Hiring freelancers to perform various tasks within your business is exciting. You are on the road to delegating more of the busywork tasks so you can focus more of your time on your top priorities. All that’s left with the delegation is to ensure that your freelancers are getting the job done.
Easier said than done.
Even the best freelancer can’t get the job done without your advice. You need systems in place to ensure freelancers can consistently perform their jobs at their highest level. To train your freelancers to perform at a higher level, follow these tips.
#1: Getting On The Same Page
The main reason freelancers don’t fulfill expectations is because the employer and the freelancer never seem to be on the same page. The employer has one expectation, and the freelancer believes the employer’s expectation is something else.
This results in frustration on both sides because the employer either says nothing or a “Why aren’t you doing the work you’re supposed to,” while the freelancer assumes that they’re already fulfilling the employer’s expectations.
To get on the same page, identify clear goals and create processes to get the work done. The more clear you make the workflow and objectives, the more likely you and your freelancer will be on the same page.
When you delegate a task, you take that task off your shoulders. However, you now have a new task—communicating with your freelancers.
By assessing their work, you can spot strengths and weaknesses. This will help you give more valuable feedback the freelancers can use to achieve a higher performance. When giving this feedback, emphasize the weaknesses AND the strengths. Most feedback tends to be one-sided towards the weaknesses. Don’t let that be the feedback you give.
#3: Use Google Docs
I absolutely love using Google Docs to lay out instructions for my freelancers. I could go off a tangent on how helpful they have been for me and my freelancers. For podcast show notes, I created a rubric for the show notes. My freelancer then puts in the info for those show notes.
I originally had to take the information he provided and put it in my own rubric. Now that is done for me. Even the episodes get scheduled for me. All I do for the Breakthrough Success Podcast is find guests, prep for the interviews, conduct the interviews, and send the files over. The rest of the post-interview process is handled by my freelancers.
Google Docs made that transition possible, and I now create a Google Doc for all of my freelancers. They can see your expectations laid out and make edits if appropriate (i.e. putting show notes content in their appropriate places).
#4: Use Images
We are visual learners who process images 60,000 times faster than text. That’s why I prefer to provide my freelancers with images showing them what to do than describing what to do.
This is especially useful when you need a freelancer to find an feature on an online tool. Instead of saying, “This is where you find the feature I want you to use,” I show them where to find that feature on their dashboard. This removes the guess work and replaces it with clarity on what I expect.
#5: Invite Them To Ask Questions
You may not always view yourself as the boss of a company. However, the moment you hire a freelancer, you become the boss of your company. After getting over the initial ego boost, understand that your freelancers have a working relationship with you where you are the boss.
If you choose the right freelancers, they will have no problem with asking you questions or calling you out if you’re not doing a good job. Others will be more afraid and say nothing so they can keep receiving their paychecks without worry.
You need to encourage all of your freelancers to ask questions and call you out. Make your work environment open so people can give ideas and suggestions without fear. If your freelancers are afraid of you, overtime you will miss out on many ideas and suggestions that could have taken your business to the next level and beyond.
#6: Assess Their Work
Don’t assume that your new freelancer will immediately become a high performer. Some freelancers devote their time to the wrong areas. That doesn’t mean these freelancers were bad picks. In many cases, it means expectations weren’t clearly established or they don’t know the most effective and efficient process for getting the work done.
The best way to track progress is to assess the work of your freelancers. Weekly assessments will allow you to determine what actions your freelancers can take to boost efficiency and effectiveness.
As you get more freelancers, I recommend delegating this task to a highly trusted freelancer. Work with this freelancer for the first few weeks to make sure the weekly assessments help the freelancers achieve a higher performance.
In addition to weekly assessments, you should also check-in with your freelancers every week. Checking in will renew both your commitment and your freelancers’ commitment to your business goals.
I recommend conducting the check-ins through Skype so you can view the freelancer’s computer screen if necessary, but any check-in method works. In the weekly check-ins, you can go over the weekly assessment, talk about what’s ahead, and ask if your freelancer has suggestions or needs help.
Delegating your tasks to others is a very exciting process. You’ll see what life as a boss is like and have more time to focus on your priorities.
With this newfound time comes the responsibility of treating your freelancers like gold. When a freelancer makes the commitment to work for you, you are that freelancer’s source of income. You are the person who helps them put food on the table.
And if you fire them, you cut off their income.
This is why you want to hire the right freelancers so you don’t have to fire anyone. However, you also have to properly train your freelancers because the best freelancer with the worst training won’t get the job done.
With that said, if you think about firing someone, just get it over with. Not only will it release the feelings of pain you’ve been holding, but you are robbing the freelancer with the false idea that he/she has a secure job. It’s better to never face that decision. That’s why you need to hire the best and train them to get the job done.
What are your thoughts about delegation? Do you train your freelancers? Are you a freelancer? Do you have a question for me? Sound off in the comments section below.