At least once a day I get asked “what is a freelancer” and it still surprises me to this day that so many people use freelancers on a daily basis but still have no idea what a freelancer is. To better help you understand what a freelancer is they are often defined as consultants, contractors, gig workers or even contingent workers. They are workers specifically hired to complete a project or task for a given period of time.

Now that it has been discovered what a freelancer is now it is time to give you a few tips for hiring freelancers:

Tap Into Your Network

Sites such as Linkedin are great for tapping into your network in order to identify some of the best freelance talent in the world. You can start by asking your  Linkedin network if they can refer any freelancers to you, if they can’t perhaps they can share it with their network and so forth until someone is able to connect you to freelance talent.

Clearly define the project’s scope and schedule

Freelancers are not mind readers, I have learned that both as a freelancer and as someone who hires freelancers. In order to insure you have a successful project clearly define the project’s scope of work and how soon you wish to complete it. The more open you can be on the details of your project, the easier it will be for the freelancer to deliver what you want. If necessary, schedule several meetings to talk with the freelancer (not email back and forth) in order to ensure the freelancer can do the job you are looking for.

Don’t ask for free work

This is one of my pet peeves as a freelancer and also again as someone who hires freelancers. Don’t ever ask someone to complete part of a project for you for free just so you can get a sense of their work. That’s a lot like interviewing someone for a job and asking them to work a few hours unpaid so you can see if it works out. Despite how well the freelancer works for you, their time still deserves to be compensated even if that compensation is at half the normal rate. Free work is an insult to the freelancer and it makes you look as if you don’t value their time or effort.

Provide Feedback

The only way you can improve your client to freelancer relationship is by proving feedback often. This does not mean you should criticize every wrong thing the freelancer does but it means providing an equal balance of critique and praise. If you find that you have more critiques than praises then maybe you should have another meeting with your freelancer to determine if in fact he or she is a fit for you.

Search For Talent Online

The amazing thing about freelancers is that there are several ways to identify thousands of them in one place by joining online micro job sites such as Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr and of course my micro job site that was specifically designed to connect African American women continent workers to companies seeking to hire more diverse freelance talent.

Want to learn more about the freelancers I connect with companies click here

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