5 top tips on how to find the best freelancers!
My top priority for building a successful business is, without question, its people.
Agencies in particular thrive or fail on the team they assemble. People are your most important asset and, when you get it right, enable you to meet your clients’ needs while simultaneously creating or enforcing your company culture.
But how can you do this when you don’t start with a massive portfolio of clients and aren’t in a position to hire full-time staff? The answer is finding good freelancers: independent, passionate experts who have the get up and go, the knowledge and the confidence to deliver top notch work. Great freelancers enable small businesses or start-ups to remain nimble, to scale and to drive efficiency.
The reality is, however, that they are pretty hard to find. So how do you track down the right person for the job?
Here are my five top tips as I strive to build www.fiveinaboat.com into a successful strategic communications business.
1. Tap up your network – even if you might not know a specialist in both cryptocurrency and pig farming, the chances are that someone you know will. Search your LinkedIn connections, and then their connections too. If you don’t personally know them seek recommendation. Same applies to any other social network you use – both professionally and personally.
2. Check out niche communities – this is especially key when you need to find subject matter experts. Businesses frequently recruit brand ambassadors, influencers and even community managers from their niche networks – the same is true of freelancers. Checking out these communities will also help you find different perspectives on what your potential client does and how they are perceived.
3. Research which journalists write / freelance on the side, or have special interests in particular sectors. Hit news feeds on the web, look for relevant articles, make a note of the byline and then do your homework on them. There are likely several freelance writers for your area of interest who could be hugely valuable for both the quality of their writing and for their contacts.
4. Cultivate the young / less experienced – don’t be put off by great writers who are only just starting out. If you can find a diamond in the rough, you’re on to a winner both from an enthusiasm and cost perspective. It’s hugely rewarding to bring someone on board who might appear to be a gamble but you just know has the right attitude and potential.
5. Plan in advance – often the best freelancers are booked up so try to be as organised as possible. The nature of client work can sometimes make this a challenge but timing is critical; it’s super frustrating to find the right person – or maybe someone you already know – who isn’t available. Keep the best freelancers close, be good to them, pay them on time and they’ll try to find a way to work with you no matter how busy they are.
All of this said, I remain on the lookout for good freelancers as my business and briefs grow, so do reach out if you think you fit the bill!