6 Signs You’ve Found A Perfect Freelancer
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There are around 1.56 billion freelancers around the world, and finding the perfect freelancer seems tiresome. You want to hire someone who is both a temporary business partner and a long-term asset to the business. You want access to specialized talent and high-quality work.
Freelancers are hired mostly by small businesses, but large businesses can also do the same. In 2016-2017, the demand for freelancers among big companies increased by a whopping 26%.
One successful venture between big companies and freelancers is OCK’s. OCK Group Berhad is a large telecommunication network services provider in Malaysia. They had an incident where they needed to come up with a telecommunications proposal as soon as possible to address the issue they were facing at that time. But hiring a consulting firm was too costly and there was no time to form and brief an internal team.
Instead, they hired a freelancer. The freelancer had all the skills required for the proposal and yes, OCK successfully delivered it in due time.
This shows how SMEs and large companies alike can benefit from freelancers, and how finding the perfect freelancer helps you streamline business processes and even explore new possibilities.
Here are 6 signs you’ve found an awesome freelancer. And you certainly want to keep them happy.
Self-disciplined and self-directed
- They work with little to no supervision. You don’t have to micro-manage.
- They constantly motivate themselves to work.
- They have a can-do attitude; always ready to go the extra mile to get work done.
- They are in control of their workflow and progress.
One of the reasons you hired a freelancer is to reduce the time spent on onboarding and training new employees. You know you have good freelancers by your side if they work with little to no supervision and deliver results on time. Self-discipline is one trait freelancers must possess– as they have their time on their hands and need to constantly motivate themselves to work.
A can-do attitude goes a long way. Project briefs are there as guides, but freelancers who do further research own the game. Freelancers who are self-directed– those who come up with their ways to execute a project give businesses more time to think about bigger business operations rather than supervising short-term projects.
For instance, most freelance writers receive a project brief and then write content well on their own without needing much help. They are disciplined enough to focus on their tasks despite all distractions they encounter: writer’s block, forgetting brilliant ideas, jumping from one topic to another out of curiosity, and The Internet. Nevertheless, they manage to focus and deliver good results on time.
They are also self-directed when it comes to how the content reaches your audience. They have their ways of aligning your business goals with the content they produce.
- They break down big tasks into smaller tasks and set priorities.
- They create schedules and stick to them to avoid distractions and obtain maximum productivity.
- They manage their time and meet deadlines.
- They know what they can do in a given time frame– they don’t over-commit.
Freelancers who are organized get the work done. Organizing their time and their tasks come hand in hand; they prioritize tasks, organize meetings, and plan daily projects to reduce distractions and obtain maximum productivity.
Freelancers create their schedules to establish a sense of normalcy and predictability in their work. They pick consistent times of the day to start and finish and they pick out tasks that are aligned with their schedule to streamline their workflow.
As an example, freelance social media managers are experts in organizing. They use content calendars to execute their campaigns.
They research current trends and publish posts based on the most optimal platform and time of day. They plan what to post, where to post it, who will post it, and by when. They don’t stop organizing– from the start to the middle of the campaign up to the monitoring of engagements.
- They express themselves clearly– whether sharing their creative ideas or presenting their work.
- They establish direct and consistent communication with you.
- They are adept with messaging tools and can learn other channels of communication when needed.
- They are good listeners– they listen with an open mind.
Communication is an important factor when working with a freelancer, and virtually at that. You need to establish direct and efficient ways to communicate with them.
The best freelancers are amazing communicators. They express themselves clearly– whether sharing their creative ideas or presenting their work. They convey what they want to improve or change in a straightforward but professional manner. They are adept with messaging tools and can learn other channels of communication when needed.
Being a communicator also requires listening with an open mind. They absorb information during meetings and brainstorming sessions and listen attentively to what others are saying. These kinds of freelancers are the ones with whom you can get things done.
For instance, freelance graphic designers who are excellent communicators visualize and create materials that are easily understood by people, and they get you to see this, too.
They also have strong presentation skills and they listen attentively and ask questions to deliver their clients’ needs and to convey effective solutions.
- They have a clear and focused mindset– they incorporate your goals in every area of their work.
- They meet deadlines and provide tangible results.
- They set goals both for work and personal development.
- They evaluate and re-evaluate their performance from time to time to improve their work and meet business goals.
If your freelancers set specific goals for client work and themselves, then you don’t have to worry. Goal setters pursue their goals single-mindedly, with motivation and persistence. They keep track of work to be done and meet deadlines. They show that they can do the job you want them to do, with tangible results.
With goal-setting comes continuous evaluation of work, and goal-oriented freelancers are aware of this. They continually evaluate and re-evaluate their performance to meet business goals and their personal goals.
Freelance digital advertisers and data analytics specialists are goal-getters. They work together to achieve business goals (e.g. online presence, audience engagement, etc.)
Digital advertisers plan campaigns based on clients’ goals and are well-informed about industry trends. They create content with specific objectives in mind.
Analytics specialists collect and monitor metrics. They transform the way you use data and they continually evaluate your performance to meet your goals.
Willing to experiment
- They love learning and are naturally curious.
- They are not afraid to fail, because they try again.
- They allot time to acquire new skills if needed.
- They stay up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies.
- They are willing to adjust and go out of their comfort zones.
Freelancers must have the drive to learn new things and acquire new skills. Some of them are already set in their ways, so those who are willing to adjust and have a love for learning are worth keeping. Freelancers who step out of their comfort zone are more likely to collaborate well with other team members, as they know how to adapt and try new things.
Natural curiosity helps in solving problems. If your freelancers scour the Internet to find new techniques and inspirations to meet your goals, then you found the right team.
This willingness to explore is important in freelance web developers, for instance. They constantly learn and improve their skills. They are updated with technological advancements and programming languages. They scour the Internet to find tutorials and inspirations. They evaluate common practices and align their actions with current trends.
Persistent and positive character
- During challenging times, they do not give up easily— they find solutions.
- They are persistent to deliver only the best.
- They are receptive to feedback and take criticisms constructively.
- They are optimistic– they encourage you when you doubt the success of a project.
If your freelancers do not give up easily and stay level-headed when unexpected challenges come, then rest assured that you have effective people by your side. Being persistent (in a good way) helps deliver the best work to clients, especially when there’s stiff competition in the marketplace.
But persistence should come with a positive attitude. Being optimistic gets tasks faster and better. A positive character helps establish good relationships with team members leading to effective collaboration. Freelancers with positive character accept criticism constructively and use it to improve their work and contribute more to the business. More importantly, they encourage you when you doubt the success of a project.
Freelance customer support teams lead customers with a positive tone and language. They stay calm and level-headed when answering questions and they don’t let customers’ reactions affect their attitude. They are optimistic and persistent– they don’t settle for an “I’m sorry this can’t be fixed right now,” instead they say “How can I contact you once it’s fixed?”
The takeaway: Your freelancer is skilled and reliable. But does s/he also have a good moral fiber? That’s the person we are all lucky to work with. Skilled and reliable is enough to get you going, of course, but you want an EQ as much as IQ.
If this list gave you a bonus-giving mood, great! But if this post made you discontented, look around for your own ‘perfect’ freelancer.