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When looking to bring in freelance talent, most companies give a lot of thought to the search and hiring process…but very little to what they can do to make the most of the relationship once the freelancer is brought on board. This month I provide some tips for working with freelancers to help overcome this.


Today many businesses recognize the value in hiring freelance talent (like me!) to provide specialized services that are beyond either the expertise or capacity of their in-house staff. This is especially the case in the marketing world, where many businesses simply do not have the volume to justify hiring a full-time copywriter, graphic designer, photographer, website developer or other specialist.

So how do you get the most out of your relationships with freelancers? Speaking from the viewpoint of the freelancer, here are a few ideas:

  1. Start on a positive note – I once received a signed contract from a new client in an email with a subject line that read, “Welcome Linda to the XYZ Company Team Circle of Excellence.” Knowing that I was already being seen as part of the team—and that they valued excellence—made me feel good about the engagement before it even began.

  2. Communicate what you want – Provide a clear description of the assignment, including the desired timelines, deliverables and end results.

  3. Provide timely feedback – Freelancers get discouraged when they knock themselves out doing a great job on something for you (especially if you said it was a rush), only to have you wait days or weeks before reviewing it.

  4. Make them feel valued – If you like their work, say so. If you see them as a valuable part of your team, say so. A little appreciation can go a long way!

  5. Realize you are not the only client – While many freelancers, including myself, will try to make you feel like you are their “one and only,” be aware that when you call with a rush job their time may already be committed to someone else.

  6. Pay promptly – Just like you, freelancers like to do business with clients who pay their bills on time and in full.


What Others Are Saying

"Holy mother of God...this first draft is perfect! Like perfect! It's everything I wanted to say but just couldn't! Thank you thank you thank you Linda!"

Mark McManus
President, DisasterFree