The Praxis Coalition
A new agency model
The Praxis Coalition is a new business model for creative freelancers, providing you with on-call creative support, community, business support, accountability, and new clients from Praxis.
As a member of the Praxis Coalition, you receive the on-call creative support you would find if you were working at an agency. Your work life remains as flexible and fluid as a creative freelancer. You have as much accountability and structure as you need in order to stay consistently in the middle of creative projects. And, as part of the Coalition, the Praxis team finds new clients for you.
Being a creative freelancer is difficult, and creating and running your own company is challenging when you’re working alone. So don't.
The Praxis Coalition is a new model of business:
The Coalition Model.
Here's how it works:
Praxis Coalition FAQ
WHAT DO I GET IF I JOIN THE COALITION?
If you decide to apply to the Coalition and are accepted, you will:
- Have a weekly call with the Coalition Lead. In this call, the Coalition lead will help you review:
- Your current projects
- Your upcoming projects
- Your long-term goals
- Your progress made over the last week
- Your potential projects
- Your current sales strategies
- Have a monthly dinner (paid for by the Coalition) with the Coalition members to discuss:
The direction of the Coalition, namely.
- The type of clients the Coalition lead is pursuing.
- The type of clients each member would like more of.
- New potential members.
- New potential clients.
- New design trends
- New business trends
- Be represented by the Coalition Lead in future business dealings. Whenever the Coalition Lead has a meeting with a new potential client, your services and expertise will be mentioned and represented.
- If you’re meeting with a new client and would prefer to go into the meeting with multiple team members, you can request that the Coalition Lead accompany you to help you represent your brand and the Coalition.
- Shared access to proposals and contracts.
- Access to the Coalition Slack group.
WHAT IS THE COST OF BEING PART OF THE COALITION?
The members pay a percentage of the revenue they’re generating in order to be included on projects and get the benefits of being part of the Coalition. Because of this, the Coalition recommends that every member raise their prices by 13.64% to keep the exact same amount of compensation that they’ve always generated. For example, if you would normally charge $2,000 for a project, you should multiply 2,000 by 1.1364. This will give you the amount you should charge.
While the procurement of new leads is crucial to the functioning of the Coalition, there are a huge number of other benefits, and therefore, each member is contributing a percentage of their revenue in exchange for the full range of benefits. In addition to getting new clients, the Coalition offers value in following ways:
· Weekly check-in calls with the Coalition Lead. I’ll meet/call/skype you once a week and talk through every project you’re working on. I’ll ask you how it’s going, what you’re trying to get done, what your timeline is, and what deadlines you’ve set for yourself. You tell me what you’re planning to get done on Friday, and I follow up with you to see how it went. If you weren’t able to get it done, then I work with you to figure out why: Was there something in your way? Was there an issue with the client we can work out?
· In addition to talking about the projects you’re currently working on, we’ll talk through your potential upcoming projects. We’ll talk through your leads, your ‘dream clients’, and your ‘dream projects’ and develop strategies to get those clients.
· As part of the Coalition, you’ll be included on group co-working sessions (where members meet at local coffee shops or co-working spaces and work together), and will have an immediate team to bounce ideas off of when working on your own freelance projects.
· You have access to shared documents, such as contracts, proposal templates, and more. And you can consult with the Coalition Lead when developing contracts and proposals for new clients.
· You’ll also be part of the Coalition slack group and the Coalition monthly dinners.
At the end of the day, the only cost to the freelancer is raising their prices by 13.64%. So the question you need to ask yourself is this: Is it worth raising your prices by 13.64% to receive all the benefits the coalition offers?
WHAT PERCENTAGE DOES THE COALITION TAKE?
The Coalition takes 12% of the overall revenue you bring in on projects you begin while part of the Coalition. This does not include projects you are currently working on at the time you join the Coalition.
We want you to keep as much revenue as you always have. In order to do this, we recommend that you raise your rates: take your current rate and multiply it by 1.1364. This will allow you to keep generating the revenue you’ve always made and will allow the Coalition to be compensated with the surplus amount (12%).
Here’s an example: If you normally would charge $2,000 for a project, and are approached to do this project after joining the Coalition, we recommend you take 2,000 and multiply it by 1.1364. This gives you 2,272.80. We recommend rounding this number to the nearest 25 to give you a nice, round number to charge your client. In this case, we would recommend charging $2,275. With this number, if the Coalition takes 12% of this revenue, then you still make $2,000 (to be precise, you would actually make $2,002). The Coalition would make $273.
WHAT IF I WANT TO JOIN, BUT DON'T WANT TO GIVE UP A PERCENTAGE OF MY PROJECT REVENUE TO THE COALITION?
We recommend you increase your prices by the correct percentage to offset the costs of the Coalition. This allows you to retain the exact same amount of revenue per project, while still sustaining the benefits of being part of the community, the structure, and the creative benefits of the Coalition. If you structure your proposals accordingly, your revenue will stay exactly the same (and likely increase) after joining the Coalition.
IS THERE A CENTRALIZED WORKSPACE FOR THE COALITION MEMBERS?
While there is no centralized workspace for the members, the Coalition will offer weekly and monthly opportunities for the members to work together on projects, review their recent work, and share what they're learning about with other members.
This will likely manifest as a temporary meeting place on regular days of the week. This may look like a weekly email on Monday that says: “Feel free to join us on Tuesday and Thursday from 1pm – 5pm at Morning Times Coffee Shop.” Then, on Slack, people can chime in and let others know if they’ll be there or not. The Coalition lead will always be present at these shared work hours.
The physical environment aspect is extremely important to us, so along with these weekly and monthly meetings/events, we also host monthly dinners for all the Coalition members.
Having a centralized Coalition workspace is one of the long-term goals of the Coalition, and will be contingent on the success of the initial Coalition.
HOW ARE COALITION MEMBERS SELECTED?
When a new application is submitted, the Coalition lead reads through the application and meets with the applicant to better understand the needs of the freelancer. After this, if the applicant fits the vision, mindset, and direction of the Coalition, they are accepted into the Coalition. If the member applies to be a founding member, they’ll officially become a member at the launch date of the Coalition.
We choose our applicants based on five things:
1) Is the quality of your work strong?
2) Are you nice and easy to work with?
3) Are you thoughtful and curious?
4) Are you a hard worker?
5) Are you trustworthy?
It's pretty simple. We want people who make good work. We want people who hold up their end of the bargain and don't put things off. We want people who will consider their decisions from multiple different perspectives, and then one more time. We want people who are honest. We want people who are fun to work with.
WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE COALITION AND MY OWN FREELANCE PROJECTS?
Your personal freelance projects remain yours. The Coalition does not take them. Nobody in the Coalition works on your personal freelance projects unless you want them to or need them to. If you can’t handle the work alone, you can ask for an additional team member to help you, and determine the compensation between you. The Coalition takes a percentage of the revenue you generate as a membership fee for being part of the Coalition, but that is offset when you raise your rates by the appropriate percentage, and therefore, you continue to make the exact same amount of money.
If one of your personal freelance clients begins to discuss a project that is larger in scope than you can handle alone, then you can bring it to the Coalition lead and select a team member, or you can choose a member of the Coalition yourself. The Coalition would, once again, take a percentage of the revenue you generate after you raise your rates upon joining the Coalition.
WHAT HAPPENS IF MULTIPLE FREELANCERS WITHIN ONE DISCIPLINE JOIN THE COALITION?
At the Praxis Coalition, we approach all our projects in terms of collaboration, not competition. Having multiple individuals within one discipline strengthens the quality and value of the work in the Coalition. Every member sees their work and their projects from a different perspective, and strives to help each other create the best possible work.
Initially, the Coalition will strive to have one freelancer within each discipline (one videographer, one graphic designer, one motion designer, etc). If the Coalition Lead sees that there’s consistently more demand within one discipline than one freelancer can handle (such as a consistent number of video projects), then the Coalition would consider bringing on a second videographer.
When bringing on a second freelancer within one discipline, it would then be important for each freelancer to specify their focus. Using the example of video, one freelancer could be more focused on shooting and editing, and the second freelancer could be focused on writing and directing. This would encourage them to understand and claim their area of focus before a project comes to the Coalition.
WHO DECIDES WHICH Coalition Members GET TO WORK ON a PROJECT?
If the Coalition is approached with a project which requires one freelancer and there are multiple freelancers who could work on that project, the Coalition lead will make the decision of how to allocate that project based on the schedules and specific skills of the Coalition members. When each member joins the Coalition, they will specify their focus, and claim their area of expertise within the Coalition. This will help the Coalition Lead to choose which freelancer is best suited for the project. This only applies to projects that are brought to the Coalition lead. Projects that are brought to the individual members of the Coalition decide for themselves who should work on the project.
HOW DO I KNOW I’LL BE INCLUDED ON PROJECTS?
The main goal of the Coalition is to acquire clients with recurring projects. Because most recurring projects are too big for one individual, it becomes clear that our goal is to acquire projects that more than one person will work on. We can then assume the Coalition will heavily optimize for group projects.
In the beginning stages of the Coalition, we aim to have one individual for each specific discipline: video, photography, graphic design, motion design/animation. If we are successful in finding one member per each discipline, then it’s only a matter of finding the right clients (namely, those with needs in every discipline) in order to pass along work to each Coalition member.
Other potential disciplines that could be added include: web design, programming, copywriting, and product design.
The Coalition lead is incentivized to include you on projects because it boosts the revenue of the entire Coalition when the Coalition is able to take on a broad range of projects and utilize every member.
WHAT IF ONE OF THE MEMBERS GETS SICK OR BECOMES UNAVAILABLE TO WORK ON A PROJECT THEY WERE ASSIGNED TO?
Because the primary deliverable of the Coalition is creative work, the Coalition lead understands the implications of committing to a client to complete that work. If a member of the Coalition becomes sick or unavailable to complete their part of the project, the Coalition lead will consult with that member and consider the following options, in descending order:
1) The Coalition lead and the unavailable member select another member of the Coalition to take their place. The compensation would go to this member, instead of the unavailable Coalition member.
2) The Coalition lead finds another freelancer outside of the Coalition within that discipline and skill level to fill in the member’s role on the project. The compensation would then be delivered to this outside freelancer for their work, instead of the unavailable Coalition member.
3) The Coalition lead asks the client to delay the project until the original member is available to complete the project.
WHAT ABOUT TAXES?
Nothing would change about the way you are currently taxed. The Coalition is taxed independently of you and your business operation.
OKAY, I WANT TO JOIN. WHAT DO I DO?
Click here and apply to be a member. Nicholas Sailer, the Coalition Lead, will be accepting applications over the next month, and will get in touch with you to talk with you about if the Coalition is a good fit. In the meantime, invite your friends to apply as well — the Coalition is only valuable because of the team, so if you know other high-quality freelancers you’d like to work with, invite them to join.
I JUST APPLIED. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN I GET ACCEPTED?
The Coalition Lead will let you know when you’re accepted. Once you’re accepted, you and the Coalition Lead will sign an agreement that declares you both understand how the Coalition works and Coalition launch date.
After the Coalition launch date, you’ll be an official member of the Coalition and will receive all of the benefits of being a Coalition member.
The Coalition will not take any money from you until you work on a project that was acquired through the Coalition, or via the Coalition strategic outreach. Once you work on a project acquired through the Coalition, the Coalition will begin taking a percentage from all projects you work on.
We believe the Coalition model is one of the new models for creative freelancers to thrive in the internet age, where close to 40% of the workforce will be freelance by 2020.
The Coalition allows independent freelancers to stay free, flexible, and independent, yet still be part of a team of creative collaborators.
This is a unique opportunity, and we hope you’ll join us.