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What I’ve Learned After Paying More Than $1 Million to Freelancers

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own. One of the many benefits of working in a digital industry like affiliate marketing is the accessibility to talent. Need an experienced web designer to build you a digital application? Want to find a virtual assistant to manage redundant tasks? There are hundreds of qualified candidates at your fingertips. Through the years, I’ve worked with many remote workers and have paid over $1 million across all the freelancers I’ve hired. This investment has given me a unique vantage point into the world of freelancing . In fact, my latest project is a completely remote organization working with digital freelancers in the US, UK and Sweden among other countries. My first experience with a freelancer was with a writer named Felix. He reached out and offered to write a free newsletter for my previous business . I accepted the offer and after a few assignments, I was a client paying roughly $1,000 monthly for his services. While access to top talent is easier than ever, there are still rules guiding the client-freelancer relationship — something I have learned time and again. In many ways, how you follow these rules will determine the quality of the work you get in return. Here are a few key lessons I have learned over the years when hiring freelancers to set them up for success and increase my chances of getting good work back. Clients need to carve out time for their freelancers Some business owners contract out freelancers thinking these professionals won’t require any additional management, training or resources. They send a vague brief of the assignment and leave the rest up to the freelancer. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way as a client, and now understand the importance of investing time on the front-end to set up freelancers for success. It’s a lot easier to catch a mistake before the project starts than once you’re reviewing the final product. Be willing to put in additional time onboarding your freelancers so you put them in a position to succeed. If you told five illustrators to draw you a dove and that was the only instruction provided, do you think you’d get identical results? They may all give you a dove, but you can bet their approaches and styles would be unique. If you’re not willing to invest time and resources into your freelancers, you can’t be mad when they deliver work that doesn’t match your expectations. Managing freelancers is still management. You need to provide clear instructions for your contractors, including outlines, resources and style guides. You also need to be available to answer questions and provide clear feedback at the beginning and throughout the relationship. The more you work with freelancers, the more comfortable you become with the entire management process. Having gone through COVID-19, many business leaders have gained additional confidence in remote management solutions like Asana, Monday, Slack and Google Drive. If you’re willing to put in the time to help […]

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