Managing freelancers can often get tricky and can lead to miscommunication in the project later on. Here are 12 things you must do to make sure neither of the above situations occur.
1. Check the Freelancer’s Portfolio and References
Ask the freelancer for a portfolio of their work or at least a few projects that they’ve completed in the past. You can use this opportunity to thoroughly assess their abilities, experience, and if their work will be good enough for you.
In addition to a portfolio of past work, never hesitate to ask your freelancers for references. Contact a couple (or more) of their past clients or employers before having them commit to any of your significant projects. It is better to be absolutely sure at the outset that your freelancer is the right fit for you and your project, rather than regretting your hiring decision when it’s too late.
2. Ask for a Sample First
It is best to know if the freelancer’s style of work, behavior, and experience match your requirements perfectly – it should feel like two pieces of a puzzle fitting perfectly.
Before awarding a substantial project to an untested freelancer, give them a sample topic to work on, so you can get an idea of their quality before wholly committing to a gig. Next, use the “sample work” to determine if they match your workflow and style.
You should also use the sample work to let them know if you have any desired changes in it and how they can improve in the future.
3. Define Budget for The Gig – Be Very Clear
Once you talk to the freelancer and clear all the details about the work, the last and most important thing left to fulfill is to define the budget. Before having them commit to the project, set the budget and be crystal clear about the details.
It is wisest to avoid setting any agreements like an “estimated” amount to be decided and cleared once the project ends. This can cause conflict to arise when the time for payment comes. You may want to issue a written agreement just to be safe with the financial dealings.
4. Ensure Scope Is Clearly Defined
Further to the previous point, here are some more project details that should be finalized in advance.
Details like project objectives, project outline/statements, requirements and completion deadlines should all be clarified before you ask the freelancer to commence work.
Crucial tip: Don’t change your terms for the project or payment in the middle of the project as this can lead discord with the freelancer.
5. Decide Whether the Gig Will Be Paid as Fixed Price or By the Hour
Just like determining the budget initially, deciding beforehand whether the project will be paid at a fixed price or by the hour will also save you from trouble in the future or by the end of the gig.
You should also make sure to have a written agreement saved about the payment’s requirements and decisions to hold as proof in case of a misunderstanding. This “agreement” can simply be a screenshot or an email or a text message as well.
6. Define Interim Milestones
To ensure that your hired freelancer stays motivated and your work stays on track, you should set smaller goals for them to pass before the final deadline.
These can be little “checkpoints” such as:
- If the work is meeting your requirements,
- Starting, middle, and end dates of the gig,
- Consider dividing the work into a few parts (milestones) depending on the length; this will allow the freelancer to stay dedicated to the work while also ensuring on-time delivery.
7. Ensure Formal Meeting/Touch-Base Times
Developing trust and a communicative relationship with your freelancer is very important. While keeping it formal, engage in face-to-face conversations and get to know them better to add a personal touch.
Occasionally, talk to the freelancer or simply touch base to stay updated about the projects, progress, and if he or she is encountering any difficulties. This helps you make sure that they are still in touch and working on the gig.
8. Continuously Evaluate Progress
Ask them for regular updates to analyze and assess their work frequently to ensure they stay on track.
9. Build A Relationship with The Freelancer
Before getting straight into the details of the gig and its requirements, you need to understand freelancers. While they will work with you or for you, they will remain their boss.
Other ways to build and maintain a healthy relationship with them would be to stay kind, motivate them with appreciative and supportive words, and do your best to be considerate of their feelings. Consider allowing them an additional day or two past the deadline if they seem to be under a lot of pressure from the work and extending the deadline does not inconvenience you unduly.
10. Ensure Freelancers Are Correctly Tracking Their Time
An experienced and well-established freelancer would already know well enough how to manage their projects. However, do feel free to suggest to them that they use time-tracking software to ensure peak productivity.
Other than time-tracking software, you can have them use a timesheet software for your gig so you can stay updated on the progress and check if they are staying on track.
11. Don’t Micro-Manage
Is it important to be clear and confident enough to establish yourself as an effective supervisor? Yes. Is it also important to give the freelancer time and space to do the job their way? Without a doubt, yes.
Nobody appreciates a micro-manager; don’t contact them several times a day. Instead, patiently wait for the deadline and review the final project all at once instead of keeping an extremely close eye on their work and criticizing it at all times.
Also, avoid asking for updates too frequently. Simply wait for the submission date and then freely elucidate your demands and requirements; remember: be firm but don’t be too controlling.
12. Provide Timely Feedback
Quick feedback on the project is essential for the freelancer just as well as it is for your project. Letting them know if you are entirely satisfied with their work or not will only make things easier.
Regularly provide fully honest feedback, but don’t be rude or harsh while doing so. Allow them some time to adjust to your style of work and point out any issues or errors that might be evident.
To conclude, these are 12 ways for you to make sure that a freelancer does justice to your work. Hopefully, these tips will help you ensure timely and successful project delivery from your freelancers.