Have you considered the benefits of hiring a freelancer to help you with your business? I came to a place in my daily operations, where I could no longer do it all. I needed help, even though I have a team of contracted freelancers at my disposal. Hiring a freelancer is a wonderful alternative to hiring an employee when a business is trying to keep expenses down. I needed help from my team of freelancers and their expertise in digital marketing, specifically email marketing. I did not hesitate, because I know well the benefits of hiring a freelancer.
Why Do I Need A Freelancer
I was getting so overwhelmed I needed assistance with a number of my marketing tasks. We cannot do it all, even though we certainly try. We should not do it! One of the best ways to get professional help is to hire a Freelancer. Some call this outsourcing. For me, it meant allowing my contracted team of freelancers to help me with certain tasks.
There are many benefits to hiring freelancers and in my case, I needed to ‘let go’ of at least one item – my monthly email marketing campaigns! This would free up time. Freeing up time, would allow me to focus on more revenue producing tasks. I often recommend to our clients who do not know where to begin, to start with one task. Letting go of just one task at a time, in the beginning as you outsource does not feel as overwhelming.
What is one thing that you do not like doing and would relief if you could take it off your ‘to-do list’? That is probably the one item you should hire a freelancer to do for you.
Consequences Of Not Hiring A Freelancer
Another reason it is important to hire freelancers is that there are consequences of trying to do it all while trying to grow a company. If we do not relinquish some control, as a business owner or CEO, it can have devastating consequences. Really? Yes, Really!
Consequences a business may experience:
- Revenue flatlining or worse
- Missed deadlines
- Missed opportunities
- Overwhelmed Owner/CEO
- Overworked Owner/CEO
- Stressed Owner/CEO
- Lose clients
- Lose colleagues
- Less time with family and friends
These are just a handful of consequences that could happen when we are unwilling to receive or hire the help needed.
Benefits of Freelancers
- No employee benefits – no need to provide benefits such as health insurance, vacation pay, holiday pay, disability, and other benefits usually associated with hiring a full-time employee.
- Freelancers come ready – Most freelancers are ready to start and do not need added training (except very industry-specific software the company uses). They are ready to begin working.
- Paying only for what is needed – Virtual Professionals or Freelancers charge per hour or a flat project rate. Overtime is not a concern (unless there are demands requested outside of the usual & specified in the contract). This almost always comes out much less expensive than hiring an employee.
- No withholding taxes – There is no need to submit social security taxes, federal taxes or any local or state withholding taxes. These are all the responsibility of the individual freelancer you contract. [There may be a need to provide a 1099 form at the end of the year if the freelancer was paid more than $300 in that given year – consult your CPA, Accountant or IRS.]
- Multiple skill levels – Most freelancers are multi-talented. They often have skill sets and can help in more than one area.
- Continuing Education – Freelancers often continue to keep up with and improve their skill levels. I continue to do so myself, through Freelance University, the best-known eLearning platform for the last decade to train VAs, Freelancers and Digital Marketers (as does most of my team). With technology always changing and new programs coming out daily this is a necessity.
- Technology – Let’s face it, none of us want to learn ALL of the software, apps, and programs available. Freelancers often know those programs that you do not know, do not want to know & do not want to learn. A big benefit of hiring a Freelancer is that they know a lot of technology. Having someone on the team who already knows many of the current apps, software, and programs out today is another plus!
These are multiple benefits to consider when deciding to bring on a freelancer.
A huge benefit to hiring Freelancers is that it will FREE Up Your Time!
Other Benefits of Freelancers
Hiring a virtual professional or freelancer will also give time back in your day so that you can work ON your business and not IN your business. This is after the initial ‘getting to know one another’ phase, of course. I know how easily I can get sucked into working IN my business, instead of ON it. Yet, All experts agree that real growth comes when You (the business owner/CEO) can go from working IN your business to working ON your business. I have experienced the benefits of this firsthand.
Experts agree that real growth comes when You (the business owner/CEO) are able to go from working IN your business to working ON your business.
How to Start Working with a Freelancer
The initial steps to start working with a freelancer may be different for each one they probably have similar starting points. Provided are some basic steps to begin your journey to the benefits of hiring a freelancer or company of freelancers.
- Contact the company, agency or specific freelancer you are interested in working with. You can do this through their contact page, email address or phone number. Remember to indicate that you are interested in speaking with them about working together.
- Set up the consultation appointment to discuss their services, pricing, as well as, expectations for both parties.
- Ask the prospective freelancer [or company representative, like ME] questions that you may have regarding their services.
- Be clear about pricing – make sure that all is understood about how the package pricing or hourly rates work and any additional charges that may be involved. Remember if they are hourly, they are charging you for any time they are communicating – phone & emails, working on the project, and researching (if needed). The packages are usually all-encompassing and often the best choice. There may, however, be added charges for specific things. For example, if you are asking for help with content creation, there may be charges related to photos, graphics, videos and more. Clarify all possible charges.
- Request a contract so that all expectations – including the starting date, terms, and fees are spelled out with both party’s signatures. Most freelancers (or companies) have contracts at their disposal to complete with all the details involving your project.
Onboarding With A Freelancer
Some companies, like our’s, have an onboarding process for new clients that include a ‘Welcome Packet’, ‘Client Intake Form’ and ‘Contract’. Not all Freelancers will have this, but most will have some onboarding process.
Our Welcome Packet includes a welcome letter, thanking you for choosing Tammy’s Team, along with a checklist of items for you to do and return. The Checklist includes things like reviewing and signing the contract, submitting your logo and photos (if we are helping with your content, social media, email marketing or blogging) and other items. The welcome packet is the initial hello of all of the documents and provides an outline of what is to come.
Client Intake Form
The Client Intake Form is a simple form requesting information that will be needed to work with the company. It may request items like company name, address, website, phone, other URL information that is related to the brand, additional resources and more. The more complete this form is the less back and forth will be needed in emails or phone calls.
The Contract, of course, lays out the terms of the agreement you are entering into with the freelancer (or company) you have chosen. A great article that lays out what should be included in most freelancer contracts is found on Here.
Read all of these thoroughly. When you are already overwhelmed and stressed it seems to take more time, but it is worth it. Pay attention to ‘what’ specific services they are doing (scope of work), ‘how’ they will go about doing this – or their process (any software needed, etc.), the ‘fee(s)’ involved for performing the service(s) and any other ‘legalese’ that may be thrown in because of the state they live in or simply because their lawyer required it.
Freelancer vs. Employee
Keep in mind that there are many benefits to contracting a freelancer to help your business grow. One precaution, however, that I would be remiss to not point out is that in the United States be sure to visit the IRS website. Check out the IRS rules about the difference between independent contractor (freelancer) and an employee. There are three main factors: (1)Behavior, (2)Financial and (3)Type of Relationship that determine the type of worker they should be for the company. Be sure they, the freelancer, can set their schedules, are free to work with other companies, and are allowed to be flexible (deadlines are allowed).
The IRS gives much information regarding this type of worker. Listed are just a few factors that can help to indicate if hiring a freelancer will work best. [All the IRS information is found on their website listed directly below the list]
- Behavior – determine whether you will have the right to dictate what or how the freelancer does when working with the company.
- Financial – refers to whether certain aspects of the work is controlled by you. Items such as reimbursable expenses, if supplies and/or tools needed are provided by you/your company, etc. will indicate if a freelancer or employee is best.
- Type of Relationship – make sure there is a contract and that you are not giving the freelancer any benefits (insurance, vaca pay, disability, etc.) and whether the relationship will continue, as well as, if they are performing a key aspect of the business (would the business exist without their help). [all of these are taken from and found on the IRS website]
“The authorities will look beyond the documentation at the intentions of both the freelancer and the company and what actually took place in practice.”
More Rules About Hiring Freelancers
Also important to note is that the authorities, as stated above, will look at the relationship even more than the documentation. Although the quote is from a UK Human Resource online magazine and is referring to its laws, the US also has similar rules found on the IRS website.
There are 5 questions to use to test whether they are going to be a freelancer for the company or not. Please check with your CPA or Accountant also (I highly recommend this as well as checking with your Lawyer) to be positive a new freelancer meets ‘contractor’ status vs. employee status.
An Additional Resource
SCORE is another great resource to help businesses understand the difference between a contracted freelancer and an employee. This organization also assists businesses and startups by providing meetings, relevant online webinars (including one on ‘Scale Your Business Through Outsourcing‘ that I presented), as well as, providing mentors to help businesses succeed.
Contracting a freelancer to help is much easier, less expensive and usually less stressful than hiring an employee. It also involves less ongoing paperwork. If you decide this is a good solution and would like to discuss it further I am happy to meet to see how we can help.
Thank you for reading, I’m always appreciative. Please leave comments and likes (claps) as this helps us to know you are reading and what you topics you like or need more information. If there is a specific topic you would like featured, please leave it in the comments.
I hope you have a wonderful and prosperous New Year!
Founder & CEO of Tammy’s Office Solutions