What motivated Richard Jeffs to create FreelanceDiary

As a former freelance lighting cameraperson, the majority of my working week was spent on location filming for broadcasters such as the BBC. Today, cameras and tracks are nowhere to be seen – my current milieu is a shared workspace for tech start-ups.

My career as a lighting cameraperson was one many freelancers will recognise.

I did all the right things to secure high-quality bookings. I delivered the goods, kept in touch with previous colleagues and sent applications on job sites. Yet, this didn’t seem to be enough to keep a consistent flow of work coming in.

The way we work has changed, but the way we find it hasn’t.

Traditionally, companies would post to jobs boards, and now they post online. Essentially, that booking process hasn’t changed. It’s an outdated model, too slow now for the expanding freelance workplace.

Searching and applying for work is time-consuming and, of course, not always possible for busy freelancers — making access to new talent challenging for companies, especially at short notice.

Approximately 95% of my work came from my industry contacts — I assume this is because it offers companies speed and reliability, compared with posting jobs. The drawback is companies have a limited talent pool and freelancers receive few new opportunities.

Adding yet another barrier, freelancers are often unable to answer phones or respond to emails while at work. This can result in missed opportunities for freelancers and a lot of wasted time for companies.

For this reason, some freelancers choose to have their calls handled by 3rd parties, who provide potential clients details about their availability, but this comes at a high cost.

Surely in the age of New Media, there had to be a better way.

Frustration with an antiquated booking model drove me to design a faster, smarter way to get hired.

FreelanceDiary strips away the barriers between freelancers and clients by providing direct bookings via a simple-to-use app.

By swapping the slow job-posting model for an app-based Diary, companies can view the real-time availability of favourite or new freelancers and send them booking Invitations.

Freelancers receive a push notification on their app, and the Invitation is displayed in their Diary. By adding their rate and additional costs, the booking total is displayed automatically, enabling freelancers to respond quickly… and discretely (if they are currently on a job).

This is good news for the company, who receive freelancers’ rates immediately. Contact details are also displayed throughout the process.

Once the booking is Confirmed, the status will update from Pending in both the freelancer’s and company’s Diaries, which can also be synced with Google and Apple calendars.

FreelanceDiary enables companies to now access the world’s leading talent who are often hard to reach.

I often hear people describe FreelanceDiary as the AirBnB for freelancers.

Technology is continuously offering new ways to connect us directly with suppliers, increasing efficiency. Removing the middle-man also cuts costs substantially. It therefore makes sense that FreelanceDiary moves away from the high-commission model and offer a freemium one instead.

I am often asked whether I miss working in TV.

While I was in my 20s and early 30s, I had a great time travelling the world and working with large teams. I was also very driven by making great programmes.

I’ve now found a new passion. I feel lucky to have the opportunity to turn my ideas into a feature that has the potential support millions of people; however, creating a world-class website and app is no easy job. I’ve surrounded myself with a talented team, who are equally as passionate about FreelanceDiary.

It’s fantastic to see so many freelancers and companies recognise the benefits and adopt it at this early phase. FreelanceDiary is now really starting to transform the way we work.

To learn more and join FreelanceDiary, visit FreelanceDiary.com.

Written by Richard Jeffs
Former freelance shooting producer/director and now founder of FreelanceDiary.com. Frustration with the freelancer booking model drove me to find a dynamic, new way to hire, manage and engage.

Harness the full potential of your freelance contacts

FreelanceDiary is the dynamic, new way to hire and engage. Learn more.

Join for free