Expert Insights

Rachel Renock
Co-Founder & CEO, Wethos

Rachel is solving arguably the most difficult challenge in the freelance economy – how to power individual freelancers to scale, meaning scale their freelancing into a sustainable career path rather than a fun side gig. 
She isn’t the first one to try this, Bonsai in 2016 was the first ‘all in one solution’, and there’s currently a new one daily. BUT she has the best personal experience with the challenge since she freelanced, built her own freelance agency, then built a successful freelance marketplace before starting Wethos. She also has the best product mind I’ve seen in the space, specifically her ability to prioritize the most important thing for a freelancer…profitability, and wrap the data and every feature around that singular need. 
In this Expert Insights Rachel will help us learn 6 things.
  1. Why agencies are no longer enough, specifically why the foundation of agencies is no longer optimal for organizing work
  2. How bloat and bureaucracy from the past 50 years of our ‘mad men’ work style is contradictory to top performers 
  3. How the flood of Creative Directors during Covid drove this next wave of leadership level freelancers 
  4. The toughest challenges about being a freelancer
  5. How we can leverage freelance economy data to be a co-pilot for freelancers
  6. How marketplaces will become talent agents rather than marketplaces

Our Favorite Quotes

Why the agency model is broken:

  • “What ends up happening a lot is that agencies end up with one whale of a client that is producing most of their revenue. That dynamic can turn sour pretty quickly because this client is generating so much of your revenue, you’re falling over backwards, and you’re forcing everybody else to fall over backwards to attend to that client. And then if the client goes away, oh, shoot, now I gotta fire out my staff because I can’t afford to keep them on. And so to me, like, the model itself is so broken, because it doesn’t incentivize efficiency.”
  •  “We got really excited thinking about the idea of a project-based team and that’s where we had a big lightbulb moment. I think that flexible sort of plug-in teams, groups of people, is the future of how businesses will run, particularly in this space. And I think that the more rigid traditional, sort of legacy agency model is not built for the new world.”


The Mad Men Era is over: 

  • “The Mad Men era is similar to how we think about the old school days where people used to do deals on the golf course. Everything was big client dinners and spending tons of money shooting one commercial or having one ad in a magazine that could be the next big thing but the dynamic of advertising has completely changed.”
  • “I think that the era of it being fully based on the old school way of doing things is kind of over and now the rise of great creatives  that are efficient and nimble and can actually adapt and keep up with the pace at which things are moving matters a lot. It can take six months to a year to produce one TV commercial. And guess what, the idea you had a year ago is already irrelevant. Actually the idea you had last month is already irrelevant. There are a lot of dynamics that are no longer suited for where the industry is going.”


Leveraging Data:

  • “So when I say data, first and foremost, what we help people solve is how to price their services. We built a huge library of services and each individual service is an object in our system that is unique to each house. And each individual service has attributes, it has a title that has a description as price, and it has a role assigned to it that you can find with 1000s of services across dozens of different roles in this library. And those services are the building blocks to putting a scope of work together, they are the building blocks to putting an invoice together. And they’re also the building blocks to building your profile.”
  • “Our goal with the data is to help you become more profitable not to be more productive, I don’t care about productivity, I care about profitability. Having that through line through each stage of the project’s life cycle enables us to give people a constant feedback loop.”

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