If you’re a business owner, you’ll likely know the benefits of keeping freelancers on the cards (we’ve written about it before). Having a pool of bloggers, video specialists, marketing gurus and media wunderkinds at your disposal will see your operations come to life in ways you might not have thought possible.
To get the best from your freelancers, it’s worth giving them some encouragement now and then, to nurture your relationship and boost their motivation. Some of these techniques may seem obvious, but they can push a contractor to do their greatest work, sometimes without even knowing it.
Check in regularly
Although using initiative comes with the territory, it’s possible for freelancers to feel like an anonymous face in the crowd where your attention is concerned. Just because they work outside of your organisation, it doesn’t mean they can’t be included in your professional network on a regular basis.
Calling up once a week, once a month, or however often you can will reap dividends as they learn more about you and your business. A freelancer aims to bring personality to any assignment, and having a grasp of you as an individual will infuse their work with the particular flavour you’re after.
Setting your own rates is a trepidation for freelancers fresh to the industry. Deciding how much to charge can be quite neurotic – is this too much? Will clients be put off by my brashness, or am I underselling myself?
Just like any employee, one concrete method of motivation is rewarding hard work with a higher pay grade. Suggesting a slight increase for a trusted service breeds loyalty and dedication like water fountaining from a well. This is especially encouraging for new freelancers; treat them like a new employee on provisional pay and you won’t regret the results.
Challenge their decisions
When someone sends you a completed assignment, don’t be afraid to get down to the nitty-gritty of what they’ve accomplished. Without appearing bullish or ignorant, questioning a person’s choices occasionally will encourage them to assess what they do, and apply themselves rigorously in every project.
Remember that positive feedback is always appreciated and, indeed, vital for ensuring you are both on the same page. It’s another example of imparting value to work that’s being completed from a distance.
Give tricks a treat
It’s astoundingly gratifying for a freelancer to get a Christmas card from you in the post. A box of chocolates on birthdays, a random email detailing your gratitude . . . forms of positive reinforcement are manifold and, usually, worth a lot more than the price tag. Roping freelancers into work socials can also boost their confidence no end, symbolising your commitment to their passion for your business.
We know that freelancing can be a beautiful thing, but tending to it often exists on the margins of client’s priorities. With these tips in mind, hopefully you’ll spread the word that sharing is caring in regards to your workload.
Tweet us at #FeeNotFree to show your support for the hard work of freelancers throughout the UK, and tell us how you keep your own team motivated.