Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

How can you make independent talents choose you? Check out this global CEO’s insights! [Tuesday: Return Driven Strategy]

August 22, 2023

Miles Everson’s The Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more. 

A Note from Miles Everson

Hi, everyone. Happy Tuesday!

We’re excited to share with you an interesting topic about the workforce in today’s “Return Driven Strategy.” 

Every Tuesday, we write articles about return-driven and career-driven strategies, and the future of work in hopes that you’ll be compelled to apply our tips and insights in your business and career. 

Today, we’ll focus on how enterprises can become a “Client of Choice.” 

Read on to know how top talents choose their preferred clients and how you can make your business agile and competitive in an ever-changing work landscape. 

Miles Everson
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute

Learning to Fly  

The balance of power in the world of work has been shifting. 

This means as independent professionals’ self-confidence and self-assurance increase, the power or the upper hand slowly shifts away from employers and towards workers. 

According to MBO Partners CEO Miles Everson, over the 4 years that he and his team have conducted research on this topic, they’ve seen an annual increase in the percentage of independent workers saying they have LOTS of choices when choosing their clients. 

Among those making over USD 100,000 annually, 64% said they have many options when selecting their clients. What’s more? 

86% of them say they are either very satisfied or satisfied with the clients they choose to work with. 

Photo from Salesforce

It’s Not Just About The Money 

In today’s changing work landscape, Everson says companies must understand that the motivations, goals, and needs of independent workers may significantly differ from those of the traditionally sourced external workers they have had in the past. 

While stability, benefits, and a steady income stream are all good reasons to stay in a full-time role, the number one reason why independents pick their current career paths is CHOICE. In fact, MBO Partners’ study breaks down the top 5 reasons why many individuals go independent: 

  • Current schedule
  • Better work life and personal life balance
  • The ability to earn more
  • The chance to pursue a passion or interest
  • The opportunity to build a business brand

Additionally, the study shows 79% of independents say they are intent on continuing on their current career path and 74% are optimistic about their future. Another 59% say they wouldn’t choose to go back to a traditional job. 

What do these key points tell you? 

These attributes cited as “influencing client choice and satisfaction” all have something to do with the working relationship. This means in the real sense, the onus falls on companies to distinguish themselves so they can remain attractive to independent workers. 

Rather than simply figuring out how to access labor, companies need to figure out how they can become the “Client of Choice” for highly skilled workers. They will have to give the same in-depth thought and effort to working with independent professionals as they do to attracting, retaining, and developing full-time employees.

One of the ways enterprises can do this is by understanding what motivates skilled independents and then tailoring strategies, processes, and ways of working to appeal to these talents. Companies should be prepared to pay a premium for highly skilled professionals. 

… and to keep these workers happy, satisfied, and engaged, firms must integrate independents into internal teams and culture to meet their needs for connection and development.

Below are 5 steps firms can take to become a “Client of Choice”: 

  1. Incorporate independents into internal teams

Everson says the first step to becoming a “Client of Choice” is to incorporate independent talents into the team. They should feel like they are part of the company and that their success is also the company’s success. 

This can be done by involving them in decision-making processes, inviting them to company events, and providing them with access to the tools and resources they need to be successful and efficient. 

Simply said, the more independents feel they are treated as partners, the more likely they are to trust and rely on the company they work for.

  1. Provide opportunities for learning and building skills

It’s important for firms to provide their independent talents with opportunities to learn and build skills. This can be done through training sessions, workshops, and access to educational resources. 

According to Everson, when enterprises invest in their independent workers’ growth and development, these talents will more likely view the firms as valuable resources and partners.

  1. Build a positive work environment

Everson states it’s crucial to create a work culture that fosters collaboration, open communication, and mutual respect. This is because when employees—whether full-time or independents—are happy and engaged, they will more likely provide excellent service.

  1. Value the independents’ work

Even if independent talents mostly work on a project-based setup and for just a fixed amount of time, Everson believes it’s still important to acknowledge and appreciate the efforts and contributions they make to a company. 

This can be done by providing them with feedback and recognition, and by offering fair compensation for their work.

  1. Create reasonable processes and procedures

Everson says firms should make it easy for independents to work with them by providing clear guidelines and expectations. 

This means avoiding unnecessary bureaucracy and red tape that can slow down the process and frustrate these workers.

To engage with independent professionals more effectively, Everson agrees firms will have to think more creatively about their talent strategies. Instead of simply figuring out how to access these types of workers, businesses must also figure out how to genuinely become a “Client of Choice.” 

Everson’s point about firms and their talent strategies is in accordance with the ninth tenet of Return Driven Strategy (RDS): Engage employees and others (others refers to individuals like independent contractors who aren’t employees of a firm but are critical to its success). 

According to Professor Joel Litman and Dr. Mark L. Frigo in the book, “Driven”:

“While employees clearly require some level of monetary compensation, seldom is this enough to generate the type of engagement that propels firms into the highest levels of cash flow performance. In fact, the highest levels of cash flow driving employee performance stem from non-monetary sources. And it should go without saying that non-monetary means of motivation contribute even further to monetary success.”

While this passage refers to employees, this applies to independents too. These individuals are very clear and even emphatic about the factors that influence why they carefully choose their projects and the clients they work with. This means the role of these workers is critical to the success of enterprises amid a global workforce shift.

We hope you learned a lot from today’s topic! 

Remember: If you want your business to remain agile and competitive in the current work landscape, you have to reassess your workforce strategies to include independent talents. 

… and to attract and retain these workers, you have to understand what motivates them and modify your business processes to meet those needs. 

Have a great day ahead, everyone! 

If you’re looking to gain a better understanding of RDS, we highly recommend checking out “Driven” by Professor Litman and Dr. Frigo. 

Click here to get your copy and learn how this framework can help you in your business strategies and ultimately, in ethically maximizing wealth for your firm.

(This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.)

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Tuesdays: Return Driven Strategy”

In the book, “Driven,” authors Professor Joel Litman and Dr. Mark L. Frigo said that the goal of every long-term successful business strategy should incorporate the combined necessity of “making the world a better place” and “getting wealthy.” 

That is why they created the Return Driven Strategy and Career Driven Strategy―frameworks that were built to help leaders and professionals plan and evaluate businesses so they can also help others achieve their organizational goals and career goals. 

The frameworks describe the plans and actions that drive returns for anyone in an organization such as independent contractors, marketers, brand managers, communicators, and other people in any field. These actions lead to the creation of wealth and value for customers, employees, shareholders, and the society. 

Every Tuesday, we’ll highlight case studies, business strategies, tips, and insights related to the Return Driven Strategy and Career Driven Strategy. 

In planning, building, or managing brands and businesses, these strategies, case studies, and guidelines will help you choose what specific actions to take and when to take them. 

Hope you found this week’s insights interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Tuesday’s “Return Driven Strategy!”


Kyle Yu 
Head of Marketing 
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
Powered by Valens Research

View All

You don’t have access to the Valens Research Premium Application.

To get access to our best content including the highly regarded Conviction Long List and Market Phase Cycle macro newsletter, please contact our Client Relations Team at 630-841-0683 or email client.relations@valens-research.com.

Please fill out the fields below so that our client relations team can contact you

Or contact our Client Relationship Team at 630-841-0683