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Thursday, April 7, 2011

If you could choose a dream or a nightmare – which one would you pick?

Here’s the scenario – you’ve got a project that you’re going to hire freelance talent for. Now, there are 2 ways this can go – you find the perfect person, the project runs like a dream and you’re delighted with the results OR you pick the wrong person for the job, endure an angst filled project and leave the whole shebang feeling dissatisfied.

Of course anyone in their right mind is going to go for the first scenario, so I’ve compiled a list of tried and tested things that you can do to ensure you get the very best out of your freelance talent:

• Don’t panic. It’s tempting to rush out and hire someone when there’s a deadline looming, but try and be objective. Does it feel right?
• Define your needs – different people will be better for different jobs:
- Do you need someone to generate concepts?
- Do you need someone to bang out executions?
- Do you need someone on-site, or can they work off-site?
• Meet with the talent in person and see how you connect. It’s like a first date, if you don’t feel a spark, chances are you’re not quite right for each other.
• Make sure you have an agreement that outlines scope, number of days, timing, refinements and fees. Also outline what happens if the project runs over. Will they be available? What will that cost?
• Brief the talent as fully as you can. Tell them where you are and what you want to achieve and give them any background info that will help them get up to speed quickly.
• Introduce them to anyone else on the team that they’ll be working with and make sure they have full access to them and any resources they might need.
• Establish a point person – the creative should report to one person. Similarly, all feedback should come form one source.
• Check in. Enable the talent to share their ideas with you so that you can respond.
• Give constructive feedback, making sure to tell them what aspects you like (and why), as well as what you don’t.
• Communicate. Great collaborations are an organic process and good communication is key.
• Enjoy it – new ideas and energy are an asset to any creative team.

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