FAQ: Agencies

What questions should I ask when checking out a talent agency?

If you live or work in an area where freelance work is lucrative, you may find there are multiple talent agencies from which to choose. It’s possible that any of them could find work for you, depending how much your skills are in demand. Here are some things to look for: — Does the agency represent your field as a primary strength, or only as a sideline? — Do more experienced freelancers use or recommend this agency? — Does the agency offer health benefits to freelancers? — Does the agency offer training to help you update your skills? — Is an agency representative willing to go over your portfolio with you and recommend improvements to your presentation? — How often do freelancers get paid? — Is the agency willing to accommodate your preferences for schedule, time off, work-from-home, or other needs?

How do I choose between jobs?

Things are going so well that you have more than one project available to you. All other things being equal, you’d probably pick the one that pays more. What other criteria should you consider? — If the position lets you use new skills or obtain new training, it may be worth taking even if the other post pays more or lasts longer. — You’ll do a better job and get more satisfaction out of jobs that feed your passions. That’s one reason many freelancers take on the occasional charity job. — Building your resume and your portfolio shouldn’t be the only reasons you take a job, but they can be part of your decision-making process. — Quality and reputation
of the client. — People on your team. Will you be working with those you know and like, or people who will be valuable additions to your network?

What do agencies do for freelancers?

A good agency can supply jobs catered to a freelancer, with contacts which would take a single individual years to develop. While it’s rare to find top-paying work through an agency, many freelancers find it’s worth it to get more regular work and more reliable payment, and to spend less time selling themselves. Some agencies also offer the potential to sign onto their health plan, which may be valuable depending on your situation. To keep their freelancers’ skills sharp, some agencies also offer training for in-demand skills and technologies. Working with a good agency can help you build your business contacts, experience, and skills — all the while earning an income.

What are some things I can do to increase my profile with my agency?

Keep your skills up to date, and keep your agency informed when you add new ones. — Ask what you can do to make yourself more marketable or command a higher rate. — Keep up to date on new trends in your field, and present yourself well on the phone, in e-mail, and in person. — Save examples of your work from every job so that you can target your portfolio to a client’s needs. — Be sure your agency rep has the most recent version of your resume. — Be open to suggestions for improving your resume, portfolio, and interviewing skills. — Check in with your talent representative on a regular basis.

How can I present myself well to an agency?

To start getting agency jobs, you’ll need to market yourself in the same way you would for a high-profile client. Begin by checking out the agency’s website and asking around among people in your network. When you’ve selected a couple of agencies that seem right for you, don’t just send in a resume. Cultivate contacts at that agency, and tailor your resume and web portfolio to match the sort of clients and jobs the agency describes on its site. When assembling an electronic or in-person portfolio, don’t assume the client will visit URLs, look at a CD, or watch a video. Use storyboards and printouts to convey your ideas while making the reviewer’s job easier.

What are some signs that a job isn’t right for me?

A good agency will not use high-pressure tactics that force you to take jobs you don’t want. Be aware of some of the warning signs of a bad project, and don’t hesitate to say no. — Impossible deadlines — Vague or undisclosed budgets — Extremely low budgets (particularly when combined with unrealistic expectations for the result) — Requests to give away your ideas before being awarded the job — No central person managing the project — Inadequate specifications.

What is it like to work with multiple agencies?

There may be several talent agencies in your area, and it’s a good idea to make contact with all of them. Over time, you can narrow down the list to spend most of your time with one or two agencies who can consistently provide you with quality projects. If you want to take advantage of agency-paid benefits, you often must work a certain number of hours for that agency. This can be an excellent way to maintain your health insurance, but can sometimes shackle you to doing jobs that you wouldn’t otherwise choose because you need to make up those hours — meanwhile turning down better opportunities from other agencies. At the same time, it is a good idea to maintain relationships with at least two agencies. One agency may be slow while another is busy so teaming up with two agencies would
ensure more consistent work for a freelancer.


Artisan Talent is a Digital, Marketing and Creative Staffing Firm placing talent in jobs perfectly matched with their skills all over the US.  For available jobs, to submit your resume, or learn more about working with Artisan Talent, contact us here.

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