One of the most common challenges agencies of all sizes are facing right now is finding the right people to add to the team, especially as it relates to learning how to find freelancers who are capable of doing the great work that agencies require. Client budgets and programs are growing, agency new business is getting a little easier and so everything should be rosy. But when you don’t have the right team to get the work done – it’s frustrating and frightening.  

Ten to fifteen years ago, the prevailing attitude was that agencies needed everyone under one roof. After all, the work is so collaborative. But when the recession hit and people had to reduce fixed expenses to survive, many agencies who swore they would never try to manage a network of freelancers or hire someone virtual crossed over and did just that.

Not only did they survive it – but it opened up many opportunities to serve clients in new ways.  Fast forward to today – whether you are in a big market with lots of talent (and lots of competitors for that talent) or in a smaller market that just doesn’t have enough qualified bodies – finding and keeping the right team is a serious struggle.

Most AMI agencies have a pretty robust freelance pool and are versed in knowing how to find freelancers. 75% have some sort of flex hours where people either come in early/leave early, come in late/leave late or have some sort of non-traditional work week, be it fewer than five days a week or a full work week but they work from home one or more days.

In terms of remote employees, I would say that at least 30% of the agencies we engage with  have at least one remote employee and a good 5% of all the agencies we work with are 100% virtual. Surprised?

That’s why I was so interested in talking to Nathan Hirsch for a Build A Better Agency podcast episode. He’s a serial entrepreneur and expert in remote hiring and e-commerce. He has been selling online for over seven years and has sold well over $25 million worth of product through his e-commerce business.

While that’s interesting…what really drew me to him is that he is also the co-founder and CEO of, the hands-on hiring marketplace connecting hundreds of online business owners with reliable, pre-vetted remote workers. FreeeUp is showing businesses how to find freelancers online who work remotely and execute their duties as an in-house employee would.

If you listen with an open mind and a willingness to consider something different – I think you might get some interesting ideas about your own talent pool.

To listen – you can visit the Build A Better Agency site ( and grab either the iTunes or Stitcher files or just listen to it from the web.