Media Pitch: OutVoice Is Streamlining the Freelancer Invoicing Process
If you follow any freelance journalists on Twitter, you’ve heard what a headache invoicing processes can be – and how frustrating it is not to be paid for your work in a timely manner. As publishers rely more on freelancers and less on in-house content creators, it’s increasingly important to have a seamless system in place for payment, says Matt Saincome, publisher of punk news site The Hard Times.
A former freelance writer for outlets including Vice and Rolling Stone, Saincome launched a freelance payment solution, OutVoice, in response to problems he has experienced from multiple perspectives in the digital publishing world.
“I created OutVoice after dealing with the brutally inefficient and outdated nature of freelance invoicing as a freelance writer, full-time editor, and now publisher of my own online magazine,” says Saincome. “Once I realized the current system was a problem for everyone involved, and that the turnkey solution publishers need didn’t exist, I felt I had to build it myself.”
In the interview below, Saincome explains how OutVoice can save publishers time and help them retain talented freelancers.
What is your technology solution and how does it work?
OutVoice is the only freelancer invoicing solution that integrates directly into your CMS and allows you to pay freelance writers and photographers with the same click of a button that publishes the work. There are no back and forth email follow ups, “walking it down the hall,” or other time-wasting activities like correcting a freelancer’s improperly filed invoice. Freelancers actually don’t even need to file an invoice when a publisher uses OutVoice, as everything is automatically tracked and recorded on a central platform (outvoice.com) for tax season and accounting.
What problem are you solving for publishers?
Most publishers burn time, money, and reputation while paying freelance content creators. OutVoice fixes those inefficiencies, recognizes that content is still king, and empowers publishers to attract (and keep) the best content creators in the world by using a superior system to pay them.
How does your solution reflect changes underway in the media world?
Publishers (myself included) increasingly rely on large freelance pools to create content. But as these freelance teams have grown, an old problem in the publishing world has become exacerbated: How can we efficiently pay, recruit, onboard, and keep remote freelance teams happy and productive?
OutVoice’s radical streamlining of freelancer management allows publishers to ensure their editorial teams are laser-focused on generating content and other activities that keep the lights on. As full-time editorial teams shrink, this is more important than ever.
What makes your technology unique and innovative?
Our solution integrates directly into a publisher’s normal workflow. No need to train your people on some new burdensome product with a steep learning curve. Most OutVoice tasks are completed right inside your own CMS and are very intuitive (pick a name from the dropdown menu, type in the previously agreed upon amount, etc).
There are a lot of invoicing solutions out there. We are the only one built specifically for publishing and who understand what publishers, editors, and freelancers go through.
How does your technology help publishers increase revenue or cut costs?
We take a process that used to take an organization anywhere from 10-45 minutes (combined across various roles) and reduce it to a few seconds. As a publisher, that time converts to costs saved. Our smallest beta client (very small independent publisher with no full-time employees outside the founder) has reported saving up to 6 hours a month. The larger your team and freelancer pool, the more time we see organizations saving.
We’ve also seen OutVoice work well as a talent attraction/retention tool because freelancers are really fed up with going through the ringer just to get paid. For them, OutVoice is a dream come true. That means our publishers are attracting the best freelancers in the world and seeing that pay off with better content, better traffic, and ultimately increased revenue.
Leah Wynalek is the senior editor for Publishing Executive and Book Business. She has worked at national magazine publishing companies including Trusted Media Brands and Rodale, where she assisted in digital content creation and strategy for Prevention.com. More recently, she used her multimedia skillset on behalf of clients as a content specialist for Philadelphia-based marketing agency En Route.