Welcome to a Startup Edition of the TotalPicture Podcast. I’m your host Peter Clayton. Joining me today is Bryan Karas, a former Facebook executive who has started not just one, but two companies: Playbook Media, a digital marketing agency that specializes in growth marketing for startups and GrowTal, (think grow talent), a Silicon Valley based marketplace that specializes in connecting marketing professionals with companies. In our interview today, we’ll focus on GrowTal.
For the marketing industry, the numbers are bleak. Every major holding company has implemented or is planning to achieve a series of cost-cutting measures in a bid to self-preserve. According to Forrester, ad agencies will be forced to shed more than 50,000 jobs through 2021 as a result of COVID-19. The Forrester report also predicts that agencies will see two years of negative growth—including a decline of 30% for 2020 and 20% for 2021.
- Bryan, welcome. Tell us a little bit about your background, specifically your experience with Facebook and why you created not one, but two startups.
- Tell us about GrowTal. What are the advantages over using something like Craigslist or Upwork?
- From what I understand, GrowTal was started last year. How has covid-19 impacted your business?
- How do you screen marketing applicants for the GrowTal platform?
- Who does the screening? A bot or a human?
- How do you define a “marketing expert?”
- How are you attracting companies to use GrowTal, and who are some of your clients?
- So, the GrowTal platform is quite different from other talent marketplaces in that you hand-pick the marketer for the specific role or project? Tell us about that process.
- This means GrowTal is basically an RPO specifically for marketing roles?
- What happens when it doesn’t work, Bryan? For the company and/or the freelancer?
- How are project fees and hourly rates determined?
- Who pays you, and how much?
- Like Upwork, do companies establish escrow accounts on your platform?
- Do you handle 1099’s?
- Tell us about Playbook and how you divide your time between your two companies. I’m assuming there’s some synergy that exists?
- Are you backed by private equity? Angel investors?
- Are you planning to expand GrowTal to other disciplines beyond marketing?
- How can our viewers/listeners connect with you?
GrowTal Press Release:
After being in stealth mode since the middle of last year, GrowTal today announced the launch of its new talent marketplace for finding and hiring marketing experts in the most seamless way possible. As a “matchmaker,” GrowTal brings together talented marketing experts, who are looking to be fairly compensated for their ability to contribute to an organization independently, and companies, who have an immediate need but do not want to invest in hiring in-house.
“About a year ago, I noticed two trends. The first was that many companies like the idea of hiring in-house marketing expertise over agencies. Many companies are not willing to make the investment that it takes to successfully build the marketing function in house, but a growing number of companies are. The second was that many talented marketers were choosing to go independent. They realize that working for yourself often pays better than working for someone else and provides a much better work-life balance. This was the epiphany that made me realize that there was a need for a matchmaker between marketing experts and companies, and thus GrowTal was born,” said Bryan Karas, Founder, GrowTal.
Some of the brands GrowTal marketers have worked with include Square, Shutterfly, Headspace, Grove Collaborative, Redfin, Personal Capital, Uber, Imperfect Foods.
The GrowTal talent marketplace platform is seamless at its core. For both marketers and companies, it’s three easy steps:
1. Apply: The marketing expert tells GrowTal about their experience and expertise.
2. Interview: The marketing expert will be screened and interviewed by a growth marketer. Only the top candidates qualify.
3. Get Matched: GrowTal will match you with a company that needs your unique skillset.
1. Two-minute questionnaire: Tell GrowTal about your company.
2. Handpicked marketer: GrowTal identifies the best marketer for the company in under 48 hours.
3. Risk-free trial period: If the company is not satisfied with the match GrowTal will then find a new marketer, immediately.
The need for a new talent marketplace that caters specifically to the marketing industry is even greater in the wake of COVID-19. For the marketing industry, the numbers are bleak. Every major holding company has implemented or is planning to achieve a series of cost-cutting measures in a bid to self-preserve. According to Forrester, ad agencies will be forced to shed more than 50,000 jobs through 2021 as a result of COVID-19. The Forrester report also predicts that agencies will see two years of negative growth—including a decline of 30% for 2020 and 20% for 2021.
And due to an increase in freelancers and contractors, some experts argue that these workers are indeed a force in the new economy. A Toptal survey pointed out that 90% of companies depend on freelancers to augment their professional workforce.
With each passing day, thousands of marketing workers continue to lose their employment due to being furloughed or laid off due to the COVID-19 pandemic. GrowTal serves as a bridge for these newly unemployed workers and for companies that are looking for talented marketing support. Unlike other freelance marketplaces that are vast and one big pool of freelance projects, GrowTal focuses solely on marketing experts and responsibilities.
Karas continued, “Marketers need to feel empowered to find the new opportunities that they can be well compensated for their expertise, even if from home. And companies need to have the empowerment to build and maintain a remote flexible workforce without the obligations that come with full-time commitments. If you are an expert marketer who is looking to be well compensated for your ability to independently contribute to an organization, then GrowTal is the platform for you. If you are a company that is looking to hire remote top-notch marketing experts with flexible hours and/or terms, then GrowTal is the platform for you.”
GrowTal is the new go-to marketplace for hiring remote top marketing experts in the most simplified way. GrowTal is designed to connect companies with top marketing talent without the need for costly recruiting efforts or the risk and commitment that comes with traditional hiring practices. The GrowTal platform finds, evaluates, and connects independent contractors who provide marketing and other professional services with clients and organizations seeking their expertise.
Founded in 2019, GrowTal is led by its founder Bryan Karas, a former Facebook executive and current CEO of digital marketing agency Playbook Media. GrowTal is headquartered in San Francisco and is backed by private investors. For more information, visit GrowTal.com or follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.