The Agency of the Future is Remote Working

When you think of an office, you’re probably picturing something like this:

Or if you’re feeling fancy (and worth billions of dollars) like Google is, so you’re thinking something like this: 

These days you can even think of an office as a rented, shared space like WeWork:

Thanks to 2021, more offices than ever before are looking like this, home offices that we’ve set up in the quietest corner of our homes:

Although let’s be realistic…how many of your home offices actually look like this:

Yep, I’m raising my hand too.

When you think about work in 2021 and beyond—we’re no longer just thinking of this:

We’re thinking about a hybrid or totally remote model:

And that changes how we build our agencies.

Our offerings and products can stay the same—but the way our agency works internally…can completely shift.

There are 3 organized models that you get to choose to run your agency from nowadays:

#1: Gig Model

Short-term tasks that can be managed by one, or at most, a handful of people. With the Gig Model, you’re the opposite of a stage 5 clinger. Your business runs project-to-project and you’re focused on excelling at each of those projects—and then moving on.

There’s no need for water stations or happy hours because your team is distributed. You’re entirely remote and all of your workers are freelancers. Chances are you’re the only person on your payroll.

This model works great for startups that can’t afford full-time employees yet and are still getting themselves off the ground.

#2: Corporate Model

Hire a team to work on long-term open-ended jobs that can last for years. This is what you picture when you think of an office—lots of computers and people. We’re thinking of water station conversations and in-person team happy hours (remember those?!).

This is how DigitalMarketer ran pre-March of 2020. We had some freelancers, but the majority of our workforce was in-person, full-time employees. And it worked!

This model used to be an inevitable transition once your business required some full-time staff. It usually starts by bringing on some sort of operations or marketer—and quickly turns into full-time HR people, office managers, and interns.

But there’s a model in-between that most of us have missed—and it wasn’t our fault. We missed it because pre-March of 2020…we just weren’t thinking this way.

We were all thinking home offices and gig workers → rented office space and full-time employees. That was success in terms of an agency. Especially if you could afford the *good* coffee and the fancy snacks for your team.

Having to figure out how to run our businesses entirely remotely for months and in some cases over a year has taught us that we don’t need all of that fancy stuff. 

  • Do we really need every employee to be full-time?
  • Do we really need the fancy, expensive office space?
  • Do our employees even WANT to spend 40 hours of their week in person with us?

The answer is no, and I’m not even offended!

Forbes found that 61% of employees prefer being fully remote. 

And Fast Company found the number of people who considered freelancing as a long-term career option increased from 18.5 million to 28.5 million between 2014 and 2019.

I know I’m not the only one thinking that with all these changes coming to market…there’s no way a new business model can’t emerge from them.

And I’m calling this new model…The Hollywood Model.

The Hollywood Model

Stay lean and bring in the best on a project basis. This means that you have some full-time employees and the rest of your workforce are contractors/freelancers/gig workers (all the same thing).

Chances are your full-time employees are your decision-makers, they’re your executives and the people who report directly to the CEO. There might be a set of employees under them as well, depending on the size of your business and your service offerings. 

The rest of your employees get brought in on a project-by-project basis. 

  • Your copywriters are on retainer to write your email campaigns as needed
  • Your graphic designers are on retainer to create your social media graphics
  • Your Facebook ad expert is on retainer on a per-client basis

“A project is identified, a team is assembled, it works together for precisely as long as is needed to complete the task, and then … the team disbands.” – Adam Davidson, Co-founder of NPR’s “Planet Money

If the majority of employees want to continue remote work…and we have more people than ever starting to freelance—the Hollywood Model was made for times like these.

Times when businesses most want to stay lean thanks to the unpredictability of the markets, and employees are A-okay with switching up how they used to work.

How The Hollywood Model Works

The thing about the Hollywood Model is that it has to be done right. If you don’t do it right, your life can easily become:

  • A perpetual state of hiring as you look for gig workers who have the experience and availability for your projects
  • A mess of workflow as your full-time employees fail to efficiently teach your gig workers what platforms to use, how to send in deliverables, and how to communicate with the team
  • Tight, impossible deadlines due to lack of communication between full-time employees and freelancers leading to delayed launches, campaigns, and products

You can learn more about the Hollywood Model here. 

Business has changed—and in some ways, it’s for the better.

Maybe we weren’t being as efficient as we could have been by having our employees come into the office and spending all this money on rent, utilities, and snacks when people are happier working from home.

But that doesn’t mean we have to go back to the Gig Model—DigitalMarketer, Scalable…they wouldn’t succeed with that model. They’re past the stage of being able to survive with just gig workers.

But they don’t need an entire full-time team.

The Hollywood Model is the lean business model that works in 2021 and the foreseeable future. It creates consistency with our full-time employees and the opportunity to tap into highly qualified talent through our freelancers.

It’s the model we’re running at Scalable and DigitalMarketer—and it’s working.

Time to turn this around for your business.

You can generate $3,500/month retainer clients and build a marketing agency that sets you apart from the competition.

Not just because you’re better at marketing…

…But because your business runs lean, is highly adaptable, and uses high-quality talent to get the job done.

And that’s something your competitors using the Corporate Model or the Gig Model can’t compete with.

Grab our free Fractional CMO Playbook so you get the exact, 4-step client attract, convert, and onboard process we teach our agency partners at DigitalMarketer as well as:

  • Understand the math behind a $336,000 a year, part-time “Fractional CMO” practice
  • The one-sentence “pivot script” that has prospects begging to book a meeting
  • A simple little “trick” that filters out virtually all the “lookie-loos” and crazy clients with unrealistic expectations…
  • When to sell retainers (and when NOT to sell retainers)

This training is for:

Coaches & consultants thinking about expanding into marketing services.

Freelancers & solopreneurs sick and tired of giving away their time for free.

Marketing professionals thinking about making the leap and launching their own marketing coaching or consultancy.

Anyone thinking about making the leap and launching their own marketing agency or consultancy.

And I’m teaching it.

Register here for The Fractional CMO Playbook to learn how to generate $3,500/mo retainer clients and build a marketing consultancy that sets you apart (thanks to the Hollywood Model).



The lovely content team here at DigitalMarketer works hard to make sure you have the best blog posts to read. But some posts require a group effort, and we decided to stop the rock-paper-scissors tournaments that decided the byline so that we had more time to write. Besides, we all graduated from kindergarten: we can share.

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