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7 Tips for Businesses Who Work with Freelancers

Businesses who work with freelancers will inevitably debate how they should treat them. They aren’t employees, so you can’t discipline them. They’re contractors, and that means you have to approach them in an entirely different way.                                                              

If you work with freelancers and treat them right, you’re going to see real benefits for your business. If you’re working with them for the first time read through these seven tips for treating freelance workers in the right way.

Learn from Mistakes 

When you encounter problems, which you will do, work on fixing the problem so it doesn’t happen again. We’re talking about mistakes like conflicts on the rate to be paid and the exact responsibilities of the freelancer. Each time you encounter a problem, set some time aside to review the process you went through. Find the flaws and go from there.

Change your mind-set, act like you’re hiring a remote employee. Really take your time when it comes to hiring your freelance team.

Freelance Vetting

Who you hire is the first step to getting the most out of a freelancer. Most businesses have a habit of not vetting freelancers. Instead of going through the process they would when hiring an employee, they will hire the first person they see. Don’t do this. Avoid mistakes ahead of time by asking for references and putting the freelancer through a formal interview process. And always ask for work samples!

Communicate Deadlines and Goals Over and Over

One of the biggest mistakes businesses make is giving freelancers too much freedom. By all means, don’t suffocate them, but make sure you over communicate your goals and deadlines. Ask for regular updates. You could even offer milestone payments, so you release a portion of the project fee after each stage of completion.

Ask for regular updates from freelancers and state how often you want updates in the contract you signed.

Connect the Team with the Freelancers

The chances are your freelancer will work with the rest of your team. One consideration you have is how you’re going to fit this person into your team. They need to feel connected so they can really give their all for the project. If they’re working remotely, introduce them via video chat. If possible, bring them in and have them attend a meeting. 

Isolation is something you want to avoid as much as you can. Build a long-term relationship and you’ll get more out of your freelancer.

Concoct a Cheat Sheet

Freelancers need to know what your brand stands for. They need to grasp your company’s voice and its style. Style guides can save you a lot of time correcting things your freelancer didn’t know about. Create a cheat sheet, and be willing to accept some input from your freelancer. They’re there to innovate. They’re not there to simply obey you and do as you ask.

Constant Evaluation

To avoid making the same mistakes going forward, constantly evaluate your experiences with your freelancer. Ask yourself whether your freelancer met the goals you setup for them. How did they treat you? Did they stay in constant communication and demonstrate the professionalism you would demand?

In the event you decide not to rehire a freelancer, show some class and give them feedback for the future.

Managing Remote Workers

Don’t treat your freelancer like a different entity altogether. Treat them like remote workers. Demand the highest standards and be willing to be flexible. Make sure both parties are happy with the progress of the project and the eventual outcome. By doing this, you’ll get a great freelance experience and become a superior remote worker manager.

Have you had a negative experience hiring freelancers in the past? Do you have any tips and tricks to add to the list? Your thoughts and comments below please…


Image: istock




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