By Alison Harrison
Wednesday, May 22, 2020
AMA Los Angeles presented its latest Instagram Live Lunch & Learn Q&A on April 22 with Jennifer Houston, co-founder of marketing and advertising agency, The Bench. The Bench describes itself as a deconstructed agency and uses freelance talent to build teams for specific client projects. Jennifer offered her perspective on working with freelancers and clients through the current crisis.
Jennifer started by talking about how The Bench started with the idea of providing an essential community for freelancers, something that is often lacking for independent consultants and specialists. The goal was to provide a place for people to find like-minded professionals and to share ideas. That sense of community is clearly very valuable in difficult times like these.
Jennifer went on to outline a couple of the steps the firm is taking to try and weather the situation. The steps include highlighting the extensive digital capabilities among the freelance talent connected to the agency. On a more internally focused note, Jennifer described how The Bench has been taking a look at how they’re structured, what their revenue streams look like and how they can get creative on generating new revenue.
Looking to the future, Jennifer expects the pandemic will lead to real changes in the employer- employee relationship. “The employee, or the freelancer, is going to have a lot more power now than they did before…the power of the people versus the organization is going to be much greater and I think that’s going to be the biggest challenge for agency leads and owners.” The fact that people have been able to maintain productivity while working from home provides real evidence that a more flexible approach can work.
Jennifer also sees now as a great opportunity for freelancers to set up their own businesses. “Go for it,” she said. “There is no better time to be entrepreneurial and smart than right now.”
If you missed it, you can catch up on 30-minute session on our Instagram account. AMA Los Angeles has planned several of these snackable lunch and learn events. Take a look at what’s coming up!