Meet Tom, hiring a freelancer for the first time:
As the owner of a small business, Tom had always been hesitant about hiring a freelancer. He had heard horror stories about projects going awry, deadlines being missed, budgets being blown, and communication breaking down.
But when his team was stretched thin and a new project came in, Tom knew that hiring a freelancer was his only choice.
He scoured the internet and finally settled on hiring “Suzy the Superstar,” a highly-rated and experienced freelancer.
Tom thought he had covered all his bases – he had a detailed contract in place, he had set clear expectations and deadlines, and he had even made sure to communicate with Suzy regularly to make sure everything was on track.
But things quickly started to go wrong. Suzy missed her first deadline, citing “family emergencies” as the reason. Tom was understanding and gave her an extension, but the same thing happened again the following week. And the week after that.
Tom started to get worried – was Suzy really a “superstar,” or was she just taking advantage of his good nature?
But things really came to a head when Suzy submitted her final deliverables – they were completely unusable.
Tom had specifically requested a series of graphics for a marketing campaign, but what Suzy had delivered was a series of poorly-designed, low-quality images. Tom was livid – he had paid Suzy a hefty fee for her services, and now he was left with nothing to show for it.
Feeling frustrated and defeated, Tom knew he had to do something to avoid making hiring a freelancer a disaster in the future and he did some research.
And he came up with the following best practices for hiring a freelancer:
- Do your homework: Before hiring a freelancer, make sure to research their past work and reviews. Look for red flags like missed deadlines or negative feedback from previous clients. Consider using a platform like Wedo, which vets freelancers through KYC (know your customer) processes to ensure that they are who they say they are.
- Set clear expectations: Make sure to communicate with your freelancer and set clear expectations for the project. This includes outlining deadlines, deliverables, and any specific requirements.
- Use a contract: When hiring a freelancer, having a written contract in place can help protect both of you. Make sure to include details like payment terms, deliverables, and any potential consequences for missed deadlines.
- Communicate regularly: Make sure to stay in touch with your freelancer and check in on the progress of the project. This can help prevent misunderstandings or issues from arising. Use tools like Wedo’s 4K video and chat capabilities to have face-to-face conversations and keep the lines of communication open.
- Be open to negotiation: Freelancers, like any other worker, may have specific requests or needs. If you’re open to negotiation, you may be able to find a mutually-beneficial solution that works for both of you.
- Protect your intellectual property: If you’re hiring a freelancer to create content or designs for you, make sure to protect your intellectual property. Use a contract to specify who owns the rights to the work and how it can be used.
- Don’t skimp on payment: It can be tempting to try to save money by hiring a freelancer who is cheaper, but this can often lead to lower-quality work. Consider investing in a more experienced and reputable freelancer – it may end up costing you less in the long run if you have to redo work or hire someone else to fix mistakes.
- Consider hiring a freelancer team: If you have a large or complex project, consider hiring a team of freelancers rather than just one individual. This can help ensure that the workload is distributed and that there are multiple points of contact in case of any issues.
- Don’t be afraid to say no: If you’re not satisfied with a freelancer’s work or communication, don’t be afraid to terminate the contract. It’s better to cut your losses and move on than to waste time and money on a project that’s not going well.
- Use Wedo: As Tom learned the hard way, hiring freelancers can be a risky endeavor. But using a platform like Wedo can help mitigate some of that risk. Wedo allows businesses to automate their invoicing, contracts, and payments, making the process smoother and more efficient. It also has tools like 4K video and chat, conference capabilities, and a community feature that can help freelancers and businesses communicate and collaborate effectively.
- Look for specific skills and expertise: When hiring a freelancer, make sure to look for someone who has the specific skills and expertise that your project requires. Don’t be tempted to hire someone who is a “jack of all trades” if they don’t have the necessary experience in your field.
- Check references and portfolios: Don’t just rely on a freelancer’s ratings or reviews – make sure to ask for references and look at their portfolio to get a sense of their work. This can give you a better idea of their capabilities and style.
- Have a backup plan: Things don’t always go according to plan, and that’s especially true when working with freelancers. Make sure to have a backup plan in place in case your freelancer becomes unavailable or is unable to complete the project.
- Be prepared for unexpected costs: Freelancers may have unexpected expenses or needs that can impact the cost of the project. Make sure to discuss any potential additional costs upfront and factor them into your budget.
- Set realistic deadlines: Freelancers are often juggling multiple projects at once, so it’s important to be realistic about deadlines. Make sure to allow ample time for the freelancer to complete the work and consider any potential delays or issues that may arise.
- Use a project management tool: Consider using a tool like Wedo to keep track of the project, communicate with the freelancer, and track progress. This can help keep everything organized and on track.
- Be open to feedback: Freelancers may have unique perspectives or ideas that can add value to your project. When hiring a freelancer, you also pay for another mind to look at your project. So, consider soliciting feedback and being open to changing what you had planned.
- Establish clear expectations: Before starting a project, make sure to establish clear expectations for the scope of work, deliverables, deadlines, and any other important details. This will help ensure that both you and the freelancer are on the same page and can avoid misunderstandings or miscommunications.
- Be aware of the laws: Freelancers and independent contractors have different legal rights and responsibilities compared to employees. Be sure to be aware of them when hiring a freelancer
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions: If you’re not sure about something or have a question, don’t be afraid to ask. It’s better to clarify things upfront than to have issues arise later on.
- Don’t micromanage: While it’s important to stay involved in the project, try not to micromanage the freelancer. Trust them to do their job and allow them the freedom to use their expertise and creativity to complete the work.
- Provide clear and timely feedback: If you have any feedback or concerns about the project, make sure to communicate them clearly and in a timely manner. This can help ensure that the project stays on track and that any issues can be addressed quickly.
- Be respectful and professional: Remember that freelancers are professionals and deserve to be treated with respect. Be courteous and professional in your communications and interactions with them.
- Don’t be afraid to negotiate payment terms: If you’re not comfortable with the payment terms that are being offered, don’t be afraid to negotiate. It’s important to find a solution that works for both you and the freelancer.
- Use Wedo to stay informed: Wedo has a wealth of resources and tools available to help freelancers and businesses stay informed about the gig economy and navigate the complexities of working as a freelancer. Whether you’re looking for tips on how to manage your finances, find new clients, or build a community around your niche, Wedo can help.
Let’s face it, hiring a freelancer can be a great way to get the expertise and support you need for your business. But it’s important to be prepared and take the necessary precautions to protect yourself and your business.
By following these tips, you can help ensure a successful and smooth working relationship with your freelancer. And by using Wedo, you can take advantage of all the tools and resources the platform has to offer to help you succeed in hiring a freelancer for your business.
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