By 2020, Accenture predicts that 43% of the entire workforce in the US will be freelance. I know, crazy right? And, given the nature of the advertising business, chances are its freelance universe will be even higher as a percentage. Thing is, all of these creative freelancers have used ad agencies to broker their talent to clients in exchange for salaries. But now, with the freelance talent pool growing, new kinds of order are going to be required to help freelancers and clients manage the chaos.

Find freelancers. Connect freelancers. House freelancers. Check.

The innovation in this space is already beginning. A couple of great examples:

WeWork exists to provide a professional place for aspiring entrepreneurs, who do not currently have a big, fancy office, to do their thing. Not industry specific. It's come one, come all. 

 An actual office shed I toured recently in my town. I want to marry it.

An actual office shed I toured recently in my town. I want to marry it.

Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG) exists to help those with a specific business problem find an expert who knows about such things and connect the two. Also not industry specific and does a nice job of removing the pain of finding just the right expert to solve a problem.

Working Not Working, as the name implies, has developed a platform that can find just the right creative people for clients based on their needs. Broadly speaking in the communications industry (advertising, design, web, etc.) and, like GLG, removes the pain of not knowing which freelancers to call, or of limiting your pool of prospects to only those you already know.

Shed companies like StudioShed make backyard tool sheds and are positioning them to remote workers and freelancers as great backyard offices with a little prep and finishing work. I checked out a few and absolutely love the concept.

These are just four. There are many more. And will be many more than that.

In fact, clients are even playing into this trend. Just last week I wrote a Forbes piece about Taza Chocolate and how they are holding a pitch where agencies are not allowed. Only freelancers can participate. You can read about the client's motivation behind that move here.

And Ideasicle has been doing our part. We've been corralling freelancers for 8 years now, and it's about more than finding them and connecting them. It's about putting them to work using a unique virtual method we pioneered.

At Ideasicle, the whole of the freelance team is greater than the sum of its parts.

From the beginning in 2010, the mission of Ideasicle has been to come up with unbridled revenue-generating ideas for our clients. To do that we don't just find elite creative and strategic talent and we don't just connect them to clients.

We put them to work right on our platform.

We call it the "Post, Build and Riff" method because our experts work in teams of four, virtually, and when they post an idea, the team gets notified. Then the team reads the post, builds upon it and riffs until the polished gems emerge. 

After a few days, we go through the many ideas the team comes up with during this process and present the best ten (not two or three) to the client.

Pain points Ideasicle resolves:

  • The pain of having the wrong people. We remove the pain of not finding the right team for your assignment. We have 28 elite creative experts who are pre-recruited by me with vast experience in all kinds of categories and who have all kinds of creative and strategic talents. 
  • The pain of inefficiency. We let the team work from wherever they are - home, office or backyard office shed. Ideasicle is 100% virtual so no travel pains, no travel costs, no meetings, just the flow of idea generation.
  • The pain of sorting through a pile of half-baked ideas. We let the team do their thing and then we curate the ideas before you see them. We may come up with 60 campaign ideas, but we will package and present to you the best 10. That's a lot less work for you, particularly if you would have been managing multiple freelance teams.

And we're quick. One week (or less if necessary) per round of 10 ideas. That's it.

Take that, pain.

The freelance market is only going to grow and innovation in providing order and structure to that market is going to continue to be an opportunity for creative businesses like ours. In fact, don't tell anybody, but we are currently working on an exciting way to scale our Ideasicle "Post, Build and Riff" method well beyond our own virtual walls.  

Stay tuned for more on that. 

Now, excuse me while I continue researching my own "shoffice" ("shed" + "office").


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WILL BURNS IS FOUNDER & CEO OF IDEASICLE, AND A FORBES CONTRIBUTOR.

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