Hiring A Freelancer For A Project? Watch Out For These Pitfalls

Avoiding pitfalls when hiring a freelancer

Freelancing is an excellent way to help you accelerate your project workflow at a fraction of the cost. In Kenya’s gig economy, freelancers have become an essential part of our lives. From home renovations to event planning, they can help you get things done quickly and efficiently. However, hiring freelancers for personal projects can be tricky, and mistakes can be made.

Mistake #1: Not setting clear expectations

The most significant mistake people make when hiring freelancers is not setting clear expectations. It is crucial to communicate what you want and expect from the freelancer before starting the project. This includes project timelines, budget, and any specific requirements you have.

First, set your goals and objectives for what you’re trying to achieve and then communicate them clearly. A freelancer does not need to be as fully invested in your business as you are to produce quality work. They just need to be fast learners and understand your goals. If you are indecisive about what you want to achieve, it ends up being frustrating for both parties. Remember, you may need to count on a freelancer’s expertise, but they cannot read your mind.

Download this Personal Project Scope template we created to help you kick off!

Mistake #2: Not negotiating a contract

It is vital to have a contract in place before starting any project. The contract should include details of the project, timelines, payment terms, legal obligations of both parties, penalties if a breach occurs, and any other relevant information. Having a contract in place will protect both you and the freelancer.

Download this Freelance Service Contract template we’ve created and edit it according to your needs!

Mistake #3 Not doing background research

In addition to evaluating their online portfolio, reviews, and social media profiles; always ask for references before hiring a freelancer. Speak to previous clients and find out about their experience with the freelancer. This will give you an idea of their experience, work ethic, reliability, and quality of work.

And remember, to be aware of scammers. Even top platforms will have unscrupulous parties, so the freelancer must support their claims with previous work that is similar to the task at hand.

Mistake #4: Not paying on time

I cannot stress this enough. When it’s time to pay, ensure you do so on time. This is one of the biggest challenges freelancers face. Just as it is fair for you to expect delivery of the work on time, it is fair for the freelancer to be paid without delays. You wouldn’t miss your insurance payments or utility bills, so treat your freelancer with the same courtesy, after all, they pay the same bills as yours.

Mistake #5: Not communicating effectively

Effective communication is key when working with freelancers. Keep in touch with the freelancer throughout the project to ensure everything is on track. Be clear and concise when communicating your expectations, and always be open to feedback.

When it comes to the channel of communication (be it email, phone calls, or messaging services), the bottom line is that you have to pick the channel that accelerates your process and reduces ambiguity.

Mistake #6: Assuming the freelancer is dedicated exclusively to your project

Do not expect this. The very nature of freelancing is that it allows the freelancer to work on multiple projects simultaneously. As long as you have set up your scope, milestones, timeline, and communication methods clearly, this should not be a hindrance to the delivery of your work. As with all types of work, micromanaging hardly works out well for either party.

Mistake #7: Focusing solely on price

While it’s important to stay within budget, focusing solely on price can lead to hiring a subpar freelancer. Consider the freelancer’s experience, portfolio, and communication skills in addition to their rate. A higher rate may be worth it if it means better quality work and a smoother working relationship.

If the price is too cheap then you must wonder if the freelancer is going to produce their best work. And we’ve all heard the saying: sometimes cheap turns out to be expensive. Check the industry standards and use that as a baseline to compare and set a budget that works for you.

In conclusion, hiring a freelancer for your personal project can be a bit like ordering takeout from a new restaurant. It can be exciting and convenient, but if you don’t do your research or read the reviews, you might end up with something that leaves a bad taste in your mouth. So, keep an eye out for these pitfalls, and don’t be afraid to ask questions or sample their work before committing to ensure you get the perfect dish for your project. Bon appétit!

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