Hiring a freelancer that’s a specialist in their chosen field also means you’re able to set your own parameters and budget for a project, and then leave it to the expert to complete for you.

Outsourcing a task to a freelancer

There’s plenty of sites out there that allow you (the client) to name your price and hire a freelancer that fits the bill. These sites – like Upwork and even Freelancer are great for some tasks, depending on the job you’re looking to outsource.

But there’s quite a distinction between these sites, and the benefits you can get from hiring an Australian creative freelancer who can and show you samples of work they’ve done for clients – perhaps even for brands you know well.

Creative freelancers are journalists, web developers, photographers, graphic designers, virtual assistants, copywriters, PR professionals, app developers, illustrators, project managers, marketing gurus and more. They’re confident enough in their own skills to hang out the virtual shingle and sell their services to all and sundry, so take heart in the fact that they probably know what they’re doing.

Freelancers may have once had a desk job, but decided to take a leap of faith into their own small business. They’re specialists in their chosen field who are taking advantage of technology improvements, unshackling themselves from employers to forge a freelance career in their chosen field, selling their skills via the interwebs. And they’re hoping you’ll find them and offer them that exciting project that’s right up their alley.

Hiring an Australian creative freelancer with some runs on the board can be akin to hiring an additional staff member. Get the right one for you, and you’ll never look back. You’ll be able to reach out to them every time you have another task for them, and you’ll be able to rest easy that they’ve got everything in hand.

Before you even start the hunt for a freelancer to work with, start by mapping out a brief. This should include project scope, objectives, target audience, links or examples to illustrate what you’re after, type of freelancer you need, and a deadline.

Accept that good quality freelancers are more interested in seeing your brief and being given the opportunity to quote, than being told what your budget might be. Provide as much detail as you can and sit back and see what the freelancer suggests. Sound high? Get a quote from a couple of other freelancers and compare, by all means. But anyone who has had a bad experience by hiring a freelancer online knows, you get what you pay for in this world.

Once your brief is written, you need to track down the best freelancer for your needs, which is the hard part. Start by asking colleagues for recommendations. An online search for the type of freelancer you’re after won’t reveal much unless you’ve got a freelancer’s name already, so try search terms like ‘Australian creative freelancers’ for sites that allow freelancers to create a profile of their services such as The Freelance Collective – an online curated community of top local talent, and also have a look through LinkedIn. However, don’t limit your search by geography. The best freelancer you’ll ever work with could well live on the other side of the country, and you may never meet them. You’ve got to be OK with that these days if you’re ever going to work with the best freelancer for the job.

Remember that the best freelancers focus on a few service offerings, and do them well. Keeping this in mind, shortlist 2-3 freelancers and send them your brief, asking them to provide a quote. Wait for them to come back to you with additional questions.

Review each quote, and be sure each includes information on both project inclusions and exclusions. The review process of these freelancers should include a thorough review of the freelancer’s website and any other online profiles that give you a full picture of their skills and experience. Also be sure to take a look at their LinkedIn profile to check out their work history. Then, check their professional social media accounts to see how they present themselves to the world.

It’s also worth asking to see projects they’ve worked on that are similar to what you’re wanting them to tackle for you. Seek out a few testimonials as well.

While you’ve no doubt got an idea of how much you’ve got to spend when hiring the freelancer, make sure you don’t select a freelancer based solely on price. Look at their experience, who they’ve worked with in the past, and spend some time speaking with them on the phone, in person or Skype to make sure you communicate easily with each other.

Once you select a freelancer you want to work with, be sure to check they’re clear on the brief, and set regular intervals to check on their progress. Start with a smaller project, and build up. It’s also important to set a deadline you’re both happy with. Be guided by the freelancer – you’re expecting something brilliant from them, and that takes time, so don’t rush them.

Expect to pay a deposit to secure their services. Most freelancers expect between a 10% and 50% deposit. Once the work is complete, provide feedback and offer a testimonial if you’re willing to. And most importantly of all, refer the freelancer onto others.

And don’t forget to provide feedback to the freelancer, and refer them on to others if you were happy with their work.