How to Effectively Manage a Team of Freelancers

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    Whether you’re looking to supplement your existing team, have a time-sensitive project that requires outside help, or need additional coverage, freelancers can provide the expertise you require. However, remember that most freelancers will interact with your team differently and have their own needs to get work done because they are essentially running their own businesses.

    Of course, having the latest freelance management system software can help you grow and organize your global freelancer network like nothing else. However, besides organizing a customized workflow and centralizing your project information, there are many other needs that you need to take care of in order for your freelancing project to be successful. 

    For that reason, in this article, we’ll provide some helpful insights on how you can find the right freelancers for your project, hire them effectively, and make sure they deliver the results you need.

    Why You Might Consider Doing Business With Freelancers

    If you’re on the fence about hiring a freelancer, here are a few reasons why you should:

    • Freelancers generally reduce payroll costs because you pay an hourly rate or an established fee rather than the usual overhead costs of a full-time employee.
    • Freelancers provide you with access to a specific skill or talent as needed. If your company publishes an e-book twice a year, working with a freelancer allows you to pay an expert writer only when you require their services.
    • Many freelancers work from home. This gives you access to talent outside your immediate area, allowing you to access more skills and save money on things like office space, Internet costs, and more.
    • They provide more flexibility by not requiring you to work during your working hours. Hiring a freelancer in a different time zone to manage your social media during your downtime can help to keep your global community engaged.

    Get to Know Your Freelancers

    With the help of a one-on-one coaching session, you can get to know your freelancer better. Available in hourly and fixed-price jobs, these sessions provide a venue for employers and freelancers to discuss their working relationships and ensure they’re on the same page in regard to deliverables, project scope, and other important considerations.

    Provide Project Details

    To ensure that the final product meets your expectations, you must clearly define all project details and requirements. Set requirements for each phase of your project using the traditional project management approach. Begin with high-level requirements and work your way down to specifics, such as:

    • Availability;
    • Tools and software;
    • Final approval;
    • Skills and knowledge;
    • Task completion and delivery.

    Clarify Your Goals and Set a Budget

    Your contract with a freelancer should specify project expectations as well as a budget for the work. Maintain your focus. Respect your freelancer enough to pay for any additional work separately, and ask them to respect you enough to complete their end of the contract at the agreed-upon rate. Align your budget with the project details mentioned above to ensure that everyone is on the same page about what is covered.

    Create work and budget expectations if you’re paying a freelancer on an hourly basis. Inquire about how much work they’ll be able to complete within a project’s hourly allotment, and request that they communicate any issues with meeting the work requirement ahead of time.


    Make Communication Easier

    Choose your preferred communication channel and assist the freelancer in reaching you through it. Your project management software may include messaging to allow you to easily add someone to a specific task and tag each other in comments for direct notification. Alternatively, if someone is working on a variety of daily and hourly tasks, communicating via direct messages, such as Slack, might be the most convenient option for you both.

    To avoid missing notifications and to reduce the number of places you need to check for messages, try to communicate with all freelancers through the same channels. When it comes to managing freelancers, the tool matters less than your ability to communicate easily and frequently. Managers should always establish required communications, such as a weekly check-in, at the start of a project.

    Leave Feedback

    The majority of freelancers want to do such an excellent job that you will become a regular client. They want you to have a good time working with them. Developing that relationship can also help you get the best work out of a freelancer, making it easier to retain them in the future.

    Regular feedback is one of your best tools for maintaining a positive relationship and ensuring quality. Declare what is incorrect and then assist the freelancer in correcting it. This is true for both small and large fixes.

    Even if the relationship deteriorates, and you decide not to work with the freelancer again, you should still provide feedback when the project is completed. It’s an opportunity for you to inquire about what could have been done to avoid the problem and assist another professional in improving the services they provide.


    Final Thoughts

    Effective management of a team of freelancers is going to vary depending on the scale of the project, the number of people working on it, and the freelancers’ skills. But if you have never managed a team before, don’t worry. It isn’t too difficult as long as you have a good plan. You just need to keep in mind that managing people takes a lot of time, and some relationships are hard to maintain. You will encounter difficulties, but if you are open-minded, you will be able to manage your team effectively.

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