If you’ve gone to the trouble of finding a good freelance partner, you want your investment to pay dividends in top quality work. You want good results for a fair price in a reasonable amount of time. Here are three simple guidelines for getting the most out of freelancer talent:
1. Describe the project and your expectations clearly.
Before the project starts, give it some thought. If it's writing, are you looking for original copy or copyediting? Do you have background information? Are there experts to talk to? What’s the deadline?
An experienced freelancer will ask a lot of questions up front to avoid problems and unpleasant surprises. Your freelancer may also check in with you during a project to get clarification and ask questions that come up later. The time you spend giving thoughtful answers will be well worth it.
2. Respect the expertise you've hired.
In a perfect world everyone would treat everyone else with respect – direct reports, peers, upper management, and customers. Everyone would show appreciation for other people’s time and contributions. Everyone would set reasonable deadlines. Sadly, not everyone lives up to this ideal.
When you hire a freelancer, you are investing in that person's special skills and expertise. You'll get more out of your investment if you respect their contribution.
3. Pay on time per the agreed-upon schedule.
You pay employees on time, right? So please adhere to whatever payment arrangement you’ve worked out with your freelancer.
Whether it's weekly or monthly, in ten days or 45 days, most freelancers can deal with most payment schedules – as long as it's part of an agreed-to plan. Non-payment or late payment is not OK. Nobody enjoys making collection calls. Your freelancer is a small business owner who needs payment just like any other supplier.
That’s it. Three simple rules for working with freelance talent. Let me know if you have anything to add. And contact me on your next writing project at firstname.lastname@example.org