Whether you are already outsourcing some of your work or only just begun considering it as an option, there are several things you need to know if you want to get the best out of your freelancer. It’s a relationship that could make life a lot easier if handled properly or if mishandled make you regret the day you ever thought of outsourcing.
First, you need to make sure that you hire the right person. The fact that it is a small job does not mean that it should be taken any less seriously. Finding someone you trust can do the job well, on time and a person you can rely on for possible future projects is crucial. Think of your strategy and the method you want to use. Are you going to ask your friends and business contacts if they know someone, or ask the internet crowd for recommendations on one of the multiple freelancing websites? If you opt for the second one, pay close attention to the profile of the freelancers you are interested in. Do they have reviews that state they have done a good job? Check if they have done a similar job in your particular area. Have they finished their work on time? What is their repeat hire rate? The selection process may take a while because you are looking for a specific profile. Once you narrow it down to several candidates, you may ask them for sample work or more information. Assign the project to the person that satisfies your criteria. When asking for sample work, make sure you pay for it. You should respect the freelancers time just as you respect your time.
Second, make sure you are in sync with your freelancer. State the task and all the conditions clearly, give a concise description on what you need done. Agree on payment and how you are going to communicate. By email, phone or Skype? Do they need to update you on their project every day or you are only interested in the final result? Remember communication goes both ways. It is essential that you say everything, but also listen to what the other side has to say. Your freelancer should have good communication skills and not be afraid to speak up when he/she has a great idea or suggestion. Maybe this idea will benefit both of you. Just keep an open mind.
Third, provide feedback. Tell the freelancer they have done an excellent job. Leave a good review on their profile. They will appreciate it as it helps in getting their next gig.
Remember, good communication is essential to getting the best out of your freelancer.
Fourth – just like over time, you give a raise to your regular in-house employees, give raises to your remote freelancers. It keeps them loyal, it keeps them motivated and as with your regular employees, they now know your business well and are more productive.
Fifth – stay with the same freelancer if you like their work. Some folks ask for fresh bids from multiple freelancers every time they have additional work. They try to get the lowest possible bid. While that has it’s merits, what you save in absolute dollars cost you a lot more in time wasted in going through applications, orienting the new guy with your work and in case it doesn’t work out repeating the process over and over again.
Did that help? Do you have some tips of yours to share? Feel free to mention them in the comments below.