Why I’m Building Freelancers Up Instead Of Building A Marketing Agency
I’m a full-time freelancer operating at full capacity. While I’ve been full, it has not stopped existing and potential new clients from requesting my services. In the last year, I’ve increased my hourly rate twice from $75 to $80, and now $85 per hour. My capacity remained full and the requests did not slow down after these increases.
I’m perfectly positioned to begin building a marketing agency. I could easily charge my next client the $85/hour and tap into a freelancer who charges $20, $40, or $60 per hour profiting from their labor.
But, I’m not going to.
Instead, I’m directing my clients to hire freelancers directly. In some cases, we’re collaborating, others I’m managing, and some cases I’m reporting to them.
The first of the two primary reasons I’m not building a marketing company is I don’t want to build that TYPE of company. I actually jumped into freelancing in 2014 after shutting down a marketing firm of seven years. A large factor in closing the business was the result of me asking myself the question if I were to start over vocationally, would I launch a marketing agency? Knowing the amount of responsibility required, I knew I needed to answer that question with a resounding yes. I couldn’t, and I decided to shut the company down in the middle of our year of rest and release.
The second reason I’ve chosen not to build another marketing company is because I don’t want to get distracted, again. Before I launched my first marketing business, I was pursuing a career in the film industry. My goal was to direct and produce feature films. Unable to get any legitimate traction was what led to me launching the marketing company. If I couldn’t get someone else to make my movies, I’ll create a successful business and leverage it’s influence and affluence to give me the control to create my own movies. When I launched Noodlehead Marketing, my agency, it slowly took me away from my priorities and aspirations. It became a distraction.
A friend once told me that our lives can only be about one or two things. Is what’s in front of us the thing we want our life to be about? What do I want my life to be about and how do I want to live that out?
Telling stories, bringing people together, solving problems and connecting people with resources are the four fundamental passions I bring to the table. While I’ve learned to live these out in whatever context I’m in, filmmaking facilitates these four veins in a wonderful way. So, this is where I’m headed and the work I do now needs to pave the path to this destination. A marketing agency is not a wise strategic move with this goal.
So instead, I work with clients in a way that prepares them to work without me. It leads me to setup systems and brings people together for my clients with the intent that I won’t always be there to serve them in the future.
It means I’ve written my first book about flourishing in freelancing as a way to help freelancers and to launch me forward into a writing career that ends with screenwriting.
I’d love to make the leap now, but I’ve now got a wife, four kids, and financial responsibilities. So while I’m willing to sleep on a friend’s couch while I pursue my ambitions, I’ve got to go about it more strategically minded. How do I steward what is in front of me well while also taking steps towards my goals?
Freelancing affords me the income and flexibility to take care of my responsibilities and allows me the freedom to slowly build towards my goals.
Working with the end in mind while working with my clients has led me to a new and better way of working. Instead of holding onto my clients with a closed fist, I’m now leaving it wide open to bring in resources even at the risk of my own role in the project. If I’m no longer needed at a company, I’ve done my job and they’re now flourishing.
If I had an agency, I couldn’t leave these systems and people behind when it no longer make sense for me or them to continue working together. Instead, I get to lift up freelancers, find them paying projects, and help them build individually sustainable careers.