Startups have many obstacles, but at the start every idea revolves around a team. What talents comprise the founding team has always varied – maybe tech and business development leads come together or a designer and programmer will begin a partnership, there eventually will be the need for additional knowledge to help a startup blossom.
A reality for founders not looking to give up equity to grow a team but also can’t take on full-time payroll fees could look to freelancers. Creatives, programmers, business development leaders and many others fill voids with their specific skills to help round out a startups offering. Many of these creative professionals are found via a kind-word of a respected friend; but today those “word-of-mouth” processes can be made exponentially more powerful with social media capabilities.
Coworks is the only online platform connecting buyers of creative services with freelancers recommended by their professional and social networks. Focusing on writing and translation, design and illustration, photo/video, and web/apps the San Francisco based startup aims to stop the bad experiences freelancer’s deal with during their careers while helping buyers find the best person for their job. Buyers utilize their own network of connections to find freelancers that have worked with their companions in the past to reduce the list of freelancers to choose from which can overwhelm everyone. While freelancers can begin to eliminate nonpayment frustrations or race-to-the-bottom pricing due to a fostered trust that comes with the word-of-mouth approach.
When those in need of freelance services signup to use Coworks the platform will find recommendations from a buyers connections reducing the wasted time that occurs when one painfully sifts through potential freelance candidates. Jill Gutierrez, Community Manager at Coworks says: “At Coworks, we focus on personal connections and recommendations. The most comfortable and successful path to finding freelance resources has always been asking friends and colleagues. Coworks takes this important concept and combines it with an online platform that makes working together easier for everyone.”
There are plenty of portfolio sites and resources to find potential candidates, but none successfully combine truthful recommendations with a skills showcase for a freelancer the way Coworks aims to do. We asked the Coworks team how they deal with recommendations and the frightful endorsements syndrome that has filled up LinkedIn profiles to garner a really useful freelance candidate. Jill told us the following:
“We agree, LinkedIn has made it far too easy to offer endorsements. On Coworks, the primary point at which the recommendations/ratings are generated is upon completion of a job on Coworks, so it is clearly tied to a relevant and verifiable activity. Of course, everyone has to start from somewhere when creating a new Coworks account, so we do also invite users to request recommendations from past business relationships to get their accounts going. We encourage outside recommendations to be very specific and detailed, including in what context the prior work took place. You make a great point about the value of hearing about the areas for professional growth as well as the strong suits. We hope to bring in more of this kind of balanced information on the platform in the future.”
“We also firmly believe that freelancers should have the tools to vet and review clients, just as clients want and need to vet and review freelancers. In our current beta stage, the platform provides a basic mechanism for this two-way feedback. It’s a fundamental area that we plan to strengthen and refine going forward.”
Entrepreneurs looking to hire a freelancer should take a look at posting their application on Coworks. Having access to a proven freelance talent pool that can deliver value is incredibly important at every stage of idea development. The time saving’s alone could prove vital in the launch of the next great product. Why filter through stacks of freelancers or hire costly recruiting agents when the “word-of-mouth” recommendation can be as easily attained through the Coworks portal.