Gain a Competitive Edge by Hiring the Right Freelancer. But How?

How to choose the right freelanserIs it good news that more than ⅓ of adults classify themselves as freelancers? If you are a creative agency seeking quality freelance talent, the answer isn’t so simple.

There’s no shortage of freelancers out there, but how do you ensure you hire the right one that can bring a competitive edge and an exceptional specialized skills set to your business? How do you enlist a true artist and not an impersonator?

Talented freelancers are found round the world. Competition among businesses is fierce and that has led to the demise of both the interview and the “test” work of yesterday. If you are in the market for a quality freelancer, these are surefire ways to tell a great candidate from a good one:

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Why 50% of the agency staff will be freelancers

20130307_Mancx1_0318bb_smallWhy are ⅓ of Americans now classified as Independent Workers? And why are hand-selected, quality freelancers proving to be so valuable to companies that already have an established, well-paid workforce?

Companies that hire freelancers aren’t just cutting costs, they are reaping benefits across the board. In fact, outsourcing projects isn’t just a solution, it’s the Swiss Army knife of business today. It’s the solution to staying ahead of the curve including everything from cultivating creative ideas to executing administrative tasks.

Here are 5 reasons why your workforce can and should consist of a 50/50 split between full-time employees and hand-selected freelancers:

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5 steps to get web designers and copywriters working together like a well oiled machine

WordCloud_UXWith so many businesses looking to handpicked freelancers for help, coordinating projects like website redesigns or online marketing campaigns can get tricky. Even with the best project manager, ensuring designers and copywriters are working in tandem instead of at odds can be a challenge.

When designers and writers are disconnected members of the same team

Why can it be so difficult to get these two on the same page? Communication. Or, lack of communication is the problem.

As freelancers, it’s easy to find yourself pulled onto projects where your only reference point is the client or the agency hiring you on the client’s behalf. If you’re a copywriter you might be tasked to develop the messaging and write the copy – and that’s it. The designer picks up where you’ve left off.

The problem with this scenario is that there’s no conversation between the two of you to hash out what parts of the message needs to be emphasized or how the design elements might impact what the words are attempting to get the visitor to do on the page.

You might get lucky and hit a home run but chances are you’ll be left with an end product that doesn’t convey what either of you envisioned. Or worse, you’ve found yourself with a sub-par website or campaign that performs poorly.

You’re not happy. The client’s not happy. No one’s happy.

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Do You Need to Worry About Google’s Mobile Friendliness Update (it’s here now!)?

The rumor has been around for a while, and now it’s official: Google’s search algorithms will take your website’s mobile adaptation into consideration starting April 21st. Gulp? Blood pressure rising? Regretting all those nice mobile adaptation offers you’ve declined over the past couple of years?

Hold your horses. No need for panic (yet)! We’ll help you sort out if panic is the appropriate response in this situation.

First, the background

Google has an outspoken idea about making search human-friendly. If you haven’t heard about it before, it’s time to start thinking about it. Human-friendly basically means that search algorithms should reward web pages that are relevant and easily accessible to humans, not, as has been the case, just to the search engines. It means scoring high on Google means scoring high with real people – that’s the ambition at least.

So what happens if you fail to be interesting to Google, aka real people? It means lower positions on search results, which in turn translates to fewer visitors, which means fewer customers, less revenue… and then it’s just downhill from there. Take a look at Dr Pete’s presentation from SMX West about the changing Google SERPS.

So here’s where the panic part could step in. How do you know if this upcoming change will have any impact on your business?

You need to worry if:

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7 Creative Ways to Work with Freelancers

Puzzle PiecesFor many organizations, the question of whether to hire a freelancer is driven by organizational necessity. As projects ebb and flow, you’ll probably encounter a situation when you need additional hands on deck  — to add support to your team’s existing operations.  You may ask your HR team for guidance — perhaps, to open a job req for a permanent hire — and they may tell you “no” for the following reasons: there’s no budget, no long-term need, and no business justification to bringing another employee on board. You and your team may decide that your next best option is to venture out and hire a freelancer.

You may be at a position within your organization where there is no immediate use case for a freelancer. Perhaps you have a full-fledged creative team with a strong portfolio of writers, marketers, designers, illustrators. Being fully staffed, however, does not necessarily mean that the freelance ecosystem is irrelevant to your business. You may be able to find some creative use cases for hiring freelancers that directly enhance your operations. Here are 7 less-than-obvious reasons use cases to guide you:

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