As a tool to develop our business, a freelancer provides invaluable resources. A freelancer has unique skills and knowledge to create products and content that we will use for months or years on end. But when you are working with a freelancer, it can be very easy to keep them at arm's length, but also overlook key aspects of their working setup. When working with a freelancer, it's about being prepared in the legal sense, but also in ensuring that they are given space to breathe. How can we implement these effectively?
It's All In The Contract
This is vital. Ensuring a good contract with your freelancer means that they are happy to work for you, but you are covering yourself should something go awry further down the line. The fact is, when we hire a freelancer, we're putting a lot of faith in their abilities to deliver the product. And when we are hiring someone to create, if we don't have it stipulated in the contract that we have the intellectual property rights, they can easily create this product and take it with them. This is where certain insurance policies can come into place, such as professional indemnity insurance, which you can learn more about online, but also putting certain stipulations into the contract, relating to pay, as well as deadlines.
Not Over-Managing Them
Yes, we need to ensure that they deliver the product on time, but when it comes to managing freelancers, we can sometimes treat them like they are a full employee. It depends on the freelancer themselves, they may want to feel part of the environment, and as such, you may develop a very good working relationship. But, if you are hiring a freelancer for a specific task and that is it, then we need to tread that fine line between managing them and over-managing them. They may want to work in their own creative environment, which means that we have to find ways to keep in contact with them on a regular basis, but also ensure that our communication is effective enough so that they are able to roll with the punches.
Your Role In This
Because managing a freelancer in many ways requires a different set of motivational tools, the temptation can be to slip back into micromanaging mode, but, when you are ensuring that they deliver the product on time and to your specifications, the relationship can get somewhat fractured. Ensuring that you are giving them the space to breathe is vital, but you still have to please your superiors. Open and honest communication is vital to implementing a good working relationship in this respect, so that everything is clear and there are minimal errors.
Working with a freelancer isn't the same as working with a permanent member of staff, and if we want them to deliver a product that is as good as what your permanent workers deliver, you have to change your attitude to a freelancer. Yes, they are a hired gun, but when used right, they are indispensable. And while the legal confines are essential, when working with a freelancer, think about your own approaches.