Editor’s note: Like all our reviews, this is one is uncompensated and written purely out of curiosity about a new service that might be useful to some of our readers.
As a freelancer, there are two major hurdles to getting booked: 1) being sought after by employers, and 2) actually getting booked. Most freelancers focus the majority of their energy on the first task—as they should—leaving the second task to producers.
But the system of holds and the back-and-forth communication required to get a successful booking sometimes means things fall through the cracks. If you don’t believe me, take a peek at the typical producer’s calendar. Total. Nightmare.
To alleviate some of that confusion for both freelancers and producers, the folks at Haus created Frank. It was made specifically for booking freelancers in the motion design context, but it’s being used by more and more folks for other things (like babysitters and substitute teachers).
Let’s be clear: Frank is not a social network or a portfolio sharing site or some kind of LinkedIn-Facebook-Behance love child. No. That’s not Frank at all.
Frank’s aim is much simpler: To help people book freelancers (and to help freelancers get booked). It’s this laser-like focus that makes Frank so damned easy to use—and that keeps it from devolving into something lesser.
How it Works: Hold, Please
As a producer, I just need to add some contacts by name and email and pick a range of dates for a hold. Frank then sends a hold request to the appropriate contact.
On the freelancer side, you get an email containing a link back to a communication system on Frank.
By keeping the communication in the world of Frank, everything can be tracked and managed (by both sides). It’s much cleaner than a bevy or emails, phone calls and/or IMs, and it ensures that calendars are updated accordingly.
Back on the producer side, when I’m ready to book, I can change the hold to a booking. Frank sends another message, just as before. Easy as pie.
What We Like
- It’s private. As a producer, you don’t typically want to share your talent pool with the world. Frank keeps your contacts just that—your contacts.
- It’s well-designed. The calendar interface is beautiful and responsive, and the entire process from initial hold request through booking makes intuitive sense.
- It’s free for freelancers. There’s no cost to create a profile and to keep your availability updated.
Ideas for Improvement
When a hold is changed to a booking, the automatic email that’s sent to the freelancer wasn’t entirely clear to me the first time I read it.
As a freelancer, I didn’t realize that I was receiving a booking request. The subject line (Are you available?) was the same for the hold and for the booking, and I found that a little confusing. Maybe some sort of indicator that the correspondence is about a booking vs. a holding would have helped.
Once you click through to the Frank communication page, you see a title that says “Booking Request,” but again, I think the change could have been a little more obvious.
The Future of Frank
Frank’s still pretty young, but it seems ready for prime time. I chatted with Jared Plummer, one of the founders of Haus, and he’s optimistic about its future. The main challenge now is getting freelancers into the system, he said.
Producers already “get” it, for obvious reasons, but some freelancers only want to work with certain producers, so they can be touchy about putting their info into a new tool. (Again, that’s why Frank is a private, closed system.)
What Do You Think?
Have you guys already been using Frank? What do you think about it?