The battle for the consumer’s attention has never been harder fought than it currently is. The days of buying a print ad, an outdoor billboard placement or even a 30 second TV spot can no longer guarantee that customers will flock into your store, visit your site or buy your product. The increasing fragmentation of the media scene coupled with a growing resistance to even notice ads means that reaching your potential customers is now tougher than it’s ever been. People download their favourite shows and watch them concurrently with no breaks, they install ad blocking software in order to browse uninterrupted online and print circulations are falling fast. With thousands of companies using the same channels to reach the same consumers there’s an increasing need to cut through the noise and stand out. Enter content marketing.
Freelancers help businesses grow and expand. And in this new series on our blog we are sitting together with employers who are actively using Nabbesh to find out how that is done.
We are happy to launch it with an interview with Joe Akkawi, the Managing Partner of Paz Marketing to find out how their agency has integrated freelancers within their DNA. Paz Marketing is a MENA based integrated solutions agency for public relations, events, and social media to help brands connect with the correct audiences.
1- How has working with Freelancers helped you build Paz Marketing?
Freelancers have helped us fill certain gaps that extend beyond our core product offering. Sometimes the key to winning a business is offering a full communication package to our clients and there are certain proficiencies that we might lack internally. Nothing a good reliable freelancer can’t solve!
2- How has your personal experience as an employee turned freelancer turned entrepreneur helped you hire better freelancers?
It has helped me most with understanding how to manage timelines. Freelancers sometimes over commit to multiple projects due to need of income while we need to take necessary steps to manage clients expectations. Giving promises based on timelines you can’t control is dangerous and being a freelancer in the past has helped me project and estimate how much time a project might need.
3- What are your top 3 tips for hiring freelancers?
- Take your time. Plenty of talent around. Pick the one that suits you best
- Never keep the relationship over email. It’s never personal and meeting the freelancer can give you insight about them and where they can help you more.
- Hold on to talent you’ve worked with before. Variety is nice but solid results are better.
4- In which areas is hiring a freelancer better than a full-timer?
When a service needed is not a core offering of your business. It doesn’t make sense to hire someone for a role that will not generate business or revenue for your company
5- In your opinion what role do freelancers play in the advertising & communications industry?
Freelancers are seen as both an asset and a threat. As an asset freelancers can play multiple roles from design to consulting and development. It’s a very wide talent pool and can contribute to any part of the communication process. Yet freelancers pose a threat to agencies that lose clients to freelancers who offer humble services for more affordable fees. This has been on the rise in the UAE in the fields of web design, PR, and social media. Everyone’s always looking to save. It’s the human condition.
6- What UAE regulatory issues can one encounter when hiring freelancers?
There are two main issues:
a. Having a freelancer work in your office can lead to trouble if you get inspection on site and they don’t have a labor card.
b. For companies that audit their finances, freelancers who don’t have correctly marked invoices are a nightmare for finance to work with.
7- We’d love to hear about your experience hiring freelancers through Nabbesh! What are your insights?
Hiring through Nabbesh is organized, quick and efficient. We’ve had over 10 jobs completed through Nabbesh.com in the fields of SEO, SEM, Social, Consulting, Design and Artwork. We even build an affiliation with someone we hired for a job and he now consults on all our business.
The entire experience has been solid but on a general note, the region is struggling to find good Arabic speaking, writing talent. You might have to do some Arabic legwork yourself to get some projects off the ground.
Additionally with new pay-through-the-website feature coming soon, a lot of pressure on sorting out payments with freelancers will be alleviated. I’m also looking forward to a mobile app.
We would love to take this conversation further! Let us know your thoughts in the comments and connect with us on twitter.