In this competitive market, attracting great talent isn’t easy. The best freelancers are in demand and busy. In order to consistently attract and retain top freelancers, it’s critical to be an equally great client. This is especially true given today’s social media and other online communication vehicles, where word travels fast and reputations can be made (or tarnished) quickly.
With that in mind, here are some tips we’ve heard from freelancers and clients on how to be an amazing client on Upwork.
Communication is everything, especially when your freelancer is remote. Remember that the person isn’t there daily to absorb the nuances of your project, so you need to clearly define your needs and expectations from the start. Use concrete examples when possible in your project description. Unclear communication is almost always to blame when a project doesn’t go as expected.
One key to a great project outcome is having a central location for correspondence, collaboration, and file sharing. This prevents people from expecting things to be in one place and waiting for it to appear when it’s already shared somewhere else. With Upwork Messages, all details of the project are centralized, and everything is accessible from your desktop or smartphone.
It’s imperative to stay involved with projects that are longer-term or have multiple milestones to help ensure things stay on track. Even the slightest derailment (say, an improper but accepted milestone) can leave your freelancer spending countless hours developing work that’s not what you’re looking for. Be sure to use your Upwork dashboard to check in on milestones and projects. Learn more about how to use the Work Diary for hourly contracts.
You want great work, and you want a great pool of freelancers who are excited to work on new projects with you. It’s essential to pay fair rates based on the work involved and experience level needed. Take a look around Upwork to get a sense of the marketplace and the going rates. Keep projects on Upwork to get maximum efficiency and ensure that everyone is protected.
If you have a bigger project, think about hiring on a fixed-price basis and breaking the project into several smaller milestones. That way you can put money in escrow and release funds as each milestone is met. Another benefit is that you only have to fund the next milestone—not the entire job. Plus, freelancers will appreciate getting paid along the way rather than having to wait until the entire project is complete.
Before you make the final hiring decision, be sure to vet freelancers. View feedback and reviews from other Upwork clients before reaching out to prospective candidates. The interview is a critical part of the process and can help you get to know the candidates and their work style to determine who might be the best fit. You can also look at job factors from previous projects on Upwork, such as Job Success Score and whether they have earned distinction through our Top Rated or Rising Talent programs. Read our article 9 Interview Questions to Find the Perfect Freelancer Online for more ideas.
With these six tips in mind, you should have a better understanding of what it takes to be a professional and top-notch client that freelancers enjoy working with. That’s the basis of solid and long-standing relationships, and something you’ll reap many benefits from. Learn more about how to hire the best talent, faster with our free e-learning course.