Being a freelancer can be a lonely game. Yes, it has great perks but essentially most freelancers will be sitting at the laptop typing away, coding up a storm all by themselves. So, what keeps them motivated? And how do you as one of their clients keep them on board and on track? Let’s look at a few ways that corporate clients can help boost their freelancer’s morale and in the process keep them on the books wanting to work for you.
Treat them like part of the family
Freelancers don’t work for you directly and normally won’t be around every day but that doesn’t mean they don’t still play a part for your company – just like you. So how’s about you treat them the same as you would any other employee or colleague? Things like having a few chats about the company direction and how you see your team playing their part can be of huge benefit to freelancers. Not only does it give them background info that can be vital when devising concepts and understanding your market and company landscape but it makes them feel wanted and a part of the bigger picture. Sounds a tad corny we know but hey.
And of course every freelancer will no doubt love a good coffee or having a drink, so make the effort, show them some love and meet up with them every now and again. They are part of your team after all and you wouldn’t just ignore someone sitting next to you at work, so the same should apply to the freelancers. Out of sight doesn’t meant out of mind.
Keep the comms going
A big part of the above all comes back to communication. Some freelancers may be a tad distant, it’s just how they work, but other’s will enjoy a bit of banter and a good ol chat about the weather or rugby over email. Plus, if the communication lines are open it’s much easier to get in touch when something important is needed, you have a rushed job you need them to jump onto, or if project scopes or deadlines have changed and you need to change their focus asap.
Freelancers rely firmly on the rate or project amount that they quote. That’s their bread and butter after all. And they certainly don’t have hefty bonuses or anything like that coming in at the end of the year. So in saying that, one way to incentivise your freelancers is to pay them well and to not exploit any generosity they show with their time. Don’t expect to get everything for nothing just because you’re on a tight budget. Make sure you pay them for all their hours and expenses and pay them on time. That way you won’t be first to be knocked off the list if they get busy as they know they can rely on your income.