Yeah, you’ve read that right.
Obviously, when you start working with freelancers, trust will be a key issue for you. How can you trust them? What are the ways to make sure the professional you work with is not a total waste of time?
Well, it turns out that trust works both ways. You can be on the lookout for certifications, testimonials, samples of work, but eventually, when you give someone a go and start the project together, building trust is key for the success of the new collaboration.
Every freelancer pretty quickly learns how important trust is, and what you, as a client, expect from them. You expect quality deliveries, on time, and clear communication, preferably instantaneously.
But can you provide all that is required to be taken seriously? It might surprise you, but the requirements for being a ‘good’ client practically mirror the ones for being a good freelancer. Bytheway, being a client that is considered ‘good’ by freelancers is not being someone who is easy to rip off. Most freelancers are not looking for quick grabs, they are looking for reliable partnerships which they can build up their own success with. So, again, what are the things that you not only expect, but what is being expected of you?
‘Delivery’ in this sense is what you deliver to the freelancer, and that is a clear and concise project brief. The more you can clarify the specifics of the work, the easier it is for the freelancer to deliver a perfect solution for the problem.
You can of course involve the freelancer even in the early phases, to build concepts together, but the boundaries of that should be clear as daylight. So make sure you always provide a clear description of what you intend to pay for.
If you miss your own deadlines, provide feedback very late, and lack consistency, your freelancer will put your project on the low priority shelf. A shabby client will only get deliveries created by minimal effort required, because the freelancer will not risk putting the most of their creative focus in a project where completion and longevity seems questionable. You should commit to previously arranged meeting times. If you say your feedback will come in ‘2-3 days’, don’t send your detailed reply back after one and a half weeks, excusing yourself for being ‘busy’. The freelancer is not your employee, you do not have the authority to use their time - if you do, you are not providing the appropriate framework for your cooperation, and that will harm your project.
Keep calls short and on-point, focus on the information, encourage the freelancer to ask questions to clarify details from their perspective. Make sure to put as much emphasis on providing the best task description as you can, as this will motivate your freelancer immensely. Set up regular check-up times and commit to them.
When you are particularly pleased with a certain project phase, or you feel that the delivery might have exceeded your honest expectations, a little bonus can go a long way. Also, don’t be afraid to look for ways you can give more involvement to the freelancer in your next projects, so they can feel some upscaling in your cooperation - this further enhances the image of a business relationship that has a promising future!
Use these tips to make sure you give your new cooperation a boost. The future is never certain, but if working with the freelancer does not give you the results you hoped for, at least this way you can be sure that the problem was really not on your end, and you provided everything that can be reasonably expected from the client side.