A guide for aspiring and established freelancers on what it's like to work with us
We care a lot about workplace culture, equitable hiring, and treating your people right. Not only is it good business sense (a happy, effective team outpaces burnout and turnover any day), it’s also the right thing to do. So when we bring on new team members, we work hard to avoid the typical pain points of other employers.
We interact with lots of different clients, ranging from marketers at tiny theaters to executive directors of major social service organizations. Our contracts range in scope, but our work priorities don’t:
We believe efficiency and effectiveness don’t require a subscription to hustle culture
We value collaboration and creativity
We support each other and provide constructive feedback
We do the best work we can without sacrificing our health or well-being
If you work with us, you’ll get the chance to dig into some really interesting contracts with clear goals. Workhorse exists at the intersection of organizational strategy and compelling storytelling. We support major arts organizations with marketing strategy, media outreach, branding, and advertising. We consult with legacy nonprofits on how to make their operations and strategic plans more modern, effective, and relevant. We train creative entrepreneurs on marketing best practices and give them the tools they need to become experts. We take executives’ worst organizational headaches and develop practical solutions they can actually accomplish.
Want to join us? Read on.
How We Work
To us, good working relationships are built on clear expectations, mutual respect, and ongoing communication:
You’ll have a list of deliverables we’ve agreed upon together
You never have to be on call or complete last-minute work with no notice
You will have enough time to do the work you’re scoped to do
You’ll be paid well to do a job well
We’re an asynchronous agency, meaning that beyond occasional scheduled meetings, how and where you get your work done is totally up to you. If you do your best design work at 3 a.m., great. If you have a kid and your only free time is during their nap on the weekend, perfect.
We won’t look over your shoulder or judge the timestamps of your emails; we only care about meeting every deadline, treating people with respect, and doing truly excellent work.
That being said, we are available if you have questions or need mentorship. You don’t have to work in total isolation or problem-solve alone. We never want you to feel over your head—we want you to grow.
We customize the way we work with each client and each contractor based on their needs. If you’re neurodiverse, if you’re a caregiver, if you are only available to work in June, we still want to hear from you, and we’ll provide the accommodations you need to do your job. If you benefit from auditory processing, we’ll review the scope with you aurally. If you’re a solo designer but need to need to kick ideas around with a team, we love to brainstorm.
Whatever you need, let’s have a conversation about it. If you’re good at what you do and can meet your scope, we want to work with you.
Building a Representative Team
The city of bridges is our home. While we work with clients across the country, our first priority is to grow the marketing and organizational acumen of Pittsburgh. The work we do with Pittsburgh-based clients not only improves these specific organizations, but the broader community. We’re open to working with freelancers from anywhere in the U.S., but we’ll prioritize folks who have experience in the Pittsburgh arts and nonprofit scene.
We strive to make sure that any proposal we pitch includes a team that aligns with the community that client serves. We have clients who serve queer audiences, neurodiverse audiences, Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, and to help them tell authentic, compelling stories, so we want to build a diverse pool of contractors with lived experiences in these communities.
The Work Cycle of a Contractor
First, submit your resume, portfolio, or website link to email@example.com. We want to hear what you’re good at, what you’ve worked on, and what you hope to do with Workhorse. We’ll follow up to let you know if we want to schedule a 30 minute video call to interview you and talk through any questions you or we may have.
When contracts come up that fit with your skills and our needs, we’ll work with you to determine a rate and scope, and you can decide whether you want to take on the contract. If you’re busy, exhausted, or just uninterested, we’ll move along to another person and keep you in the pool for future contracts. You always have the ability to say no to contracts, and it won’t affect your future work opportunities with us.
If you don’t have the exact experience to fit a contract but you have adjacent skills and want to learn more, we may be able to provide those learning opportunities and mentorship until you are ready to take on a bigger project.
We’ll develop a written agreement with our agreed-upon rate and clear expectations, plus any accommodations you might need. Typically we pay 50% of the contract up front and 50% when the contract ends, so you’re never doing work for free.
We start almost all our engagements with a kickoff meeting, where we’ll set up shared understandings around project goals, timelines, and processes. We prioritize timeliness, communicativeness, and darn good work. We proactively check in if it seems like something is headed sideways, and we encourage you to, too.
Once the work is complete, you’ll invoice us for your second payment and we’ll offer to connect for a short exit interview to answer any questions and hear how we can improve. This helps us plan for future contracts and be responsive to your individual needs and interests. If you’d like to know how things went from our perspective, we’ll share our honest opinions.
What We’re Looking For
We’re building a diverse pool of freelancers. Some of these skills are needed immediately, while others are ones we’ll need soon. If you’ve read this far and you have any of the skills below, we want to hear from you!
Motion and Graphic designers
Photographers and Videographers (must be Pittsburgh-based)
Marketers with one or more of the following areas of expertise:
Social media management
Writing and editing (from proposals to social media posts!)
We want to hear what you’re good at, what you’ve worked on, and what you hope to do with Workhorse. If that’s a resume, great. If it’s a video submission, cool. If it’s a web link to a portfolio, fab. We promise we’ll always acknowledge receipt and will never leave you hanging.
Send all submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org