Have you ever considered hiring a freelancer to boost your productivity on your next big project?
If so, you don’t have to look far: about 34% of workers today are working on a freelance basis, a number that is expected to rise to over 40% by 2020. Though not all of these people will be working in the field of digital marketing, many are following their creative dream careers in areas like design, copywriting and tech.
But while it may be easy to find someone, how do you know that you’re finding the right people? Here are some tips for finding the best digital marketing freelancers.
Complimentary Service Offerings
Decide who to hire by what services you need to be supplemented. Agency owners dream of having full-service offerings but unfortunately, that’s rarely the case for most. Hiring a freelancer for a specific project is an excellent way to bring someone on board with different expertise than your regular staff may have – but this doesn’t mean it’s always going to be a good fit.
You’ll want to be extra careful to find someone that fits your company culture and services. This is why it’s important to do a fairly broad search at first, rather than just hiring someone you know.
Check their Hard Skills and Professionalism
One of the best reasons to hire a freelancer in the first place is that if they’ve been working on their own for some time and have been successful, chances are they’ve likely honed their craft and can provide some serious value to your service offerings.
But this isn’t always the case! Be sure to do a thorough assessment not only of their hard skills, but also how their overall philosophy, aptitude, and attitude shines through in person. You need to know that they are fully capable of problem-solving independently, as well as working directly with your team if that’s what the project entails. Try checking out the work they’ve done for previous clients, and reach out to agencies who have hired them in the past – if possible – to get a sense of their abilities.
Have a Plan (and a Backup Plan)
You may want to consider bringing on several marketing freelancers at once or interview a few at the same time. This may sound counter-intuitive as it could create complicated communication lines, but it helps to compensate for any project issues along the road. For instance, if one of your freelancers decides to back out of a project or their expertise doesn’t ultimately match a client’s needs, it will reduce the replacement blowback that might otherwise prolong finding a new freelancer (and the completion of the project).
Before you even start the hiring process, make sure you are completely clear about the project or tasks you want the freelancer to do. A project brief with clear details should be delivered alongside the contract, but discussing the work in person or over the phone is also crucial.
Once you take them on board, if you have consistent work for them, you can even use the opportunity as a testing ground to see if they would be suitable for full-time employment.
Location - Near and Far
Just because you work in a specific area doesn’t mean that you have to reach out to local freelancers as well. In fact, there are experienced digital marketing freelancers all over the world, which means you’re not limited to the PPC specialist down the block. A benefit of hiring out-of-area is the opportunity of having work done on a project in different time zones, which means your agency services are not restricted to your daily work hours. You can have work done on projects finished and reports ready overnight!
Another benefit can be hiring out of country as well, as this opens up different pricing opportunities for your services. The same level of quality work at a more affordable cost will make pricing much easier on your part.
Of course, hiring local always has its positives. Freelancers working in your city will have that “local touch” they can bring to your clients, as they have knowledge of the area’s culture, hot spots and the common language among its people.
Treat them as Partners
If you’re accustomed to hiring regular employees, you have to remember that freelancers are different – they are essentially running their own businesses, and they’re free to move around and have multiple projects at one time. To this end, they must be treated as equal partners in all ways.
The most important thing that you need to do when hiring marketing freelancers is to be clear and consistent with expectations and keep an open line of communications between them and clients. This will ensure that everything stays on task and gets done on time.
Hiring work outside of your agency can be difficult and frustrating, especially when you have a focus not just on running a successful agency, but also on growing that agency. It’s essential to know where to find the right resources to help scale your business, which is the main focus of WSI’s Agency Accelerator Program.