As you build your freelancing team, these tasks – delegating and managing – will be the bulk of what you do. That’s because you’ll already have hired and evaluated freelancers.
 
Yes, you’ll need to hire and evaluate on an ongoing basis, but you’ll have a team in place for long-term and ongoing projects. And this team will require you to delegate tasks and manage on an ongoing basis.
 
So let’s go over five dos and don’ts for accomplishing this step…
 
Don’t Treat the Freelancer Like an Employee
The first thing you need to remember is that you don’t own your freelancer’s time. That means that you shouldn’t assume that he/she will take on your projects, especially within your required timeframe.
 
Because your freelancer is an independent contractor, he/she usually has several other clients. This means that he/she may be booked, so you can’t expect nor demand him/her to take on your project. Indeed, even if his/her schedule is free, you still can’t demand that he/she can take on your project.
 
The second thing you need to be aware of is adding extra work to the project after you’ve already talked about the scope of the project and set deadlines. If you need something extra, you’ll need to ask the freelancer if he/she has extra time in his/her schedule to accommodate you. And if not, you’ll need to get a second deadline for the extra part of the project.
 
If, however, you’ve hired a freelancer to create something like software – and you’ve extended the features on the software – then the entire project delivery date will probably get moved when you extend the scope of the project.
 
Do Continue Using Briefs
When you first start working with a particular freelancer, you’re sure to create detailed briefs, offer examples and in general give thorough instructions. As time goes on, you may be tempted to send less information since your freelancer always seems to know what you want. DO NOT do this.
 
One of the reasons you and your good freelancers likely work well together (and why you get good results) is because you provide thorough briefs and project instructions. If you stop doing it, you’ll probably see your results drop off. At the very least, you’ll probably create more work for your freelancer, since he/she needs to guess what you want and/or ask a lot of follow up questions.
 
So make it easy on both of you by continuing to provide detailed briefs.
 
Do Manage Ongoing Projects
If you have a large project – such as a long ebook or a big software project – be sure to ask for regular follow ups.
 
If you’re just starting to work with a particular freelancer, you may ask for updates every day or every other day. As your relationship grows, you may be comfortable getting updates every three to four days or so.
 
However, even if you have a great relationship with a freelancer, be sure to get updates at least once a week for large projects. That’s because you don’t want several weeks to go by without hearing anything, only to find out later that the freelancer isn’t on track (which of course derails your project).
 
Secondly, remember that your freelancer is an independent contractor and an expert, so don’t micromanage the project. That is, DO NOT tell the freelancer how to complete the task. The exception, of course, is if you’re training a freelancer – such as a virtual assistant – who may not know how to do certain tasks.
 
Which brings us to our next point…
 
Don’t Neglect Training
If you expect to work with a freelancer on a long-term and/or ongoing basis, then you’ll probably want to spend some time training him/her with regards to your preferences and/or your expectations.
 
If you’re hiring a virtual assistant who’ll do a variety of tasks for you, then you’ll need to set time aside each week for training (at least in the beginning). For best results, you should create training materials, such as training videos or instructional manuals.
 
And finally….
 
Do Offer Praise Generously
You’re likely to need to correct your freelancers from time to time or at least request that things be done differently.
 
However, be sure that you don’t get in the habit of only pointing out what was done incorrectly or what you’d like changed. That can dampen the morale of your freelancing team.
 
Instead, you should regularly point out what was done right by offering generous praise. Indeed, you can even praise your freelancers right alongside your corrections.

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