Expert Insights

Adrian Tan
Fractional CMO at HR Ventures


Adrian Tan is our freelancer of the month, providing insights on innovative ways companies can use the fractional model to transform traditional roles including marketing.

With a part-time or fractional CMO, businesses can benefit from the expertise of a seasoned marketing professional without the cost of a full-time employee. And once the business is stable and ready to invest in a full-time CMO, the fractional CMO can easily transition out.

This new model allows businesses to be more flexible with their hiring and scale up or down as needed, without the commitment of a full-time salary and benefits. It’s a win-win for both the business and the fractional professional, who can work on multiple projects and gain diverse experience.

So, if you’re a business owner looking to expand into new markets, consider the fractional model for your marketing needs. And if you’re a marketing professional looking to diversify your experience, fractional roles could be the future of your career.

Our Favorite Quotes

 Do you consider yourself a freelancer if someone were to say hey, are you a freelancer, what would you say?

  • “Initially when I started on this journey, I did tell people I’m a freelancer. I used a number of terms. I told some people I’m a hired gun, a gig worker, and just kept trying out different things until I realized I’m doing fractional work. “


Why do you freelance?

  • “What’s the best way to be to not get fired? To hire myself”.


*Adrian also alluded to the lack of atrophy when freelancing versus being a manager.

  • “They sit back and point fingers and expect things to be done, which perhaps the previous bull market was able to tolerate, because, you know, free money and all. But as we continue in this bear market, I think those kind of low returns will not be as well tolerated by business owners, and full timers.”


How many clients do you have and how do you manage your time?

  • “At my peak I had two teaching assignments and three retainers. I dropped the teaching assignment. At the lowest I only had two retainers. I also do podcasting and get advertising money from podcasting. I also do commission work to help companies in writing white papers, sometimes sponsored blog posts and all that. But those are very erratic because it is beyond my control when they will come. But the constant will always be the retainer.”
  • “For the first one, I commit to 10 hours a week, the second one, eight hours, and then the third 12 hours. For the first one, it is primarily remote. For the second one, I make Wednesday the day to go in and meet the team. There’s a team that I manage in that retainer, and we meet every Wednesday morning. And I go into the office every other Wednesday and set up individual one on one’s in the afternoon.”


Advice for his fellow freelancers?

  • “It is very important to block up chunks off your calendar on a daily basis, just to allocate for the client, if there’s nothing fine, do high level work or prep for the upcoming week. I try to keep it from over just Monday to Thursday.  But so far, I have failed four and a half years into achieving a 4-day work week”

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