Scaling agencies beyond limits

Scaling agencies beyond limits

Scaling agencies beyond limits

Scaling agencies beyond limits

The definitive guide to growing your agency without overextending your team or your budget

The definitive guide to growing your agency without overextending your team or your budget

The definitive guide to growing your agency without overextending your team or your budget

The definitive guide to growing your agency without overextending your team or your budget

Shifting consumer sentiment, a rocky economy, and the rise of new technologies like GenAI are changing the landscape for marketing and advertising agencies—both B2C and B2B alike. But while on the surface the world of agencies looks different, most still face the same challenges that have dominated the business almost since its inception: lean budgets, the threat of client turnover, pricing pressure, and fierce competition.

For agencies that want to expand, take on new and innovative work, and maintain profitability, thinking critically about talent strategy will be a fundamental to ensuring long term viability.

Shifting consumer sentiment, a rocky economy, and the rise of new technologies like GenAI are changing the landscape for marketing and advertising agencies—both B2C and B2B alike. But while on the surface the world of agencies looks different, most still face the same challenges that have dominated the business almost since its inception: lean budgets, the threat of client turnover, pricing pressure, and fierce competition.

For agencies that want to expand, take on new and innovative work, and maintain profitability, thinking critically about talent strategy will be a fundamental to ensuring long term viability.

Shifting consumer sentiment, a rocky economy, and the rise of new technologies like GenAI are changing the landscape for marketing and advertising agencies—both B2C and B2B alike. But while on the surface the world of agencies looks different, most still face the same challenges that have dominated the business almost since its inception: lean budgets, the threat of client turnover, pricing pressure, and fierce competition.

For agencies that want to expand, take on new and innovative work, and maintain profitability, thinking critically about talent strategy will be a fundamental to ensuring long term viability.

Shifting consumer sentiment, a rocky economy, and the rise of new technologies like GenAI are changing the landscape for marketing and advertising agencies—both B2C and B2B alike. But while on the surface the world of agencies looks different, most still face the same challenges that have dominated the business almost since its inception: lean budgets, the threat of client turnover, pricing pressure, and fierce competition.

For agencies that want to expand, take on new and innovative work, and maintain profitability, thinking critically about talent strategy will be a fundamental to ensuring long term viability.

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In 2024, getting the most out of your financial resources and team will be more critical than ever. A flexible talent strategy makes that possible.


In this guide, we’ll explore:

In 2024, getting the most out of your financial resources and team will be more critical than ever. A flexible talent strategy makes that possible.


In this guide, we’ll explore:

In 2024, getting the most out of your financial resources and team will be more critical than ever. A flexible talent strategy makes that possible.


In this guide, we’ll explore:

In 2024, getting the most out of your financial resources and team will be more critical than ever. A flexible talent strategy makes that possible.


In this guide, we’ll explore:

Flexible talent strategy

How today’s labor market is reshaping workforce strategies

Flexible talent strategy

How today’s labor market is reshaping workforce strategies

Flexible talent strategy

How today’s labor market is reshaping workforce strategies

Flexible talent strategy

How today’s labor market is reshaping workforce strategies

Skills-based hiring

Matching project needs with the flexible talent market

Skills-based hiring

Matching project needs with the flexible talent market

Skills-based hiring

Matching project needs with the flexible talent market

Skills-based hiring

Matching project needs with the flexible talent market

Scaling with a flexible team

A step-by-step approach to tapping into on-demand talent, from identification to effective management

Scaling with a flexible team

A step-by-step approach to tapping into on-demand talent, from identification to effective management

Scaling with a flexible team

A step-by-step approach to tapping into on-demand talent, from identification to effective management

Scaling with a flexible team

A step-by-step approach to tapping into on-demand talent, from identification to effective management

Flexible talent for the win

Flexible talent for the win

Flexible talent for the win

The agency world is in many ways thriving: 74% of agencies experienced revenue growth between 2022 and 2023 and 84% are optimistic about growth and prospects in the next two years. At the same time, most agencies continue to run on tight margins that don’t allow for large teams, especially given that work tends to ebb and flow.

But simply keeping the team small and asking them to rise to the occasion isn’t always the answer. More than half (57%) of US workers are experiencing burnout, and overwork is a known cause. If you’re looking to win new clients, advance your agency’s portfolio, or extend the impact of your team, you’re likely asking yourself the age-old question: Do I bring in new expertise or avoid spending too much on full-time hires?

The answer is both. Enter flexible talent.

Often referred to as contractors or freelancers, flexible talent is closing the gap for teams that need support in key areas. In 2023, projects with flexible hires on Contra grew by 4X, allowing agencies to expand into new areas and embrace new tech trends.

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of leaders today struggle aligning projects & staffing

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of leaders today struggle aligning projects & staffing

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X

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increase in projects

on Contra in 2023

increase in projects

on Contra in 2023

💡 Pro tip: The trending skills on Contra provide a snapshot of the independent market. Use this data to inform your project resourcing strategy.

💡 Pro tip: The trending skills on Contra provide a snapshot of the independent market. Use this data to inform your project resourcing strategy.

MOST POPULAR SKILLS-BASED HIRES

MOST POPULAR SKILLS-BASED HIRES

1. Graphic Design

1. Graphic Design

2. Digital Marketing

2. Digital Marketing

3. Content Creation

3. Content Creation

4. Copywriting

4. Copywriting

5. Web, UX & UI Design

5. Web, UX & UI Design

6. Social Media Management

6. Social Media Management

7. Landing Page Development

7. Landing Page Development

8. Video Editing

8. Video Editing

9. Video Editing

9. Video Editing

10. SEO Strategy & Management

10. SEO Strategy & Management

Critical skills on demand

Critical skills on demand

Critical skills on demand

As you evaluate the role flexible talent can play in supporting your agency, ensuring you’re bringing in the right skills is key. Skills-based hiring has taken off in recent years, and for good reason. A recent study found that 92.5% of companies hiring based on skills have seen a reduction in their mis-hire rate.

Combining a flexible talent strategy with a skills-based hiring approach means agencies can access deep functional expertise without committing to a full-time role when one isn’t needed.

For example, maybe you want to pull 3D design into your next web project and you need someone who can design in Spline, but you aren’t sure when your next project like this will pop up. Or maybe you’re running a content campaign for a client and need a team of writers who can handle ads, white papers, and video, all on a tight timeline. Or maybe your team is just stretched thin this month and you need an extra set of hands.

The opportunities for flexible talent to plug in and help are endless.
But what’s the right way to find, onboard, and manage them?

Start building your team

Find flexible talent with
the skills you need to grow.

Start building your team

Find flexible talent with
the skills you need to grow.

Start building your team

Find flexible talent with
the skills you need to grow.

Start building your team

Find flexible talent with
the skills you need to grow.

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steps to scaling with a flexible team

steps to agile
project resourcing

1. Identify the best roles for flexible talent

1. Identify the best roles for flexible talent

1. Decode immediate vs.
future hiring needs

As you think about the skills and support you need to meet your goals, don't get lost in the urgency of the moment. Great talent strategy is all about playing the long game while hitting your short-term goals. Ask yourself:

As you think about the skills and support you need to meet your goals, don't get lost in the urgency of the moment. Great talent strategy is all about playing the long game while hitting your short-term goals. Ask yourself:

As you think about the skills and support you need to meet your goals, don't get lost in the urgency of the moment. Great talent strategy is all about playing the long game while hitting your short-term goals. Ask yourself:

What projects are on the horizon this quarter? What about in the next year?

What projects are on the horizon this quarter? What about in the next year?

Do I currently have the right in-house talent to get these projects done, while leaving room for unanticipated last-minute priorities?

Do I currently have the right in-house talent to get these projects done, while leaving room for unanticipated last-minute priorities?

Do I currently have the right in-house talent to get these projects done, while leaving room for unanticipated last-minute priorities?

PROJECT TIMELINES

PROJECT TIMELINES

Up to 6 months

Up to 6 months

flexible talent offers agility

flexible talent offers agility

More than 6 months

More than 6 months

either flexible or full-time hires could make sense

either flexible or full-time hires could make sense

For quick turnaround projects (up to six months), flexible talent offers the agility required. For long-term projects (more than six months), either a flexible or full-time hire could make sense. Full-time employees, for example, can be valuable for long-running accounts where relationship building with the client is important.

Understanding this dynamic and having a strategy that leverages the strengths of both flexible and full-time team members will ultimately position your team for success.

For quick turnaround projects (up to six months), flexible talent offers the agility required. For long-term projects (more than six months), either a flexible or full-time hire could make sense. Full-time employees, for example, can be valuable for long-running accounts where relationship building with the client is important.

Understanding this dynamic and having a strategy that leverages the strengths of both flexible and full-time team members will ultimately position your team for success.

For quick turnaround projects (up to six months), flexible talent offers the agility required. For long-term projects (more than six months), either a flexible or full-time hire could make sense. Full-time employees, for example, can be valuable for long-running accounts where relationship building with the client is important.

Understanding this dynamic and having a strategy that leverages the strengths of both flexible and full-time team members will ultimately position your team for success.

Bring on the right talent when you need it

Find top flexible experts and manage them with ease

2. Hire the right expert at the right time

2. Hire the right expert at the right time

2. Hire the right expert at the right time

Once you’ve identified your immediate and future project needs, the next step is sourcing the right talent. This process is about connecting with professionals who can fulfill your project requirements with the agility and expertise necessary.

Once you’ve identified your immediate and future project needs, the next step is sourcing the right talent. This process is about connecting with professionals who can fulfill your project requirements with the agility and expertise necessary.

Contra simplifies this sourcing process. With over 340 skill sets represented across a global talent pool of 650,000 flexible specialists (and growing), you can find the perfect match for your projects. Whether you need a developer proficient in Webflow or a writer adept in AI, Contra makes discovering and connecting with experts as straightforward as it should be.

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K+

K+

independents

independents

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skill sets

skill sets

⏱️ On average, contractors on Contra have a time-to-impact of just 9.6 days, a stark contrast to the 41 days it typically takes to fill a full-time position. This rapid deployment is crucial for projects requiring immediate attention and those with longer-term objectives.

⏱️ On average, contractors on Contra have a time-to-impact of just 9.6 days, a stark contrast to the 41 days it typically takes to fill a full-time position. This rapid deployment is crucial for projects requiring immediate attention and those with longer-term objectives.

3. Onboard easily, stay compliant

3. Onboard easily, stay compliant

3. Onboard easily, stay compliant

Let's face it, nobody loves paperwork. But efficiently moving from hiring to onboarding is essential in maintaining project momentum. Contra for Companies, Contra’s all-in-one platform for flexible talent, takes the hassle out of the onboarding process, ensuring compliance while keeping you focused on project delivery.

From handling tax forms to drafting project contracts, Contra’s platform covers the essentials, leaving you to onboard flexible team members quickly and confidently. This approach ensures that all HR, legal, and financial requirements are seamlessly managed, allowing you to engage with your new team members without worry or delay.

SUCCESS STORIES

SUCCESS STORIES

Redefining agency growth with specialized on-demand talent

Redefining agency growth with specialized on-demand talent

Redefining agency growth with specialized on-demand talent

“Bringing in freelancers through Contra has been like having a second brain. They bring fresh perspectives and expertise that elevate our projects, add value to our work, and extend our impact for clients.”

“Bringing in freelancers through Contra has been like having a second brain. They bring fresh perspectives and expertise that elevate our projects, add value to our work, and extend our impact for clients.”

“Bringing in freelancers through Contra has been like having a second brain. They bring fresh perspectives and expertise that elevate our projects, add value to our work, and extend our impact for clients.”

Cory Shoaf

Cory Shoaf

Founder, StrideUX

Founder, StrideUX

StrideUX, a UX design agency, was expanding rapidly and needed a way to engage and support a growing client base. By engaging experts on Contra, the agency supports each client, with projects tailored to their unique needs while circumventing the financial burdens often associated with a full-time workforce.

StrideUX, a UX design agency, was expanding rapidly and needed a way to engage and support a growing client base. By engaging experts on Contra, the agency supports each client, with projects tailored to their unique needs while circumventing the financial burdens often associated with a full-time workforce.

StrideUX, a UX design agency, was expanding rapidly and needed a way to engage and support a growing client base. By engaging experts on Contra, the agency supports each client, with projects tailored to their unique needs while circumventing the financial burdens often associated with a full-time workforce.

StrideUX's growth trajectory has been marked by an intelligent engagement of flexible talent, emphasizing quality and attention to detail in every undertaking. A strong, integrated flexible talent strategy has helped StrideUX to scale efficiently while consistently delivering exceptional user experiences that form the cornerstone of their clients' digital narratives.

StrideUX's growth trajectory has been marked by an intelligent engagement of flexible talent, emphasizing quality and attention to detail in every undertaking. A strong, integrated flexible talent strategy has helped StrideUX to scale efficiently while consistently delivering exceptional user experiences that form the cornerstone of their clients' digital narratives.

StrideUX's growth trajectory has been marked by an intelligent engagement of flexible talent, emphasizing quality and attention to detail in every undertaking. A strong, integrated flexible talent strategy has helped StrideUX to scale efficiently while consistently delivering exceptional user experiences that form the cornerstone of their clients' digital narratives.

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4. Manage your flexible workforce at scale 

As your roster of flexible experts grows, you'll need a scalable system to keep pace, because effective talent management is key to transforming project outcomes. And that extends beyond coordination—it’s also about gaining a competitive edge with diverse team skills, fostering innovation, and driving projects forward with agility.

As your roster of flexible experts grows, you'll need a scalable system to keep pace, because effective talent management is key to transforming project outcomes. And that extends beyond coordination—it’s also about gaining a competitive edge with diverse team skills, fostering innovation, and driving projects forward with agility.

As your roster of flexible experts grows, you'll need a scalable system to keep pace, because effective talent management is key to transforming project outcomes. And that extends beyond coordination—it’s also about gaining a competitive edge with diverse team skills, fostering innovation, and driving projects forward with agility.

By empowering your project management with the right tools and insights, you can leverage the full potential of your flexible talent. Whether it's aligning individual skills with project goals, streamlining payment processing, or gathering valuable feedback, Contra for Companies amplifies your ability to manage your projects with precision and foresight.

By empowering your project management with the right tools and insights, you can leverage the full potential of your flexible talent. Whether it's aligning individual skills with project goals, streamlining payment processing, or gathering valuable feedback, Contra for Companies amplifies your ability to manage your projects with precision and foresight.

By empowering your project management with the right tools and insights, you can leverage the full potential of your flexible talent. Whether it's aligning individual skills with project goals, streamlining payment processing, or gathering valuable feedback, Contra for Companies amplifies your ability to manage your projects with precision and foresight.

Experience how expert flexible talent management can elevate your projects

5. Keep growing your flexible talent network

5. Keep growing your flexible talent network

5. Keep growing your flexible talent network

If you’re planning to scale with the help of flexible talent, it’s important to continuously expand your network of highly-skilled experts so you’re always ready for what’s next. When you think about future projects you and your team want to take on, do you have flexible experts lined up with the right skills to help?

If you’re planning to scale with the help of flexible talent, it’s important to continuously expand your network of highly-skilled experts so you’re always ready for what’s next. When you think about future projects you and your team want to take on, do you have flexible experts lined up with the right skills to help?

If you’re planning to scale with the help of flexible talent, it’s important to continuously expand your network of highly-skilled experts so you’re always ready for what’s next. When you think about future projects you and your team want to take on, do you have flexible experts lined up with the right skills to help?

The Contra Network allows you to connect with flexible talent that would be a good fit for your team and your projects, even if you don’t need their specific skills right now. You can create a custom directory of vetted experts in one place on Contra, including those you’re working with now and those you’d like to potentially work with in the future. You can even add contractors or freelancers you’ve worked with previously who aren’t currently using Contra. That means when it’s time for your team to kick off the next project, you know exactly where to go for contact info, skills, and payments.

The Contra Network allows you to connect with flexible talent that would be a good fit for your team and your projects, even if you don’t need their specific skills right now. You can create a custom directory of vetted experts in one place on Contra, including those you’re working with now and those you’d like to potentially work with in the future. You can even add contractors or freelancers you’ve worked with previously who aren’t currently using Contra. That means when it’s time for your team to kick off the next project, you know exactly where to go for contact info, skills, and payments.

The Contra Network allows you to connect with flexible talent that would be a good fit for your team and your projects, even if you don’t need their specific skills right now. You can create a custom directory of vetted experts in one place on Contra, including those you’re working with now and those you’d like to potentially work with in the future. You can even add contractors or freelancers you’ve worked with previously who aren’t currently using Contra. That means when it’s time for your team to kick off the next project, you know exactly where to go for contact info, skills, and payments.

💡 Pro tip: Build your directory of pre-vetted specialists with Contra for Companies. Source, manage, and pay flexible talent, while staying compliant—all in one place.

💡 Pro tip: Build your directory of pre-vetted specialists with Contra for Companies. Source, manage, and pay flexible talent, while staying compliant—all in one place.

SUCCESS STORIES

SUCCESS STORIES

Scaling an agency with flexible, on-demand talent.

Scaling an agency with flexible, on-demand talent.

Scaling an agency with flexible, on-demand talent.

"We looked for a system that could enhance projects with specific skills and help source talent close to our clients’ offices. Contra enabled us to align talent with our project dynamics, whether we needed them in office or online."

"We looked for a system that could enhance projects with specific skills and help source talent close to our clients’ offices. Contra enabled us to align talent with our project dynamics, whether we needed them in office or online."

"We looked for a system that could enhance projects with specific skills and help source talent close to our clients’ offices. Contra enabled us to align talent with our project dynamics, whether we needed them in office or online."

Robert Laplante

Robert Laplante

Founder and CEO, Workshop Built

Founder and CEO, Workshop Built

Workshop Built, a strategic creative agency, faced the challenge of maintaining their standard of excellence amid fluctuating project demands. By partnering with Contra, they sought a solution that would complement their in-house team with specialized, project-specific skills for their growing client-base.

The speed and efficiency of Contra allowed Workshop Built to quickly draft project descriptions and connect with experts without delays. This agility was crucial in keeping their growing operations responsive to the evolving needs of their growing agency.

HOW CONTRA CAN HELP

HOW CONTRA CAN HELP

HOW CONTRA CAN HELP

HOW CONTRA CAN HELP

Your new project management hub

Your new project management hub

Your new project management hub

Your new project management hub

As traditional hiring models falter under the pressure of rapid industry shifts, Contra for Companies provides a robust talent marketplace complemented by a suite of collaboration tools. Whether you’re a growth-stage tech company, a digital-first SMB, or an agency seeking to enhance agility and efficiency, manage your project experts in one place.

As traditional hiring models falter under the pressure of rapid industry shifts, Contra for Companies provides a robust talent marketplace complemented by a suite of collaboration tools. Whether you’re a growth-stage tech company, a digital-first SMB, or an agency seeking to enhance agility and efficiency, manage your project experts in one place.

As traditional hiring models falter under the pressure of rapid industry shifts, Contra for Companies provides a robust talent marketplace complemented by a suite of collaboration tools. Whether you’re a growth-stage tech company, a digital-first SMB, or an agency seeking to enhance agility and efficiency, manage your project experts in one place.

As traditional hiring models falter under the pressure of rapid industry shifts, Contra for Companies provides a robust talent marketplace complemented by a suite of collaboration tools. Whether you’re a growth-stage tech company, a digital-first SMB, or an agency seeking to enhance agility and efficiency, manage your project experts in one place.

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Why Contra for Companies?

Why Contra for Companies?

Why Contra for Companies?

Unprecedented access

Unprecedented access

Discover a world-class network of over 500,000 flexible professionals, offering a diverse range of skills to meet every project need.

Discover a world-class network of over 500,000 flexible professionals, offering a diverse range of skills to meet every project need.

Discover a world-class network of over 500,000 flexible professionals, offering a diverse range of skills to meet every project need.

Total visibility

Total visibility

Gain real-time insights into project statuses, flexible talent budgets, and team feedback, ensuring you’re always in the loop and in control.

Gain real-time insights into project statuses, flexible talent budgets, and team feedback, ensuring you’re always in the loop and in control.

Gain real-time insights into project statuses, flexible talent budgets, and team feedback, ensuring you’re always in the loop and in control.

Streamlined compliance

Streamlined compliance

Effortlessly manage HR, legal, and finance compliance with our comprehensive tools, making onboarding and payments a breeze.

Effortlessly manage HR, legal, and finance compliance with our comprehensive tools, making onboarding and payments a breeze.

Effortlessly manage HR, legal, and finance compliance with our comprehensive tools, making onboarding and payments a breeze.

Agile resourcing

Agile resourcing

Adapt to market changes with confidence, leveraging our on-demand talent network to scale up or down as needed.

Adapt to market changes with confidence, leveraging our on-demand talent network to scale up or down as needed.

Adapt to market changes with confidence, leveraging our on-demand talent network to scale up or down as needed.

Contra for Companies is tailored to your needs, ensuring you have the right talent ready to collaborate on your next project. Learn how to find skilled flexible talent, quickly and confidently, and keep your projects moving forward without a hitch.

Contra for Companies is tailored to your needs, ensuring you have the right talent ready to collaborate on your next project. Learn how to find skilled flexible talent, quickly and confidently, and keep your projects moving forward without a hitch.

Contra for Companies is tailored to your needs, ensuring you have the right talent ready to collaborate on your next project. Learn how to find skilled flexible talent, quickly and confidently, and keep your projects moving forward without a hitch.

The world’s most innovative teams

flex with Contra

"How do you act like a 1,000 person team with only 40 full-time employees? Contra offered the solution, enabling us to scale up flexibly with top-notch freelance expertise."

"How do you act like a 1,000 person team with only 40 full-time employees? Contra offered the solution, enabling us to scale up flexibly with top-notch freelance expertise."

"How do you act like a 1,000 person team with only 40 full-time employees? Contra offered the solution, enabling us to scale up flexibly with top-notch freelance expertise."

Aroa Gil Bo

Head of Customer Success, Framer

“Contra allows me the flexibility to book great talent quickly for our portfolio companies. I love that I can discover new creatives and freelancers that can deliver on our project needs.”

“Contra allows me the flexibility to book great talent quickly for our portfolio companies. I love that I can discover new creatives and freelancers that can deliver on our project needs.”

“Contra allows me the flexibility to book great talent quickly for our portfolio companies. I love that I can discover new creatives and freelancers that can deliver on our project needs.”

Alice Pang

Principal, Purpose Built Ventures

“Contra not only helps us find those people with specialized skills, the one-stop-shop solution allows us to manage projects end-to-end.”

“Contra not only helps us find those people with specialized skills, the one-stop-shop solution allows us to manage projects end-to-end.”

“Contra not only helps us find those people with specialized skills, the one-stop-shop solution allows us to manage projects end-to-end.”

Max Lind

Senior Marketing Manager, Webflow

Try Contra today

Try Contra today

Get started for free. Add your team as your needs grow.

Get started for free. Add your team as your needs grow.

On a big team? Request a demo