Work with freelancers: 14 tips to form an unbeatable team of writers

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Maybe you’re a “freelo” ( Freelancer ) like me who decided to try to be free and happy , or perhaps you have your own project and you work with freelancers . Maybe you’re building a serious and consolidated team of remote working , and you need to know how to make things run smoothly, with people you do not know . Whatever the circumstance, managing people and tasks, is not easy. Even less, if those people are creative, independent, dreamers, who do not like fixed schedules, need to win silver and defend the time to have a life.

Just because I’m the freelancer that I just described, and because the blog of Postcron , thanks to each of you ( 🙂thank you ), is growing , it is that like you, I also need to learn to manage a team of collaborators.

To do my job, do not waste time or money, I researched a lot to learn everything you need to not take any surprises when working with people like me , or more complicated than I do .

  • Benefits of Hiring Freelancers
  • What is the profile of a freelancer in general
  • What skill set, knowledge and skills are needed
  • Selecting the right people: step by step tips and questions
  • Running a team (writers) Freelancers and get the job done excellently, without forgetting that at the end of the day, we should all be happy.
  • Tools for teamwork and distance

 

1- Why hire and work with freelancers?

 

A review super fast for some reasons that will convince you to build your team with freelancers:

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a- You are not limited to local “talent” . Internet allows you to find the best talent, wherever it might be.

b- A same job in different cities, you can have different salaries , due to the regulations of labor agreements and labor policies in each state. For example, Silicon Valley is the “capital” of the geeks (I say this with love), where the best developers, engineers, and other talented geniuses. If you lived there, perhaps hire an engineer in the area, you could cost 10 times more, just for the fact that you are in Silicon Valley. Instead, the advantages of freelance work, allow to break these barriers. When you can negotiate salary, regardless of the “geography”. Today, services like Toptal allow you to find the best freelance talent in the world no matter where you are or where talent is located.

c- In recent times, there has been an accelerated process of micro specialization or “long tail specialization” of jobs. You can find specialized freelancers on things that do not even occur. For example, this chart oDesk , shows very well:

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d- Usually freelancers have worked for different clients and industries , which can provide solutions or more enriched opinions, by their previous experiences.

e- The times are not a problem or limitation.

f- The operating costs and inputs, almost disappear .

g- The process of finding talent is less bureaucratic and complex than is traditionally done.

h- The appearance economic , with good negotiations, it can work for both parties.

i- The physical proximity does not ensure collaboration.

2- aspects of the personality of a Freelancer: Are you ready to hire and work with one of them?

 

To start with the right foot tasks hire and work with freelancers (writers, designers, developers, etc), you need to understand, you’ll be hiring a person with a profile very similar to yours. You ‘ll have to work with someone who also thinks like you, who has chosen to be his own boss, be independent , and do what he likes. A freelancer is an entrepreneur in his own life . Somehow, it can be considered a “Solopreneur”.

Precisely for the above , it is that I found it extremely important to know what the profile of a Solopreneur , since in this tribe, there will be two chiefs . You have to be smart and know how to dance  with the other person, without stepping foot on the other . This “dance” involves coordination and respect, because even if one party has the money to pay, the other has the capacity to perform the work.

Understand then, “our folly”: the general characteristics of the personality and / or attitudes of a freelancer / entrepreneur / Solopreneur:

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Sure there are many more attitudes or characteristics that define us , but to some extent, these are the general level, we all share. While researching for this article, I got a book I could not read yet complete, but it seems very interesting to learn about the personality of an entrepreneur and certainly will help us understand more and better our collaborators: “Heart, Smarts, Guts, and Luck “(HSGL)

3- How to select the right freelance writer? “Step by step” tips and questions you can not stop doing.

 

3.1- Step by step: first define what you need to know who you need.

 

Step 1:

It is essential to first know exactly what you need it to be done : make a list of everything that this project will require. This point is key, as it will serve to organize the rest of the process , and you have an idea of how much money you have to invest the time it will take, knowledge or skills you will need to have the future collaborator, how much patience you will to have , etc.

In the specific case of a project involving freelance writers , you must not forget to also define the purpose of the articles and what role they will have in your strategy content marketing: you will use to generate community to position your product to generate awareness your brand, to make e-commerce, to inform, to retain customers? Be clear about this, will help a lot also define content strategy for your blog, newsletter, website, etc., and schedule content with topics, categories of issues that can not be missed as well, sources and references they will use to summon and investigate to create each item.

Another point (in the super detailed list that you have done everything, everything you need for this project) you should include is how many items per month or week you need, the quality of each , and their level: basic, intermediate or advanced .

Step 2:

How you want it done: you have to know what you want and how you want. This will help you search criteria, a freelancer who can do things the way you want them done. If you do not have this clear, you might find someone good, but you do not have your own style.

You need to research: looking for examples of work already undertaken and how they were executed. This will not only help you put together a definite idea of what you like and what you want your work looks like, but will also be useful for the freelancer, know what you aim.

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In case you need to hire a freelance writer, collects articles and analyzes many words, style, tone, voice, structuring the article, sequencing and concepts, use of links, statistics, types of examples, etc. It is recommended to put together a guide you list all these aspects . Although it takes a long time, after all this, you can apply other future searches.

Step 3:

Times: before asking impossible for references to how long you can take that kind of projects you are about to perform. Analyze your calendar, and project. Consider the fact that if you find an excellent partner, most likely, is it a very busy person . A filter to hire someone, it is also this aspect. Although very prominent, if you can not meet your requirements, will not work. In other words: the availability of the writer must be in line with expectations point 1.

Step 4:

You also need to know your financial capacity.

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Identifies the upper limit of money you can spend on this project so we can negotiate intelligently. Remember if you want something good, you’ll have to pay for excellence. The list of tasks you did at first, also will serve to arm the budget.

It is recommended for the case of hiring a freelance writer , who agreed in advance a fixed price for the first item , to check the “expertise” editor. Then you can review prices according to the forward or “expertise” demonstrated.

At this particular point, you need to advance thinking about what criteria you will use to determine price and / or the method of payment . What currency you will use, if the payment will be electronic, deposit, check, personally, or whatever, but leave it clear. Also, if you agree to give a percentage as an advance, and between what dates you fertilize.

Step 5:

Well, once you know the “what, how, when and how”, you must think of the logistics for teamwork. If a large group, do you have a platform that functions as an online office? Will you need to keep track of the different assignments? Perhaps the job requires a platform to manage tasks and projects. Do you have Skype, Gmail, Dropbox or Google Drive know how to drive? Does your laptop case has a camera and microphone? They are basic things, but believe it or not, it happens that some people do not consider these small details.

Some tools:

Skype and Google Hangouts : ideal for one on one conversations via conference calls or video, should not have a large team. You can chat, screen sharing, exchange documents, and invite others to participate in the talks.

Google Drive and Dropbox : allow you to create, store and share information in the cloud. All material will be available online from all your devices.

Campfire : is a tool for collaborative team communication. Features chats, “meeting”, blackboards, and dozens of other features that enhance communication and daily work among members of a team.

Basecamp : a tool for managing projects. It is one of the most important and used worldwide since from a simple project to a very complex, you can easily manage and control.

Evernote for business : it is both a platform to share information, store and teamwork.

Getflow : another tool for managing tasks, projects, have discussions and share information online.

Step 6:

And legal issues “extras”: note, if you do need some exclusive contract to the other person does not work with the competition, or the material made remain under ownership of your brand or name. They are details, but in the future can be a headache.

 

3.2- skill set (skills) Basic all Freelancer

Already you have clear what you want and how you want. Now, before you head to the interview, you should not forget that besides the obvious basic skills and knowledge that a writer must have: grammar, syntax, semantics, writing, organizing concepts, proper use of voice, tone, etc. ., etc., etc., they are necessary skills that should have a freelancer, to work well beyond doing their job well . This will help you have a happier relationship with your partner:

    • Communication:  in this kind of work, if not installed custom of dialogue and clear expression of ideas, differences, opinions, etc., the results can be disastrous.

 

    • Time management : this style of work requires an organized person with tasks, personal, committed and speech. There is a flexible schedule, but the goals must be met according to the schedule stipulated and agreed in advance.

 

    • Flexibility: many things change throughout the process of implementing the project. A freelancer has to be prepared to do and redo and redo things.

 

    • Interpersonal relationships : it is true that we work alone, but that does not mean that we have to deal with other people. Here comes into play communication, respect, consideration for the other, patience, and everything you need to not end up in a war, the daily work.

 

    • Bargaining power:  you have to know how to negotiate ideas, money, time, etc., in order to advance.

 

    • Ability to solve problems: a good freelancer, knows how to solve problems creatively and quickly. Proactivity is fundamental.

 

    • Research capacity : a freelancer, more prominent, talented, and intelligent it is, you have to have that curiosity and initiative to learn and know more. Humility even if, to see if what he says and does, is still valid.

 

      • Patience to work with people you do not know, requires a lot of love and patience, both you and your freelancer.

 

      • Stress management: no use a freelancer, which at one time you feel overwhelmed, give up halfway through the project.

 

PATIENCE

      • “Hard Skills”: a freelance writer as well as knowledge of their profession and skills to be an effective partner, you must have the necessary logistics to do their job , and other skills that make their role as “writer 2.0” . What I mean by this? Should be able to: access to a stable Internet connection , have basic tools for image editing (Photoshop, Illustrator), knowledge of social media , Google Trends, tools SEO , HTML (basic), WordPress , understanding key the “clickeabilidad” to write viral headlines and generate clicks, and management and understanding of other languages .

 

3.3- questions you can not stop doing the interview your candidate freelance writer

Have completed each of the above steps will allow you to be well prepared to make an efficient interview , without forgetting the important points, and get all the answers you need to make the right decision.

Although portfolios or curriculums are very important, most valuable information, get from one to one conversation you have with the candidate. There are answers that will say much more the type of person and collaborator who can become the candidate beyond the “expertise” that claims to have a simple CV or summary of experience.

The questions are below and you can print this form -> here . They copy!

The questions

 

    • Do you have knowledge in project tasks and topics that will develop in the articles? Can you give me an example for review?

 

    • I was struck “Article X / X Design / X work,” and I would be interested to know how you came to do, and what the creative process you go through to get it?

 

    • On what category or composing industries more easily or preference?

 

    • What kind of content you create or you specialize? Articles, headlines, interviews, ebooks, tutorials, etc.

 

    • What tone do you feel more comfortable, offering to write?

 

    • How comfortable do you feel for interviews?

 

    • How do you learn about new topics that your clients ask you to write?

 

    • What is your research methodology? How long does it take you to research?

 

    • Do you know how to optimize content for search engines?

 

    • Describe what you think is correct and complete visual structure must have an article

 

    • How is your process of reviewing / editing?

 

    • What are your hours of freelance work?

 

    • How are you used to receive your payments and what criteria I use to collect them? Time, project, article, words

 

  • What level of commitment you give to this project?

 

3.4 – Filters for selecting a freelance writer: the little details that will help you know whether you should or not to hire that candidate

 

Well, you’ve had your first contact or interview with the candidate. Now think about these details listed below because in them you will find the answer to whether you should or not continue interviewing that person.

a- Do you connect with punctuality in the schedule stipulated for the interview ? Do you notify if “X” motif will be delayed a few minutes? (That would be a sign of delicacy and respect)

b- During the interview he expressed with language  appropriate? Are the answers are clear and conform to the question?

c- In answering the application, or perhaps in his own letter: Do you have good spelling and grammar? ¿ Correctly use punctuation?  ¿ Structure your presentation and clearly expresses his ideas in writing ?

d- Is detail – oriented ? To verify this, we at Postcron in the email we sent to applicants, worth say is very long, we included a point where we place a “keyword”, you should use the applicant in the “subject” of the email, to answer. If the person is not detailed, and read faster, or stop scans the text accordingly, we will check, if you do not put that detail in your answer.

3.5 – Sites where you can start your search:

Remember that when creating the ad to find your future partner, must take into account the above specifications toooooodas, and make clear all the points that are important to you.

Linkedin
Freelancer
Workana
Twago
oDesk
Nubelo
Elance
Fiverr
Guru
People per Hour

4- How to manage and work with freelancers without going crazy in the attempt

 

As was mentioned in the beginning, you have to be prepared to work with someone with a similar nature to yours . To run things efficiently and healthily, we must work as a team . That ‘s exactly why I want to share this video of the Spurs , because besides being excellent for me  summarizes the basic values that a team need to be successful. Be a football team of entrepreneurs, freelancers, vendors, cooks, or whatever, to get good results, you need this that I show below: “The Beautiful Game: San Antonio Spurs”

We draw inspiration a bit:

Manage people, requires the same skills and basic practices, whether we do it in a virtual way or staff. What changes is the “style” or “format”.

In order to do well and successfully, it
is necessary to take into account the following points:

    • More than boss or manager, your job should be that of a coach or mentor . You are not only to control, we must encourage, guide, improve productivity.

 

    • Communication: the important issues such as communications, tasks, objectives, modifications, etc., need to be seated in writing . Try to work this way, to avoid misunderstandings or assumptions.

 

    • Know indicate clear objectives that are measurable, specific and achievable, so that your partner knows exactly what to expect from it and what should be done. At this point it is necessary for both parties to ensure understand and share the meaning of each aspect . What you do “excellent” your partner? What is to respond in ” a timely manner” for you? This helps make more realistic expectations.

 

    • Define what work schedules will be. It is necessary to agree on what times the employee needs to be available to deal with any eventuality and to avoid unnecessary delays, expecting a simple answer , for hours. Also, set schedules, greet to start the day or to retire, it is part of respect and mutual consideration . Beyond this, do not forget the other hand, your partner also has a life , not just breathe for and by you. You have to respect that fact, and understand that if you send a message after hours where indicated availability, it is possible to receive a response the next day.

 

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    • Your team or partner needs to know that counting on you . You must be available and predisposed to your questions or concerns, because for lack of a simple question, may be wasted resources, money and time.

 

    • Leave aside the obsessive “control” . Obviously no one will make things as “good” as thou would, but you must learn to relax and trust.

 

      • Motiva your or your collaborators: it is necessary from time to time, know that things are going well thanks to the sacrifice and dedication of all parties. It is impressive as a word of encouragement, appreciation and recognition can encourage a person to work more and over, the better. We at Postcron , and we also work remotely, try to in our everyday communication, using funny images, gifs, smilies, and everything that contributes to a good motivation and energy of the whole group! To the question: How was your weekend? If we did not do very well, we could answer this gif:

anigif_enhanced-4999-1398728399-25

        • Holds regular meetings: exchange news, progress, failures, doubts.

 

        • Meet more depth to your partner, and discover what other areas that have potential , and passionate. His other skills can serve you for a future, or to do another task that is perhaps much better.

 

In addition to general issues, it is important also to consider certain specific aspects to work efficiently with freelance writers:

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        • If the editor will write about your company or product offer him all the information related to the product and your company. There are details that do not appear in the “About” section (about us) of your website. You should be able to convey the spirit of your project or company.

 

        • Indicates the profile readers and what purpose does each article.

 

        • Give him a guide published to know: style, throughout the article, aspects for editing, and other requirements that you need to be met.

 

        • Give him examples of items that serve as a model for “how should” be the end result.

 

      • Revisions: at the beginning it is recommended that the editor enter a first point of the article, and it is submitted for review, as this will let you know if the style, approach, drafting and development, it is correct, avoiding the writer perform an entire article, and then have to correct everything.

 

In conclusion

Neglects the role of “boss” and learn to work together and consider your freelance, as a collaborator working to your couple. Your job is not to be a manager, but being a coach and mentor motivates, stimulates, encourages, trust.

When
you have clear what you want, how you want to define, and thus can more accurately find what you are looking for .