There are many benefits of hiring freelancers for your agency. You get access to specialist skills, you can scale your workforce easily and there is no long-term commitment to working together, should your needs change. But all these great things only happen when you choose the right freelancers and manage them effectively. Here are some top tips on getting the best from your remote workforce.
Preparation is key
Try to give the freelancer as much notice as possible before you want them to commence work. This isn’t always easy as an agency, but they will appreciate having the time to research and plan, so they can make the most of the time they have allocated to you. Be crystal clear on your expectations for the project, so there is no room for misinterpretation. Record all of this at least on email, to refer back to if needed.
Formalise a contract
Even if you are only using a freelancer for a short project, it’s vital to draw up a contract. This should include everything you expect from them, timescales, budget and contract termination details. Don’t forget to include a non-disclosure agreement. This will protect your agency from information being shared to your competitors, especially important if the freelancer works with similar businesses.
If you have an induction process for salaried employees that involves going through the agency values, clients and meeting senior team members, invite your freelancers to a go through the same process. Yes, this will be included in their time, paid by you, but it is of enormous value when they come to producing work for you and knowing how the agency operates. Their work is more likely to be of the standard you expect, plus you’ve just gained another advocate for your agency.
Maximising their value
Choosing to work with freelancers should come from a simple calculation. Are you or members of your agency team handling too many tasks, effectively working below their pay grade? If these tasks can be outsourced, then a freelancer helps you work on the more profitable tasks. The projects or campaigns you assign to a freelancer should always follow this metric and in return, you will get the maximum value from your investment in them.
Try to prioritise building solid long-term relationships with your freelancers, even if you think you may only need them for a one-off project now. Agency needs can change quickly, and it is a lot more time and cost-effective to use freelancers you have in the past. The on-boarding process has already been done, they know how you work and your expectations, and if they’ve done a good job in the past, you can be assured they will deliver the same quality work again.
From the recruitment process to getting started working together, keeping lines of communication open between you and your freelancer will make all the difference when it comes to achieving the objectives you’ve agreed to. A freelancer will appreciate regular feedback on the task in hand, and once the project is complete, a testimonial for them will go a long way to supporting their future work and encouraging them to work for you again should you need them.
To read article #4 in the series, click here: Seven characteristics that make the best freelancers
To read the previous article in this series, click here: Ten agency roles that can be outsourced to freelancers