Leveling Up: Hiring Freelancers to Improve Your Business

As a business owner, your time is precious. You want to do it all, but sometimes you have to delegate tasks to someone else, as you lack the time or required skill. This is where hiring freelancers can help to ultimately grow your business.

For example, posting to your blog is important, but perhaps you don’t have the time to edit each post and create images optimized for social media. You can hire a freelancer to polish each post, add images, and publish them to your social media pages.

Freelancers can also make up for any areas of expertise that you lack. If you want to share quality photos of your handcrafted jewelry but photos taken on your iPhone won’t do your products justice, you can hire a photographer who will take professional-grade photos for your website.

Initial considerations

There are several points to consider when hiring freelancers. For example, what will be your primary form of communication? If you prefer one method of communication like email, but a potential freelancer prefers phone calls, will this frustrate you? It’s also important to consider your respective time zones. If you want to easily communicate with your freelancers, hiring someone who is awake while you’re fast asleep won’t be ideal.

Whether you hire someone local or someone remote depends on your scope of work. If you have a tendency to plan impromptu photo shoots, it doesn’t make sense to hire a photographer located in California if you are based in Pennsylvania.

Your work style should align with those of your freelancers. For example, if you want to hire someone to write web copy for your virtual fitness program for moms, choose someone who understands the language that will resonate with your audience. In this case, look for a freelancer who specializes in writing copy geared towards women.

Cost is another important consideration, but make sure it’s not the only deciding factor. While it’s easy to decide that you cannot afford to hire someone, consider how much your time is worth versus what it would cost to hire someone to do it for you. Don’t let a freelancer’s price tag dictate your decision-making process. Hiring someone who is cheap rather than investing in someone skilled can end up costing you even more in the long run.

Common pitfalls

Like most things in life, working with freelancers has its risks. There’s the tragic scenario where the person you hire goes radio-silent once you pay him. Maybe you won’t like the work that’s turned in. It’s important to remember you are likely not a freelancer’s only client, so it might take a few days for them to respond to your email (which could be unacceptable for your timeline).

Also, pay attention to the total hours of work per week for which you pay freelancers. Know what the local labor laws say about the number of hours a person can work for you before they’re considered an employee as opposed to a freelancer.

Work well with others

Freelancers want to be treated well and to ensure that they’re working with the right clients. They want someone who is respectful of their time, and doesn’t expect instant responses to frantic texts at 3:00 a.m.

Make sure that you clearly outline your projects and goals so that your freelancers stay on the same page. If you change your mind every day about the scope of a project, many freelancers will move on to other jobs.

It’s also important to pay your freelancers fairly. Don’t try to squeeze more from a freelancer than they are paid for, and pay them on time. You don’t want to build a reputation among the freelancer community for being a dishonest business owner.

As Entrepreneur suggests, always put everything in writing, specify the details of the agreement, and be clear about payment before you begin any project. This process is equally helpful for you and your freelance contractors if any conflicts do arise.

If you proceed with care and professionalism, working with freelancers can be a fantastic way to save time and complement your skills. You’ll be amazed by the talented pool of candidates available, so take the time to find the right one for your next project.


Bev Feldman

Bev Feldman is a Boston-based jewelry designer, blogger, and freelance writer specializing in eCommerce, blogging, small business, and parenting. She's passionate about eco-friendly living, which you can read about in her personal blog, bevgoesgreen.com.

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