The Practical Magic of Freelance Creative Teams

It’s not complicated—an open creative relationship could be just what your business needs

When it comes to delivering killer concepts and your next, biggest idea, there’s one thing that your brand or agency needs to do: Assemble and nurture an all-star creative team. But chances are you’ve been going about it all wrong.

There’s a magic to building these teams. And here’s the simple secret: Don’t always make your best creatives stick around. Let them go forth and create and inspire elsewhere. They might come back to you, but before then, you may find someone new.

If this scenario sounds like an open creative relationship, you’re spot on. Believe it or not, it may be the fairy dust you’ve been searching for. Here are three benefits of using freelance creative talent to augment your team.

1. It’s the lifestyle creatives want

It turns out that great creatives don’t want to be tied down anymore. The millennial workforce is increasingly rejecting the 40-hour workweek. Since 2016 there has been a 78% increase in LinkedIn job posts that mention flexible work schedules and the growing gig economy has changed perceptions of highly skilled, on-demand workers.

These creatives want a more flexible lifestyle and are happy to pick and choose projects that speak to them. When they sign on, you know they want to help your team thrive because they have chosen to be there. They are true free agents who bring you their knowledge of the market, fresh ideas and are glad to stay off your payroll.

 2. There are no strings attached

Building the right team is hard. Hiring is time-consuming and expensive. It requires finding people with passion and drive who are highly skilled, good communicators and know how to get the job done. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the average cost of a bad hire can equal 30 percent of that individual’s annual earnings.

And it’s a burden. Nearly half of surveyed U.S. employers have trouble filling positions, according to a 2018 ManpowerGroup report on the talent shortage. Employers increasingly can’t find talent that has the proper blend of technical expertise and human strengths. Larger firms have twice the difficulty of smaller ones, a situation that can threaten their ability to grow and operate efficiently.

The solution is bringing in a creative team on a project basis. You need some inspiring work but aren’t looking for a long-term commitment. Companies like Creative Circle interview, vet and payroll these candidates on your behalf. They can even help you figure out how much to pay.

So, instead of embarking on a months-long hunt, you can have someone send you concepts and strategy almost instantly. Now that’s magic.

3. You get consistently fresh ideas

Freelancers today aren’t always your recent art school grad with a portfolio full of concept work. The new gig economy is full of experienced creatives who value flexibility over stability. They learn from each client and bring all of that valuable experience over to your team. Unlike existing teams that may be suffering from creative fatigue after thinking about your business’ problems day in and day out, freelance creatives can bring in a new, unfiltered perspective.

Freelancers aren’t only a good option for creative teams. There are social media marketers, project managers and even data analysts working as freelancers who can bring the infusion of expertise and strategy your team might need, even on an interim basis.

So, as you embark on your next big, business-changing concept, remember that your secret weapon may be in the network of creatives and marketers who won’t cost you the overhead or the budgeted headcount. Harness this creative agility and the freedom to build great creative teams to meet your business needs as they arise. What more could a marketer want?

Adam Bleibtreu is an award-winning producer, creative director, entrepreneur and marketing executive. Since 2013, Adam has applied his talents and inspirational leadership as CMO of ASGN Inc., a global recruiting firm, and Creative Circle, the leading provider of skilled creative professionals and consulting services nationwide.