On Freelance…

Tangerine Toad recently posted a meditation on freelancing, how the practice has changed and what it all means for an industry in flux.

Despite dropping day rates and a rapidly contracting pool of agencies to work for, the freelance road is still the career path of choice for many of the top talents in our business. They’ve realized how easy it is to work for themselves, to feed off the big agency trough without ever having to be a part of it. Or having to go out and actually start their own agency.
Not that I blame them. Except for a certain lack of control over your schedule and uncertainty over the next paycheck, freelancing is a pretty sweet gig. You don’t deal with politics or personalities or long term issues. You just go in and make ads.
It’s not a bad life, but it’s not one that leads the industry to a better place.

This notion of investment is a pretty important point, I think. Yet, simply being on staff does little to insure one is truly invested in the agency or in solving its clients’ business problems. For that, one must align themselves with the right group of people, regardless of the configuration or length of contract.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.