My friend who runs his own agency and manages a team of people decides to collaborate with freelancers from time to time, but his experience hasn’t been good so far. He’s faced many problems and mostly was very disappointed with the general outcome. Some people took projects and despaired without saying a word, stopped answering emails and calls, never finished the work. They were late with every project and didn’t feel motivated to face the deadlines. I don’t have to tell you how frustrating it was for him.
I’m a big advocate for remote workers not only because I am one of them. I truly believe that remote work is a future. I feel that working with freelancers gives more possibilities, creative ideas and wider perspectives. But most of all, it gives you a choice!
And for those who decide to start working remotely? I can tell you – I spent years sitting in the office, waiting for feedbacks, attending boring meetings and following what my boss asked me to do, while I could be more productive working at home, designing, learning new skills and taking care of my career. Being a freelancer changed my motivations, my view and my way of dealing with challenges.
But I agree, it can be very hard to choose the right person especially when you’re just starting. That’s why I am ready to provide you with a few tips on how to spot the right person. So, let’s start.
They’re full-time freelancers so you know they’re available and able to answer your questions during working hours. They are ready to act when there is an urgent task to do. You don’t have to wait for the project for weeks due to their lack of time.
While you work with people remotely communication is one of the most important elements of successful collaboration. Make sure your freelancer answer emails regularly and you don’t have to wait for it more than 48h. Of course, in some cases, especially where there is a problem to solve, getting a full answer can take longer, but your designer should let you know within a day that they got a message and they’re working to provide you with a solution.
It’s important that the person you work with has some experience in remote work. This kind of collaboration needs discipline, good organisation and communication skills. It takes a while before a person is able to establish right practices. That’s why the ones with more experience usually handle the work more efficiently.
before you sign a contract check opinions about the freelancer. If they have good references they’re probably more trustworthy. It’s important where the reviews are coming from.
Especially when you start to work with a new freelancer you want to know how the whole process looks like. The right people will inform you about the way they work, future milestones and time frame. They will update you on delays and progress. And while delivering drafts they will tell you a context and explain the ‘WHYs’ behind their design decisions.
they’re open-minded and they happy to provide you creative ideas. They don’t wait for you to tell them what to do. They will ask you the right questions. They don’t blindly agree on everything you say, but they provide the insight, reasonable arguments and are open for discussion.
Again, they don’t wait for you to tell them what to do. They try to find solutions to your problems before you’re even aware of them. They will do their research and provide you with a few options if possible. They will be honest with you what is possible and what definitely won’t work.
It’s important to make sure you choose a person with the right portfolio. I believe a well-built portfolio is a proof that a designer can handle the project. But first of all, you need to know what you want. Have at least some idea what your objectives are. Then, choose a person whose works are the closest to your expectation. Why? Simple example: You don’t ask a piano player to suddenly start playing a guitar. You would definitely choose a real guitarist that you like and who plays a similar genre to yours. So do your research and feel good about the person’s work before you hire. That’s a safe way to make sure you will get a product that fulfils your expectations.
They ask questions and wait for an answer
what are the goals, what are the objectives, what’re your plans, how are you gonna use the product? All these help to establish an action plan and get to the finish line smoother.
they happy to answer your questions and make clear what you pay for. They provide you with an action plan and time frame, so you stay on the track all the time. They are honest about their scope of work, and timing. They’re not afraid to ask for a longer deadline.
The list above is based on my own experience – 12 years as a graphic designer, 6 as a remote freelancer. Believe me, not every person is good in being a freelancer or remote worker. Not everyone treats their job as a real business and have real motivations to do this job. That’s why my friend, I talked about before, had so many problems. You have to make sure you work with a professional who is serious about providing the best service.
If you’re looking for a person who will take your visual strategy to the next level – let’s meet and talk about endless possibilities and potential collaboration.
Hi, my name is Magdalena. Freelance graphic designer with a passion for creative thinking, travels and coffee. I'm inspired by new challenges and every day life. I observe, read and listen. That's how I learn and gain experience to use it in my works.