Are you freelance or get your works done by a freelancer, welcome to 20 Positive Ways to Freelance and Outsource Better in 2020.
My ex-boss must be very happy that he succeeded in ruining my career. The women in HR are happy that they could make a decadent man happy. But guess what, while I suffer the ruins, I take it on my stride. When I was poor as a child, I didn’t appreciate my poverty, but now I do for the invaluable lessons I picked from there. Yes, I am not stricken by poverty now, but this hustle is a simulation of my childhood hardships, and this Time, I am living it. I am living it as a freelancer.
A big shout-out to every freelancer in the world who are ahead of me, with me, and in the queue. I am in solidarity with each one of you, and therefore this article. It is only in the books or motivational talk sessions, where women will be urged to be themselves. Still, in reality, in silos, a woman with a voice is a threat to any well-established complicity by the power of a monthly pay-check.
This article is for every freelancer, irrespective of gender, nationality, political or religious affiliation. It is for all those who get their works done by freelancers either as a part of their employment strategy or the strategy to avoid obligatory financial responsibilities due for a regular employee.
How to Deal with a Freelancer?
Do them Respect
Getting a job, albeit the employment scenario being on the decline, is not hard. All you have to know is how to say “YES, I can do it FOR YOU.” The very fact that a person has taken to freelancing is an act of courage and determination as a provider in their domain of expertise. So, when you meet a freelancer, do not look down upon them as an industry of needy workers always abuzz in search of work. Think of your business founder who once hustled as much looking for projects on which you are currently employed and getting paid. If you are a founder, please know that the hustle of your sales team and the freelancers are the same and deserve equal empathy.
They are not Uneducated
Do you think that a freelancer is an erstwhile failed student? That be ridiculous. The audacity to not take up a job or to be refused by a system that cannot accommodate their brilliance; Freelancers are those from whom you copied your school homework. So, they do have the merit with which you are employed. The way you would expect your Vice President to question and solve, these freelancers do inherently, and they are their CEOs. They don’t wake up on a Monday morning scared of the boss. They wake up early on so that they can earn a new project. That’s being self-motivated, resourceful, and responsible. So, if your freelancer has a say, try and incorporate it the way you would give your salaried employees an opportunity.
Pay them on Time
This is funny how corporate behemoths and other organisations treat freelancers. If you have the budget, you will not outsource. When you don’t have the budget or require a more flexible human resource, you outsource. So when you eventually outsource, why disregard the freelancing community as uneducated or not at par with professionals seeking a salaried job? Assuming that they are not educated, and therefore any penny to them is favour on their livelihood, is demeaning. Do you slack with your salaried employees with their payments? You don’t. You know that you will lose them if a salary goes amiss. But, isn’t it amusing how you expect a freelancer to wait for a 30-day window or more or never to pay them?
The Nature of Employment is Changing
The world is moving toward freelancing. It is a very demanding profession on its own. The way you expect agility in your employees and take them on a rant on Change Management, it is time for you to be ready for Change. If you or your concerned department does not have the skill of managing freelancers with work, payment, and fees, it is time to train your management. When every professional who you see around, start claiming their positions as Freelancers, imagine the havoc it would wreak upon businesses that milk them as cheap subjects. Better, if your Human Resources begin with a mix of freelancers and regular headcounts.
How Progressive are You?
Giving them work and paying them the dues is not the only ask. Do you have a Freelancer’s Day for your company wherein you invite freelancers to connect with your people to streamline working relationships? If you are a small startup and work with a limited number of freelancers, do you still call them, orient them to your business need, recognise their efforts, and at least, give a perk? No, you don’t. But better if you start.
Well, is it asking too much given that the world is bound by regulations to attend to employee welfare, but no regulations to be kind and professional with the freelancers? Time to game up before a lot is lost.
10 Ways to Delight your Freelancers
- Do a complete background check when you have to sign up a freelancer so that later there are no hidden surprises for you or the freelancer you have inducted.
- Make a human-grade agreement with your freelancer that pays them as much respect as much paid to your regular employees.
- We are still not asking for medical insurance, so at least the payment cycle should be reason enough for the freelancer to not get away from serving you better in search of a better solution. Basically, pay on time.
- Definitely, you should negotiate but negotiate with the mindset that your hiring team has for inducting full-timers. As a writer, I am aware of the freelance content writing industry in which people negotiate to pay $0.2 or INR 0.25. Miserable.
- Because you are busy and your company is at odds with the freelancer, you should appoint a person responsible for Freelancer Management—a point-of-contact for every freelancer who is educated and human enough to empathise, prioritise, listen, and solve?
- A Freelancer deals with stuff as much you do in your position. So, you are obligated to listen to your Freelancer if they are in crisis with your mediocre management. Hear it, convene it, and get going. Keep the deal transparent.
- As discussed in this article earlier, create a program in which Freelancers are inducted with the same formality as with the regular employees. Know them better for a better business relationship.
- Now, you call for a huddle with your associates, a board-room meeting to discuss challenges and opportunities, consider including your freelancer to help them understand your business and your people better. They are the extended members of the same family, driven toward a common business goal.
- There is a day for every damn thing but no United Nations or UNHCR designated day for the Freelancers. Do you think when you are appreciated, you perform better, you feel validated, and challenged to do more? The Freelancers do the same. Call for a Freelancer’s Day.
- At least, when you have the master data of freelancers, you know everything about them which includes their birthday? A Letter from the CEO appreciating your Freelancer’s work toward your business is the least a birthday greeting can easily convey.
Very few people on earth are motivated to seek their flaws and iron them to solve every crease. As Freelancers, we should be that motivated.
Above, I was asking the providers not to treat Freelancers as “uneducated” people. Now for Freelancers, it is time to reflect if we can do anything to change this mindset. Because you know everything is perception based. Once they have it wrong, they spread it like wildfire, so corrosive and damaging.
How to Freelance Better?
Freelance your Experience?
The market is brimming with many unqualified freelancers, and it is a fact that we have to be aware of and accept. Some people do not understand what is freelancing, but they will label their unemployment status as Freelancing. It is not always the provider who is wrong; the onus is also on us to ensure that our community of freelancers are safe from those who are not fit to be freelancers. Those who breach client trust, fail to deliver on time, and most importantly, doesn’t have the required qualification or experience.
A Good Organizer
Well, this is not for freelance event organisers in particular. Here, I refer to “organizing” as a skillset prerequisite to freelance in any industry. Well, it is known that the sector of Freelancing is unorganized, but that should not be the same when counted as individual Freelancers. Organize your day in a way that people start respecting you for the time you spend for them. Organized your digital space in a way that you can set that virtual aura about you.
Are you on a Short Sale?
It is important that we are aware of our capabilities; we know how to deliver them in the best way possible, to have an ambition for results in any mutually agreed upon task. When you provide everything to perfection, why short sale yourself? The short sale mindset is a double-edged sword. First, to close many assignments, you bill your client poorly. Whatever is poor is value is reduced in totality. You can’t spend six hours writing one blog given that your cost-per-word is $0.02 or INR 0.25. To overcome this, close your eyes, and quote a reasonable amount that you’ll be ready to pay someone freelancing for you. Second, you lose value as a freelance professional and jeopardise those who charge the right amount in conjunction with the quality they can fetch.
Accountability is not the sole duty of the client. It is also incumbent on us, the Freelancers, to ensure delivery of outstanding work, to be unafraid of suggesting improvements, if needed, and have a well-researched argument for rejecting a suggestion when asked for change. Do you call back your client to check on when your work is being put to use? Do you ask your client for previous data to ensure what your delivery can be compared to it for a quality assessment? Do you call up your client to check the performance of the project? These all are very vital things for you to freelance and should not compromise at any time. Your accountability amounts to your brand value.
Nemo? No, I mean finding a client. Well, so how do you do it? Do you lurk around on Facebook groups to bid the lowest and snap on an opportunity irrespective of your ability thinking that it should be only you in the market to have all the work? And in fact, you will further exploit those from even poorer backgrounds? Community is like a well. Whatever rain goes into it, everyone gets a share. For example, if you make a name for yourself as a highly professional content provider, you make a name for the country and the community as well. Who said it is easy being a freelancer? It is as tricky as finding Nemo, but you’ll if you persist.
10 Ways to Freelance like an Industry Pro
- Analyse what you are best at, and no one (if all goes ethical) can deliver better than you. While we do not know what is better, the effort should be to achieve your best.
- Never compromise on any assignment given that you have plenty of them and it doesn’t matter of one client is miffed about your delivery. Clearly convey timelines so that the work you generated can earn your client both payment and reputation.
- Network with fellow freelancers not only to ask how they are sourcing works but to share best practices, to create awareness about a challenging client. That way, we all can hedge each other against any cheating.
- Take less work, give more, and charge as a standard rate applicable in your country. Figure out the rate chart of the services industry for the regular employees, and bill accordingly.
- Refuse work that expects you to deliver and not share any opinion. It is dangerous for your growth. After all, there is no point being a freelancer if your client compromises your command over the subject.
- Seen someone being underpaid, be a comrade in need and educate the person with evidence what is right for billing. Do not run away from a fellow freelancer seeking your advice because you are afraid of losing your work to the person.
- If you are unable to help, are on an emergency, then you know that hiding from responsibilities affect accountability. Be present at all times as per the SLA.
- Above I asked the client party to consider Freelancers’ Day. If you have a record of outstanding clients, celebrate them on your LinkedIn profile, appreciate them by testifying their values as a job-provider.
- Be more than who you are. Just because you are a freelancer doesn’t mean you don’t need to upgrade yourself. The industry is evolving at a fast pace, so should you by investing in career enhancement programs.
- Surprise your client with a thank you note, or a birthday card. That will be pure delight. Feel it if someone does it for you?
Thank you for reading. By now you have understood that this article is not a paid one and I have written this on my own motivation, which is to create a better community of clients and freelancers. My expectations are not one side but from each side, both from the client-side as well as from my freelance community worldwide.
I will consider it a payment should you decide to share this article with anyone who deserves guidance to navigate this world of freelancing, successfully.