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Adrian, CEO & Founder of Gigway - How to work with freelancers

Adrian Swartz is the founder of Gigway, a Stockholm-based freelancer platform matching companies with specialists and creatives within media, marketing, design and tech. Gig platforms are a hot topic and a driving force in the ecosystem surrounding our new work-lives. We are obviously curious to know more..


Tell us, who are you and what is your background? 

Firstly, thanks for the opportunity! So, my name is Adrian, and I am one of those guys in his 30’s from Stockholm who is CEO of his own tech startup. I’m not from the typical finance or engineering background though, my background is diverse, but foremost in sports and marketing. I title myself a “Business Creative”, since I’ve my whole career initiated people-oriented businesses in contemporary trends. 



I’ve founded, designed and built a few companies and services - a marketing agency that I sold, one of the first job apps for students in Sweden, a recruitment agency for digital roles, an employee onboarding service and since 2018 I’m the founder of Gigway. 



Since a few weeks I’m also a happy user of the Common Grounds app to check in at coworking spaces and really happy about combining that with working from home.


What is the story behind Gigway, what problem are you looking to solve? 

We see more and more people switching their solid employment to become a freelancer or consultant. The toughest thing is of course that you have no guaranteed payment every month and to get that you have to sell yourself, you are your own sales department. So we’re trying to fix this by becoming the marketplace where freelancers in the Nordics find and reach customers.


Our main target group on the customer side is small and medium sized businesses. In many cases they don’t have the funds to recruit full time for every position and agencies are expensive. With Gigway they can find an expert freelancer within minutes. They could also get freelancers who can basically become their on demand marketing department.



When running an agency myself a few years ago, I realized that it is honestly quite stupid to recruit all roles as full time employees. I also did freelancing myself as a project manager for a while, but searching for possible freelance jobs was solely relying on my own network.




[Adrian at The Park Södra in Stockholm]



How has a failure later set you up for success? Is there a favorite failure of yours?
We actually had some really early success where we landed a few consultant contracts with a large corporation. For our financials during the period it was great, but for the long term product market fit it was dodgy, because it was a business model that was hard to repeat, automate, scale and win the market with. During the pandemic 2020 we did some big learnings and findings that have helped us to change and develop our Ideal Customer Profile and Growth strategies.



What advice would you give to entrepreneurs and companies who are interested in working with freelancers?

At Gigway we’ve worked with freelancers since day one. For example a large part of the hands on work within marketing is divided into different areas and tasks and distributed to different freelancers. We have content writers only writing SEO articles and publishing in Wordpress, we have the technical SEO expert, the performance marketing freelancer, the content creator, etc.



We also work with microtasking, so we can hire a freelancer for just a small need. If that works out well, we might re-hire that person when we have our next need.


What are bad recommendations you hear within your area of expertise?
To go for the lowest price and bargain. Working with freelancers is most often cheaper than an agency and more flexible than employment.. but don’t use freelancers in an unfair way. That won’t give you the result you’re after and no one will be happy. Make sure they’re happy and most probably you will be too, because the good thing with freelancers is that they truly care about what they deliver, their reputation and getting more jobs because their personal finances depend on it.



The last 5 years, what new insights and habits have most positively influenced your work-life?

  • Micro-tasking for myself. I do my best to break down big projects into smaller tasks. I am a dopamine junkie, so to get done with a smaller task gives me dopamine to get on the next one.


  • Pomodoro techniques, or planning focused blocks of work. For example I will only focus this hour on getting done with replying to this interview and then I can take a break.


  • Switching environments and influences for creativity and inspiration. For example, start from home and get the most important thing for the day done, but then take the bike down town to check in at a coworking space with Common Grounds.


  • Move your body. Exercise minimum 2 times a week. Be happy about that. If you do more or everyday. Be happy about that. Go out in the forest, drink water, stretch.


  • Talk to your friends, family or go to a therapist to continuously develop your cognitive and emotional skills. Value your EQ and mental state as much as your IQ and physical skills.




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