By Kate Browning
If you have been a business owner for more than a year, chances are you have either outsourced a task, are currently outsourcing, or plan to outsource to a freelancer. Why?
Because the further we go into our business journey, the more we learn that we simply can’t and don’t need to do it all alone.
It can be tricky knowing what to delegate to a freelancer and what to keep in house and
take care of ourself and to be honest, a lot of that comes down to your values, what makes
you happy, how you want to spend your time and what your strengths are. However once
you have made that decision, found someone that’s a great fit for you and started working
together, the transformation it can have is profound.
Being a business owner myself, where many people outsource and delegate to me, it is
important to take care of that relationship, to nurture it, to ensure both parties have what
they need to do their roles to the best of their ability. But how do I take care of the freelancers in my own business, and how can you do the same? Here are a few key things.
Note from Katie…wait, why the lack of pictures? In an effort to reduce the carbon footprint of my web presence, I am only using images at the very top of my posts, as well as where they serve a true purpose, such as headshots or infographics. That’s why you won’t find any purely decorative photos here anymore.
Anyone that knows me and my business will know how important boundaries are. They are at the heart of what I do, how I work and the relationships I have with clients and they would massively benefit you too.
Boundaries are simply a way for you to tell others how you want and expect to be treated. They create clear understanding, open communication and mutual respect. Some of the things that you could have as boundaries are:
- Which medium you prefer to communicate with. Perhaps email is your preferred method, or voice notes on WhatsApp, or maybe even a project management tool like Trello. Ensure you have a method of communication that works for both of you. It will make sharing information, project updates and communication clear.
- When you are available. Perhaps you finish at 3pm on a Monday, or don’t work
Fridays. That’s fine, but make sure your freelancer knows when they can get hold of you.
- Realistic timescales. If, for example, you are asking your freelancer to create social media content a month in advance and you want to have input and share ideas, make sure you know their deadlines, so you can give your input and importantly feedback, with enough time for them to fulfil their part, without rushing, or putting pressure on them because of the short turn around time you have given them.
Many people don’t fully understand self care and therefore don’t understand the positive impact it can have on not only your mental health, but your business as well.
Incorporating self care into your daily/weekly routine can have a multitude of benefits which include:
- Positive mental health
- More productivity
- Less comparison
- More happiness and satisfaction
- Reduced stress and overwhelm
- Reduced anxiety
- Can lead to a boost in confidence and quicker decision making
- Improved concentration and focus
If you have a freelancer that you are working with, it’s a great thing to encourage self care and support them if it’s something they regularly do.
Ways in which you can do this are:
- Not emailing them out of hours, or if you do, make it clear in your email that you do not expect a response until they are working.
- Giving plenty of notice when delegating tasks and being realistic with your deadlines, preventing making them stressed and overwhelmed.
- Respecting the boundaries they have set
- Checking in with them regularly to ensure they have everything they need to do their job and support you to the best of their ability. Just
checking in via the preferred communication method every now and then to see if they have what they need and for you to ask for anything you need can make a huge difference.
- Promote a positive work environment, use positive language, be kind and understanding.
- Respect you are important to them, however you are not their only client, so they
will have other priorities, as will you.
Having a positive relationship with your freelancers is so important. You trust them with
parts of your business, with sensitive information, you want them to do the best possible
job they can for you, so treat your relationship with mutual respect.
Provide your freelancer with honest and positive feedback. Be mindful of giving constructive criticism and be tactful with your feedback. When they are doing a good job and you are happy with their services and efforts, tell them. It makes a world of difference.
Ensure both parties have a full understanding of what is expected of them. Be clear with
your communications, expectations, deadlines and what you hope to achieve.
Transparency is key
Schedule in time to build on your relationship. Whether that’s a quarterly zoom catch up, voice notes, meeting face to face, however works for you both, make that time and effort.
Often when hiring freelancers, we don’t know all the other services they can help us with until we get to know each other better.
Follow through on your commitments. If you have said you will send your freelancer
something by a specific date, then treat that date and work with respect and make every
effort to stick to it. Often they can’t do their job, if you don’t fulfil your end of the agreement.
Taking Care Of The Freelancers In Your Business – Summary
By creating an environment of mutual respect you can take care of the freelancers in your business. After all, you have delegated to them for a reason. Respect their work, their boundaries, their self care, their values and way of working and they will do the same for you.
Kate describes herself as an Empowerment & Organisational Unicorn.
She is the Founder of Cherry Blossom Management, which offers Virtual Assistant support services to purpose led business owners, alongside Canva Pro bespoke designs and training. Kate is a Boundaries & Self Care Queen and works with her clients set strong boundaries and help them live a life aligned to their values. You can find out more about Kate and Cherry Blossom Management by visiting the Cherry Blossom Management website.