Joseph and I founded Surely Work to address a critical issue in the entertainment industry – the absence of an efficient job posting and networking platform. Professionals relied on personal networks on social media and didn’t have an effective way to organize their connections, creating a closed job market. Existing job platforms aren’t conducive to short-term freelance engagements.
Our goal was clear – develop a platform that was undeniably useful and deceptively simple. We embarked on a mission to create a straightforward, user-centric job board.
I designed a simple platform that I planned to build in Webflow, but these early efforts encountered technical hurdles delaying the launch of one of our key features. During this setback, we launched socials and our waitlist was growing. The pressure was on. We needed a quick win to keep our audience engaged. I identified a standalone feature to solve one of the problems the industry was facing. We wanted to slot into already existing workflows. Typically, employers post a photo from their camera roll and vague text about their job opportunities. I found an opportunity to standardize the typical Instagram story posts to provide more transparency to the freelancers who are seeking jobs and promise efficiency for the employers. Thus, Surely Post was born. This feature expanded our social media reach from hundreds of people to thousands as well as kept them engaged prior to the beta.
Discovering User Needs
These delays in platform development gave me time to engage with potential users. I had conversations with professionals who hire anywhere from 10-200 freelancers per year about how they hire. Everyone I spoke to was frustrated with how they managed their candidates—spreadsheets, Instagram DMs, iPhone notes led to an unorganized and time-consuming process.
Designing the Platform
Armed with more intel and time, I went back to the drawing board to add more features to my design mockups.
I created this database to browse and filter recent opportunities, a meticulously-designed job listing template, an applicant review dashboard for employers, and a 1-step application process to attract freelancers. With each of these features, my aim was to streamline the process.
With the public beta, we’ve gathered impressive user engagement with $0 in ad spends. Over 3,000 unique applicants have applied for 600 jobs within the first four months, with our daily unique site visits reaching over 600.
This platform is brand new and our promise to reshape the freelance industry is yet to be fully realized, but I will closely track our efforts and update this case study regularly with our findings. The following metrics are important to me:
- Amount of new listings per week
- Value of listings going through the platform
- DAU + Daily usage time
- Feedback/discovery sessions with users (freelance and employer)