How One Marketing Agency Simplified the Way They Work with Freelance Talent

Marketing Agency

Customer Spotlight: SLT Consulting

Agencies and their freelancers, it’s a tale as old as time. 

As part of a day’s work, agencies need to be able to quickly scale up and down to meet client demand, and provide niche skills and expertise for a wide range of business needs. On the other side of the table, freelancers love the steady workload that comes with working for an agency, and the chance to hand off a portion of the administrative overhead. It’s no wonder that freelancers are such a perfect fit for an agency workforce. 

Digital Marketing agency SLT Consulting (SLTC) is a great example of this model in action. The agency relies on a cross-disciplinary collective of more than 60 freelancers, working alongside just 3 full-time employees. 

Recently, SLTC implemented Fiverr Enterprise to solve some key challenges — reducing their management tools by 80%, and returning 20 hours each month to administrative staff. Curiosity piqued? Keep reading!

SLTC’s challenges were like those of most successful agencies — process and scale. 

As well as a wide range of direct customers, agencies have another important client to keep happy — the freelancer themselves. 68% of freelancers believe the demand for their skills and way of working will grow, and if they aren’t happy with their agency clients, they will quickly look elsewhere. That’s why making the process straightforward and easy is so critical for agencies. 

SLTC works with 60+ freelancers, but are keenly aware that they aren’t their freelancers’ only client. Each freelancer has their own business to manage, and other clients to prioritize.

“Streamlining the process is critical. We only have a fraction of their time and commitment, and we are managing so many moving pieces.” – Sharon Lee Thony, Founder & CEO, SLT Consulting

This is simple enough at the earliest stages of an agency, but as a business scales, it’s tough to retain visibility and control over all your talent, including their skills, their open projects, which clients they have a relationship with, and their relationship to the overall budget. Each freelancer could be working with 5 or 6 different clients, which means the real workload is far greater than just the number of freelancers you have in your database, it’s actually that number multiplied by the number of clients you’re working alongside. 

“When you look at each individual client or freelancer it doesn’t seem like such a big deal. The process is simple – you hire, assign work, receive an invoice, pay. The complexity is the mix and match of the 60 freelancers and the 20 clients, and all the potential combinations you have to solve for every day.”

This workload can’t be managed manually. Many agencies find themselves using between 5 and 10 tools to handle seemingly disparate tasks such as capacity planning, assigning tasks, collecting and tracking information, and getting talent paid accurately and on time. In reality, they all come under the same umbrella — managing freelance talent

See what SLTC has to say in their own words.

Streamlining all of that complexity with a single tool built for purpose

Efficiency in operations is essential for agencies, which is why SLTC turned to Fiverr Enterprise as a single tool that could replace multiple siloed technologies and processes. 

Fiverr Enterprise manages the entire freelance lifecycle, from hiring and compliantly onboarding talent, to management, budget tracking and payments. Built for purpose, agencies can use Fiverr Enterprise to: 

  • Compliantly hire anywhere in the world. No risk of misclassification or missing documentation, Fiverr Enterprise flags any concerns alongside steps for mitigation. 
  • Analyze the numbers and the people. The platform provides a view of budget and accounting, and also freelancers’ availability, assignments and skills.
  • Provide granular permissions and access control to different stakeholders. For example, managers can see just their specific client list, while Finance teams have a broader view.
  • Pay everyone according to their preferred methods. Dozens of freelancers, and as many channels, currencies, and invoice methods. Agencies pay Fiverr Enterprise one monthly invoice on their own terms, and we make sure freelancers are paid accurately and on time. 

“I remember that moment when we found Fiverr Enterprise, and I thought, why has no-one invented this before? It was like Harvest, Airtable, and G-suite had got married and become the ultimate platform!”

Reducing resource investment and boosting profitability in the agency model

With so many workers and clients to manage, agencies need to be able to find efficient tools that can reduce the administrative overhead from day one. They can’t rely on manually looking through documentation and hoping that they notice a missing form for compliance, or spending a whole day or more filing invoices and sending disparate payments. This might work when you’re a team of 5, but it falls apart as you scale. 

With Fiverr Enterprise, SLTC has been able to make intelligent business decisions at both a macro and a micro level, looking at metrics such as the cost per account or per freelancer, and then answering more qualitative questions such as whether to hire more designers, or how to adjust headcount to meet demand. 

Forging long-term relationships with freelancers is a core part of the agency model. A single platform for freelancer communication and payments is a serious value-add for the freelancers as well as the agency. Rather than rely on emails, WhatsApp messages and Zoom calls, the scope of work, agency expectations, deliverables, and payment tracking is all in a single place. One click payments makes it simple for freelancers to be paid on time, every month, with no need for chasing late invoices or missed payments. 

“I’ve even noticed that we have had more referrals from our freelancers to other talent in their networks since we implemented Fiverr Enterprise. I put that down to our newfound environment of transparency and visibility.”

If your agency could benefit from a dose of efficiency as you scale, and you’d like to mirror SLTC’s success by reducing multiple tools down to just one, schedule a free 30-min demo with one of our workforce experts.