Handling A Freelancer
Neil Bromage has run his own small business and is a freelance business writer working on a range of newspapers including The Times, Sunday Times, Telegraph and Financial Mail on Sunday. This book is based on a wide range of columns and Q&As written and answered by Neil for Business Link over a number of years. He is based near Preston, Lancs.
Hiring a freelancer can be a terrific way to tackle problems your staff don’t have the time or the expertise to deal with, but it also presents some risks.
It is important to check out your freelancer’s background, particularly if you hired them from the web, which offers lots of opportunities. Request references and samples of previous work. Some sites have implemented rating systems, which give feedback regarding the competence, efficiency and professionalism of those individuals who have already completed projects.
Clearly establish what you want accomplished. Provide samples of what you like and don’t like. Be specific about what you want the finished piece of work to convey, thereby avoiding confusion along the way and disappointment in the end.
Give as many resources to your freelancer as possible with access to specific reports, generic materials such as a corporate brochure and recently-distributed press releases which can be helpful as they may contain certain terminology – or a specific tone – that is unique to your company.
Your employees should also know that it’s okay to answer your freelancer’s questions and provide information. Nothing will impede your expert’s progress more than having to ask permission from management every time they need to ask a question or gain access to a document.
Check in with your freelancer frequently to avert problems before they get out of hand. If the project is long-term, request a twice-weekly update. For visual projects (web design, brochure layouts, logo concepts, etc.) ask your expert to post the work on the web and/or send overnight samples at specified intervals or after major revisions.
A well written contract that details job description, pay rate, payment terms, and the due date can prevent problems later on if your freelancer doesn’t or can’t deliver.