Interview with GrowTal Founder Bryan Karas

Niche freelance marketplaces are growing in popularity and popping up for many industries. We caught up with the founder of GrowTal, one such marketplace.

Bryan Karas

1. What was the inspiration to start GrowTal?
GrowTal was created out of inspiration to fill a significant gap in the marketing services industry.
After working on the platform side for companies like Facebook for ten years, I decided to start an ad agency, Playbook Media, that focused on up-leveling agency services by providing deeply customized D2C advertisers strategies.
I did not expect the amount of pressure that businesses have to hire this talent in-house or their lack of ability to assess this talent. I also didn’t have the foresight to see that it did not make sense for us to provide all types of marketing services within the walls of Playbook Media.
Also, we found that many marketing experts were leaving both agencies and in-house teams to build independent and often more lucrative careers as freelance marketers.
We created GrowTal to help to facilitate this process. GrowTal gives freelance experts and companies that require their services a platform to build mutually beneficial partnerships.
2. Why should marketers join it vs. a site like Upwork?
Upwork largely views the freelance experts on their platform as a commodity. They don’t take the time to get to know their community or to help them to find genuinely successful engagements. For the most part, it’s a race to the bottom, where the lowest bidder wins the engagement. It’s a great platform if you are looking for low skilled international labor at low costs. Sure, you can find some great people there, but it is a lot of effort, and the talent does not have a great guarantee that the employer will be the right partner.  
3. Do you see the job market as a whole moving to a more gig focused economy event for traditional employees?
Absolutely. Like manufacturing, the economy is moving toward on-demand services where in 20 years, it won’t make sense to pay someone on a salary for them to spend 20% of their time on social media. Instead, both sides of the market will see the value in paying and working for a specific need, creating upward wage pressure for those who have highly sought after skills sold to multiple high bidders.
4. How does your platform work from the candidate’s POV and employer POV?
We aim to create as seamless a process as possible for both sides without jeopardizing the quality of the matches we make.
Candidates fill out an application and go through our proprietary vetting process to ensure they meet our quality expectations. Note we only take a fraction of the candidates that apply. We are working on an approach to help those who don’t qualify to find the training they need to meet our expectations.
Employers fill out a request form and meet with us for a consultative assessment of their needs. Then we run each employer through our matching system to determine which candidates from our community are the most likely to drive success for these new clients. The client assesses the matches and chooses which they want to onboard.
From there, we handle all of the “back of the house” paperwork and processes to give both sides a seamless experience in working together.