To efficiently run a business, I have often used freelancers to provide quality work at affordable pricing. Based on my experience I have written this article with the hope it will help my fellow small business owners and managers.
Below are seven checkboxes you should make sure to cross during your search for the right freelancers.
ADVANTAGE OF FREELANCERS, ISSUES WITH THEM!
Like everything in life, there are two sides to the freelancing coin, and it is essential to be well aware of the possible issues that come with hiring a freelancer, as well as the goodies they bring to the table.
Freelancers are quite easy to manage, thanks to their flexible and independent nature. But this also makes it challenging to plan and project the allocation of work accurately. Freelance services are also cost-effective, especially if more work opportunities can be guaranteed. But most often, freelancers can choose to go after a better-paying client if the opportunity comes their way.
The skills brought to the table by freelancers are mostly quite exceptional, but there may be a slight variance in the style of one freelancer to another, and if not checked may affect the image of your business. The best solution is here is to create unique brand guidelines (Content guidelines, design guidelines, etc.) that would guide freelancers to produce a uniform styled result for your business.
OUTSOURCE, NOT OUT-TASK
Finding the right person to do your work is often time-consuming, and having to do it many times creates a drain on your company’s valuable resources.
Thinking your work as a series of individual tasks and assigning them to different freelancers over time is called out-tasking. Whereas, outsourcing is finding the right set of freelancers and use them over and over again.
So, how do you know if you found the right freelancer in the first place? In the initial phase, you can give a small task to many freelancers and monitor their quality of work and their attitudes and judge if you can work with them. Once you zero down to one or two freelancers, you create a permanent relationship with them. It will also have an added advantage that you become a long term customer of the freelancer, and they will be willing to work on your terms.
CLEARLY STATE YOUR REQUIREMENTS
While working with freelancers, you will often find that the result is not quite you expected in the first place.
It is always important to clearly express what you need to whomever you are looking to hire. Take your time and do your research on what you think you need, and check out some samples to be sure you are on the right path. Then take your time to describe what you need, what you expect, and what purpose you hope it to serve your business.
Be sure that the freelancer also understands what it is that you are asking for, before going into an agreement with them. It is essential, for both your sake and the sake of the freelancer that you both are on the same page, before sealing the agreement.
EVALUATING A FREELANCER
There are 2 phases involved in the process of assessing freelancers before contacting them. We could describe it as the final shortlisting process, and it includes;
Review their past jobs and projects which are similar to the service you need from them. You could also go through the feedback of their previous clients (depending on how you meet the freelancer). These will give you a general overview of what to expect from each freelancer.
Analyze the freelancer to be sure if they do the job or if they are simply middlemen. While some individuals would like to speak with the worker directly, some individuals wouldn’t mind working with an intermediary, if it doesn’t affect the quality of the delivery.
The process of finding freelancers has been made easy. Freelancers are individuals like us, and they are mainly present on networking websites.
Freelancers are very much present on social networks like Facebook, Craigslist, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more. These types of websites allow you to build a personal rapport with whomever you may hire.
There are also platforms that are specifically built to serve as a marketplace for freelancers and those who need their service, to meet. These platforms have provided the necessary features you may need from the phase of finding a freelancer, to the point of payment and execution. Some common examples of these types of websites include; Fiverr.com, Upwork.com, Toptal.com, Guru.com, Freelancer.com, and more.
TRACKING FREELANCER PRODUCTIVITY
It will also come in handy if you could find time to learn more about the tools used to track the productivity of freelancers. Tools such as Everhour, TimeCamp, or OfficeClip Free Time Tracking Software can be used to monitor timely productivity of freelancers, providing you with useful insight on where to put more effort and where everything is efficient.
Hiring freelancers is the new norm, and getting it right holds so many possibilities.
Photo Courtesy: Infozuba In Creative Common Attribution
Deepa Kapoor is an online writer for small businesses. She loves to write on the advancements of new technologies and how it affects our lives. She always explores ways to make small businesses more profitable. When not writing, she enjoys reading books and cooking exotic traditional food.