TEEM CEO Trish Thomas was interviewed by Mike White from Bluhorn TV as a part of their “Marketing for Your Future” series of videos. Mike and Trish discussed some of the unique ways that TEEM has defined its model, how TEEM vets our freelancer teams, and some tips on how to succeed in the gig economy. Below is a transcript of the interview, in addition to the full video of the interview.
WHAT SERVICES DOES YOUR COMPANY PROVIDE?
Creative, Media Buying and Planning, Social Media, SEO, Public Relations, Marketing Strategy, Video, Photography, Search Engine Marketing / Pay Per Click
TEEM is a full-service boutique agency located in Denver, Colorado built on a creative community instead of a large in-house team. We are brand builders, creative problem solvers, and savvy marketers leveraging a best-in-class creative talent pool.
HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS?
Our client’s success is our success. We are ruthlessly focused on delivering measurable ROI.
WHAT PERCENT OF YOUR ADVERTISING SERVICE OFFERINGS DOES MEDIA BUYING MAKE UP?
WHAT MAKES YOUR COMPANY UNIQUE?
TEEM blends strategic oversight and advocacy with the nimbleness and scalability of on-demand freelance talent. We don’t believe in a one-size-fits-all approach. Clients get the best talent, hand-picked for their project, led by our seasoned strategists, and managed by a dedicated account team. No spiraling hourly rates, limitations of a shallow talent pool, or long-term engagements.
WHO IN THE INDUSTRY INSPIRES YOU AND WHY?
Madonna Badger is inspirational to me. She has overcome so much personally, yet continues to advocate for women, push for diversity in advertising, champion inclusive ideas, and represent mission-driven clients.
WHAT IS A TIP FOR SUCCESS THAT YOU WOULD PROVIDE SOMEONE IN THE SAME INDUSTRY?
Never stop learning. Marketing, communications, and advertising today – however you define those merging fields – is constantly changing. Unless you are chronically curious and seeking out new knowledge, you cannot stay on the cutting edge and serve clients well.
WHAT IS TEEM?
Our model actually started about 10 years ago by accident. We started one of the first co-working spaces in Boulder, Colorado, and as our agency grew we naturally gravitated toward utilizing the talent of our co-workers rather than staffing up. A few years into the agency growth cycle we realized that this was a model that solved a lot of problems that are systemic in agencies today. We really adopted it, leaned into it, and even today we operate on a fairly lean staff and we have a talent pool of hundreds of very well vetted seasoned freelancers that we work with all the time.
HOW DO YOU MAKE SURE TO PROPERLY QUALIFY PEOPLE AND ARE THERE ANY CERTAIN GUARANTEES THAT GO IN A PLACE WITH THEIR WORK?
I mean obviously we do everything we can to protect our clients through our contractual agreements. It’s really more about an ethos, a culture where our freelance community is bonded to us and they’re invested in our success. It’s really important that you work with people over time and that you have longstanding relationships. If you’re just going to bring in a different resource for every single project that rolls in the door you’re going to be rolling the dice every single time. We have relationships with people that have lasted literally since the days when our agency opened its doors over 10 years ago.
WHAT DO YOU THINK THAT YOU’VE SEEN AS THE BIGGEST CHANGE TO THE WAY PEOPLE ARE DOING BUSINESS RIGHT NOW IN REGARDS TO COVID?
It’s been interesting to try to drive creative collaboration from a distance. We’ve always personally really enjoyed having brainstorming sessions that happened in real-time, sitting in a room together, having a few beers, whiteboarding things. Trying to translate that kind of dynamic into the digital space and making it happen virtually has been the most interesting challenge for us.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO SOMEONE WHO’S ENTERING THE WORLD OF CREATING THEIR OWN FREELANCE AGENCY?
It’s all about relationships. You can’t build that network at the moment. It’s something that has to already be in place. I would really encourage anyone who’s feeling some vulnerability around their position or anyone who just wants to ladder up in their career and be open to new opportunities, to build that professional network before you need it.
WHERE WILL TEEM BE IN THE NEXT 5 YEARS?
TEEM will niche into a few areas that we’re finding are really our sweet spot where our model works most effectively. I think a lot of agencies are dealing with that right now with figuring out how do we lean into our strengths but still serve clients effectively across a lot of different media and channel options. I think TEEM is going to niche in a little bit more in terms of our service offerings.