When you run an online business, it can be tough to do everything yourself. So, if you need a bit of web design, content writing or other work done, hiring an online freelancer can be an easy and effective way to get the job done.
Online freelancers often do great work, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be sure to protect yourself. Just with any business transaction, you need to play it smart.
Always ask for examples of previous work from your online freelancers. This allows you to quickly weed out those whose style or quality does not meet your expectations.
While it can be tempting to ask for a custom sample to be written or designed, this can lose you the interest of qualified freelancers. There are well-known scams where someone looking for a batch of work on a particular topic like calipers or Mustang steering wheels will place an ad looking for a ‘free sample’ on the topic, then simply use the samples and never hire anyone!
If you really require custom samples to narrow down your shortlist, consider paying for them. Alternatively, if you are concerned that samples will not match finished work, ask for references from previous clients.
Have a Contract
A contract is essential, both for your legal protection and to ensure you and your freelancer are on the same page. A contract does not have to be a mess of legal mumbo-jumbo, there are plenty of free sample contracts available online – your freelancer may even have one themselves.
In essence, your contract should include at least the following details:
- Who owns the rights to the content created
- How much is to be paid for the work and when
- How and when the work is to be delivered
- The number of revisions included in the fee
- Cost for additional revisions
- Any penalty fees for late payment of invoices or non-delivery/late delivery of work
- What happens if you wish to cancel assigned work
- The legal jurisdiction covering any disputes
- Is the freelancer allowed to outsource work or must they do it themselves
Not all freelancers will work out or be suitable for your needs. Make sure when working with a freelancer or terminating a working relationship you are professional and calm. You do not want to burn your bridges or get a reputation as someone who is a nightmare to work with!
In addition always be professional with your working communications, such as asking for updates or assigning extra work. Otherwise, a freelancer whose work you love may leave, leaving you right back where you started … needing to hire again.
This is a guest post by Mary who blogs on everything, from hiring freelancers to buying calipers.