From first-hand experience, I offer you this:
There is too much kerfuddle about what’s new online that requires competency and back-end smarts to make the online business go. What about that social media stuff? Who’s interpreting the big data, and who, for goodness sake, is installing all the plug-ins, widgets, badges and pages plus security on your site and landing pages, not to mention the calls to action and ohmygosh that list?
Beyond competency in all things online, brand and digital marketing plus the writing and strategy of it all, there’s also accounting, legal (more oriented to contracts) or other skill sets needed for teams’ success.
Get the picture?
If you’re still not tracking and nodding the head along with me, here’s solid proof my theory is justified. In the Feb. 3, 2014 Wall Street Journal Small Business Report, “Freelancing Alone—But Together,” the executive dean of St. Joseph’s College in New York writes a solid piece about consultants who find payload working together in a hive.
What Is A Hive
We’re not talking bees here, but do consider the queen and the workers building a colony. There’s a systematic method to that buzzing madness, right? And, now consider this hive mentality with a grouping of freelancers coming together with conjoined forces, competencies, experience, and services to represent clients.
According to Elance in the story in the Wall Street Journal, in 2013, there were 1.21 million jobs posted on its freelance site with 1.15 million freelancers available; do the math – a bit of a deficiency for professionals, eh?
Which suggests to me that the freelancer solopreneur has a bit of opportunity to make it rich; but hold on…as companies shed their full-timers, they’re not shedding the need for skills. This means that a hive has the opportunity to roll in and become the outsourced team, acting as if they are full-time. Do you have a hive success story of your own?
Imagine if you’re part of a hive with all the moving parts to make it buzz. Throughout my 30 years in public relations, I have put together virtual teams and bid together on RFPs. Back in the day, however, companies weren’t ready for that type of structure; perhaps they thought there wasn’t structure.
What I can share as the most critical point of working in a hive or virtual team is this – someone needs to lead. Sadly, organizational dynamics requires a leader; flat teams may work well in theory, but clients need a leading point person they turn to for issues, discussions and strategy.
Here are several factors that contribute to hive success:
1. Leadership – appoint your primary point person to represent the hive to clients.
2. Skill Set – get a variety of competencies on the team that are not competitive with one another.
3. Money – address the discomfort of money and pay up front; everyone carries the load and contributes to expenses while getting a fee commensurate with the budgets attracted and hours recorded
4. Unified Front – this becomes more esoteric; however, if a client is calling another hive member for help with an issue, that person has to inform the rest of the hive. The team must function as a unit and not as individual members especially when clients regard the hive as one company.
Hire Soulati Media
There’s beauty being a solo practice. I can morph into arrangements faster than a chameleon changes colors. I can slot into a marketing team and be an assistant product marketer or join a public relations team and put my media relations skills to work, or work with another solo marketer trying to get a blog up and running or take a larger role as a business strategist for a startup.
Why this is easier for me is due to my career as a generalist in agency public relations. I took on a plethora of roles and adopted skill sets to empower competency as the Internet era unfolded.
Soulati Media is seeking clients right now. Let’s begin with a message map and follow that up with some strategic marketing programs and execution. The team is here and standing by; better yet, Jayme Soulati is the leader with decades of competency to offer.
Be Part of My Hive
Honestly, my hive has been alive and well for a number of years. I draw upon the skill sets that are deficient in my purview and gladly so. It’s been a tough road for me because I am a DIY’er. I love to do it myself but when I do it poorly, it’s time to step aside and let the experts in.
There’s safety in numbers to an extent. What I have found is that people are happy to join a hive as long as they don’t have to lead, and that’s what I do best.
Care to join my hive?