The freelance economy is booming, and that is incredible for designers for a number of reasons. For one thing, there are now tons of jobs available for us online, making it easy to launch a career of remote work. If traditional job hunting has failed you, or you simply hate going into an office every day, freelancing can lead to the dream career.
For another, it is easier than ever to find people to collaborate with. Whereas in the past you would have to rely on friends or networking to find someone you click creatively with, now you can go looking online. You can assess a person’s tastes and interests to see if you click, beginning the perfect partnership.
Finding a freelancer is dissimilar to employing someone, as you are not paying them to join your team full-time. You therefore might end up using background check services online to ensure they are trustworthy, since the typical employment services are inappropriate.
What else do you need to look out for when finding the right freelancer to collaborate with?
Samples: A Clear Voice
Many freelancers, hoping that it will get them more work, become jacks-of-all-trades. They present you with a wide range of samples, each looking completely different to the next, showing just how talented they are.
While this does indeed showcase their skills, it also tells you very little about what they’re best at. Freelancers who have chosen a niche can showcase their voice rather than just their abilities. They tend to be a lot more successful for this reason, as companies looking for exactly what they offer snap up their services.
When you look through a freelancer’s samples, look for a strong voice within your field of interest that aligns with your voice. Working with a freelancer should be a collaboration. You want someone who gets you and who you can trust to help fulfil your vision.
Does experience matter?
In most fields of work, experience is thought of as an all-important factor in choosing the right person for a project. Five years or more of experience working in a particular area does indeed show that they have what it takes to complete your project.
However, experience is not everything. If a freelancer has samples that indicate they are the right person, chances are they’re going to be able to follow through. If they don’t have the experience to go with the quality of their samples, you can choose whether they’re worth giving a shot. Don’t pass up on working with someone in whom you see something special just because they don’t have the experience. They’re going to be asking lower rates as well, which is an added bonus.
And on that topic…
In the freelancing world, you don’t always get what you pay for. However, you generally won’t find the best freelancers for the lowest rates. Those offering the lowest rates are often chancing it, hoping that they can woo clients with their prices rather than what they actually offer. There are plenty of clients who will pay them for subpar work. Don’t be one of them.
You don’t have to pay the highest rates, but don’t let price be the determining factor. In the end, if you value someone’s work, you’ll be happy to pay whatever it takes.