So you’ve decided to start utilizing the power of the freelancer to help you meet your business goals. Good for you! Let me just say, although my viewpoint may be a bit biased because I’m a freelancer, you’ve made the right decision. You’ll find that freelancers will be one of your best resources. And with more and more of the nation’s workforce turning to freelance, it was just a matter of time until they were working for you.
But are you getting the most out of your freelance workers? It’s a safe bet that you’re probably not. Most businesses hire freelancers with a very narrow focus on how to use them, and that’s a mistake. Freelancers can handle almost any task, and most have expertise in a variety of skills. But first, let’s revisit all the ways you benefit by using freelancers for your business.
They’re affordable. In general, a freelancer will work more cheaply than an expert from an agency or someone in-house. Since most of them work from home, they don’t have the overhead associated with a dedicated office. On top of that, they’re hungry. They want the work, and they’re willing to do it at very competitive rates.
They’ll get the job done fast. Freelancers are used to working on a deadline, so they don’t mess around. The faster than can finish up a project, the quicker they can move on to the next and make more money. That’s not to say they’ll rush and do shoddy work; their reputation is important to them, as is the quality of their work.
Specific expertise. Although versatility is one of the strengths of freelancers, you can always find one that specializes in that one task that no one on your staff knows how to do. No need to hire someone for a job that doesn’t need to be done very often.
They’re ready when you are. Most freelancers don’t work a nine to five schedule. They’re used to working nights and weekends, holidays too, to get the job done. That means if you have a project that needs to be done after hours, or if you just have to have it on your desk Monday morning, a freelancer is the way to go.
Independent work. One of the drawbacks of hiring new employees is getting them up to speed on what you expect from them and how to do their job. Freelancers are used to working independently. As long as you give them detailed instructions and the information they need to complete the task, they’re good to go.
Versatility and experience. Freelancers are experienced with working with a variety of businesses and industries, and they are quick to embrace new technologies and innovative ideas. They’re much less likely to come to the table with pre-conceived notions on how to do something, and more willing and able to do it your way.
Getting The Most Out Of Your Freelancer
Now that you’ve been reminded of all the reasons you should be pleased with yourself for making such a wise decision as hiring freelancers for your business or going through an agency that can find and manage them for you, let’s look at how you can use them more effectively. Although they’re perfect for those jobs requiring specific expertise, freelancers can wear a lot of different hats.
Blog posts. You already know that having fresh content on your website is one of the keys to high search rankings, yet churning out blog posts is time consuming and you have more important things to do, like running your business and making money. This is the freelance writer’s bread and butter, and they’ll turn out high-quality posts for very little investment.
Infographics. When you need to get your message across quickly and concisely, an infographic is the way to go. Many people these days don’t want to read a blog post, and will respond better to a mix of pictures and content. Yet you don’t usually need these produced on a regular basis, so it makes sense to hire a freelancer with the experience and know-how to do it right on an as-needed basis.
Interactive media. Take the infographic concept to the next level with animation and moving images, audio and video, and even games. It makes your marketing fun and enjoyable.
Marketing copy. Whether you’re looking for a killer email campaign or printed mailers, brochures, and catalogs, or even a catchy slogan to put on coffee mugs, a freelance writer can deliver.
Commercial scripts. If you’re planning on investing in some television or radio spots, or maybe producing a video for your website or to put on Youtube, you’ll find a freelancer ready to write a great script that will make your audience want to visit your website or brick and mortar store.
Social media content. A comprehensive social media presence is indispensable to a business these days. If you’re not on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and all the new and popular sites that pop up almost every day, then you’re not reaching a lot of potential customers. Problem is, creating and posting content to all these sites is time-consuming and tedious. Let a freelancer do it.
White papers. If you have a product or service that requires a more in-depth explanation of how it works and why it will benefit your client, then an authoritative white paper is the medium you need. This is where a freelancer with talent in a particular area, whether it be technology, finance, business, marketing, real estate, or what have you, will be invaluable.
PowerPoint presentations and speeches. Let a freelancer create a winning presentation for your next conference or seminar, or write a speech that will have them inviting you back for more.
You’ve made the decision to use freelancers in your business, don’t make the mistake of having a narrow-minded approach to utilizing their talents. Think outside the box, discover new ways to enjoy the benefits of freelancers, and don’t be afraid of challenging them. You’ll find they’re more than willing to rise to the occasion.
Bob is a former Web Search and Website Assessor for Lionbridge Technologies, contracting for Google, and was also a Social Media Networker for Slingshot SEO writing backlinks and web content for a wide variety of clients, and has experience with keyword oriented content writing for several other companies. He's a former radio talk host/news anchor/producer, creating and hosting two original radio programs in the Indianapolis market, Radio for You and The Central Indiana Outdoorsman Show, and also served as co-host on one of the longest running jazz shows in the Midwest, Jazz Lives. He has held membership in the Indianapolis Press Club and Hoosier Outdoor Writers, the International Association of Professional Writers & Editors, and also Mensa and Intertel. He got his start as a freelancer writing book reviews and literary articles for websites such as ForeWordReviews and the IndianapolisEye, created the Leonardo da Vinci page for Results.About and worked as a freelance reporter for the award-winning Brown County Democrat newspaper. Bob also owned and operated Patriot Media, a small public relations service writing press releases and arranging radio interviews for his clients. He currently is a contributing writer for several online new media platforms and for private clients. He also does voice over and narration work from time to time.
Bob is a lifelong collector of books and an avid reader with a wide variety of literary interests, but especially enjoys short horror fiction, action-adventure and history. He also enjoys hunting and fishing, finding and identifying wildflowers, edible wild plants and mushrooms. Bob is a commercial pilot and is interested in general aviation and aviation history. He also enjoys classical and jazz music and is a jazz trumpet player and collector.