From Fractional to Full-time at

David Fallarme
February 27, 2024
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From Fractional to Full-time at

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I’m David, VP of Marketing at I spent a little over one year as a Fractional Marketing Leader before joining full-time. This is the story of that transition.

The Joys of Doing Fractional Work

I jumped into the fractional world in 2022. I had already spent 10+ years as a marketer across companies like Electronic Arts, HubSpot, On Deck, and more. I got laid off in 2022, and before jumping back into another full time role, I wanted to see what the world of fractional work was all about.

Doing fractional work turned out to be a lot of fun. It was very well-aligned to my personal values:

  • Mastery - Exposure to a diverse set of marketing problems, which helps me to continuously, and quickly, refine my craft
  • Rapid Learning - Learn at 2-3x the pace of a regular full-time job as I support several startups at the same time

As a fractional employee, I got to embed myself into a company, experience their unique organizational dynamics, learn a new tech stack, then solve their marketing problems. I would do this at the same time for several companies at once - hence “fractional”.

The marketing nerd in me felt like a kid in a candy store. My pattern-matching skills leveled up big time, because I didn’t just get to test my marketing skills with the clients I worked with. I talked to many dozens, if not hundreds of founders and startup marketing leaders during this time. Whenever I was on a scoping call, I’d always challenge myself to give useful advice. But in order to do that, I needed to learn how to quickly ask questions that cut to the kernel of their company growth issues. And so I was exposed to the company dynamics of many many companies, not just the ones I directly worked with.


I found in the fall of 2024. Our relationship started just as any other fractional relationship. They were right in my sweet spot, too - Series A/B stage, but had no marketing leader. 

The founders knew they wanted to make a full-time hire eventually, but not yet. They’d been burned before by the wrong fit. More importantly, marketing wasn’t their top focus at the moment, but they knew they needed help growing nonetheless.

So we kicked off a typical fractional engagement. In the back of my mind, I thought there might be an opportunity to convert to full-time eventually. This is one of the many benefits of fractional work! In some cases, it can be like an audition. Both parties get a chance to evaluate the other and see if the fit is right, before making a full-time commitment.

Transitioning to Full-Time

As I thought might happen,’s needs evolved rather quickly, and we started to discuss joining the team full-time.

I was open to full-time because fractional wasn’t my end-game, but just another way to express my personal values of mastery and rapid learning. This is important to reflect on for anyone considering the fractional path: really understand why you’re doing it. It may feel like right move because, for example, you want to try-before-you-buy after being laid off or leaving a bad situation. But take the time to understand your underlying motivations.

Back to Owner: as I worked with the team in a fractional capacity for months,  it was clear that the work and the challenge fulfilled exactly what I was looking for. So I signed up for more! Simple. And that’s how I became their full-time VP of Marketing.

A New Perspective on Fractional Work

Now that I’m back on the other side again, as a full-time employee, I have a few insights on the time I spent in the fractional world.

  1. Hiring fractional, whether that’s a senior-level IC or a c-suite executive, can be an incredibly high-leverage activity for startups if done right. You can cut back on so many execution cycles if you bring in the right person
  2. As a founder, your goal is to deliver output, not “grow your team”. Seriously interrogate the assumptions about the amount of people-hours needed to get the output and impact you want. Our default assumption is that every employee should be full-time. Instead, what if startups first determine how many hours of output they need and THEN hire specifically for that need? Sounds obvious to me in hindsight
  3. Hiring fractionals and contractors is an underrated option for startups - where speed, execution quality, and burn rate are of utmost importance. You can get a high performing operator without a huge commitment or cost
  4. Fractionals (the good ones) know how to onboard at lightning speed and deliver value ASAP. The right fractional person doesn’t really need to be onboarded. You have a few calls with them to scope the project, but in my opinion - they should be productive in the first week. They should know exactly what to look for and what questions to ask. And most fractional engagements are structured such that you can end them quickly if it's not the right fit

How to Hire Fractional

If you’re reading this and want to take advantage of hiring fractional, it’s absolutely worth a shot. It’s a much more flexible relationship, and you get access to proven experts for much less than a full time hire. Plus, you may decide to convert that hire full-time like did with me.

You can tap into a whole network of dedicated fractionals through Fractional Jobs (the site you’re reading this post on). You’ll get introduced to a handful of pre-vetted fractionals that match your needs, and then you decide who to work with.

I also continue to do occasional advisory work with startups. If that’s of interest to you, book a call here.

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