There is a direct correlation between companies that are suspicious of freelancers and stagnant growth. You may be happy with how large your company has become, but have you noticed that your profits are shrinking every year?
The same revenue today doesn’t deliver the profit you earned five years ago.
The key to growing your business profitably is scalability. You need to be able to sell beyond your perceived capacity without adding overhead – and the only way to do that is outsource quality help.
I want to specifically focus on freelance talent: technicians, producers, designers, and other creative professionals. How do you find and hire the best of the best? Let’s face it, if you don’t hire the right person you run the risk of jeopardizing your brand.
Worse, if you avoid hiring the great people, then those folks might not want to work for you when you need them the most.
To hire a better freelancer, change your mindset. Here are four mantras you need to recite while you listen to an endless loop of walk-in music (candles optional):
Good People Exist Outside My Firm
I know you have the best people in the business – your website clearly states that. You don’t have ALL the best people, just some of them. That means it is entirely possible that someone better than your staff is available on the freelance market. They cost more than you expect, but if you are a good businessperson, not more than you can or should afford.
If the Outcome is Valuable, Then So Is the Person
Many small companies hire full time staff not to save money, but so they can charge the customer less. That’s crazy! You are giving your cost savings from having internal resources away for free. No wonder you think freelancers are so expensive! Set your fees based on your purchase price, which is your replacement cost, not your internal cost. Then when you use staff instead of freelance, you will make even more money.
The Same Role May Have Multiple Tiers of Skill
Who is a better Video Director? The person that charges $500/day and is available or the one that charges $1500 and requires a contract and payment in advance? Professionals come in all shapes, sizes, and skills. More expensive doesn’t always mean better, but resumés, recommendations, and testimonials tell the real story.
Loyalty Goes Both Ways
Behave professionally and expect the same in return. However, you need to understand how professionals behave. Project agreements, prompt payments, and respect for expertise are table stakes for pros.
I have worked with freelance talent my entire AV career and I know that there are multiple levels of professionalism of the talent side. In my experience there is only ONE level of professionalism that is acceptable on the buyer side.
If you want better freelancers, be a smarter client.