The first step to success with freelancers is to seek out people who seem like the right fit for your company and project. Yet, you can’t stop there when you’re looking for content quality. Finding the right freelancers and then leaving them hanging is akin to a new hire who doesn’t receive any training for their position or the company.
Basically, they’re not set up to do their best.
In the freelance world, this can lead to issues like a freelancer disappearing after completing one assignment or a freelancer who seems to have a lot of promise not hitting the mark at all. You might be left wondering what went wrong.
An effective onboarding process can help prevent problems and ensure that the freelancer you choose has what they need to create quality content, which is key to a Google-friendly site and a brand that connects well with its audience. With that in mind, it’s time to let you in on secrets to onboarding freelancers that help ensure content quality.
Give Enough Contextual Information
Your freelancer needs to have enough context information to provide work that is well-done and fits your brand. You should let them know information about the industry and audience that will guide the work. Also, they need to know who the work is for: your brand. Give them an idea of who you are, what you do and how you stand apart from competitors.
It’s helpful for freelancers to see your website and examples of previous content that give them an idea of what you’re looking for. Also, let them know pertinent information about branding that is relevant to their work.
It’s important to be clear about your expectations and communicate them effectively. Keep in mind that the freelancer is new to your company and the type of content you are looking for. The person needs time to adapt to your specific needs and expectations.
Even if the person has worked within the same industry before, previous projects likely had a different voice, branding, formatting and other parameters compared to what you expect, simply because the person was working with a different company.
An article for Entrepreneur smartly notes that “Business owners who assume that freelancers understand their unique needs force those freelancers to make assumptions of their own, many of which might not be accurate.” The best rule of thumb: avoid assuming your freelancer is a mind reader.
Don’t Overwhelm With Information
Yes, your freelancer needs to understand your company and the project. That said, you need to strike a balance of providing enough information and direction without overdoing it.
In general, the freelancer doesn’t need to know everything there ever was to know about your company to provide quality work. Also, project guidelines that are too long or complex are likely to overwhelm and confuse freelancers more than guide them. Keep the information you provide succinct and relevant.
Be Ready to Support Freelancers
A freelancer is expected to quickly hit the ground running to create quality content with what they are given. Sometimes, the problem is that they are not given enough to work with to get the job done. Toward this end, make sure you include everything that is needed for a project.
If your guidelines say to reference a link, double-check that it’s included. If the freelancer needs a password to gain access to a document, make sure they have it. Nonetheless, you won’t be able to foresee every issue. A freelancer may have a question and feel like they can’t move forward without the answer. This is why it’s important to be open to communication and to check your messages to see if the freelancer has reached out.
Without the necessary support, the freelancer may be stuck or have to make assumptions. Either way, you’re not getting the full content quality you expect and require.
Offer Examples to Guide the Work
One of the best ways to guide freelancers, in the beginning, is to give them an idea of what you like. You can do this by sharing examples of content your own company has created or content from another company.
This could include examples of brands, content type, voice, format type, or other aspects of the project. A good freelancer knows how to take inspiration or gain understanding from a provided sample.
Ensure Enough Time
In many cases, clients reach out to freelancers with the expectation that the professional will start the project as soon as they receive it. However, a freelancer often already has other projects they are responsible for, and most likely, they were not expecting your project.
Keep this in mind as you consider the timeframe. By giving enough time for the completion of this project, as well as balancing it with other responsibilities and breaks, you improve the chances of receiving higher quality work from the freelancer.
Start Your Onboarding Process
Hopefully, these secrets will help you get the best content quality possible from the freelancers you choose. The WriterAccess platform is ready to help you find the right freelancers for your project and start the onboarding process. Sign up today for your free trial of WriterAccess.