With over 30% of the workforce now freelancing, the wellspring is overflowing with talent. You’ll find people with all kinds of professional backgrounds and skills. They’ve decided for one reason or another to kick their 9 to 5 and offer their expertise directly to clients like you. But many businesses still struggle to build the robust team of freelancers they need to succeed.
There’s no doubt that finding and hiring freelancers is quite different from hiring full-time employees. However, if you’ve got the work, you’ll find talented writers, strategists, editors, translators, and more ready to get on it.
As a freelancer myself who also has a hiring management background, I’ve built teams of FTEs, freelancers, and more. I’ve been on both sides of this equation. With this experience and knowledge in mind, I’ve compiled seven solid tips to craft a trusted team of freelancers that delivers:
1. Decide who you need on your team of freelancers.
The first thing you need to do before you start building your team of freelancers is deciding who you need on your team. Do you need a copywriter? A freelance designer? A videographer?
Identify which positions would be on your dream team before you start looking for potential freelancers or post a job on any freelancer job boards.
In addition to deciding who you want on your team, think about what specific tasks or projects you would like them to work on so that you can give potential freelancers a clear idea of the type of freelance work they’ll be doing.
2. Don’t rely on low-quality job sites.
When you’re ready to hire freelancers, start on high-quality job sites. I know I’m on Writer Access, so there’s an apparent conflict of interest here. But I’ve worked on those other sites. And I’ve hired freelancers there. So I can speak firsthand about the difference in both the pool of freelancers and clients.
I’ve found that the freelancers you’ll find on higher-quality sites like WriterAccess have more experience and provide better quality work. For many of the freelance professionals on these higher-quality sites, freelancing is their job, not just something they’re doing until something better comes along. They’re passionate, and they’re client-focused. They’re also experienced with freelance work, so they know how to communicate and work effectively with clients.
Can you find those “Diamonds in the Rough” elsewhere? Yes, but you’ll have to work harder to find them and get them up to speed. And I can say for sure, as a freelancer, my time is money. I know yours is too. Start with top-rated, high-quality freelance websites.
3. Introduce yourself.
When you have found the independent contractors that you want to work with, start by reaching out to them. On WriterAccess, you can add these professionals to your “Love List.” But as you add them, say “hi”. Or, as we say in Nashville, “Hey there.”
Share who you are. Talk a bit about your upcoming projects. Make a human connection with the people you plan to work with.
They’ll feel more invested. They’re now part of your success. And in the long run, you’ll attract and retain freelancers who value the prospect of regular work with one client.
4. Test skill sets on small projects.
Not sure what you’re looking for? Unsure how to explain what you want? I see successful clients on WriterAccess and other freelance websites start with small projects and then increase the workload after the content writer has proven themselves with high-quality deliverables.
Starting with smaller projects allows you to get a feeling for the freelancer’s workstyle and talent while giving you the opportunity to provide more individual feedback. This can help save your review time and keep your freelancer’s editing time minimal, creating a win-win for everyone. Once they know what you’re looking for, a skilled freelancer will be able to run with it.
5. Specialize your team of freelancers.
Just like any team of people, you’ll find that some of your team members are wonderful at certain aspects of the work. Leverage their strengths by assigning them projects or work that plays to their talents and expertise. Letting freelancers do what they’re best at is the best way to get the most knock-your-socks-off, phenomenal work out of your team.
On WriterAccess, you can use a combination of love list and solo talent. When you feel anyone on your team could do a great job, send it to your entire love list group to see who can pick it up. If someone on your team really excels at a specific topic, asset type, etc., you can send a solo order to that person directly.
6. Create a centralized communication system.
One of my anchor (regular) clients has a team of 30 freelancer professionals. And wow, do they keep us busy with the hundreds of websites they create content for.
But they’ve worked hard to streamline everything, creating an efficient workflow that anyone can respect. They’ve generated a single style across sites. And if they need to update, they send out group communications through WriterAccess rather than communicating one-on-one.
While it may sound a little impersonal to communicate centrally, it’s useful when you’re working with lots of people. It helps us all stay on the same page and delivering the desired results.
7. Share your strategy.
Do you have a buyer persona? Do you have a specific goal for this content? Maybe you want a more salesy product. Or perhaps you want to keep in purely informational. Even if the freelancers you’re working with aren’t technically strategists, they’ve been developing and implementing strategies in our work for some time. If you want a successful team of freelance writers, you’ve got to share your content strategy with them.
On WriterAccess, you can include these details in your content brief. There is a place to provide an overview of the project as well as an area to give specific details about your brand and its voice. You can include elements like your objective, tone of writing, narrative voice, formatting options, style elements, sourcing requirements, target audience, buyer persona, customer journey, and more. All of these details can help remote workers provide a better final product.
But I have a caveat. Sometimes less is more. Make the amount of order detail comparable to the amount of work. Just tell your remote team what they need to know about your business in order to successfully create the right content.
8. Revisit and Refine the Process
As you work with your team, you’ll develop strategies together and figure out what works for you. Eventually, you’ll be able to streamline the process to make things easy, efficient, and affordable for your small business.
The key is to listen to your freelancers. They may make useful suggestions you can take back to the group. They’re as invested in your success as you are. They succeed when you succeed.
Do you need to build a content marketing team? WriterAccess makes it easy for your business to find vetted freelancers that have professional freelance experience and experience in a wide range of industries. The platform makes it easy to find the right talent, create and assign orders, and communicate with freelance workers to take your content marketing projects to the next level. To get started building your best freelance team on WriterAccess, sign up for a free trial.