Hiring a Freelance Writer. Our Experience
Hiring a full-time employee may be expensive and inappropriate for a list of business tasks. Depending on your industry, you may want to outsource writing, copy editing, design works, website administration and etc. to a freelancer or an outsourcing company.
Here at Content Rocket with over 3 years of experience managing freelancers, we obviously recommend the last option as a less risky and guaranteed quality one.
But in case you would like to try your luck with a freelancer - we are glad to share our tips that will minimize your pain:
1. Find an expert. A good freelancer has real examples, he does not break deadlines, communicates adequately and respectfully. First take a look at his portfolio: experience in your field, style, similar works and their quality. If you want a picture in the style of pointillism, and the illustrator you found creates pop art - don’t waste your time and look for another artist.
If you need an eye-catching and engaging social network profile and your candidate’s portfolio consists of template landing pages - then you risk not to live up to your expectations.
2. Set a clear goal. The freelancer does not understand you and does not know the product - this is an axiom that should always be in your head. So provide him with all the necessary introductory notes. “I need a stylish website” is not a task.
The concept of style is relative. The mark of a professional freelancer here is if he provides a brief, asks clarifying questions and is picky about every detail. But I recommend doing all these preparations yourself in advance - such meticulous experts are not easy to find.
3. Figure out a solution. Before starting, ask the freelancer how he will solve the problem, even if you already have your own vision. He is an expert able to generate ideas and share his experience. Prepare a checklist for all stages to find and remove the jambs in the process.
4. Set the deadlines. Freelancer and deadlines seem to exist in parallel worlds. Be a pessimist and lay more time than is actually required. For example, add two days and multiply the time by 2 or 3. You do not know and hence cannot control his amount of work and priorities. All of his clients have urgent tasks. You can trick and put deadlines two to three days before the real deadline (just don’t tell him). Do not hesitate to remind of yourself on a regular basis.
5. Keep in constant contact. If the freelancer did not talk to you today, he did not work with you. And the phrase “yes, I’m almost ready” usually means that he finally started and had already opened a brief.
6. Take on the role of an adult. A freelancer is an indigo child. He is certainly talented, but not well-concentrated and a bit irresponsible. Procrastination, householding routine, sandwiches on the design of your project - this is all about him. Try to explain your points patiently. Be a friendly parent - otherwise, he will run away from home.
7. Check quality and uniqueness. Just do it each time. Even if you have become best friends with your freelancer.
8. Conclude an agreement. Clear and detailed rules of the game are essential for getting what you pay for on time. Set the list of tasks, quality criteria, deadlines and fees for breaking them etc.
Most of these tips are applicable to working with outsourcing and other partner companies as well. Enjoy using them to effectively reach your goals.