for their clients - whilst investing in a significant way to
building support and community for those people.
"A model that doesn't whitelabel freelancers, allows brands to have a team curated specifically for them, and access global big brand thinking at their fingertips - it seemed like common sense!"
Built upon the insight that increasing numbers of brilliantly talented individuals are stepping out of traditional working models, or hybrid working alongside their day-jobs, exploring additional projects to complement their passions and interests, and
being able to tap into that independent workforce provides a powerful offering for clients.
"If we don't have exceptional freelancers coming to us, we don't have a business full stop"
Tash and I spoke about why being freelance first benefits both the freelancers and the clients, what it takes to create a supportive community, and the challenges of being a company founder.
You can listen to the full episode above, or learn more about Mash at https://thisismash.com/
Six things we learned from Mash
1/ You can create a full service offering, with a small core team but accessing a wider pool of independent talent, leveraging freelancers and consultants to build your offering - with a "no walls" mindset.
2/ Agency employee churn can be 50% or higher, an engaged freelancer community like Mash has 3% churn - putting paid to the myth that freelancers don't stick around.
3/ Building an engaged freelancer community is more than just keeping a little black book of names and email addresses. Mash's two-sided thinking of "transactions" and "engagement", is a really smart way of ensuring both process
and connection is delivered well.
4/ Working independently can come with gaps, working alone, lack of collaboration, lack of training and support - being part of a collective or community can add some of that connection back, and collectives who offer this are adding value to the freelancer
experience. Being part of a collective can also help freelancers focus on their craft skills, rather than the rest of the offering, i.e. accounting, marketing, sales, etc.
5/ Don't whitelabel your freelancers - embrace the fluid talent you're building your teams from, it's one of the reasons freelancers will return to work with you again and again.
6/ Working with freelancers enables you to create a global workforce, tapping into local cultural insight and understanding.
Listen to more conversations with Freelance Friendly businesses on Spotify, or have a chat with us to find out how you can be Freelance Friendly, and work well with independents.