1902 – Strategic Account Management with Brittany Brewer

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks with the Senior Account Executive of FreeUp, Brittany Brewer.

Brewer Wide

Brittany Brewer plays a crucial role in enhancing business operations and efficiency at FreeUp. She has established herself as a leader in operational excellence, leading efforts to optimize business processes.

In her role, Brittany focuses on the critical importance of operations management in maintaining smooth business functions. She offers insights into identifying and resolving process bottlenecks, employing strategies that aim for continual improvement rather than merely maintaining the status quo.

Brittany shares the practical tools and techniques that have benefited FreeUp. The discussion covers various software and platforms that support project management, communication, and time tracking, emphasizing the importance of leveraging technology to remain competitive in today's dynamic business landscape.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • Operations management at FreeUp
  • Insights from Josh Elledge and Brittany Brewer
  • Strategies for effective operations management
  • Entrepreneurship and business growth
  • Tips for successful business operations
  • Challenges and solutions in managing operations
  • Innovations in business operations
  • The role of operations in business success
  • Practical advice for entrepreneurs and business owners

About Brittany Brewer

Brittany Brewer is a distinguished professional in the freelancing industry. She currently excels as the Senior Account Executive at FreeUp. With over five years of experience, her career has traversed various roles within freelance coordination and client support. She specializes in developing long-lasting relationships and ensuring client success, which enhances their engagement with FreeUp's services.

At FreeUp, a platform known for representing the top 1% of freelancers, Brittany plays a critical role. Her broad understanding of freelancing allows her to provide unmatched client service. She and her team are committed to offering 24-hour support, ensuring that clients can swiftly connect with the right freelancers for their projects, usually within a day. Her extensive experience and client-focused approach make her a key contributor to the company's success.

About FreeUp:

FreeUp Marketplace is an innovative platform that connects business owners with elite virtual assistants, freelancers, and agencies specializing in eCommerce, digital marketing, and web development. The marketplace rigorously vets thousands of weekly applicants through a detailed interview process, selecting only the top 1% to join their network. This ensures clients can access highly qualified professionals ready to tackle diverse business challenges.

The platform offers a unique service model where clients can submit a request and be quickly matched with a freelancer who fits their specific needs, often within just a few hours. FreeUp supports a wide range of pricing, with rates varying from $5 to over $75 per hour, catering to different budget requirements. Additionally, FreeUp guarantees quality and reliability; if a freelancer cannot continue, the platform promises to find a suitable replacement and cover any related costs, thus protecting clients against turnover and ensuring a seamless service experience.

Tweetable Moments:

01:22 – “Our model is definitely to push quality over quantity.”

Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out FreeUp at

Check out FreeUp  on LinkedIn at

Check out FreeUp on Facebook at

Check out FreeUp on Instagram at

Check out FreeUp on Twitter at

Check out Brittany Brewer on LinkedIn at

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Josh (00:00:05) - Hey there, a thoughtful listener. Are you looking for introductions to partners, investors, influencers, and clients? Well, I've had private conversations with over 2000 leaders asking them where their best business comes from. I've got a free video you can watch with no opt in required, where I'll share the exact steps necessary to be 100% inbound in your industry over the next 6 to 8 months, with no spam, no ads, and no sales. What I teach has worked for me for over 15 years, and has helped me create eight figures in revenue for my own companies. Just head to up my influence. Com and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for great guests. Go to up my influence. Com and click on podcast. I'd love to have you. With us right now it's Brittany Brewer. Brittany, you were the operations manager with Free up. Free up is on the web at Free Up dot net. Britney, it's great to have you.

Brittany (00:01:17) - Thank you so much for having me. I'm glad we could connect.

Josh (00:01:19) - Absolutely. We'll share with us what free up is.

Brittany (00:01:22) - Yeah for sure. So we're a freelancer hiring platform. we've got a network of about 8000 freelancers, which is a lot smaller than some of the other freelancer hiring platforms. But our model is definitely to push quality over quantity. And through our process, we've got the top 1% of freelancers in the industry.

Josh (00:01:41) - What if someone says, prove it?

Brittany (00:01:44) - Yeah. Do you have the top 1%?

Josh (00:01:46) - What does that even mean?

Brittany (00:01:47) - Yeah, we've got the receipts. Okay. So out basically we have an entire team, our freelancer success team, and their sole purpose is to vet our freelancers and then ensure that they're upholding our standards throughout their time on our platform as a registered freelancer. So basically, out of every 100 applications, only one person will make it through our vetting process. And like, what's the vetting process, right. Like, oh, I want to work for you.

Brittany (00:02:14) - I can join. Right. that's how some of the other platforms do it. But for us, we have, all of our freelancers do a one on one zoom call with a member of our freelancer success team before they're onboarded. We ask them skills related questions. You know, if they're applying to be a website designer, we want to make sure that they're comfortable speaking about their skill set, and they know what they're talking about. And then we've got, terms of use and best practices tests that they have to read about 30 pages of documentation study and then pass the test. And then we do some preliminary identity verification, fraud verification, just to make sure that they are who they say they are and they're located where they say they're located.

Josh (00:02:50) - Why is that important?

Brittany (00:02:52) - It is actually really important because anybody can kind of just put a resume together. Right? And they can say, oh yeah, I do product listing. And all of the Amazon clients that I've helped have increased their profitability by 150%.

Brittany (00:03:05) - But if you don't have anybody that's really doing their due diligence to kind of prevent and check that, you end up bringing somebody onto your team that maybe knows a little bit about Amazon, but they're really green as far as, you know, actually making improvements to your business or taking direction and learning what your processes are and actually executing things. So another thing that we validate is that they have at least three years experience freelancing, because when you're already busy and you're overwhelmed as an entrepreneur, the last thing you really want to do is kind of bring somebody in who doesn't have a ton of experience, and then you're taking more of your time to train them to onboard them, to make sure that they have effective communication skills. And we don't want our clients to have to go through that mess. So that's why we make it such a priority.

Josh (00:03:50) - Yeah. And so in your world, so I think a lot of folks that are listening to us probably have some, you know, Vas, you know, maybe they've evolved kind of working internally with the company.

Josh (00:04:02) - I don't know, you know, or again, we're we're interested in building our dream team in your world, in a world of like, outsourcing and and kind of the, you know, again, whole VA marketplace would have been some of the big trends that you've seen over the past year, that, you know, that someone who hasn't been paying attention to that world might want to be aware of.

Brittany (00:04:24) - Yeah. I mean, obviously AI has completely exploded when everything first kind of came out with AI, we saw a huge influx of people coming in who were just kind of wanting. They just didn't want to miss the train. So they were really putting in a lot of requests for just very general, non-specific freelancer with AI experience. luckily for us, at Free Up, we're part of a bigger operation. You know, we've got our hands in a company that deals with AI copy matic AI. We were also the sister company of the Hoth, so we've got a lot of experience in this industry.

Brittany (00:04:58) - So we were able to help a lot of people who wanted to get on the AI train but weren't really sure about, you know, what kinds of things they could be doing. We were able to help them craft job requests that actually made sense, and get them paired with people who have the skill set that they needed to use AI to grow. And one of the big areas that people have been using AI with is marketing. a lot of people are coming in and, you know, they think I'm paying somebody X amount of dollars to do my blogs for me. I can go on ChatGPT and a blogs ready like that. just because you can do it doesn't mean it's going to help your rankings on Google. So we have helped a lot of people kind of understand what AI does and, get them freelancers that have the experience to put a hand, a human touch on their product and, and help them scale that way. So I would definitely say that over 20, 23, that's probably the biggest area that's grown as far as what kind of job requests we're seeing on the platform is going to be marketing and AI related requests.

Josh (00:05:53) - Yeah, well, I'm seeing a lot of, unfortunately, I'm seeing a lot of lazy eye work. and boy, is it off putting for people who know what they're doing and, you know, know what that kind of that. Eye tone looks like and sounds like and reads like. It's just so fake. And so, you know, I really have been urging founders. Be protective of your brand. Be protective of your copy and communication. because it again, it's it's quite offputting if you think that you can just outsource everything with no oversight or again, just really try to cheap out on content, it's going to come back to bite you, I'd say both with humans and with Google. Google knows what you're doing. You're not fooling Google. can you maybe share a little bit more about the bit of warning that that I started on?

Brittany (00:06:44) - Yeah, for sure. I mean, like I said, we have people coming in in the beginning who thought, you know, I'm done. I'm not I'm not going to be using a freelancer anymore.

Brittany (00:06:52) - I can do this in three seconds. But Google has their standards, okay? They know what you're doing. And if you're not having somebody who's following, just like the basics of just specifically with blog content, just the basics of, you know, not adding fluff, making sure you have proper headers, Google picks that up in no time. So something that we kind of stressed to our clients is having a human touch. And because people are also using AI to edit or to audit their AI using things like originality AI to to scan for AI written content, we being in the industry that we are, have done countless tests to prove the validity or the efficacy of these AI checkers. We've written content that's 100% human written and it's come back 100% AI and vice versa. So really having a a human element to kind of edit your content and to create your content and know exactly what to look out for is huge. Because those AI detectors, anything can trigger them. You know, certain phrases, certain sentences, any kind of, if somebody uses a tool like Grammarly or Hemingway to edit their content, that can flag an AI tool.

Brittany (00:08:02) - So it's really important that you have a person there and that's sort of what we've been stressing over the past 12 months, 18 months at this point.

Josh (00:08:11) - what if someone says, well, how much better would a and I assume many freelancers in your platform, they may or may not be native English speakers. So, you know, in terms of like geography or, you know, kind of background in language, can you maybe share a little bit how working with a VA is, is absolutely. Even if they're non-native English speaking, would be an upgrade from just using an AI tool?

Brittany (00:08:39) - Well, a lot of our freelancers that are not based in the US, UK or Canada are going to be based in the Philippines, and English is the second most widely spoken language there. So it's really great for people who want a more cost effective option and for someone who speaks English. So even though it's not their native language, it's the second most widely spoken language. And a lot of our Vas specifically for free up are either in university or they're university graduates.

Brittany (00:09:04) - So they've got the skill sets to learn and understand and become adaptable to what they need to look out for. If they're auditing content and editing and writing. We actually use a lot of Vas in the Philippines ourselves for free up for our content specifically, because once you have an outline of what to look out for, it's really not, you know, super difficult to follow an SOP and see, okay, these are the red flags I need to look out for. This is okay. This is the standard that my client has set. So, you know, that can be something that people are concerned about working with a non native speaker. But like I said people in the Philippines, they do a great job. And it's their second most widely spoken language.

Speaker 3 (00:09:44) - Yeah.

Josh (00:09:45) - And I guess finally Brittany, in terms of like the model and hiring through free up, how does the model work as opposed to say like an Upwork or maybe any other freelancer marketplace?

Speaker 3 (00:09:55) - Yeah.

Brittany (00:09:56) - So it's sort of there's some similarities and there's some key differences.

Brittany (00:09:59) - So, you know, if you're coming in and you're like, I know that I need help, your first step is, you know, naturally you're going to want to get a job request in. But we have an option for our clients that we have before they put a request in, where they can do a consultation for free with an account manager and kind of go over the pain points you're seeing in their business, what their budget is, their location preferences. That way, they have a clearer idea about what they need to be requesting because a lot of people know, hey, I'm drowning, but I don't know if I should ask for a lifeboat or a life vest. So we'll have those kind of conversations with them before they put in their job request so that we can get them paired with the right people. And then once that happens, we have that freelancer team that I mentioned before, but we also have a ticket matching team. So our ticket matching team reviews the client's request. You know, where they want to hire from, what their budget is.

Brittany (00:10:47) - If this is a long term short term project, and then we pair them specifically with people versus other platforms where they'll get, you know, 5100 matches overnight and then be having inbox stress in the morning. We'll pair them with between 3 to 5 candidates that we think are going to be a good fit for them to start working. Immediately.

Josh (00:11:06) - Yeah, and I'm sorry. I may have missed. Is the fee structure just baked into the freelancers rate, or is there an upfront fee for that?

Brittany (00:11:15) - Yeah. So we've got a 20% fee with a $2 minimum and that's just straight across the board. So the base that you can hire a freelancer at with free up is $5 an hour. And that includes the free up fee. So something like basic VA work, light bookkeeping, email management, data research. Those all start at $5 an hour and then it goes up from there depending on skill set and the freelancer qualifications.

Josh (00:11:39) - Yeah Brittany your website free up dot net free up dot net to our friend. That's listen to our conversation.

Josh (00:11:48) - Obviously a lot of founders you know and they're looking for staffing out. Maybe they like us have had not always awesome experiences on other platforms. so what would be kind of their next step from here?

Brittany (00:12:03) - Yeah. So the next step for anybody, you know who's looking to scale up, I really like to tell people to get grassroots with it. Write down a list, get a pencil and paper and write down everything that's overwhelming you, whether it's, you know, if you're in E-com and you're having issues with product sourcing or if you're having issues with your website, just anything that's taking time from you doing big picture stuff, write it down, because that's a great place to start with what you need to outsource. And then following that, it's always great to get on a call, especially if it's free. So we'd like to drive people to get on a consultation with us and just have a conversation, whether it leads to them putting in a request with us or not. At least they've got information about what's out there.

Brittany (00:12:44) - So it's really, you know, kind of like a step by step process. Once they've had that conversation, then we can help them get a job request in, and it only takes about 24 hours for us to pair them with people.

Josh (00:12:56) - All right. Website free up dot net Brittany Brewer again, operations manager. It's been great having you as a guest on the podcast. Brittany, thank you so much.

Brittany (00:13:06) - Thank you so much for having me. Josh.

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