For the Love of Freelancers

Bed and Breakfast Academy

5 things to remember when engaging the services of a freelancer.

Often when you see content about indie, small or micro businesses online, it’s about makers, artisans, designers, artists and retailers. What we often don’t see is the brilliant work of freelancers.

Essential to most other small businesses (& larger ones too!), freelance micro businesses have been amongst the hardest hit in recent months as many of them weren’t eligible for any government financial support.

In our Member’s Club, we have a long list of stand out freelancers doing specialist, dedicated work for their clients and I thought it was time we shone a spotlight on them!

Freelancers rely on their reputation almost more than any other business. If we have one dodgy coffee in a cafe or are a little dissatisfied with an experience in a shop, we may still go back for another try. If we have a bad experience with a freelancer, we will never go back and we won’t recommend.

This means that freelancers are dedicated to you and to doing a good job – what a great start to a relationship!

We’ve recently welcomed some new freelancers into our Club. Nancy from Peak Net Web Services, works with other small business to provide a comprehensive web design and marketing service. Personal, bespoke and dedicated.

Philippa from Witts End Business Services is the helping hand you need in your business, personal assistant, virtual assistant and more based in Wiltshire.

At the other end of the country in Derbyshire, is Brenda from BK Office Services offering that additional brain to your business.

These stand out freelancers sit alongside their colleagues in our Club and offer everything from accountancy and book keeping services to mindfulness training and support to run a B&B!

Great freelance experiences are based on trust, communication, clarity and relationship building. Here are 5 things to remember if you want to engage the services of a great freelancer.

  • Start with a plan. It’s really important to be clear about what you want from any work you do with a freelancer. Whether you are hiring a virtual assistant or a photographer, make a list of the things that you need most or that you’re struggling with. Being vague at the outset or unclear will only result in unclear results.
  • Know your budget. We can be a bit British about money conversations. However, being clear about budget is important from the outset. Remember that these freelancers are professionals. They are highly experienced and not only need to pay themselves, but their taxes, overheads and rent. Be clear about what you can afford but be clear that you get what you pay for too.
  • Be in relationship. Working with a freelancer is a journey and it’s important to rely on gut. Do you really get on with this person? Do you feel that they’re on your wavelength? Do you like them?! Hiring a freelancer is a personal transaction, so be sure you that there’s a good fit for the best results.
  • Make a plan. Once you’re clear on your challenges or needs, you’ve had a chat about cash and you’ve decided you like them, then make a schedule of work. This should include exactly what the project is, how long it will take and what the proposed outcomes are. Pop it in an email and make sure you’re both agreed. If it’s a big project, consider creating a simple contract outlining the details to ensure everyone’s on the same page. Your freelancer may have all this in hand.
  • Be generous. Remember that what goes around, comes around. When we work with freelancers, it’s important that we share our praise generously, offer reviews and testimonials and recommend to our friends. It’s also important to remember that they’re human and often working alone, so be as flexible as you can if there are unforeseen hiccups or small delays. This way, everyone walks away happy and ready for the next project.

Pic is Karen Thorne from the B&B Academy.