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How to Work Effectively with Freelancers and Accomplish your Business Goals

Nina Rodríguez-Quirós

As a business owner, you have deep-dived your problem and industry so that no one knows it better than you. When hiring a freelancer, you need to understand what they bring to your team and their value. Getting someone new means a fresh pair of eyes and expertise that can deliver effective solutions to the problem you are currently facing. Just remember that both you and the freelancer desire to solve problems but might have a different point of view that will benefit the overall project.

While working with a freelancer, finding common ground is essential; nevertheless, using each of your strengths is a best practice. Here are 4 best practices to successfully collaborate with a freelancer:

1. Identifying what’s essential

Creative work is less tangible than other projects. That is why when hiring a freelancer, your first task would be to fully understand your brand tone and voice, your business needs and define the scope of work. 

Understanding your brand

You are supposed to know your brand better than anyone else and highlight your creation's mission, vision, and definition. Once you have this part, please ensure you know your target market and the key players in your industry. These are the brand pillars that will set your brand apart from others. 

You can read our article on the things you need to know about your brand before working with a freelancer.

Assessing your business needs

Since you know your business better than anyone, you need to identify your gaps before getting help. Allowing you to prioritize the most pressing items can help you identify the resources you need to accomplish them.

Another helpful thing is making a wish list of what you want to focus on, including what challenges you are having and their current status. When creating that list, be as honest as possible; for example, "can't create remarkable social media posts," when discussing this with an expert on the matter, they'll focus on bringing up solutions on how to take that off your plate while improving it.

Scoping the work

Once you do that, you can meet with the talent to ask what steps are needed to complete the project. Some good examples are:

  • Creating a logo: which includes evaluating the brand, researching, sketching design routes, creating digital drafts, and choosing typography, and colors, among others. For this assignment, please explain your ask based on how you picture your brand style. You can request a minimal logo and send Apple's branding to be used as an example.
  • Writing a blog: includes evaluating the brand, brainstorming topics, researching the audience, outlining, writing, revising, creating appealing headlines, editing, and more. In this case, you can request to write a topic in your industry with a specific word count based on an industry-standard or your marketing strategy.
  • Social media creation: includes researching, understanding your brand tone or developing a voice, looking for inspiration in images, memes, music, and trends, choosing a call to action, and more. In this case, you may request someone to post 2 or 3 times a week for a month, consistent with your needs, and add your favorite social media accounts to be used as a muse.

Listing a project in phases will allow both sides to effectively communicate and clearly understand the time it will take to complete the project.

2. Listen to your freelancer

As a business person, you might lean towards telling the freelancer what to do, but that means you won't make the best of your investment. Although it might seem obvious, a common misconception is that clients should give a freelancer orders, but freelancers' are more than excited to offer feedback and recommendations. 

Here are two good practices to take into consideration:

Communicate first 

Communicating your needs will create an excellent environment for creatives to brainstorm. Why? Because creatives like to solve problems. When you focus on a fixed issue, you take them by hand and cut their peripheral view. On the contrary, when you explain your struggles, they can find multiple solutions to help you grow your business. 

Remember that your freelancer is targeting your audience, not you

When you describe your ideal audience, you must remember that your freelancer will focus on them, not you. It's a hard pill to swallow, so check your biases when reviewing a proposal, as what you might like may not be the best option for your market.

3. Understand that creatives focus on the details

Creatives tend to have a keen eye for detail, so while you might be thinking in black and white, you could be missing all the hue colors in between if you don’t understand this as one of the strong skills they bring. 

Creatives explain how they portray an idea, so close your eyes and imagine the possibilities. If you need help understanding something, just ask, don't jump to conclusions or dismiss the idea from the start.

4. Make sure your feedback is constructive 

Send constructive feedback rooted in the project's scope of work and goals, and avoid subjective feedback. For example, clients may send personal feedback such as "I don't like it," "please, change the colors," or "I see empty spaces?" 

Designers and copywriters research a lot when they work on a project, so everything they have added was well-thought-out based on prior conversations with you. If you give vague or subjective feedback like the one described, you create a new problem for their workflow. Instead, you can share, "This does not seem to target my audience," "I feel like these colors do not represent my brand," or "I noticed there is some information that we are missing here." That way, the freelancer will emphasize finding a solution to your feedback.

Working with freelancers can be easier

We hope that the information we provide simplifies your future interactions with freelancers. As we understand this two-sided market, we provide the tools to accomplish your goals, including having direct communication, knowing the project's status, and sending feedback, everything in one place at Buzzzy. 

Allow us to improve the process of hiring freelancers, fill out our request form, and we will connect you with the right freelancer in less than 24 hours. What are you waiting for?

Source: Marcus Aurelius

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