Let?s face it, marketers now work harder than ever. This is due to a few reasons. For one, since the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are using the internet and social media than ever before. This means more people work online, shop online, and consume entertainment online. In turn, as a result of digital transformation, many businesses now also focus their marketing and selling efforts on digital channels.
Unfortunately, this also means there?s more competition between marketers to get their products in front of the right people at the right time. Simply put, marketers now have to put in more time and effort to stay relevant and reach their goals.
It?s thus easy to see why resourcing will be one of the main challenges for marketing teams going into the next year. Simply put, these teams will need the right people in the right positions to ensure success. The problem is that the demand for quality talent is expected to outstrip demand.
And that?s where freelancers come in. They give teams the ability to find the right talent when they need it. This simply means that, you?ll probably use freelancers at some stage in the future. And when you do, you?ll not only need to manage them but also your workflow and processes to ensure that you deliver high-quality, consistent results.
With that in mind, we?ll now look at some best practices you?ll need to implement when hiring and managing freelancers.
The State of Freelancing in the Industry
Before looking at these best practices, though, it?s crucial that we first look at what?s expected in the industry and the role that freelancers will play.
As mentioned earlier, the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant effect on the workloads of marketers. In fact, according to a recent survey, 69% of in-house agencies experienced an increase in their teams? workloads during 2020.
For this reason, 55% of them plan on maintaining their current staff contingent while 41% plans to increase their headcount. Of those expecting to expand their staff roster, 48% will make use of contractors and freelancers. In fact, 90% of in-house agencies say that they?ll use freelancers during times of high demand and 34% said that they would increase spending on freelancers during the coming year. Ultimately, these figures show that freelancers play a vital role in marketing going forward.
Let?s now look at some of the best practices you can implement to ensure the best results when hiring, working with, and managing freelancers.
Adopting the Right Processes
Typically, you?ll work with a defined workflow that defines every step your marketing projects will need to go through from the briefing stage to conception, creation, review and approval, and, ultimately, completion and delivery.
When working with and managing freelancers, you?ll need to either adopt processes or adapt your current ones to fit freelancers into your workflow. When you do, you?ll ensure that your projects and tasks move through your workflow seamlessly.
Onboarding Freelancers the Right Way
Although freelancers are not full-time employees, it?s crucial that you implement an onboarding process for them just like you would for permanent employees. In this way, you?ll be able to tell them about your team, how you work, and what will be expected of them. Despite its importance, according to a Deloitte survey, only 54% of businesses implement onboarding processes for their freelancers.
The key is, when you do, it will make managing your freelancers easier and help them understand what they need to do and why they need to do it. As a result, they?ll be able to deliver high-quality work faster without much assistance from you or other members of your team. During the onboarding process, you?ll also make sure that they have access to all the tools they need to do what is expected of them.
So, in a sense, instead of seeing them as part-time help, you should look at freelancers as short-term team members.
Document Your Processes
While using the right processes is important when working with freelancers, it serves little purpose if they don?t know what these processes are. So, it?s critical that you document all your processes so that they have a proverbial instruction manual they can follow to do their work. Simply put, when they know your processes, they?ll be able to submit the right work when they need to.
It goes further than this, though. With properly documented processes, you?ll also ensure that they?ll adhere to brand guidelines which, in turn, ensures consistency and simplifies your review, approval, and compliance processes.
Make Sure You Use the Right Tools
According to the survey we mentioned earlier, new technologies will help marketers increase their headcount and sustain the high demands placed on them. And when you?re working with freelancers, technology can be invaluable. Here, marketing software can help you move away from manual processes like emails and spreadsheets and shift to tools that provide for better collaboration and more visibility over your projects.
This not only makes managing freelancers simpler but also enhances your project management processes. Some of the marketing operations solutions that will allow you to do this include:
- Marketing resource management software. With marketing resource management software, you?ll have access to a wealth of tools that will allow you to manage your resources efficiently. As such, you?ll have a complete overview of each project and be able to see who?s busy with what tasks and what still needs to be done to complete a project. You?ll also be able to assign and reassign tasks and allocate work to team members, both in-house and freelancers and have extensive reporting tools that allow you to plan your projects better.
- Online proofing. With online proofing software, you?ll be able to streamline your approval workflow. And when you do this, your entire team will be more efficient, productive, and will produce great quality work consistently. When using online proofing software, you?ll be able to track projects automatically, eliminate excessive revisions, collate and share feedback, and review and mark up changes to work quickly and easily. Ultimately, this will allow you to review and approve freelancers? work faster.
- Collaboration tools. Let?s face it, team members need to communicate and collaborate constantly. This is especially important when you're working on a lot of projects and working with and managing freelancers.
- Digital asset management tools. Digital asset management tools or DAMs for short allow you to store and share brand assets and artwork quickly and easily. This means freelancers will have access to brand guidelines and assets when they need them which, ultimately, allows them to be more productive and ensures brand consistency.
The Bottom Line
Considering the amount of work that marketers need to do nowadays to stay on top, it?s understandable that freelancers can play a vital role in ensuring that work gets done on time every time. However, if you need to work with freelancers, you?ll need to implement certain best practices including using the right technology.
And this is where Admation comes in. Our all-in-one project, approval and marketing management software helps you manage projects from start to finish. To learn more about Admation and how it can help you, why not book a demo today?