If you follow these tips you will have a better experience working with freelancers for any project. Good planning and communication will avoid most problems.
- Be realistic
- Know exactly what you want before you contact a freelancer or before posting an advertisement.
- Be willing to listen to the expert's point of view. If they give you advice, it is probably for a reason.
- Plan a timeline for different tasks and verify that the timeline is realistic with the freelancer you hire.
- Take responsibility for you part of the project.
- Pay a good price for good work or expect less.
You wanted it yesterday and you want all the bells and whistles, but don't expect everything unless you are willing to pay $$$ and wait a long time. A complicated dynamic website or computer software program is best done in functional parts starting with the most essential features and adding on to it as you go keeping in mind what you later want it to do.
Know exactly what you want before you contact a freelancer or before posting an advertisement.
Planning is essential. If you don't clearly know what you want, how will you be able to explain to a freelancer your needs? Brainstorm and mindmap your project. Meet with whoever in your company will be working with you on the project and get their feedback before you contact someone.
No freelancer will want the extra work of doing something over because you forced them to guess at what you wanted. Likewise you won't want delays in completing your project.
Be willing to listen to the expert's point of view. If they give you advice, it is probably for a reason.
Most likely you want to hire a freelancer because he is an expert in his area whereas you probably have a limited knowledge in that area. After discussing the project and goals, be able to accept feedback from your freelancer. You are in control, but those suggestions might make the project even better or run more smoothly. There might be technical reasons why something might need to be done a little differently.
Plan a timeline for different tasks and verify that the timeline is realistic with the freelancer you hire.
You might have wanted this yesterday, but the freelancer might be finishing up another projects while starting yours. The freelancer might have a part time job or a family to take care of (just like you!). Make a realistic deadline and set a done by date for each separate step that you both agree on. By agreeing on completion of steps on certain days, you'll feel better seeing each step done and you'll know to be more concerned if your freelancer doesn't report it complete on time.
Take responsibility for you part of the project.
Don't forget that if the freelancer needs your feedback or information, you need to give it in a timely manner or the project will lose momentum. Don't sabotage your own progress. If your subordinate has to send information or give feedback, make sure he or she does as well. It isn't the freelancer's fault if he or she has been waiting for you.
Pay a good price for good work or expect less.
You really do get what you pay for. Don't expect encyclopedia quality articles for five dollars each and don't expect a short article with poor grammar for twenty dollars. You should expect a quality that corresponds to the price. If you want quality work offer a quality price and most freelancers who want repeat business will try to match the fair offer with good quality work. Also consider if someone only makes 5 dollars each per unit, he'll have to spend less time on it to include other projects. Everyone has to eat!
Working with a freelancer can be a great experience. By showing basic respect, clearly stating your goals, and agreeing on a plan and timeline from the start, you will avoid conflict and hopefully lead to working together on many projects.