Making Noise with Freelancer Marketplace Quietly
In case you missed it, earlier this month, venture-backed Upwork (formerly Elance-oDesk) and the Freelancers Union released an in-depth study, titled Freelancing in America, on the state of freelancing in the U.S. The report, which was executed by global research firm Edelman Berland, is absolutely fascinating—and not just because of the numbers.
As someone who’s spent a considerable amount of time as a writer-for-hire, I see the report as a clear sign that freelancing has finally made it mainstream. Once considered the unfortunate side pursuit of starving artists (“Oh you’re a freelance writer? That’s nice, but what do you actually do?”), freelance work is now the preferred career path of almost 54 million Americans. For perspective, that’s more than the entire populations of Canada, Hungary, and Belarus combined.54 million Americans freelance. That’s the populations of Canada, Hungary, and Belarus combined. Click To Tweet
The home office is the new corner office, and no one knows that better than Dario Meli. One of the original founders at Invoke Media and Hootsuite, Dario’s latest venture, Quietly, is a data-driven content creation platform that’s changing the way brands and publishers find top-notch writers… freelance writers, of course. As a kindred content spirit, I was eager to get Dario’s take on the Freelancing in America report, particularly in relation to the rise of freelancer marketplace platforms like Quietly. So, after a little digital stalking, I had a chance to sit down over coffee with Dario this past week and ask him a few questions.
CM: According to the Freelancing in America report, 67% of freelancers agree that more people are choosing to work independently today than compared to three years ago. What do you think has changed to make freelancing a preferred career path, rather than just a side hobby?
DM: You used to work for a single company for a long time and could be assured that the company would take care of you. Those days are mostly over now. So, if you aren’t going to get any assurances from your employer, you may as well take control and work for yourself. The freedom to move, the accountability to yourself, and the global technology and platforms for accessing a wide customer base are all strong incentives that are fueling the interest in freelance careers.
CM: Prior to Quietly, you were a founder at Invoke Media, a digital agency. It’s probably safe to assume you worked with freelancers during your time there. Do you see platforms like Quietly replacing agencies?
DM: I don’t think these things are mutually exclusive by any stretch. If you’re a freelancer, there’s a good chance you’re platform agnostic. As long as you have a good experience, you’re not likely to stop working with a particular channel—online or offline.
CM: Not surprisingly, the report found that technology is making it easier for workers to find freelance jobs, but online freelance marketplaces like Quietly weren’t the top driver of work (although their usage is reportedly increasing). How is Quietly’s technology enabling access—and more importantly, ongoing success—for your freelancers?
DM: Our technology allows for a great deal of advantages on the client side, but if we’re talking about the freelancers themselves, the main advantage is the ability to be found. Timely payment services are also very important, as you know. Freelancers depend on the income they generate and at Quietly we are very diligent to ensure prompt payment.
CM: Non-payment or late payment by clients has always been an issue for freelancers, and according to this report, it’s still one of the industry’s key concerns. How does Quietly help ensure timely payments to its writers?
DM: As I mentioned, this is a primary focus for Quietly. Globally, there are so many payment options that finding a solution can be a logistical headache. As we scale, we’re looking into Hyperwallet’s capabilities in order to further improve our payout options.
CM: What’s next for Quietly and your growing army of freelancers?
DM: Our marketplace is currently onesided, and thus only open to Quietly’s clients, but we intend to open things up and give more publishers access to our tools in the future. Our content creators are of the highest caliber and lots of brands and pubs would like access.
The shift from employee to independent worker has, in many cases, only just begun. Are you ready for an independent worker revolution? Or, better yet, are you working at a company that’s driven primarily by freelance workers and contractors? If so, shoot me a message through the below author form. I would love to learn more about your experience in the new economy and maybe even give you a little online interview love. In the meantime, check out Quietly’s website, or ping Dario on Twitter directly: @quikness.
Quietly is a Vancouver-based technology company focused on empowering brands to fulfill their new-found role as publishers. We do this by blending the science of data and analytics with the art of strategic insight and high-quality editorial.