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One of the many benefits of working in a digital industry like affiliate marketing is access to talent. Do you need a skilled web designer to create a digital application? Do you want to find a virtual assistant to manage redundant tasks? Hundreds of qualified candidates are available.
Over the years I have worked with many remote workers and paid over $ 1 million for all of the freelancers I hired. This investment gave me a unique perspective on the freelance world. In fact, my most recent project is a completely distant organization that works with digital freelancers in the US, UK and Sweden, among others.
My first freelance experience was with a writer named Felix. He reached out and offered to write a free newsletter for my previous business. I accepted the offer and after a few assignments, I was a customer paying around $ 1,000 a month for its services.
While accessing top talent is easier than ever, there are still rules for the relationship between clients and freelancers – something I've learned over and over again. In many ways, following these rules will determine the quality of the work you will get for it.
Here are some important lessons I've learned over the years hiring freelancers to prepare them for success and increase my chances of getting a good job.
Customers need to save time on their freelancers
Some business owners outsource freelancers who believe that these professionals don't need additional management, training, or resources. You send a vague description of the job and leave the rest to the freelancer.
I learned that lesson the hard way as a client and now I understand the importance of investing time in the front end in order to attract freelancers to success. It is much easier to spot a bug before the project begins than when you review the final product. Be prepared to spend extra time hosting your freelancers so that you will enable them to be successful.
If you asked five illustrators to draw you a pigeon and that was the only instruction, do you think you would get identical results? They may all give you a pigeon, but you can bet their approaches and styles would be unique. If you're unwilling to invest the time and resources in your freelancers, you can't be angry if they deliver work that doesn't meet your expectations.
The management of freelancers is still management. You need to provide clear instructions to your contractors, including an outline, resource, and style guide. You also need to be available to answer questions and provide clear feedback at the beginning and throughout the relationship. The more you work with freelancers, the more comfortable you will become with the entire management process. After going through COVID-19, many executives have gained additional trust in remote management solutions like Asana, Monday, Slack, and Google Drive.
If you're willing to invest time in bringing your freelancers up to speed, you'll be far more satisfied with the end results.
Related: No Time for Marketing? Hire a freelancer.
Freelancers are all created differently
Every employee is different and has unique perspectives, knowledge and experience. This is especially true for freelancers as they often see work differently in general. Many freelancers chose the profession because they wanted to break the 9-5 mentality. As a result, freelancers can sometimes push back structure or struggle to integrate into teams and environments that traditional labor norms expect.
These differences can present unique management challenges. Do you expect overseas freelancers to work the same hours in different time zones as your in-house employees? If not, how do you set up guidelines and structures for managing them?
I've found that having an open line of communication with frequent virtual meetings has helped my team build a foundation on which freelancers can thrive. It will definitely take some time and you will need to test different solutions. However, if you can take into account that not all freelancers are created equal, then you are on the right track.
Related: Why Government's Gig Economy Data Falling Short
Freelancers are not beginners
While some freelancers are actually entry-level professionals, many have years of experience working with industries and clients of all shapes and sizes. If you write off your freelancers as simple collaborators doing basic tasks while you focus on strategy, then you are missing out on a world of talent at your disposal.
If you want to get the most out of your freelancers, treat them like the experts they are. Acknowledge their experience in this area and listen to their ideas. This may require you to ask them to attend a meeting for insights into a potential project, or to give them the flexibility to make important changes and decisions once you trust them fully.
You can also respect your freelancers by paying them what they're worth. With contractors, you get what you pay for. If you pay writers pennies per word, you have to get substandard work. In fact, you may spend more time and money editing or rewriting the article than if you had just paid for a higher quality article.
If you work in a complex industry or have a project with special requirements, you are ready to pay a premium for becoming a freelancer. If you're looking to hire someone with a decade of experience, know that their prices reflect professional success. Underpaying employees and contractors leads to higher turnover rates, poor work, and missed deadlines, all of which lead to unhappy customers.
You can hire a freelancer online to get your jobs done for a few dollars, or you can find a partner, consultant, and expert who can meet your needs for years. The freelancers you attract will respond to the expectations you have set. If you want quality freelancers to work for you, you need to create valuable work experiences for them.
Related: The Freelance Business: An increasingly popular and very viable career choice