Freelancers can be a valuable resource for your startup and can help expand your business faster than if you handled everything on your own. With the large amount of overhead costs you’ll face as a new business, freelancers offer both the skills and payment flexibility you’ll need to fit your budget. To help you get familiar with freelancers, read this guide for the best tips.
Are Freelancers Necessary for Your Business?
Before hiring a group of freelancers, you need to decide whether or not they’ll be a good fit for your business. There are plenty of pros with hiring a freelancer, like their flexibility, variety, and affordability. Still, you could run the risk of putting an untrustworthy, unloyal scammer at the helm of your content creation. It’s in your best interest to limit the risk associated with hiring.
One of the best ways to do this is by setting up a contract, although that could come with some difficulty if you don’t have a lawyer. Instead of crafting one yourself for, say, a social media marketer, you could use a social media contract template for the basis of your legal documents. Using a contract protects you and the freelancer from disagreements and maintains compliance.
Part 1: Where to Find Freelancers
It would be nice to have freelancers come to you, but if you’re a startup, you likely won’t have a website they can contact. The best thing to do is search for yourself.
You may already know someone who can edit videos, create blog posts, or manage social media pages already. Or, you may know another business that has used freelancers in the past. Ask your networking group if they know someone who is trustworthy and good at their job.
Use the Internet
Locate recruitment websites that host available freelancers that can write in your niche. Some of the more popular websites include LinkedIn, Craigslist, Fiverr, and Upwork, but you aren’t limited to those sites alone. Experiment with various freelance platforms to find the right hire.
Make a Job Ad
Creating a job ad on websites like Problogger can help you narrow down the search process, although you will receive candidates that aren’t right for the job. Ensure that you’re clear on what the project entails, the skills needed, and your price point to attract the right people.
Part 2: Picking the Right Freelancer
Now that you have a group of people right for the job, you need to narrow down your choices.
Look at Their Portfolio/Website/Samples
Always ask for a freelancer’s samples because it gives you a close look at how they’ll perform while on the clock. Go through their portfolio from front to back to assess their skill level and to conclude whether or not they’re worth the investment.
While you can opt for a traditional interview, it’s sometimes enough to ask them to go through a paid trial run. For example, you can ask them to draw a sample logo or write a post based on a topic to really grasp their creativity, timeliness, and ability to work with your team.
Freelancers typically have a good understanding of what’s expected of them because they already have the skillset you’re looking for. You may need to run through your specific guidelines and company culture, but training should be a relatively painless process.
Part 3: Working With a Freelancer
You’ve chosen a freelancer; Congratulations! For the last part, you’ll need to work effectively with your new hire, so they continue to represent your company.
After hiring your new freelancer, you can start giving out a few tasks to complete. It’s unwise to give them a lot of work all at once, so start small and work your way up. After 3 months, you can likely give them a hefty workload as long as they continue to submit high-quality content.
Monitor Their Work
Keep a close eye on their work to see if they can grasp the content or may need a little more training. For example, if you’re hiring a freelance writer, set them up with a senior editor to point them in the right direction. New hires will need more guidance in the beginning.
Workers and employees should continuously keep communicating throughout the project to avoid unnecessary errors and misunderstandings. Keeping consistent contact will also establish a better relationship with your employees.