Freelance expert market places are on the rise – here’s why you should take note

Just as the market as a whole is moving towards sustainability, the expert market is moving towards a gig economy model. Businesses are attracted to their flexibility and reduced costs, and traditional consultancies are slowly seeing their client base pivot towards expert market place alternatives.

The gig economy is still set to rise. A survey commissioned by Upwork and Freelance Union revealed that 36% of the U.S workforce freelanced in 2017. That figure rose, according to an MBO Partners report, when 41% of that same workforce freelanced in 2019. In this decade, that percentage is projected to rise above 50%, encompassing the majority of U.S workers.

As freelancing increases, new platforms are emerging that better benefit both client and expert. In response to a survey conducted by Harvard Business Review (HBR) and Boston Consulting Group (BCG), 90% out of 700 senior leaders in the U.S. said they now see talent platforms as somewhat or very important to their business’ competitive advantage. And when it comes to expert marketplaces like Green Bee, this trend is set to be nothing short of disruptive. 

A more transparent marketplace

The right expertise is invaluable but that doesn’t mean the price tag should know no bounds.  It was not for nothing then, that in 2013, Clayton Christensen, along with Dina Wang and Derek van Bever, predicted the inevitable disruption of the 100-year-old consultancy business model

Three years later, the Financial Times reported how large consultancies were attempting to adapt as more and more experts went independent. This was not an easy feat, and to keep up with the changing market, they ended up drawing on the freelance talent pool themselves.

Traditional consultancies, both boutique and multinational, now often subcontract these freelancers but don’t pass on those freelancer rates. Instead such consultancies put high markups on these experts and conceal the process entirely from clients.

A freelance expert marketplace like Green Bee is much more transparent. You’re dealing with experts directly, you can see exactly who they are and what their experience is, and how they’re best positioned to offer you insight. In addition, the costs of their expertise are made far clearer.

With Green Bee, the seal of quality is there too. We still curate our network and are highly selective in who gets to be a part of it. The difference, compared to a traditional consultancy, is that you get to choose which expert you want to work with. 

We will assist by carefully examining your requirements and hand selecting the most suitable experts for you to consider, sharing any reviews previous clients have given. We’ll always provide more than one option, and we’ll highly recommend you speak to an expert before you make a final decision and sign a contract.

A more efficient system

Highly established businesses like Unilever are now rethinking the future of work, tapping into talent marketplaces to access “expertise on specific technologies’. And according to the aforementioned HBR/BCG report, 40% of senior leaders say that digital talent platforms have increased their speed to market, boosted productivity and increased innovation. When it comes to accessing sustainability expertise, these advantages are no different.

Freelance expert marketplaces are facilitatory and the prices reflect this. It’s more efficient for the client, who as a result can then afford to pay for more qualified experts than they could through a traditional consultancy. And it’s more efficient for the expert, who receives a much higher percentage of the fees. 

This cost-effectiveness is magnified through the Green Bee membership. At its higher tiers this offers you and your business unlimited access to a number of our experts for an annual fee. A traditional consultancy may charge £1,000 for a half-hour consultation, whereas Green Beepremium membership is only £10,000 annually and allows you to access timely insight every business day of the year.

The Green Bee method

We connect you to leading academics and practitioners, offering both consultations and project work. Your requirements will be carefully considered and, should your business need a whole team of experts, we can facilitate this in a highly transparent way. Plus we can play a project management role if needed.

Sustainability cannot be viewed narrow-mindedly. It is a strategic approach that encompasses all areas of business and depends on all kinds of industry- and regional-specific expertise. A sustainability expert is perhaps too vague a term to describe the expert you require. What you need is an expert with a deep understanding of your context who can keep sustainability in view. This is what Green Bee gives you access to.

Don’t risk going forward without the right insight. Get matched to an expert or a consultant today. 

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Green Bee is the world's first sustainability focused talent marketplace. A global digital hub for knowledge and expertise in the various sustainability topics.
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