How to work with freelancers
Working with freelancers can really give a boost to your company. But you have to know how to get the best out of them. Here's a few tips to get the best out of your experience.
1. Find the right freelancer
Make sure you get the person with the right skills, the right availability and at the right price. Make sure that you are able to communicate with the freelancer easily (it's usually a good idea to have a Skype or in-person chat before the work starts). And wouldn't it be good to work with someone you connect with on a personal level - someone you're excited to work with?
2. Start small
Even if you have ambitious projects and tight deadlines, it's best to start with a small amount of work if you've never worked with the freelancer before. For example, if you're looking for someone to redesign your website, ask them to work on the logo or a simple page first.
If you find that communication is smooth and that the freelancer is producing the kind of work you were hoping for, you can go for something more significant.
We can't overemphasize the importance of communication with a freelancer. You have a clear picture of what you need, but the freelancer may have a different one. Give as many details as you can to reduce the guesswork. Communicate them orally either in person or via Skype, and follow up with written explanations if necessary.
Make sure the freelancer understands what you need. Put yourself at their place. Would you be able to work efficiently based on the input that you gave? One good way of checking that they get it is to make them repeat what you requested in their own words. Showing examples of other work that you liked can also be helpful.
4. Give real feedback
Most freelancers are constantly looking to improve, and they are starving for constructive feedback. Sometimes clients give them overly positive feedback out of politeness. This is a mistake. It's always better to tell the freelancer if you're unsatisfied with their work, and to explain what they could do to improve.
It's also better not to wait for the end of the gig to give feedback. Rather, constant feedback for the duration of the gig will probably result in a better outcome.
5. Be reasonable
If you're looking for someone to create a fully fledged mobile app, from design to development, including testing and deployment, you probably won't find anyone willing to do it for $100.
Freelancers can save you time and money, and can provide valuable skills that your own team might lack, but they value their time, effort and expertise much as you do yours.