Working with freelance marketing talent
Small and medium businesses like independent insurance agency Boomer Baby can get marketing experts on demand from GrowTal.
Jennifer Paaske runs customer success at Boomer Baby, an independent Medicare insurance agency. Is there also a separate marketing organization? “Honestly, my partner Christine and I wear all the hats,” said Paaske. “We run the business and provide quotes and consultations — but yes, you’re looking at the marketing department right here.”
Modern marketing is a many-headed beast. Nobody, surely, is competent to meet all its demands, from campaign design and execution, through data analytics and measurement, to mobile and location strategies and social media engagement. The solution? A team — or even several teams.
But what if you’re in Paaske’s position, running a small-to-medium business with a marketing organization comprising one or two full-time employees?
Paaske explained Boomer Baby’s business model. “You become eligible for Medicare at 65 most often,” she said, “so what we do is help people navigate that process — it’s not so straightforward. We help match people with the right insurance plan and get paid a commission by the insurance carrier when we help people enroll.”
Keeping up with marketing needs
With new marketing technologies continually emerging, it’s hard for Paaske and the Boomer Baby team to keep up. “It’s hard unless you have a full-time marketing expert,” she said. “As a new technology pops up — even just email marketing; I mean, back in the day Mailchimp was new, ‘How do I use Mailchimp?’ Whereas if you have access to somebody, you hire them or contract out, they’re like, ‘Just send me the list and I’ll do everything else.'”
For Boomer Baby, hiring an expert in each new marketing strategy and technology is not an option. Contracting niche experts for limited projects is another matter. “Having access to GrowTal and being able to find an expert on demand — not having to have them on your payroll — is awesome. I’ve been asking for something like this for years.”
A pre-vetted network of marketing talent
GrowTal offers access to a network of marketers with a wide range of skills. One main benefit, said Paaske, is the flexibility it offers in staffing marketing projects. “Even if you hire full-time marketing staff,” she continued, “marketing is a huge umbrella term. There are so many specialties it’s almost impossible to expect one person to have strong capabilities in the different areas you might need, from automation to content production.”
It’s possible to have an ongoing relationship with selected contractors too. “We do establish relationships,” Paaske confirmed. “Initially, when we wanted to get automated email campaigns going we worked with an email marketing specialist; when we wanted to run some digital ads we worked with someone else; when we wanted to look at our branding and our messaging, they had someone else they matched us with.” Working with someone on a finite project doesn’t mean you can’t circle back when you need them again.
Digging into business needs
Of course, the concept of marketplaces for freelance talent is not new. Fiverr, Upwork and other sites offer what is essentially self-serve access to many different kinds of contractors (including digital marketers, for example). GrowTal, which focuses exclusively on marketing talent, takes a more bespoke approach to supplying talent both to brands and agencies.
“We hop on a call to get the best understanding of what the client needs,” said Sarah Little, GrowTal’s marketing and operations manager. “This is a benefit because we are truly able to dig into the needs for their business, source the exact expert that has expertise for what they are looking for — whether it’s a more junior expert for execution purposes or a more senior expert to work through strategy — and find the expert that has direct experience in the specific field of a client.” GrowTal can tailor its recommendations to specific verticals like healthcare, clothing, luxury or food.
The experts on GrowTal’s roster come pre-vetted — and it’s a tight community with about 100 experts currently on platform. “We have made our process in-depth to ensure our clients are getting top-tier talent,” said Little. “We get many referrals from people in our marketing community, in addition to experts that have worked at very well known brands such as Meta, Google and TikTok, and we have experts that apply through our website.”
A resume or portfolio review is followed by what Little called “an intensive interview with a thought leader in the specific area of expertise.” Candidates for quantitive roles (like paid social and search) take quizzes; candidates for more qualitative, creative roles have their existing work reviewed. Boomer Baby interviews the candidates GrowTal recommends.
Opportunities for marketers
In addition to meeting the needs of clients, GrowTal clearly offers marketing experts an opportunity to build a flexible freelance career. Experts are paid an hourly rate, work the hours they choose and can decline to work for a client if they don’t see a good fit.
Another big advantage for freelancers is that GrowTal finds the clients. The process of applying to join the GrowTal community is said to take “a few weeks” from initial application to scheduling an interview.
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