HUGE NEWS! Storefront’s are now available to everyone.
Our dream is for every individual on the planet to be able to start a freelance business. Today this brings us one step closer.
While seeing over 2,000 freelance projects and over $100m spent on freelancers at Microsoft, I noticed a pattern…ideal clients made their buying decision in under 5 seconds.
The buying decision was:
– Has the freelancer done this exact use case before?
– If yes…How can I get started as simple and risk free as possible?
It was literally this simple, because unlike hiring for a full time employee, leaders have the budget, authority and immediate need to hire you in seconds.
Because of this, we’ve enabled every individual the opportunity to create a freelancer storefront with two massive features.
1: Custom Portfolio – customize your portfolio to fit your past examples for exactly what the client is looking for and share that unique view in seconds.
For example, if a client is a coffee brand looking to create an animation video showcasing their leadership in innovation, don’t send them your full portfolio. Filter it by ‘energy’, ‘innovation’ like Frederik Eksteen.
2: Packaged Offerings – Sell low/medium/high levels of your scoped offerings clients can buy in seconds.
For example, an article for $500, OR a content management retainer for $1300 with 3 articles a month and content planning and metric tracking.
As a freelancer myself, LinkedIn and personal sites just don’t do it. LinkedIn has poor conversion and no one goes to a personal site. Thus Storefront’s solve some massive pains.
- They create a link for clients to not only get wow’ed but buy immediately.
- They can be used across any platform so instead of dying in RFP’s or bid’s you can send your custom link to already interested clients.
This is just the start. The current version is very, very basic but powerful. Pre-Storefront deals would close around 15% of the time. Post-Storefront they’ve been closing around 94% of the time, with the average project size being $1,200.
Our roll-out plan:
- Approve 20 profile’s by September 1st. Everyone can create a Storefront, but only 20 will be approved. Approval gives you access to our Slack Community and inclusion in our Gallery, which we actively hire and show to clients (our clients are marketing & product leaders with minimum $50k budgets).
- Storefront’s V2 completed by October 1.
- Approve 50 profiles by November 1.
*We’re in the progress of enabling each approved profile access to equity and investment opportunities.
- Polishing design so you can share it publicly with any client across every channel (LinkedIn, Twitter, Email, Job Applications etc).
- Making our Accelerator self-service within your Storefront.
- Making it easy to group your favorite freelancers into teams/collectives. We learned that without each individual freelancer having a strong storefront, teams are doomed.
- Automating the post sale process.
- Scenario: When clients buy your package, we will automatically:
- Send Invoice and reminders
- Send necessary contracts
- Send onboarding email
- Create Project management ticket
- Scenario: When clients buy your package, we will automatically:
How To Get Inolved
Ping me at [email protected] if you’d like to get involved 🙂
Our Core Principals
We see some serious issues in the way our industry is forming:
1. Freelancers aren’t put first. Existing models have major unemployment and an inherent race-to-the-bottom problem.
2. Lack of trust. Client’s cite not trusting freelancers as a top 3 concern. Freelancers say the same thing when thinking about referring work or teaming up.
3. Too much bullshit. It’s common for someone to start freelancing then start selling ‘how to freelance’ courses. Meanwhile the one’s that have the real knowledge are too busy actually freelancing. Similarly it’s common for people to claim ‘best practices’ then sell a bootcamp for $2,000+ when the knowledge itself is a repurposed self-help book.
4. Flakes. Our space is ‘hot’ right now, with many entrepreneurs, VC’s and thought leaders ready to use freelancers to make their mark. This can be great for both parties, but in most cases they’re gone in a year and we industry OG’s are stuck picking up the pieces of the crap they sold or misconceptions they wrote in a book.
5. VC A-Symmetry. The common model to build a software company might not be aligned with what’s best for pushing the industry forward ethically (think having a strong middle class as a benchmark for what ‘ethical’ looks like). There are huge VC backed success stories (Paro, an incredible finance/accounting marketplace raised their $25m series B last week), but most companies that were VC backed from the start have sold vanity metrics that are best for the founders but not freelancers.
Caveat: it’s not necessarily the VC’s fault. The freelance economy might not be a ‘venture backed’ market across the full lifespan of starting a company. VC’s need 10x returns, meaning they need a company to go from 10 to 10k users overnight. As an industry we’ve had incredible later stage activity (Upwork and Fiverr IPO), but companies that are venture backed from the start might not be in alignment with ethically creating a sustainable economy for all freelancers. VC’s also make decisions using $$$ and FOMO, thus a CEO willing to be a snake oil sales rep can raise a round.
6. Increased isolation. We all know freelancing can be a lonely journey. There’s no defined path, no performance review, and no colleagues to test your jokes out with.
7. Government regulation. The US government is recklessly advancing the PRO Act, a bill that would force over 60m US freelancers to be employees. The incentive for government is tax and control (it’s hard to tax and legislate over 60m individuals making a living without needing a company). The solution for us freelancers is being so valuable that companies can’t afford for government to force us to be their employees. To do this we need to scale both of our individual value and our collective value. This means less exploitative marketplaces and more individual empowerment to run a freelance business.
We plan to fix this through:
1. Relentless alignment in the vision of ethically realizing the potential of the freelance economy. We’re not building a company, we’re using our collective strength and experience in freelancing to empower a sustainable career that prioritizes choice and flexibility. F*** the cover of Forbes, for me personally this means being able to choose to live in a small town, to choose to be a great husband and father, without sacrificing making a sustainable income (for me, that means $20k MRR).
2. Shared collaboration through accountability and ownership. This is a joint effort between top global freelancers. We refuse a BS Ambassador program paying $600, web scraping emails or other shady growth hacking to trick VC’s. Instead we’re ruthless about alignment in the vision, proof of client impact amongst each freelancer, and enabling equity for early freelancers. Refer to the above approval schedule for proof.
3. Slow freelancer funded growth. Everyone involved with Venture L still freelances. Selfishly I and our leadership team needs Venture L for our freelance businesses.
4. Prioritization of the value per each individual freelancer instead of vanity growth numbers.
We measure success through 3 metrics:
– Increasing Freelancer Revenue. Success equals 75% of freelancers increased their revenue by 220% within 3 months of using Venture L. Baseline freelancer starting on Venture L earns $65,000/year.
– Increasing Time Spent On Client Billable Work. Success equals 80% of time is spent on client meeting or creative work, NOT operations/admin work. Baseline freelancer spends 60% of time on non client-billable work.
– Increase Number of Freelancers Earning $100k+ a year. Success equals 1 million freelancers globally earning $100k+ by 2025.
Storefront’s will always be open to everyone, freelancers will always own 100% of their business, and we will NEVER stand between you and your client (we are NOT a marketplace).
5. 100% Freelancer Ownership. Private property, and the ability for individuals to own their merit is a beautiful thing. We refuse to put ourselves in between your merit. While marketplaces worry about disintermediation (you running off with the client and not paying a % of each transaction), we’ve structured our software and business model to never get in between you and your client. We might take a % of each transaction if you use our escrow or payment processing service, but the relationships will always be yours.
6. Knowledge will always be free. No freelance knowledge is unique. And if it is, it won’t be in a year. Which is why the source code of freelancing knowledge we have will always be free for all. Take our Accelerator. The curriculum will always be open to everyone. But the experience will cost $474 to cover manual vetting, meeting time and program management.
7: Aligned pricing. Storefronts are free and accessible to everyone. We make our money from advanced features tied to the value we create.
8: No paid influencer marketing. The best freelancers aren’t public. They most likely don’t have a personal brand and you’ve probably never heard of them before. They don’t want to get paid for their advice/speaking, they do it because they genuinely love freelancing. Based off our prior experience and data we know who these freelancers are, and you can trust if you’re reading a quote or hearing a talk facilitated by us that there’s been zero backdoor payment.
*Let me know if you have any suggestions to our list 🙂
Huge thank you to our INCREDIBLE early freelancers.
Motion Graphics Design
Frederik specializes in 2D and 3D motion graphics and design, having worked with renowned Youtubers such as Matthew Santoro, as well as working alongside companies such as Wilderbeast and Shared Culture Concepts, to name just a few.
He’s fully proficient in After Effects, Adobe Illustrator, Premiere Pro and Blender.
Social Media Marketing, Crypto
Anna builds her clients loyal customers through social media management, averaging her client’s a 30% increase in their customer base.
Web Design & Development, Brand Strategy
Dani is a Full-Stack Designer who helps his clients differentiate their online presence.
He’s helped a town launch an online platform to connect citizens with local businesses, brought brands from ideation to an end-to-end web presence, and many more.
Sanne Van Broeck
Sanne creates simple, efficient digital strategies to companies who don’t have the time, knowledge or energy to do so themselves.
This ranges from (re)designing a complete website, SEO, creating clear content and storytelling, to setting up and maintaining their social media and more.
Design (Print and Digital), Mobile Design, Brand Strategy
Kemal helps his clients connect with their customers in a unique way through brand strategy and design.
He moves effortlessly between design disciplines and that gives him a unique perspective on the design and development process.
Sanja K., Ph.D
Leadership Training, Collaboration Training
Sanja helps leaders improve communication and collaboration at work among different stakeholders so they can increase their collective leadership capacity.
She advises leaders directly or works with organizations through workshops.
Product Marketing, UI/UX, CRO, Shopify
JR helps eCommerce brands and agencies win by providing strategy, execution and optimization services.
For over 10 years he’s been spearheading projects, leading teams, and initiatives for Tier 1 agencies and brands across several industries.
Laurence is a creative SaaS marketer specialised in strategy, positioning, and growth.
He’s worked with leading brands like LG to help brand positioning, Amazon to help with messaging, and is currently leading marketing at B2B SaaS brand, Mango.
CEO of Venture L, Author of The Human Cloud
Matthew R Mottola is a global leader on the Human Cloud - the transition from physical and full time work to digital, remote, independent models.
At Microsoft, in joint partnership with Upwork, he built the Microsoft 365 freelance toolkit - the unlock for enterprises to embrace the human cloud at scale - bringing Microsoft from nascent to an industry leader in under two years.
At Gigster, he built Ideation - enabling freelance developers, data scientists, and product managers to consistently generate what should be built in the software development lifecycle.
His work has been featured by Forbes and Fortune to name a few. He is an international keynote speaker, speaking at leading conferences Remote Work Summit and YPO’s Innovation Week to name a few. He is the author of StartUp Not StartDown, upcoming book The Human Cloud, and contributor to leading industry reports.