I write about software engineering, entrepreneurship, changing careers, and more.
Freelancers. We all need them. Freelancers are a vibrant part of the small biz community. Depending on the contract you negotiate with a potential freelancer, you get the joys of working with a professional without the hassle of typical employee costs (healthcare, 401k, you see where I’m going here.)
While you can extract immense value from working with a freelancer, it’s up to you, the business owner, to do the upfront work before bringing someone in to support your business. I’ve been on both sides of the table. I’ve been burned a couple times and the issue typically boiled down to one thing.
Before hiring a freelancer, ask yourself: do you know what you’re hiring the freelancer for?
Ask yourself again about 5 more times.
A lot of times people only have an idea of what they want from a freelancer but haven’t taken the time really refine the project scope. For example, sometimes people simply say they want a website. That’s great! But, how many pages will be included in that website? Will there need to be communication from that website to external APIs (like Stripe payment platform)? Do you already have the copy ready to go? What about the design?
By putting in the effort upfront to define the scope, you will immediately weed out the freelancers that have no direct experience in what you’re looking for. This is a win / win for both you and the freelancer!
Put out exactly what you need (and honestly, bullet points are magical) and the unicorn freelancer will come. This saves time on the freelancers part because then they don’t wont run through a back and forth laundry list of questions to qualify the project. This saves time for you because you won’t have to spend to much time answering said questions.