As your business grows, so will your need to outsource some work. Maybe you’re in need of a professional writer to spruce up your company bio, or a graphic designer to come up with a snazzy, new logo or a marketing maven who can boost your social media profile. Regardless of the type of work you’re in need of, working with the right freelancer(s) can be mutually beneficial. You get an amazing result and they get paid for what they love to do.
If you’ve never worked with a freelancer before, there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind prior to any work beginning.
Ask for References
It’s a good idea to ask your potential hire for references. Their work might look pretty on paper (or a website) but that doesn’t mean they are easy to work with, can meet deadlines, etc. Those statements can only come from those they have worked with in the past. If the freelancer states they aren’t comfortable with you contacting anyone they worked for previously, then there must be a reason. And, not a good one…
Don’t Let Money Make the Decision
Yes, it’s nice to find someone who will do the work for little money but that doesn’t mean that they will meet your needs. I’m not saying you can’t find someone talented who is just starting out, trying to beef up their portfolio, and therefore willing to do the work for pennies. What I am saying is the price should not determine the hire. Those with higher rates ask for more because they’re worth more.
Once you both agree to the work, and deadline, give as much direction as possible. Saying “I just want a cool logo.” is like saying “I just want a shirt.” So, don’t be mad if they come back with a vintage, rock t-shirt when you were hoping for a long-sleeve button-down. Share your company’s mission, what color schemes you like, who your target audience is, etc. And, if your freelancer doesn’t think to ask these questions themselves, or shows no interest in the information, then you may want to re-think hiring them.
You’ll need to establish an open line of communication from the beginning. By doing so, you’re letting your contracted freelancer know that you’re available to them and they should be available to you. You’ll want to consider having one point person to represent your company’s feedback on the project. Having several cooks in the company kitchen easily causes confusion, frustration and unnecessary delays. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for what you want and critique your contractor’s work when needed.
Working with a freelancer doesn’t have to be scary. Do your research, be specific and protect yourself with a signed contract/agreement.