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By Carla Lopez Knowledge Bank

How Your Company Can Take Advantage of Freelancers

There is much said about how the workforce is changing toward freelancing and the gig economy, but most of this focuses on what this means for the workers themselves. However, the rise of the freelancer is good for companies, too. It has never been easier to find the perfect person to do a job, and there has never been such a large and high-quality pool of freelance talent available.

Why Hire a Freelancer?

Hiring freelancers is not necessarily “better” than hiring employees. Both have their advantages and disadvantages and are best suited to different situations. Generally speaking, freelancers are best used for concrete projects, rather than ongoing long-term roles.

Whether in the long or short term, freelancers tend to be cheaper. As explained in this example by HuffPost, employees tend to cost a company far more than their salary would indicate, with training, taxes, benefits, and vacation time all coming into consideration. With a freelancer, you know exactly how much you are going to pay, and it is much easier to control your expenses.

On the other hand, you won’t have any control over where, when, or how they work. You can get in trouble for “misclassifying” someone as an independent contractor when they are in fact doing the work of an employee, or when they are economically dependent on their work for you. As long as you are aware of these nuances, you will be able to know when the job calls for a freelancer.

Best Freelance Roles

Certain jobs lend themselves well to freelance roles, and these also tend to be the ones with the most freelance talent available. These include:

  • Web Developers – Every business needs a website, and cookie-cutter web builders aren’t always what you need. If you want to create a truly bespoke website, you’ll have to build it from scratch, and for that you need an HTML developer. Look for someone with experience of HTML5, the latest iteration of the web language. A good HTML5 developer knows how to incorporate various elements into a website, such as images, video, and audio.
  • Content Writers – While content marketing can take many forms, written content in the form of a blog is the most popular and the easiest to set up. Before you hire a freelance content writer, make sure you take the right steps to set up a strategy, determining your goals, KPIs, target audience, lead conversion opportunities and content channels. This will make finding the right freelancer and getting the content you need much easier.
  • Virtual Assistants – A virtual assistant can take on any admin jobs that are holding you back, from answering calls to data entry. There are two main types of virtual assistant: general VAs and specialized VAs. It’s best to hire a general VA for ongoing tasks, but a (usually more expensive) specialized VA for specific, measurable outcomes.

Selecting Top Talent

Choosing the best freelancer for the job can be tricky, especially at first. Focus on finding someone with great communication skills and relevant experience in their profile. On your end, you should make sure your brief is detailed and that you have enough time to dedicate to checking on the project’s progress.

The best way to find professionals is by visiting a top freelancer platform. Thanks to its large selection of job categories, you should have no trouble filling the role quickly. You can also try niche freelancing platforms for specific jobs and industries, traditional job boards, and matchmaking services that work like agencies.

Managing Freelancers

Freelancers don’t need to be “managed,” per se; they are not your employees, after all. However, regular contact and communication is necessary to make sure the work gets delivered to your standards.

Certain tools can help you manage your freelancers more effectively. These include communication tools like Slack, app integration platforms like Shift, and task managing software like ClickUp.

But nothing can truly substitute for in-person communication, so if you’re operating your business remotely, try to schedule meetings with your freelancers on occasion. Face-to-face communication builds trust and relationships and allows you to more effectively gather feedback.

Using Services

In addition to freelancers, your business can find help using “off the shelf” services. For example, if you need managed IT services, web design, or security services, you can work with the pros at TechTrone IT Services. Or perhaps you’d like to change your business entity to an LLC to gain tax advantages and shield yourself from litigation. In this case, you can save time and money by using an online formation service to register your New York LLC.

Ultimately, the best way to make the most out of your freelancers is to work on being a good client. This means knowing when a freelancer is needed, being clear in your expectations, and communicating clearly at all stages of the project. The more you work on being the kind of organization freelancers want to work for, the more likely you will attract the best talent.

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