Freelancers can be one of the most helpful assets for a company that wants to create awesome online content, or needs a good logo design, but does'’t have the funds to hire a full-time employee.
Using freelancers is both cost efficient, and rewarding, for both parties involved.
Having done freelance work for multiple publications, websites, and companies in the past, I know a little about what freelancers want out of your company, and what you, as a business owner, should do in order to hire the best freelance work you can get.
The first thing to do when hiring freelance work is to identify your need for a freelancer. Do you need someone to write for your blog? Design a logo? Write copy for your website redesign? Write a press release for the local newspaper? Identifying why you need a freelancer in the first place can help you avoid complications in the future. You never know when you’re going to need a little extra help, and figuring that out beforehand, instead of right when the need arises, saves you a whole lot of stress.
In the same way you don’t hire a full-time employee with no design experience to a graphic design position, you can't hire freelancers to do work that they have no prior experience doing. Figure out what your freelancers strengths are before giving them an important task. Have them send in writing/design samples, and then test the waters for a bit with them, by giving them smaller assignments.
Always make sure when you give an assignment to a freelancer that they know EXACTLY what you need them to do, and what you expect out of them. This makes it so there are no questions and second thoughts from the freelancer about how to complete an assignment.
Your expectations for hired work shouldn't change just because you're working with a freelancer instead of a full-time worker. You can't cut freelancers any slack, otherwise they might do less than you expect of them. If work is continuously turned in late to you, don’t let it keep happening. Let them know that if this pattern continues, you’ll be forced to find other help.
Just because you've made everything about the assignment clear, and you expect them to do the work in a timely and efficient manner doesn't mean you shouldn't check in on them. In my own experience, I'll assign something maybe a month or two out, and confirm with the freelancer that they can complete the assignment for me. Then, I'll check in a week before it's due to make sure everything is going okay and that they don't have any questions for me. You don't want to check on them so often that they become annoyed with you and accuse you of micromanaging their work, but you also don't want to not check in on them, which can lead to an assignment being turned in that's not at all what you expected.
Freelancers just want to be loved! Seriously, I love when my client or an editor treats me with respect, like I’m a real employee of their company. I also love getting feedback on my work, whether it's good or bad. Good feedback is always great to hear, but getting feedback that critiques my work is also awesome, because it lets me know that I have things I could do better, and that my client cares about me submitting only the best work.
Freelancing is a great way for your company to branch out, find new help, and get new ideas from lots of different sources. Experiment with freelancing and see how it can help you out!
This post originally appeared on FGmarket.com. Check out their blog for even more awesome tips!
Contributor Caleb Hennington is a 23-year-old writer, who manages the Atwill Media and FGmarket blogs. He graduated from Arkansas State University in 2014 with a bachelor's degree in journalism.
When not writing, Caleb enjoys camping, running, collecting comic books, and binge-watching shows on Netflix.