Tips for Hiring a Freelance Marketer to Improve Your Site
Are you thinking of hiring a freelance marketer to improve your website?
There are many reasons why outsourcing marketing work to a freelancer makes sense. Perhaps your in-house marketing team has more work than they can handle, or maybe you just need some essential marketing tasks completed.
Whatever the reason, keeping a few handy tips in mind will not only ensure that you hire the right freelance marketer for the job, but also that you get the most out of the experience.
Read on to discover our top 5 tips for hiring a freelance marketer to improve your site.
1. Determine What Your Marketing Goals Are
Before you begin searching for a freelance marketer, it’s important to work out what your marketing goals are.
While it’s tempting to leave this task entirely for the freelancer to figure out, it’s helpful to at least establish a preliminary understanding of which marketing goals you wish to achieve.
After all, you know your business better than anyone—from its strengths to its pain points. You will also generally know which areas your business needs to work on in terms of marketing… even if it is to create a clear marketing plan.
So why do you need them in the first place? Marketing goals will make it easier to track down the right freelance marketer who has the skills and qualities to help you achieve them.
If you’re unsure of how to determine which marketing goals for your website to aim for, All Points Digital recommends using the following online tools and assessments to pinpoint how your website marketing is faring:
- PR 20/20’s Marketing Score
- Hubspot’s Website Grader
- QuickSprout’s SEO assessment
- WordStream’s AdWords Grader
By analyzing the results of these tools and assessments, you will gain the insight you need to create relevant and achievable marketing goals for your site.
2. Figure Out Which Tasks to Outsource
Now that you have some general marketing goals for your site in mind, it’s time to work out which tasks you can outsource to a freelance marketer.
Don’t rush this step—the clearer you can make your future freelance marketer’s job description, the better. Clear responsibilities and expectations will minimize potential misunderstandings and ensure that you’re working towards the same goals.
If you have an in-house marketing team, it’s a good idea to bring them into the conversation.
Needless to say, you don’t want to step on someone’s toes by outsourcing part of their job! Ask the marketing manager as well as individual team members which tasks they need a hand with, whether due to a lack of time or specialized expertise.
If you don’t have an in-house marketing team, you can base your decision around your marketing goals. It’s also helpful to learn about which marketing tasks you may need to attend to. QuickSprout’s guide to essential marketing tasks worth outsourcing is a great place to start. Remember, unless you have a limitless marketing budget to work with, you’ll need to focus on a few tasks to start with.
3. Set Your Budget
Looking for a freelance marketer without first setting a budget is a recipe for disaster. If you don’t have at least a ballpark figure in mind, you may end up hiring a freelance marketer who charges more than you can afford. Another advantage of setting a budget is that you’ll be able to further narrow your search based on different freelancing rates.
Another financial consideration you should think about is how you will pay the freelancer. For example, it’s possible to pay freelancers:
- Per project
- Per batch of projects
- On a retainer
- Per word (for writing tasks)
You should also think about when you will pay them. For example:
- After each project is approved
- At the end of the month
- Every fortnight
You might want to take advantage of an employer of record company to handle the payment and let things run smoothly while paying your freelancers. For example, if you wanted to hire freelancers in China, you could hire a PEO (professional employer organization) to allow local experts to take over the various back office and labor compliance issues that come with hiring international talent.
Keep in mind that some freelance marketers and freelance marketplaces will only accept specific payment plans. So if you have specific preferences for how and/or when you will pay your freelancer, make sure the freelancer also agrees to them.
4. Begin Your Search
It’s finally time to begin your search for a freelancer… or is it?
You may want to first jot down a few key qualities to look for in a freelancer before taking the plunge. Or, you can dive right in, as you’ll quickly gain an understanding of what you’re looking for after reviewing a few dozen freelance marketing profiles.
Don’t worry if you don’t know where to begin your search. There are plenty of options at your disposal, such as:
- Searching freelance marketplaces
- Browsing LinkedIn
- Getting referrals
You can work out which freelance marketers may be right for you by reviewing their marketing portfolio, reading testimonials, and taking a deep dive into their website or online profile. Remember to cross-reference your marketing goals to ensure the freelancers you have your eye on can fulfill them!
Once you have narrowed down a few potential freelancers, you may wish to give them a trial project or ask them some more questions.
If you post a job ad online or you’re using a freelance marketplace, you will need to communicate with the freelancers within the platform’s interface. Otherwise, you can communicate via email or schedule a call. Most freelancers are happy to answer questions from potential clients, so make sure to ask any you have!
5. Create a Clear Brief for Your Freelancer
Congratulations! Hopefully, at this stage, you have hired your ideal freelance marketer.
Before you leave them to their devices, you’ll need to create a clear brief for them. Even the most skilled freelance marketers can only do so much if they’re unaware of what you want from them.
A clear brief should communicate what their responsibilities are as well as your expectations. It should state key details such as the scope of work, deadline, number of revisions, etc.
Briefs can take a number of forms depending on what tasks you want the freelancer to work on. If you need some guidance for creating one, there are plenty of free templates available online, such as this brief template for freelance writing projects.
6. Set Your Relationship with Your Freelancer Up for Success
Set your relationship with your freelancer up for success by keeping communication open. Many business owners assume that managing freelancers will be just like managing their in-house team. While there are many parallels between the two, it pays to read up on some specific tips for effectively managing freelancers.
Remember, just like in-house employees, freelancers are able to produce their best work when they are supported to succeed.
Hiring a freelance marketer to improve your site takes a bit of groundwork to get just right. By following the above tips, you’ll gain the know-how to hire a talented freelance marketer who harnesses their expertise to improve your site.