For many of our clients, we are the first member of their team. When you are running your own biz, social media, blogging and marketing are one of the first things that you run out of time for when you are busy.
(see also, putting off that tax return)
So for lots of solo-preneurs, one (wo)man bands and small businesses, we get brought in to lighten the load, help them get clear on what’s working and what’s not, and take the reins.
And it’s not uncommon for these people to have never outsourced, hired or worked with a freelancer before – I mean, how many of us really know how to wear the manager, HR, director, finance, manufacturer and marketing hats all at once?! People magement and subcontractors are at the bottom of your priorities!
Here at A&D we have worked hard to make the transition as smooth as possible, and provide a comprehensive contract and new starter pack to all clients with details on how we work and what they can do to make the most of their package.
We love our clients and want it to stay that way. We are so invested in their projects, we tend to treat them like our own, and so a magical working relationship is where we want to be.
But from chatting from other freelancers in my networking groups, we have some stories that will make your toes curl! From basic manners to unwritten rules, do you know how to handle your freelancers?
From one biz owner to another, I’m about to let you in on some not-so-secrets that will make working with your team suddenly a dream. You get to look like the best client in the world, and they will love working on your projects. A happy team is an invested team.
As they say, people don’t leave bad jobs, they leave bad bosses.
Our top tips for working with freelancers / getting the most out of outsourcing
Get to know your team. Are they parents, animal lovers or planning to move house? What’s going on in their world? Taking an interest not only closes the virtual distance gap, it is much easier to have truthful conversations when thrashing out difficult details.
Respect their boundaries. I’ve heard stories of phone calls in the middle of the night and meetings that run WAY over the allocated time. Your team are people too, and chances are you aren’t their only client. It’s best to schedule two meetings, than run over. Make a schedule, stick to it, and allow them the flexibility to do their best work.
Manners. Yes you’ve hired someone, but unless they are on your payroll, chances are they are freelancers… which means they can turn down work or not renew a contract. Please and thank you’s do wonders to getting your work booked in and even bumped to the top of the queue!
Feedback. Whether something is good or bad, make sure you say something! Regular feedback on a project will make sure you are both on track and happy with progress. Did you ever have a teacher who didn’t mark your work? No I bet you didn’t. Whilst your team don’t want scores out of ten, where improvement is required and where they did a great job is fantastic to know!
Step back. You hired these people for a reason – to give you some time and space to do your work. Well, it’s now time to let them do their best work too! Respect their expertise, allow them some free rein and get ready to get some down time back. Micro-managing stresses everyone out… so be the best boss by leading, not dictating.
So business owners – go on and rate yourself on the above out of 5! I’d love to know what you get!
And fellow freelancers – have we missed anything?
Cutting corners on your core business – e.g. sacrificing photo editing time for mind-numbing admin or accountancy?
Repeatedly procrastinating, pushing the same tasks to the bottom of the pile again and again?
Turning down jobs you’d love to take (and could really lead somewhere) because you simply don’t have the hours in the day?
Or are you – and we’re going to be frank here – an overworked, stressed-out nightmare to deal with or – heaven forbid – live with?
Feel like you are spreading yourself too thin and want to chat about how the team at A&D can help you? Book a call using this link.