4 Tips For Managing Freelancers

Many small businesses use freelancers to fill talent gaps while keeping overhead costs low. Minimize some of the most common challenges with these four tips for managing freelancers. You’ll be more inclined to enjoy the process and they will continue to be happy working with you.

  1. Have a Vision And A Plan

Help your freelancer hit the ground running by providing them a clear, documented vision for your company and how the project(s) they will be working on help feed into this vision. In addition, you will find any professional will make good use out of a simple creative or project brief. Fill it out and have it ready when you interview a freelancer.

  1. Have Clear Deadlines

Set regular status meetings with your freelancer with clear expectations that certain tasks or milestones will be reached at each meeting and ask they do the same with you. Both need to be explicit of the consequences of what happens if due dates are not reached. Sometimes it’s nothing. Other times, it means you have to push the whole project. Be sure you know ahead of time so you can both prioritize appropriately.

  1. Quick Questions

During every project, freelancers have questions that will hold up their work if they’re not answered. Many times a quick text or IM to you is enough, rather than waiting on weekly status meetings or risk getting buried in your inbox. So set up a methodology for your freelancer to shoot you quick questions on the project, one that you will easily see and be able to respond to very quickly. This way, you keep communication open and your project on task.

  1. Scope Creep

It’s common for a project to evolve in a way that it expands past the original scope. That’s OK. But don’t expect that when this happens, you shouldn’t compensate your freelancer for the growing scope of work. Be explicit about how the project has shifted, what you think their new scope will be and ask them for an addendum to your original contract. This not only ensures you’re treating them right, but protects you in the future against potential charges of unpaid work.

Not every freelancer is experienced and knows how to set up a gig in a way that reduces problems. But by limiting ambiguity, being accessible and having a clear plan, you can help improve the chances of a successful working relationship.

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