November 21, 2017 Sean

Making Payroll in the Gig Economy

There’s a thing that happens in our studio. Inevitably, someone ends up dressing like a coworker. We all point and laugh. Knowing that next time it might be us. With an ad agency in the Adirondacks, there’s bound to be repeat flannel.

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

This anecdote illustrates that our shop is full of creative professionals, every day. Some of us have worked side-by-side for 15 years, others have contributed for 15 months. We look out for each other, riff off of one another and rely on the strengths of our cohorts.

Our studio is 3,000 square feet of open space, dedicated to design, production and concept sessions.

The staff trades barbs, album reviews and Stranger Things commentary as we tackle communication campaigns for clients.

The partners arrive with groceries and everyone works together to fill up the fridge and stash chips in cupboards. What does any of this have to do with business? Why should you care that a designer is setting type while crunching on agency-bought Doritos?

Camaraderie, culture and support make for better ideas, that’s why.

Stability helps to create an environment where concepts can flourish. These people are familiar, they’re regular. Each talented in their individual ways, that contribute to what we do as a team.

Why risk it?

At creative conferences and in business pubs, we’ve seen the gig economy celebrated. The flexibility of low overhead, the freedom to dodge and weave around process as it suits.

The gigpreneurs guffaw and hook their thumbs at agencies like we’re all wearing the same outfit.

Lunch & Learn at Staci’s station.

“Why would you pay for that office space? I have meetings in cafés. No rent.”

“Why pay all those people when you could contract out?”

It’s a fair question, and a tough one to argue, from a savings standpoint.

Then again—soloists are, by nature, accustomed to a singular perspective. The benefits of staff and space are seen from a client’s viewpoint: where issues of timing, volume, and consistency are every bit as important as design.

Back when we started out, the advice was “Be brave enough to hire people who are better than you.” Now it seems to be “Make sure you have them fill out this W9 form.”

If being a free agent is so great, why, I wonder, do so many virtual creative companies take great pains to appear as robust agencies, with a deep bench of talent?

Halloween 2017

There are freelancers, and LLCs that are true to their size. Partnerships who don’t misrepresent themselves as more than a dynamic duo. There’s something confident and wonderful about that. Those who are successful, and selective, have had the talent and dedication to take a client to market and rise to the deadlines.

At Trampoline, having dedicated pros to the left and right of us is inspiration to do better. It’s a push. You celebrate wins together, and when a difficult situation arises, there’s support.

There’s always more inspiration to be found, though. And so, we happily announce the addition of Mikaela Shea as Marketing Production Specialist. Mikaela’s creative path has been a Long Trail that winds from Burlington, Vermont, through Purchase College and television networks to Glens Falls. She’ll help to manage the design workload, and see projects through production, packaging and merchandising.

Design delivered from the 518

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