There are a lot of moving parts to manage when running a business. From accounting and marketing to sales and customer service, it takes a team of dedicated professionals to keep things running smoothly. However, hiring a full-time staff can be expensive, which is why many entrepreneurs and small businesses turn to freelance professionals. Freelancers offer several advantages, including flexibility, affordability, and expertise.
For businesses wanting to stick to their budget, freelancers can be a great way to get the expert help you need without breaking the bank. Freelancers typically work on a project basis, so you only pay for the services you need. And since they’re not employees, you don’t have to worry about offering benefits or paying payroll taxes. Best of all, you can hand-pick the freelancers who are the best fit for your business for the quality results you need.
Wondering what types of services you can freelance? The sky’s the limit these days. Editors can help improve the clarity and flow of a client’s writing, while marketers can develop and implement strategies to promote a product or service. Content creators can generate original articles, videos, or other forms of content, while copywriters can create compelling sales materials. Website builders can design and build both functional and visually appealing websites.
By offering various services, freelance businesses can appeal to a wide range of clients. But with a global market comes a high candidate pool, so how do you find quality freelancers? Nothing is worse than spending hundreds or thousands of dollars on mediocre work. Here are my top five tips to find the best freelances.
Take the Time to Write Up A Thorough Job Description
Before you begin the process of hiring a freelancer, you need to set some time to define your needs. Many platforms such as Upwork, Fiverr, or Freelancer require you to post a job description, and a vague write-up will land you less than perfect matches. Here are some things to consider adding:
- Provide a detailed outline and defined goals of your project with as much information as you are comfortable with sharing publicly. This will allow candidates a better understanding of the job at hand and determine if they are a good fit for the project before they ever hit that apply button. Vague descriptions will leave you with a high volume of unqualified candidates to sort through, wasting time.
- Add skills or requirements that you would prefer, such as experience with certain software, a list of references, and examples of previous work.
- Discuss your timeline so that candidates applying know they have the available time to devote to your project among the other jobs they are working on.
Take the Time To Review Their Portfolio and References
Once you’ve received some applications, it’s important to review their portfolio and references to get a sense of their work and whether or not they’re a good fit for your project.
When reviewing a freelancer’s portfolio, look at the quality of their work and the variety of projects they’ve worked on. This will give you an idea of their skills and experience. Also, check out the freelancer’s references and see what others say about their work.
Once you’ve looked over the freelancer’s portfolio and references, take some time to consider if they’re a good match for your project. If you have doubts, it’s always best to err on the side of caution and move on to another candidate. However, be conscious of your own internal biases, so you don’t lose a great applicant.
Review Your Checklist & Do a Trial Run
If their portfolio and references check out, then make sure they check off a few more details:
- Can they meet your required deadlines for the work you’re hiring for?
- How many other commitments do they have? Can they grow as your company’s needs do?
- What is their communication style? Understanding their availability, turnaround time, and ability to update you on their progress will save a ton of headaches later.
Once you’ve reviewed your checklist, it’s time for a trial run. Have two or three candidates work up either a smaller project or the initial part of your larger project. This may seem redundant and wasteful spending, but it’s during this trial period you’ll discover who is capable of the work that meets your vision, how they interact with your team, and if they can meet deadlines. By doing a trial run, you can avoid making a bad hire that could cost you much more time and money in the long run.
Offer Competitive Pay
When hiring a freelancer, you want to ensure that you are getting the best possible value for your money. This means hiring someone who is not only competent and experienced but also competitively priced. A great freelancer knows what their work is worth. While it may be tempting to save money by hiring a less experienced freelancer, this often means you’ll end up with underwhelming quality.
Not only will you have to deal with the frustration of inferior work, but you may also find yourself having to pay more to have the work redone and precious time lost. As such, hiring a freelancer who can offer competitive rates is always worth paying a little extra. Doing so can make you confident that you are getting the best possible value for your money.
Keep an Open Line of Communication
You must maintain an open line of communication with your freelancers, who would likely treasure the flexibility of remote work. By doing so, you can offer suggestions or critiques constructively. Furthermore, your freelancers will feel valued and appreciated, which will result in a better working relationship.
When offering suggestions or critiques, it is important to be specific and concise. You should also avoid using terms that could be seen as confrontational or negative. Instead, focus on what you would like to see improved and why. By taking the time to communicate effectively with your freelancers, you will foster a positive and productive working environment.
Freelancers are a great way for a small business to grow. Hopefully, you can find those star players to help your business thrive.
This guest post was authored by Samantha Brandon
Samantha Brandon is a pharmacist, mother of two toddlers, and online entrepreneur who is passionate about giving women entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed at SamanthaBrandon.com.
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