After you have started your project on the Global Services Exchange, we will ask you to verify it. This process is really important as it confirms that you have briefed us, that it has been received and that you have a genuine requirement. It also activates your account on blur Trading, which is how you can monitor the progress of your project through to delivery.
At the next stage you'll be contacted to go through some of the details of your project before it is published on the Global Services Exchange (Design, Marketing, Media, Tech, Art, Accounting, Legal or Innovation) to ensure that you get the best results from the world's top Experts.
And after it's been published to the Exchange?
You can follow the progress on your personal account on blur Trading. On the pitch review date, up to three pitches are selected for you to review. You can do all this through your account online. We then like to set up a call to go over the pitches with you after you've viewed them, so you can get any questions answered. When you've selected your favourite pitch we organize a kick-off call between you and the Expert before you start working together.
How do I get a blur account?
It costs nothing to start a project. When everything is confirmed and it's published on the Exchange, the project is 'live'. Once you've selected your favourite pitch you will be invoiced for the entire project. 50% payment is due immediately before the work is started unless alternative arrangements have been made in advance. When the project is complete the second 50% payment is due.
Please note that the total budget includes blur Group's fee - the Expert will receive the total price less 20%. After your account has been set up, a listing fee of £250/$375 or 10% of the maximum budget (ex VAT) whichever is greater, is payable. The listing fee is deducted from the final cost of the project.
How long do I have to choose my preferred pitch?
Pitches remain available for selection up to 30 days from when our shortist is published in the client view. After 30 days the pitches expire and you will need to re-brief the exchange.
I've already submitted my project to my usual agency. Can I still submit it here?
Of course, but we will be vigilant in how you use the pitches and reserve the right to charge a processing fee if you don't select from the Exchange. The best solution here is to ask your agency to join the Exchange before you start a project with them, so that they can pitch competitively for this work alongside the Exchange Experts, as well as for other opportunities.
Do I have to register anywhere to start a project?
There is no requirement to be an existing blur Group customer. When you start a project you become a user of the Exchange and will get your account details for blur, which is where you can view activity on the Exchange. Because this is an Exchange there are no retainers: you simply start a project each time you want a new project.
My procurement department insists that even for small contracts we have to use an approved supplier. Can you do this?
blur Group is happy to work with you so that the Exchange can become an approved supplier to your organisation. As most businesses experience cost savings of up to 50%, procurement departments are pleased to use the Exchange.
I'm not sure how to describe my requirement?
Don't worry - the brief app is designed to give you the chance to give a short outline of your requirements that we can develop with you. You specify just what you want: this isn't about trying to persuade you that you really need something else, or have to spend more money.
Can I ask for work to be done in a country away from where I'm based?
When you submit a brief, anyone on the Exchange can respond from across the world, so you have the chance to get work sourced from anywhere for anywhere. If you prefer the Expert to be from a certain location we can make sure of that as well.
Can I keep my brand information confidential during the briefing process?
Some brands do not want their information published as part of the briefing process; this is particularly the case for new product launches etc. It is possible to run a closed pitch on the Exchange where we pre-screen potential pitchers and let you review them in advance so that only they are made aware of your project, rather than having a public call.
I like some of the suggestions in the pitch process. Can I give these to my own designers and just pay you for ideas?
In order to protect the Intellectual Property of the Experts on the Exchange, we ask that they do not provide final deliverables or detailed ideas during the pitch process but instead use outlines, angles and mood boards of their suggested approach. If you require concepts that your in-house team can deliver then you need to specify this in your project.
Can I submit more than one brief?
There is no limit to the number and types of projects you can start.
If your profile is the marketing piece, then your pitch is the sale. Always keep both parts in mind. Just because you’re in the Expert Crowd doesn’t mean that you should respond to everything. So always read the project and work out if it’s right for you.
So, you’ve decided that a project is right up your street. - give it your best shot! Although you may see a lot of projects that might appeal to you, it is far better to focus and deliver on the projects that are ideal for you and your expertise. Remember that blur Group is a managed global Exchange, which means we won't show every pitch submitted to the customer. Your aim is to create a quality pitch that will be in the top 3 of all pitches received.
What are the blur Cast emails you’re sending me?
We send out daily blurCasts of current projects - check them out! The blurCast lists the projects open for pitching and informs you of changes and updates to the projects. Please follow the link to the full project details. Sometimes a project will have additional information that will be available by emailing our exchange support team - firstname.lastname@example.org. Each project is looked after by a member of our Exchange Support team, who is available to answer any questions, provide further information and give advice to help you produce the best pitch possible. The Exchange Support Team are busy but strive to give you a timely response.
What is a closed project, and how do i pitch for them?
Customers sometimes ask us to do a closed project due to the confidential nature of the project. These projects are publicised in two ways:
1) If authorised we will publish a skeleton of the project and ask for Experts to express their interest by pitching based on the skeleton project. We will then allow the customer to choose the Experts that they would like to see a more indepth pitch from.
2) Alternatively, the customer may ask us to pre-select Experts based on their Exchange profiles and project history to send them a full brief in confidence, sometimes after signing an NDA. For this reason, it’s important to have an up-to-date blur community profile with industries you have experience in and expertise you own i.e if you are a social media, video and app wiz - tell us. You need to stand out when we search the Exchange!
How do I set my pitch budget?
Customers are disenchanted with service providers that appear cost-effective but then find reasons to increase the budget and charge expensive overheads. blur Group works with the customer to set a realistic budget that the Expert can deliver on. Don’t set your pitch budget low to win a project and expect the customer’s budget may increase later. If you think that the budget is wildly high or way too low, talk to us. blur Group’s markup will be automatically added when you outline your pricing in the pitch template. And when you are determining the final budget remember that blur Group’s markup is included in the budget we put on the project.
I’ve emailed with a query about a project. When will you respond?
We strive to answer all emails in a timely manner. If further clarification is needed on a project, we will reply directly to you and, if it benefits all the Experts interested, we will sometimes update the project with the additional information available. Please remember that we work with tight deadlines, so if your email is not directly relevant or time sensitive, we may not respond immediately.
What are Discussions on the community?
The discussions help you see updates from blur Group and comments from other Experts. Please read the discussions to see if your query is already being discussed.
What makes a pitch successful?
This is a very open question but in the simplest terms a successful pitch adheres to the project's timescales, budgets, requirements and provides the best approach for the customer. It is important that you show the customer that you understand their needs and objectives and demonstrate that you understand the project. Winning a pitch on the Exchange is no different from winning one face-to-face; there are elements which are directly measurable and other elements that are simply customer preference. Please provide as much relevant information as possible to help the customer make a decision.
Can you tell me what winning pitches have in common?
They always contain a very strong and relevant credentials piece showing the strengths and experience relevant to this project you/your agency/your virtual team can bring to this project. Examples of relevant work can be useful to demonstrate this.
Winning pitches often include a brief outline of the concepts that you are proposing and examples of directions you would take. They always find some way to resonate with the customer. They do not show finished work. But they talk about specifics not just methodology. Design pitches can include mood boards/rough concepts/showreels to illustrate your thoughts and abilities. This is your expertise and your proof statement and you should show it!
Unfortunately we can’t show you the successful pitch for each project. All Experts have the right to keep their ideas confidential and the customer decides based on their own criteria. We always try to give you feedback when asked and we are available to discuss ways to generally improve your pitches. There are many experts that have pitched several times without winning and after incorporating our suggestions have had great success!
How do I upload my pitch?
When you are ready to submit your pitch you’ll be taken to your expert dashboard for login. If you’ve already set up an account here (this is different from your blur. net account) you’ll go straight in, otherwise you’ll need to set one up by clicking on the link in the email you will have been sent. Continue to the pitch template and start your submission. Your expert dashboard is also the best way to review all the pitches you’ve submitted and stay in touch with Exchange Support.
What happens after the pitch submission deadline?
blur Group shortlists the three or four best pitches and submits them to the customer. The customer will then select an expert. At this point Exchange Support will open the collaboration space, ensure that the customer and expert have communication details and an invoice will be sent to the customer. A kick off call is then arranged between all the parties. The Expert should send blur Group their invoice for the first payment due. When blur Group receives the initial payment for the project we will let the Expert know that we will be paying their first invoice within 7 working days.
Sometimes, there is an additional step before the customer makes a selection. They might want to speak with one or two of the Experts. In that case, we will arrange a conference call with the customer, the Expert and Exchange Support. If the Expert is selected following this, this will be considered the kick off call. In most cases communication between the expert and the customer can start immediately.
Do blur Group stay a part of the project while I communicate with the customer?
blur Group has a commitment to make sure that the project is completed in a timely manner, consistent with the terms agreed in the pitch and that payments are made accordingly. It’s important that while the Expert is in direct contact with the customer, we continue to be cc’d into emails and kept informed about the project so we can perform these responsibilities.
How is my work rated online?
For all projects we have a quality assurance process to ensure that you, the Expert, deliver what was agreed and the customer is satisfied. Remember, customers rate and review your work in the dashboard and other customers can see those reviews. Our work doesn’t stop when the pitch is completed, we have to continue to give a great service to both the Experts and customers.
What happens if the customer loves my work and has briefed me for additional projects?
That’s great news and we’re pleased that the Exchange has proved successful for you. Please remember that as a member of blur Group, you’ve agreed to notify us of any additional work and to treat additional work as an Exchange project. It means when pricing it out make sure you include blur Group’s markup. Because this is revenue for you without any new business overheads, we’re sure that you’ll have no issue following this rule. It also means that we continue to manage the payment process for you and the collaboration space will continue to be used. If you don’t inform us of any additional work we may, unfortunately, have to revoke your membership. We know you don’t want to take this risk!
The blur Affiliate Program lets businesses earn money when visitors to their site submit briefs for creative campaigns and technology to the Global Services Exchange at blur Group. It makes use of blur Group's 'Brief Anywhere' application, which provides a distributed model for sourcing services. The programme is particularly appealing for businesses in the services sector who wish to offer their customers a broader range of services.
How does it help my business?
In the first instance you can make money for every brief that's listed on the Global Services Exchange. Listing is when the brief has been reviewed and listed for all the experts to start pitching. This is a flat fee; it's painless for you as you have to do nothing other than carry the brief app on your site. It also helps your business by extending the reach of your own services meaning that you don't have to turn work away because you are only able to do some of the job. So it's great for winning and retaining customers. Imagine that you're a web designer and one of your favourite clients comes back wanting a re-design. But this time they really need some new copy and can't provide it like before. So you may have found yourself competing with a full-service agency and risking losing the business. Now they can brief for the copy element: they'll get great quality from the Global Services Exchange that will fit into your design work. As well as earning money from blur Group, you'll keep your client, and they'll have more cost effective work by using the Exchange for their copy. So it really is a win-win situation.
How does it help my customers?
IYour customers now have a proverbial 'one-stop' shop for their creative and technology requirements. You are also giving them the great choice, creativity, experience, expertise and value that using the Global Services Exchange provides.
Why should I join?
There's every reason to join and no reasons why not. First of all it costs you nothing to join but you will be rewarded for each brief that is listed. Setting up your brief app is very simple as we provide you the code which you simply embed in your website . We also provide you with a unique affiliate account on our blur Trading platform which allows you to manage your brief apps, see how many briefs have been submitted, how many listed and your payment information at any time.
Do I have to be on the Creative Services Exchange to join?
There is no requirement to be a member of the Global Services Exchange to be a member of our affiliate programme. However, as you are directing briefs to suppliers with different skills from you, there will be briefs from other affiliates' sites that may match your skillset so you might like to join so that you have the chance to pitch for this business. It's another way to increase your revenue potential from blur Group.
What happens if one of my existing customers briefs for a new project that I think I could deliver?
If you are on the Global Services Exchange then you can pitch for this project anyway. But if the brief has been submitted from your site then it's really up to you to make sure your visitors know your capabilities and want to use you. The brief app is designed to give you more reach, not restrict your opportunities.
Is this just a UK programme?
The programme is open to affiliates from around the world in keeping with our 'Brief Anywhere' approach. The businesses on the Global Services Exchange are from countries on every continent, so briefs received can be delivered everywhere.
Can I modify the embed code?
You can not make any modifications to the code in terms of button size and frame height. Modifying any other information will mean that your affiliate information won't be tracked and so we won't be able to pay you on any briefs submitted. The only options available are the ones when you choose the embed code.
How do I embed my Brief App in my website?
Copy the embed code generated and paste it into the HTML of your website where you want it to appear.
How do I get Paid?
You will get paid by the payment method you selected when you set up your account.
How often do I get paid?
You will be paid monthly for all briefs that are successfully listed on the Global Services Exchange with the period of a previous calendar month. Payment will be made 30 days from the end of the previous month. So if you generate 5 listed briefs during the month of June you will receive payment for those briefs at the the end of July.
Where's my user name and password?
You set up your username and password when you complete your application to become a blur Affiliate. Once you are approved your account will be activated and you can then login to your account and complete information.
How do I change my user name & password?
You can not change your user name (for security reasons) but you can change your password in your account dashboard.
How do I change my contact details?
Log in to your Affiliate dashboard and edit your account details details. To change your e-mail please contact us (email@example.com) as this is secure against your account.
Can I change the url where my Brief App is?
No. If you wish to change the URL you will have to delete your existing App and re-create the App with a new URL.
Can I change the questions in my Brief App?
No. The questions have been tightly formulated to provide the easiest way for businesses to brief and to ensure a rapid transaction when it's submitted to the Global Services Exchange. This is the information blur Group needs to publish the brief to its experts and changing the format will mean that it can’t be listed - which in turn means you won’t receive payment for that brief.