3+1 tips for working with freelancers

Date

New relationships are exciting – you form an opinion when you first decide to swipe left or right, have some expectations for the person, but it is not until the first date or maybe the first six months of knowing each other that you really know if it was a match or not. Although work relationships, such as with your marketing, PR or business consulting partners, are usually not for life, they do have a great impact on our everyday lives. So, to encourage you to try and start a new chapter in your professional life working with a freelancer or a team of freelancers, I wrote these simple tips.

1. Choose wisely – trust immediately

There are dozens of freelancers to choose from. Don’t spend too much time browsing for different options. Aim for a shortlist of people who come with recommendations, organize a first date to get that gut feeling, ask for a proposal and start working together. Commit to the collaboration and trust the freelancer to know their job. Experienced freelancers are seasoned professionals and would not have made it as independent entrepreneurs without really knowing how to get the job done.

2. Build a team of freelancers

Working with freelancers does not have to be just finding a person to work with. Big, complex projects require different skill sets and a team of professionals, but you don’t necessarily have to turn to an agency to get the job done. Freelancers know other freelancers, possibly belonging to the same network such as ours, and are happy to work on big projects together. I recommend choosing a freelancer with a passion for your field of work and project management skills and asking them to suggest a team. A team of motivated, experienced freelancers is a way of getting exactly what you need to succeed.

3. Start smart

Okay, this tip is valid for working with freelancers and agencies and in-house teams alike. Do make an effort to start the collaboration in a smart way. Brief the person or team about your strategy and long-term goals, agree on ways of working together, and set roles and objectives. Encourage your partner to ask questions and be available for a chat when needed. This is the only way to get the ball rolling. With an excellent project kickoff, the short or long-term relationship can really work smoothly.

+1 Think about wine

Sure, you can hire a freelancer to help you with just a task or a small project, and that is totally okay. And would it not be easier to just ask a person who already knows you, your business, and how you work to help rather than brief a new partner on the case? What I am getting at here (wine) is that you should try and form a long-term relationship with your partner if possible. You save your precious time from briefing and starting all over again with new people, and the freelancer or team of freelancers can pre-book space for you from their calendars. Both parties know each other, commit to working together and save that energy of trying to look attractive in front of new potential people to charm. Relationships (professional ones, at least) get better with age.

Final words

Working with traditional agencies is still an excellent choice for some – I’ve worked at many, and still do belong to the San Francisco Agency crew – I do believe that in the future, more and more experienced professionals choose to work as freelancers and not under an agency brand. From the client’s perspective, when working with a freelancer, you know exactly what (or who) you get. If this got you thinking, get in touch by filling in the contact form or drop me an email or LinkedIn message.

-Nina Enroth-
nina@bayarea.fi
https://www.linkedin.com/in/ninaenroth/

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