If you’re a marketing professional or business owner who outsources some of your current workload to qualified freelancers, you’re in excellent company. You’re also really on trend with the future of the American workforce.
According to research, it’s estimated that by 2027, 86.5 million Americans will be working as freelancers on at least a part-time basis. That’s over half of the total number of active workers.
But finding and hiring the right freelancers for your brand is only part of what it takes to get the most out of those relationships. You also need a solid understanding of how to successfully manage freelancers on a long-term basis. Here are some tips to get you started.
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The Benefits of Running a Team of Freelancers
Every business—from small startups to huge content writing agencies—can benefit greatly from assembling, hiring, and working with a reliable team of freelancers on an ongoing basis.
Whether you ultimately decide to hire just a couple of freelancers or a couple hundred, they are talented workers who can help you:
- Reduce your overall labor costs and nurture a healthier bottom line
- Fill gaps in your talent pool by offering specialized skills that your in-house team may lack
- Make it easier to globalize your brand
- Complete projects faster and to a much higher standard
- Reduce the number of times that you’ll need to orient and train someone new
And the more freelancers you hire, the more pronounced these benefits can potentially become.
Why You Should Preserve a Good Relationship with Your Freelancers
Finding, vetting, and ultimately hiring the right freelancers is a lot like building the right in-house team. It can take time, effort, and more than a little trial and error to connect with the right people.
That’s why you really want to invest in building and maintaining good relationships with your freelance team once you’ve found the right people.
- It’s always better to launch new projects with people you know, like, and understand in your corner instead of having to rebuild your team from scratch every time.
- Freelancers who know, like, and respect their clients do better work and are more likely to stick around.
- When freelancers and clients get along well, communication flows better, and all parties enjoy their work much more.
Ultimately, a terrific freelancer-client relationship is just like any other relationship. When you realize that you’re in a good one, it makes sense to take care of the relationship and ensure it lasts a while.
5 Tactics for Managing Freelancers Effectively
Even the most experienced professional freelancers need proper management to reach their full potential and bring their very best work to the table. However, managing a freelance team differs drastically from handling in-house personnel.
Unlike full-time payroll employees, freelancers are independent entities and need to be treated as such. Here’s a bit of insight on how to manage freelancers effectively.
1. Get to know your freelancers
Freelancers are really more like independent business partners than they are employees. You’re agreeing to work together toward a common end, so it’s worthwhile to get to know who your freelancers are, both as people and as workers.
Do you have anything personal in common with your freelancers? Use it to break the ice early on and establish a positive personal connection. Likewise, be sure to take notice of little details about how each person likes to work and communicate.
2. Ensure projects are well-defined
Unlike your in-house staff members, freelancers won’t immediately know how your company does things. And they can’t read your mind, so it’s up to you to thoroughly clarify what you need, want, and expect from them.
Start with your job postings. Make an effort to outline all of your requirements as well as other details like compensation rates. Maintain that standard by providing freelancers with detailed project briefs and being responsive to any questions they might have.
3. Keep the lines of communication open
Depending on the project at hand and the role that you need freelancers to play in your company moving forward, you may have various expectations that need clarification.
For example, if freelancers must attend meetings or provide status reports regarding a project, make that clear right from the beginning.
Be available to your freelancers, too. Promote solid time management by responding to questions and concerns promptly. And check in with your freelancers often to ask for feedback and make sure that they’re happy with their working relationship with you.
4. Treat your freelancers fairly
Every freelancer knows what it’s like to work for clients who don’t truly respect or value what they do. That said, a little respect and gratitude go a long way in maintaining incredible client-freelancer relationships.
Offer interesting projects and opportunities for advancement. Pay them on time, provide bonuses or rewards for work that goes above and beyond, and always let people know when they do an especially great job.
5. Be professional no matter what the situation
Freelancers aren’t technically your employees. It’s nearly inevitable that your working relationship will eventually change or even come to an end. But that’s no reason to stop being professional.
If you need to temporarily (or indefinitely) discontinue your freelance relationship, give them a courtesy call or email to let them know and wish them well. Don’t simply ghost them or blow them off, as you never know when you might need them again in the future.
Freelancer management made easy
Now that you understand a bit more about how to manage freelancers effectively. It’s time to meet and assemble your future dream team.
Sign up for a free two-week WriterAccess trial today, and connect with some of the best freelance content writers in the business.