How to Build Successful Long-Term Relationships with Freelancers
Finding the right freelancer for your organization can be the difference between a project succeeding or failing. So, when you hire someone that fits perfectly into your organizational culture and delivers great results you’ll want to ensure you build a strong long-term relationship with them.
83% of highly-skilled freelancers say they have a number of choices when it comes to who they work with. This means if you want them to continue to work with you you’ll need to make sure that you’re creating a positive working environment for them.
Here are five tips that will help you build long-lasting and beneficial relationships with your freelancers.
Choose the Right Freelancer
Building a great relationship with a freelancer starts with choosing the right freelancer. When you hire people who are a great fit with your organization and your team it makes forming a long-term partnership much easier.
Here are a few things you can do to ensure you choose the right freelancer:
- Post your job on a freelancer platform, like Work for Impact, that gives you access to a global pool of talented freelancers.
- Create a detailed job post that includes the skills you require, the tasks that need to be completed, and any deadlines you have.
- Review your proposals and identify the candidates who are most qualified.
- Get on a voice or video call with potential freelancers to ask them further questions and get a sense of whether they’d be a good fit for your organization.
If you’d like more tips on how to hire the right freelancer, check out our article “Hiring a Freelancer: 5 Tips to Help You Find the Right One.”
Additionally, you can also use platforms that have a good vetting process for their freelancers. For example, Work for Impact verifies the skills of all of their freelancers before allowing them to apply for jobs. This ensures that when you receive a proposal on the platform you know the freelancer is qualified.
Provide Them with Resources
In order for a freelancer to do their best work for you, they need to have a clear understanding of your organization. This includes your customers, your competition, and your industry, or if you’re a nonprofit the causes you support and the ways you work to make a difference. So, the more resources you can provide them that will give them this information the better.
This starts with a good onboarding process. Provide them information about your organization, including your background, the work you’re currently doing, and your goals for the future so they can get an idea of what you’re all about.
Next, try to show them examples of previous projects or any style guides you have that apply to them so they understand what you’re looking for. Finally, help them learn about your industry or area of work by pointing them to any resources that will help get them up to speed.
The easier you can make it for your freelancers to get the information they need to succeed the more willing they’ll be to work with you in the future.
Establish Clear Expectations
In order to build the foundation for a strong relationship with your freelancers, you need to set clear expectations from the beginning. This is extremely beneficial for both you and your freelancer.
For you, it helps ensure that the work you’ll receive will be up to your standards and meets your criteria. Sometimes when a freelancer delivers work that isn’t up to par it’s partly because they didn’t receive the proper instructions up-front. By communicating your instructions clearly from the beginning your project will go much smoother.
For your freelancer, knowing what’s expected of them makes completing your work a lot easier. They want to produce great work for you and don’t want to continually have to provide you with revisions. When they have proper instructions it means there’s a much better chance they’ll be able to deliver what you’re looking for in a shorter amount of time.
It’s a good idea to meet before the project begins so that you’re both clear on the expectations. This will ensure a strong and productive relationship moving forward.
Treat Them Like Part of Your Team
While many freelancers work alone they still long to feel like they’re part of a team. In fact, in a recent survey, 83% of freelancers said they wanted to be treated like a team member by their clients.
One of the best ways you can make your freelancer feel like part of your team is to simply communicate with them regularly. Instead of giving them their instructions and then leaving them on their own, check in with them occasionally to see if they have everything they need. Additionally, you should connect them with others in your organization who might be able to help them complete their tasks.
You should also try to keep them in the loop, especially concerning items that impact their project. Include them in team meetings when it makes sense.
Not only will this help them feel like part of the group, but it will also make sure they have what they need to do their best work.
Show Them You Appreciate Them
When asked what’s important to them when deciding who to work for, 96% of freelancers said they wanted to work with clients who will value their work.
This is why it’s so important to make sure that you let your freelancers know how much you appreciate them. If someone does an exceptional job, let them know. If a freelancer takes on a last-minute job for you to help you out of a bind, be sure to thank them. Little things like this can make a huge difference for freelancers.
And of course, the best way to show your appreciation for a freelancer that did a great job is to leave them a positive review. Thoughtful feedback that highlights the great work they did and explains how they met or exceeded your expectations can help them secure future work and will be greatly appreciated.
If you ensure you always make your freelancers feel valued you’ll have no trouble getting them to continue doing work for you well into the future.
Find Passionate Freelancers for Your Next Project
Work for Impact is a freelance platform that connects skilled freelancers with socially, environmentally responsible and nonprofit organizations. If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you find the right freelancer for your next project, click here.