Freelancer Tips

5 Steps to Hiring and Paying Freelancers

Kate Devery
June 17, 2019

Is your stress level soaring through the roof with too many assignments and deadlines? Well, you can hire freelancers to complete tons of jobs for your business. From writing and graphic design to branding, marketing, and programming, freelancers can save you a ton of time, and more importantly, money.

That being said, there are some important points to keep in mind to make the process of hiring and paying freelancers successful. If you're looking to put some extra hands on deck, here are 5 steps to consider:

1. Determine the Scope of Your Project

In order for the freelancers you hire to have a clear picture of the project, you need to know what projects have to be done and the outcome you expect. Create clear expectations and milestones and decide what tasks you or someone on your team needs to perform and what the freelancer will be responsible to complete.

Also, make sure to evaluate your budget so that you know what level of expertise you can afford for the project before you get into negotiations with your freelancer.

2. Vet Your Freelancer

Not all freelancers use a resume, but if they do, be sure to look through it carefully along with their body of work. After scoping out their resume, check out their portfolio and make sure the work they do matches the look and feel that you are going for. If you use a freelance platform to find talent, you can check their reviews or reach out to a past client of theirs to see if they would recommend them.

Also, check to see if they are running their business like a business, meaning it's professional with the right etiquette and processes. For example, using software like And Co to provide you with clear project milestones and professional invoices is a clear sign that your freelancer knows what they're doing.

3. Put Your Agreement In Writing

Even though you are hiring someone online, it’s important to have the terms you agree on in writing. Not only can this protect you legally, but it also makes sure that both you and the freelancer are clear on expectations and deadlines.

Hiring a freelancer is different than hiring an employee. To learn more about working with Independent Contractors, check out this link from the Small Business Administration. The bottom line is that you need to make clear descriptions, know what is deliverable, and decide if you need a Non-disclosure agreement for any sensitive content.

You may also need to provide your freelancer with a Form W-9 to ensure that you and your freelancer are legally compliant with the IRS. You can learn more by clicking here, and feel free to reach out to a government agency or lawyer if you do not understand something. Consulting with a legal professional is always a smart move.

4. Setup Payment Terms

Some freelancers only accept payments through an online third-party like PayPal. Others may want direct deposits to their bank accounts or they may allow you to pay through a credit card. Whatever the case may be, make sure both of you are clear on the payment method and time frame to avoid confusion or late payments.

Keep in mind, some freelancers may require a deposit before they start and some may also charge an additional fee for late payments, so the clearer you are with all the terms on both sides, the better your working relationship will be. Also, if you need an invoice or receipt, always ask for one.

5. Learn and Adjust

Working with freelancers can be an amazing way to grow and scale your business, but it is not always perfect from the start. As you continue to work with the same freelancer or hire new ones, you learn how to explain yourself better and how to make the process faster and easier.

When you do find the freelancers that are perfect for you and your business, be sure to pay them well and treat them well. Great collaborative relationships can last for years and benefits everyone on the team. Follow these tips and watch your business grow!

Kate Devery
Kate is Fiverr's Senior Brand Copywriter. She has 6+ years experience in managing content and writing copy for beauty, fashion, tech, and wellness brands.
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