10 Steps to building a great relationship with your freelance staff

With no extra costs and providing the specialist skills you need, finding the right freelancer can make all the difference to any business. A good freelancer can free up your time to concentrate on the things you need to do and add to the growth of your company.

Whether it’s web research, written content for your website/blog/newsletter, sales and lead generation, managing your social media or book keeping…the list of things you really should be doing but just don’t have the time for can go on and on. The right freelancer with the skills and experience to handle these tasks can really take the pressure off and there are plenty of them out there.

Once you’ve got the perfect freelancer, you will want to hold onto them so we’ve put together 10 steps to building a great relationship with your freelance staff. 

1. Make things clear: Putting together a clear brief which outlines what you need in terms of skills, experience, specific deliverables and timescales means that your freelancer can get started straight away without spending time clarifying what the project is about. Freelance writer Natalie L says: “A clear brief and quick responses to any queries I may have at the beginning of a project make it so much easier.”

2. Try it out: If you’re new to the world of freelancing you may want to start with a short ‘self-contained’ project to get an idea of how it works. You could get a feel for how hiring a social media freelancer would work by asking them to create a number of example posts and source relevant accounts to follow, all delivered in a word document for you. That way you can see the quality of the work before handing over the reins for a longer or ongoing project managing your social media accounts.

3. Use the profile: Online profiles give you a chance to check out your freelancer’s skills and experience. It’s important to look through these and take a look at reviews from previous clients. They can really help you to gauge the quality and professionalism of your freelancer.

4. Find the right fit: Even though they are working remotely, you will likely find that your freelancer becomes an integral part of your business, so finding the right person for you and your business is key. It’s well known that interviews only give you a snapshot of what it might be like working with someone so what better to way to test out a working relationship than by actually working together. Don’t be afraid to try working with several freelancers to begin with until you find the right fit. Freelance copywriter Sue K says: “Some clients you want to work with from the outset. They’ve taken the trouble to write a clear brief, with their expectations of the freelancer set out clearly. Even better if there’s the twinkling of a sense of humour – it shows that they’re approachable.”

5. Take the next step: Once you’ve right person for you, you may want to increase their hours and their output. Your confidence and trust in their abilities mean that you can let them take control of more tasks for you.

6. Grow your talent pool: For those freelancers who deliver quality work, on time, over and over again, why not “rehire” them? From your “talent pool” of previous workers, you can build up your freelancer team, creating a remote workforce. You can dip into this talent pool to find the skills you need, when you need them.

7. Keep connected: With freelancers located in different areas of the country, keeping communication flowing is important. The more you communicate and work together the more you’ll both get to know how the other likes to work, building an efficient and productive relationship. Natalie says: “My favourite clients are easy to get hold of, respond to any emails or phone calls quickly, and have a clear idea of what they want. When you find a dream client like this you want to build the best relationship you can with them.”

8. Don’t be a “micro manager”: You’ve done your research, you’ve hired your freelancer because of their specialist knowledge and experience and you’ve been pleased with the work produced. So don’t micromanage! Your time will be much better spent elsewhere.

9. Everyone loves feedback: Constructive feedback is always welcomed and can help you to get exactly what you want. A good freelancer will act on feedback to produce even better work and work that suits your style. Passing on results from your freelancer’s work, eg. the amount of traffic their blog attracted, or how many likes, follows or click-throughs their social media posts generated, helps to guide the work in the right direction. Providing your freelancer with URLs of their work so that they can add these to their social media profiles will create great back-links to your site too. Reviews are always appreciated, as Sue comments: “I’m always thrilled if the client is kind enough to provide a testimonial afterwards.”

10. Pay up: Having to chase for payments can be embarrassing, and time consuming. Receiving payment on time will make your freelancer more likely to favour working for you over clients who still haven’t paid weeks after work has been completed. Sue says: “It goes without saying that clients who pay promptly are especially well thought of when it comes to future projects.”

Building a positive relationship with your freelancers will open the door to a whole new way of working. Those annoying jobs that never seem to go away will soon be looked after by someone you can trust, while your time is spent on your priorities!

Get started by posting a project on Jobstoday Freelance, giving you quick and easy access to skilled freelancers all over the UK.

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