I’m often approached with questions by new organisations or companies that are expanding and need freelance help. As a business owner that has recognised that you need a specialist or an extra pair of hands, it can be a bit daunting going down the freelance route. How does it work? Do I need to give them a desk? How expensive is it? Here are my most frequently asked questions by clients:
1. Do you send us a draft first before we pay you?
In short, no. I’ll gather all of the information I need before starting a piece of work so that what I submit to you should be the final version of whatever it is I’m working on, be it a blog post, press release, strategy document, etc. This way nobody’s going back and forth and no time is wasted.
You are then free to use this content straight away! I’ll send an invoice either with the work or shortly afterwards, and you have up to four weeks to process a BACS (online banking) payment.
2. Will you work from our office?
This is something I can do if it is arranged with enough notice, but mostly I work from my own office. Most of the time, clients hire me because they need an extra pair of hands to help with the workload, or they need a specialist in what I do. If you’re short of time, you don’t want to waste more of it by showing freelancers around the office, setting them a computer up to use, going through health and safety, etc, when they could be getting on with your work from their own office.
If it is required for one reason or another, I’m happy to work at your office for an agreed day rate. In this case, you’re paying for a set amount of time, i.e. number of days worked, but if I work from my own office, you’re simply paying for the work you need completing, and can let me worry about the number of hours or days this is equivalent to, often saving you some money
3. I’m not sure if we have the budget for freelance help. How expensive is it?
This is entirely up to you, but it doesn’t have to take up your whole marketing budget if you don’t have a lot to spend. Freelancers charge by the hour, day or whole project if the work is long term, and most of the time, the cost of this is open to discussion based on the client’s budget. Start ups and non-profits often have less to spend, but this doesn’t mean they can’t afford any marketing help, and, as any comms expert will tell you, the money you do spend will see a return in engagement.
Be honest with freelancers, tell them what you are able to spend, and what you’re comfortable with, and they’ll tell you what you can expect to achieve with your budget, and make sure your money is being spent in the most suitable way.
4. How do we know you’ll have the right style for us?
Whether you’re hiring a copywriter like me, a designer, illustrator, chef, shoe maker or hair stylist, you’re hiring a professional freelancer. Nobody who does their job for a living will only have one uniform style – their job is to adapt their work to suit your needs. The fact that they do their job at all is proof that they can offer what you need (if they can’t, they’ll say so – nobody wants to let a client down).
I’ve written corporate documents for stakeholders in educational organisations, and then relayed the same information in completely different formats to suit the public reader. I’ve written blog posts for accountants, culture magazines, travel websites and design agencies – the point is that I’m not a professional accountant or designer, but I am a good writer and I’m able to craft the words these clients needed to sound authentic.
If you really need reassurance, I’m always willing to give you some example ideas of what my content could look like for you.
5. How often should my organisation be putting new content out to its audiences?
Depending on your business, and what you want to achieve regarding engagement and growth, I usually advise the following:
Social media: one post per day on each platform.
Blog posts: once a week.
Newsletters: once a week.
Website refresh: once every quarter.
Press releases for trade publications: once a month.
Press releases for public press: once a fortnight (depending on product launches, etc).
Have I covered questions you’ve asked a freelancer in the past? Have you asked a freelancer anything else? I’d love to know in the comments.
If there’s anything else you’d like to know about this freelancer in particular, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
I’m always happy to have a chat about how content could improve your business.
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07817321793.