This article is written by Quin Hoskins. Having studied law and several science-related subjects at degree level, this has provided him with the perfect foundation to cover an eclectic range of topics in his freelance writing career. From the Institute of Legal Secretaries and PAs to countless travel sites, he is proud to be associated with companies and organizations that are definitely at the top of their game. The flexibility of his freelance writing business allows him to devote a significant proportion of his time to study and is finishing his last course – out of 6 – towards his LLB (Hons) this year. He is also an avid traveler and has proudly visited 40 other countries to date, with much more planned for the future.
There will undoubtedly be times in your freelancing career where you will find that you have bitten off more than you can chew when it comes to your work commitments. More especially in the earlier days, when you are finding your feet with your working schedule, in your excitement you may contract to more work than you could ever physically hope to handle. If you are planning to get extra help, here are things to consider when outsourcing your freelancing projects.
Not Letting Your Clients Down
The first type of occasion where it may be completely necessary to outsource your freelancing projects will arise where you have taken on more work than you can handle in the earlier days of your career. As it is highly likely you will be building up your reputation at this stage, it goes without saying that you should never cancel contracts or alienate your reputation with your new-found clients in any other way.
You may have no other choice than to find another provider to help you with some of the work; however, do your best to keep this to the absolute minimum and be especially choosy with the work you allow to be outsourced. Always try to do as much of the work you have contracted to as you can. Over time, you should become more experienced with the management of your working schedule and you should know how much work you can contract to at a time.
The Standard of Work From Other Providers
Some freelancers choose to outsource some of their projects throughout their working career – and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this. Personally, I too outsourced some work in the earlier days of my career, however, I soon learned that the standard of work coming back from the other providers was not on a par with what I could produce myself and as a consequence, I noticed how my repeat project rate was starting to drop dramatically. Eventually, I came to the conclusion that it was far better for me to only take on the work that I was going to complete myself.
Becoming An Agency
The second occasion where it will be completely necessary to outsource work is when and if you ever look to establish a freelancing agency. This is where you will become more of a project manager. Your role will now mainly center on securing the projects; preparing project briefs for the providers whom you outsource to; taking on the actual providers; checking their work upon completion; and liaising between your client and the providers at all times. If the agency were to become increasingly busy, there would be nothing to prevent you from delegating some or all of the duties involved in being a project manager – for example, someone to seek and secure as many projects for the agency as possible.
Choosing the Right Provider
The success of an outsourced project will only ever be as good as the provider you have instructed to undertake it – it really is as simple as that! You’ve heard the saying that you are only ever as good as your last job: well, that remains to be the case where you outsource any of the work you contract to.
With this in mind, it really is vitally important for you to choose the right provider to help you. The types of characteristics that are essential here include:
• Someone you feel comfortable working with and get along with
• A provider who is able to take and respond to your constructive criticism
• A person whose work is of the highest possible standard
• A provider who has already established a great reputation in the industry for themselves.
Check Their Work Thoroughly
Once you have contracted to an outsourced provider when their work has been completed, it is imperative you check it with a fine-tooth comb; never simply trust them and pass the work straight along to the client. If there is anything at all about the project that is not quite right for you, do not be afraid to have the provider revise it accordingly. At the end of the day, it will be your company’s reputation on the line if your client is not happy with the final outcome of the project.
Even if you find that you have built up a great rapport with a particular provider whom you outsource to, if your clients are not viewing their work with the same level of enthusiasm as yourself, it is important you refrain from using them again in the future. This can be a hard business decision to make; especially if you are adamant that they are truly talented freelancers; however, you absolutely must trust what your clients are telling you and find someone else to replace them.
So, whether you find the need to outsource a project at the start of your career or many years further down the line, provided you respect the advice offered to you in this article, you shouldn’t go far wrong. This is a very personal choice and it will be your call as to the extent to which you wish to outsource your work.
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