December Freelance Insights


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Happy Holidays Everyone!

We hope you all are having a phenomenal break, relaxing, eating, finding time for what’s important. 

We are intentionally sending you this today. Either in a couple hours (Hi Asia!), or by end of day, you will be ringing in a new year, and we hope this edition can inspire you to embrace this new page!

We believe 2024 can be a really good year. There’s clear potential for growth, clear potential for M&A, strategic partnerships, and a multitude of growth prospects. But it still won’t be easy. 

The rest of this newsletter will help you be ready!

From our family to yours,

Jon and Matthew

🚨 Freelance Trend Tracker Expands In 2024! 🚀

In 2023, over 138 Freelance Leaders used Trend Tracker to inform their freelance strategy. In 2024, Trend Tracker will expand it’s data across Enterprises, Platforms, and Investors.

In Today's Goody Basket

  • 🦮  Matthew’s Piece: 2023 Observations For Freelance Leaders To Lead 2024
  • 📖  Jon’s Piece: UK Freelancing Forecast
  • 🦻  Podcast: 🥁… 2023’s Most Listened To Guests  

🦮 Matthew's Piece

2023 Observations To Help Freelance Leaders Thrive In 2024

Freelance Leaders, where should you be investing your time, energy, and resources in 2024? Matthew consolidated Human Cloud data spanning 350+ freelance leaders across Freelance Trend Tracker, the Human Cloud PodcastFreelance First Study Groups, and Human Cloud Advisory. 

The result, is the below 11 observations that every Freelance Leader needs to be ready for in 2024:

  1. The freelance economy is growing 30%+ across the board, leading to more freelancers, more solutions, and more competition.  While good news, the market is now crowded. How do you educate clients, and differentiate your unique superpower?
  2. Budgets are expanding as Enterprise companies rediscover freelancing, but not all expansion is equal. Enterprises are prioritizing platforms that can drive their talent strategy, scale their experience across the organization, and account for risk and security. Are you positioned as an Enterprise grade, strategic talent strategy?  
  3. In 2023, business impact was primarily driven by existing, enterprise relationships, not net new sales and marketing, or technology. This looks to continue in 2024. Are you preserving and expanding your Enterprise accounts?
  4. Partnerships are becoming an essential growth driver for accessing and expanding clients. Instead of numerous, low growth accounts, partnerships can unlock access, expansion and high spend per account.  Do you have a partnership pipeline and plan for 2024?
  5. Like most industries, venture funding was not strategic for freelance leaders in 2023. Investment happened, but profitability was the priority.  Have you positioned your strategy for profitability? 
  6. Technology investments were secondary to investments directly leading to strong client relationships. Even with recent Generative AI advancements, client success was still driven by manual and offline processes. Do you have a client experience that can hand hold, and direct clients at scale?
  7. 2023 saw high interest in consolidation. We saw PE driven acquisitions,  larger platforms acquiring smaller platforms, and strategic partnerships that looked like an acquisition.  Are you able to see, plan for, and capitalize on a strategic acquisition in 2024 (both acquirers and acquirees)?
  8. Fractional became a crucial segment of the freelance economy in 2023. Both the supply and demand for fractional freelancers grew, stayed, and became a hook for companies getting started. Do you have a fractional offering?
  9. Platforms explicitly took on managed service provider (MSP) responsibilities. Freelance isn’t new, there’s an existing external talent industry that freelance now needs an answetr to.  Do you understand the history of talent strategies and external talent solutions?  
  10. Platforms increasingly integrated with VMS’s and MSP’s through partnerships, relationships, and even API integrations. Are you being asked to integrate with existing providers?
  11. Aggregation of multiple marketplaces saw interest, but still no one singular solution. Instead, we saw aggregation happen through informal partnerships between multiple marketplaces. Can you work with other marketplaces? Do you know what you’re willing to give up and not give up in collaborating?  

2023's Most Listened To Podcast Guests

It’s been a great year for the Human Cloud podcast. We’re now the #1 global podcast in the freelance category, with over 100,000 listeners across 48 countries. Congrats to Steve Rader of NASA, Jeremy Johnson of Andela, Rachel Renock of Wethos, Arvind Ravishunkar of Wipro, and Brooks Lockett for being the most listened to guest in their category in 2023. 

Check It Out

  • 🏆 #1 Download of 2023: Freelance Industry Landscape
  • 📊 Diagram of the Month: Defining Fractional vs Interim vs Consultant
  • 🚀 New Players On The Block: From Fractionals United to TechCXO
  • 🙌 Shoutout To Our Friends : $1.9m seed raise, marketing plan template


2023's #1 Download: Freelance Industry Landscape

Freelance Leaders, how do you navigate the over 1,000 solutions in the global freelance economy?

  • Company Leaders – how do you know what marketplaces and solutions you need?
  • Industry Founders and Executive Teams – How should you differentiate? Who else serves your niche, and your region? Most important, who should you partner with?


We’ve aggregated, segmented, and are constantly adding prioritized freelance solutions into the Freelance Industry Landscape.


Diagram of the Month

New Players On The Block

New industry solutions you need to be aware of

  • Fractionals United is a US based, fractional community with over 6,000 fractional individuals, started by Karina Mikhli, a fractional COO herself.
  • TechCXO is an Atlanta based, fractional executive marketplace, with 15+ year experienced executives like Todd Merrill, former Chick-fil-A Innovation Mentor, founder, CEO, CTO, and COO within startup to enterprise environments.  

*With the ambiguity of our space, it is critical to understand the various market segments. Our industry has gone beyond traditional marketplaces, and are now creating new solutions and categories daily. 

See the full industry >>


Congratulations To Our Friends  

(if you have an exciting update, send it our way!)

Bubty closes $1.9M seed funding. WOW! Congrats Bubty team.


Hospitality marketplace Lucia announces a partnership with Classic Vacations, the largest wholesale travel provider in the US.



Gigged.AI just finished their “30 Days of AI” campaign in partnership with Open AI. Three companies were chosen who will have their project fully funded to create generative AI use cases in the UK. 



Growth Collective released their 2024 Marketing Plan Template.



❓ Question: What events will you be attending in 2024? 🤔

Reply with your answer, or input your answer into our open sourced events calendar, then next edition we’ll share the results.

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