If you’ve never hired a freelancer before, you’re probably wondering how they’ll fit into your business, or how best to utilise the skills they bring to the table so you’re maximising their value.
That’s an important consideration, and it might not be so easy to figure out where to best fill the gaps of your business because you may not even recognise what those gaps are!
Okay, So Where Can You Use Freelancers?
Freelancers can be beneficial to almost any part of your business, regardless of your niche or industry.
For example, you can hire:
- Seasoned writers and authority bloggers.
- Creative web designers.
- Skilled graphic designers.
- Expert marketers and copywriters.
- Freelance accountants and bookkeepers.
- Freelance admin and virtual assistants.
- Coders, programmers and app developers.
- And the list goes on.
How to Integrate Freelancers into Your Business
When you’re deciding which freelancers to hire, you’ll want to start by analysing your business and then deciding what are the key areas that need attention. That way you can hire professionals to work within your existing business system rather than trying to create positions for freelancers.
Sounds like common sense?
You might be surprised to discover just how many entrepreneur’s hire freelancers without a game plan in place. They end up with a team of professionals who are ready to help their business grow, yet no real direction is given.
Don’t hire first and then figure it out later.
Start with a solid (and detailed) business plan that outlines where you need help the most, what takes up too much of your time, and how you can tap into the skill set of others to broaden your outreach. Then, fill those spots with seasoned professionals.
Never Outsourced Before?
If you’re just starting out, create a framework that outlines your entire business structure as it exists today – as well as where you want it to be in the future.
Start with the type of products you plan to create including things like blog content, video training, reports, or perhaps an app. Then, move on to focus on how you plan to market your business, what your overall objectives are and where you hope to be in a year from now.
Laying the groundwork for your business is a critical step before you should begin to hire freelancers. By knowing what your end-goals are, and how you hope to shape your business, you’ll be able to figure out the best way to integrate freelancers into your business and what tasks you should be delegating.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- What is the most important task(s) that needs attention?
- What task(s) do I not enjoy doing?
- What task(s) do I struggle to do myself, or always find myself falling behind on?
- What tasks are outside of my own skillset?
- How does hiring someone who has a specific skillset help my business grow?
Your focus needs to be on identifying the most important tasks that keep your business afloat, or that would help your business get to the next level. Then, determine whether you are capable (and willing) to do the task yourself, or if you are better off seeking the assistance of a seasoned freelancer.
This isn’t always so easy, especially if you tend to want to do everything yourself! You’ll need to take a step back and analyse your business goals carefully.
For example, you might be great with developing a marketing strategy but you lack the design or writing skills to bring a campaign to life. That’s when you’d hire a freelancer to fill that gap. You may work together on certain tasks, or you may hand over the reins to the entire project – it’ll depend on your objective and skillset.
The key is to know exactly where your business will benefit from freelancers before you even begin seeking them out. Don’t rush off to hire a team of professionals without knowing how you’ll effectively utilise them so that you’re able to put their skills to use and not waste your time and money.
Every freelancer you hire should be assigned a specific task (or series of tasks) that help move your business forward in some way.
Tips on Budgeting
Budgeting for freelancers means being willing to invest in your business while being reasonable with your expectations.
It may be helpful to shop around and get an idea of the going rates so you know what to expect. And keep in mind that you get what you pay for!
A word of caution: if you hire freelancers from sites where the quotes are low, the quality may be as low as the quote. A lot of the writers working for content mills, for example, don’t speak English as a first language, so expect to pay more for professional-grade content you can be proud to publish.
Here’s how to figure out a reasonable budget before hiring your team of professionals:
- Decide what your top freelancing priority
- Look at your budget and figure out how much you can afford to spend.
- Post the job, being clear about your spending parameters.
It may take some trial and error to figure out how much you’ll need to spend to create your team, but take your time with this! You should focus on filling one position at a time, rather than hiring your entire team in one week.
Your Step-by-Step Guide to Getting Started
- Review your needs and decide which tasks you’re going to outsource. Remember, your focus should be on gaining access to skills you and your team don’t have.
- Create a budget to pay for your freelancers.
- Write accurate job descriptions.
- Post your job descriptions.
- Evaluate freelancers and make offers.
The people you hire can offer you new perspectives and put their skills to work for you and quite often, they’ll be able to help you come up with new ideas and ways of doing things you never even thought of!.