Written by Ken Myers
Freelance work is commonplace on the Internet and in real life. For the most part, a freelancer is cheaper than hiring a company to do the work you need done, which allows for better cash management within the company. In many cases, the freelancer’s work can be superior to that of a company performing the same task. Motivations are different between the freelancer and the company who assigns employees to your task.
Motivations aside, many of these individuals can perform the same tasks for a fraction of the cost with possibly greater results.
There are several key aspects that everyone looks for in a freelancer.
1. To the letter
One of the most important features of a good freelancer is the ability to follow directions. You want your tasks completed in a certain way and you need a professional whom you can trust to do it.
You want a person who knows what they’re doing. Someone who has extensive experience in the field — whether it’s marketing, strategy consultancy, advertising, etc. — usually outperforms those who don’t. Even college graduates will have trouble keeping up with many freelancers when it comes to certain tasks.
3. Outside the box
Many freelancers are prone to thinking outside of the box. The ones who are creative are the ones who invent ingenious methods that can sometimes be more efficient. For those looking for graphic designers and writers, creativity could be what your task needs; they often come up with the best marketing strategies and great marketing ideas.
Although there are many professionals out there who are confident to the point of being arrogant, you want someone who knows themselves and what they can do. Freelancers who tend to be arrogant are difficult to work with, but confident ones can do the job just as well.
You want someone who can stay on task and perform the work needed in the time you need it. Some may put your needs on the back burner and wait till the last possible moment. Your needs should be important to the freelancer, for you are the one putting food on his or her table and keeping the lights on.
As in all jobs, honesty can go a long way to a healthy working relationship. You want someone who can be up front and say, “I don’t know if I can do this” rather than find out later after he or she has failed in the task.
A good freelancer knows his or her own limitations and isn’t afraid to turn down a job due to their own ethical standards. It means that although they may need the money, the freelancer is true to themselves and what they perceive as right and wrong.
A freelancer doesn’t mean that they don’t have the required skills you need or are substandard to a high-priced organization. Although the market is full of those with varying skill levels, you could easily find one that does the task exactly as you need it. Keep an open mind when choosing a freelancer, for you may be pleasantly surprised.
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