If you are a part of a startup or an SMB, it is highly likely, or rather almost 100% true, that at some point in your journey, you have worked as a freelancer. I have been working in the freelance industry for about 2 years now, so trust me when I say: every company outsources projects to independent contractors and freelancers.
The kind of project they outsource varies from writing a blog, designing a logo, shooting a brand video, or even creating a mobile app. Outsourcing a part of your work to freelancers is just basic business sense; like, say, filing your taxes. But as we know, successful people don’t stop at the basics; they go the extra mile. And if you are a business that regularly works with freelancers, you need to keep them happy by rewarding them for their work.
Gone are the days when companies would hire excess to always have a strong bench to meet the sudden spurt in demand. In this age of the super-specialized workforce, it is not possible to have a bunch of highly-skilled professionals to sit on the bench and do nothing because there aren’t enough projects. They would rather go somewhere else and learn new things.
So how do you ensure that you do not lose business for the lack of human resources when that extra work comes in? The answer lies in creating a pool of fluid workforce at hand that can match the vagaries of demand; a team that consists of both full-time employees and freelancers.
Considering the rate at which the freelancing industry is growing, it is important to note that freelancers are going to be an important part of any team in the future. The teams of the future are going to consist of both - full-time employees and part-time freelancers; it will consist of people working from the office and people working independently from remote places. And how your team of employees and freelancers manage to effectively work together will determine the success of the project; and in extension, your business.
Say, you need to create a brand video that explains your business model to your audience. Since you just need one video made, it doesn’t make sense to hire someone full-time, right? And you can save a lot of money if you just outsource this project to someone skilled and experienced. You won’t have to train them and if this was an urgent requirement, you can find someone who can work through weekends. Wouldn’t that be fantastic!
It is widely believed that freelancers are hired by small businesses who need some skills for a small period of time. In my experience as the co-founder of a freelance marketplace, I have worked with all kinds of businesses who wanted to hire freelancers. The reality is that the freelancers are equally sought after by established agencies and big corporates. Every business comes across projects that they can’t do by themselves and outsourcing it is the only option.
Hiring freelancers just make better business sense. At InstaTaskers, we have seen a steady growth in the demand for freelancing services from startups and businesses alike. More and more people are now outsourcing work on project basis. The earlier challenges like trust deficit, lack of communication, or poor output have been eliminated by marketplaces like ours.
When you are working with freelancers, you are paying for the work you get done. The fees are project based. You don’t have to pay for overheads such as travel expenses or severance packages as freelancers are not full-time employees.
When you are outsourcing a project, you get to select the person who has the exact skills that your project demands. These are people who are skilled at what they do and have relevant experience as well. And they can add immense value to your project and your brand. Ideally, you would like to hire them for a full-time role but if you are a startup with a limited budget, you won’t be able to afford their full-time salaries.
The best part of working with professionals is that you don’t have to train them. They are professionals and they can get the job done with minimum effort from your side.
Remember when you have urgent tasks that need to be delivered on Monday and it is Thursday already? Well, we have had clients who needed a landing page within a few days and clients who wanted social media posts within the next few hours. Having access to a pool of verified freelancers comes real handy in these moments.
As a businessperson, you have to keep all your employees engaged. Since businesses only understand the language of profit and loss, let me address the issue of ‘why you need to reward your freelancers’ in simple words: Keeping your freelancers happy is profitable to your business.
Great team culture ensures your company works smoothly and efficiently. If you don’t believe me, interview any 10 entrepreneurs and 9 of them will tell you that the secret sauce in the success of a startup is building a good team. The 10th one will probably have a failed startup.
As the head of a business, you do multiple activities to keep your employees motivated. You tell them what they did well, you write appreciation emails marking the team, you treat them to a dinner or drinks, and if you are keen on making them feel valued, you even gift them a gift box or an adventure trip!
Then why not treat your freelancers the same way? Extra motivation never hurt anyone! And rewarding freelancers for ‘exceeding expectations’ will delight them and also keep them motivated for the next time you decide to work with them on a project.
Most of our clients come back to us asking for the specific freelancer they worked with last time. People like working with the people they are comfortable working with. This is one reason rewarding freelancers makes business sense. If you like working with a specific freelancers, you need to reward them from time to time so that they are motivated to keep working with you. Since freelancers are always busy with projects and sometimes have a full-time job to manage, having a good relationship also bodes well for you when you have urgent tasks.
Who are freelancers, anyway? Freelancers are experts who sell their skills to various businesses/ organizations for a fee. Their network of people includes other freelancers, startup founders, and business managers. Most of the freelancers have a certain clout on social media which can benefit your brand. With a vast networking group available at their disposal, these freelancers can turn into brand influencers for you and help spread the word about your brand. But they won’t do this unless they actually like your brand and like you. So keep them happy!
Rewarding the best employees in your team creates a system where your employees get a clear message of what you value. Watching one of your peers get rewarded for their work inspires others to work harder. But no one wants to work hard for a certificate that will be eating dust in 2 weeks. However, if you reward your best employees with a bungee-jumping experience, they will literally jump through all the hoops and work harder. And so it goes for freelancers as well. Rewarding them will ensure others work harder and will improve the quality of work. See, good business sense!
Freelancers and independent contractors area as much a part of your team as full-time employees. And just like you reward your employees, it is important you start rewarding freelancers.
This article is written by our guest blogger Ubika Dev who is an IIM-A alumnus and also the co-founder of InstaTaskers. InstaTaskers is a freelance marketplace where businesses can outsource projects to freelancers. They have over 1000+ verified freelancers who can help you with services such as web/app development, design, writing, photography, digital marketing and more. You can check them out at www.InstaTaskers.com