Can agencies and freelancers be friends? We couldn’t think of this question even a few years ago. We never really saw an employee and company becoming best friends, so it was off the table. However, with time, everything evolves, and so do professional relationships. Surely, they are bound to each other with the need for services, money, and other perks.
Yet, the impossible is always something that makes any relationship more interesting. Many people are now changing the narrative of “no friends from the office.” With collaboration making its way through technology, we think agencies and freelancers can be best friends now!
Tips to be friends with your freelancers as an agency
We get it; you have policies, cannot play favorites, and cannot keep one team as a priority. However, you can definitely make your policies work in favor of both agency and a freelancer simply by using project management tools for freelancing. This will make communication better, hence the chance to be friends.
If you treat them just like a respectful team member, the chances of them delivering more creativity become higher. On the contrary, keeping your needs a priority but neglecting their human needs can become a problem for you in the future.
To avoid it, get through the following tips and apply them as much as possible because we know that team is the ultimate entity leading your business to success.
1. Communicate Effectively:
Most of the time, managers and even freelancers think that continuous team communication is necessary to be buddies. The perception is completely wrong as it doesn’t matter how often you communicate, but how effectively you communicate is what matters. Integrate your team or clients into the communication in a smart way. Share properly crafted documents for clarity and be supportive of each other.
You may think, who has time to demonstrate everything going on. Yes, this is exactly where both freelancers and agencies need to be smart. Connect yourself with your core human empathetic nature, and you can be the most efficient team member. You need to understand the way they are built. It is the only way both agencies and freelancers can share the best of their creativity.
2. Avoid Micromanaging:
Freedom is the ultimate ingredient for more creative and passionate work. You can see it when your freelancer feels liberating in their work. Avoid micromanaging them and give them the canvas with open instructions. Share every project detail through the best communication tools for freelance teams. Let them paint it the way they think.
Your goal should be to learn from each other and use the best of your expertise to achieve the results. The majority of the agencies or freelancers fail for the same reason that it is hard to let go of control. Control has destroyed businesses.
Your team members like to be a part of the team as real members. So, give them as much freedom as possible, and let them speak whenever they think of a problem. Address the issues with clarity, and state your limitations at the start of the contract. Establish some ground rules for the discipline and always be ready if they decide to leave because it didn’t work out well.
3. Always Ask and Get the Correct Brief:
As an agency, you need to clear the brief to your freelancers. It is your responsibility to ask about the customer’s needs in detail. The reason is it doesn’t matter if your ideas are brilliant; if they lack the element of customer needs, the client cannot accept the task.
You, as a freelancer, will find it challenging to produce excellent work if the agency misunderstands the client’s target audience or fails to communicate the client’s expectations effectively.
I’m confident that we have all had prior experiences where an agency misled us about something. When this occurs, it will be difficult for you to satisfy both their target market and the expectations of their clients.
To prevent this, demand that the agency give you a detailed briefing document and any materials you will need to complete your assignment. Effective team collaboration tools for remote agencies can help you save those documents.
Before beginning the project, don’t hesitate to express your concerns if something is unclear or unrealistic, and manage your expectations appropriately.
4. Be truthful about Your Limits:
Having been on both sides of the team, we know that many people can have little insight into your creative process as a designer, developer, or writer. Also, they often expect that you can perform some creative miracle. We know that creativity doesn’t come on command and usually takes time and is a painful process.
So, initially, the managers can sit with freelancers through the meeting feature of project collaboration tools and show the processes to help them figure out the needs and time it will take to complete the task.
Be open and honest about your creative process and constraints as a freelancer. Keep in mind that lacking knowledge is not a sign of weakness, and the better the cooperation, the more transparent you can be with the agency about your limitations and the reasons behind them.
Do your work in the agency’s physical site if at all possible. It will be beneficial if you can demonstrate to the project manager the work you are performing and the time it takes.
5. Get the Right Collaboration Tools for Freelancing
Collaboration is the ultimate need of being friends with your freelancers. As an agency, you must understand that communication channels work both ways. You cannot expect your freelancers to be available whenever you need them, and you do not respond when they have concerns and questions.
On the other hand, as a creative member, your work means nothing if you don’t understand your agency’s needs. You are failing their clients, and it will only lead this professional collaboration to a problem. So, be a creative or an agency, always have the right tool to share, meet, communicate and manage tasks with proper deadlines.
One of the best ways to be close to the team and clients is to get the best project management tool for freelancers. There are various best communication tools for teams available.
TeamingWay has some features like setting the right goals, management of the tasks, meetings, recording, reporting, and saving can make communication smooth. Once you have a grip on effective communication, the time to be best friends as an agency and freelancer will not be that far. Just keep working, improving, and using the tech in your favor.