It's time to get down to some serious business, y'all. It's time to consider your first freelance hire. How do you know when you are ready to hire a freelancer? Well, hopefully by the time you finish reading this article, you'll have a clear idea on when you should take the leap and hire some help.
The freelance hiring stage can be a comprehensive and tiresome search, but once you find a freelancer you like, you should hold on to them! Let's chat about what should be happening in your business before you decide to hire out.
1. You're Bringing In A Consistent Income
The first sign that you are ready to hire a freelancer? You're bringing in some consistent income. You likely won't be hiring a full-time freelancer as your first hire, but if you want to forge a long-term relationship with your freelancer, you need to pay consistently and fairly.
Hiring a freelancer should be helpful to your brand, but that help comes because of money. If you aren't bringing in a consistent income, you can't expect the freelancer to work off of good faith. You need to be in a financial position to support a freelancer helping you.
If you are genuinely struggling, but you can't afford to hire a freelancer to take over some of your duties, take a good look at:
How you are spending your money OR
How you are spending your time
Chances are you may be falling into a time suck that's making every project draining or you aren't managing the money you make correctly, and you can afford a freelancer by introducing a new budget. Either way, if you fix the issues with your business, you can hire a freelancer when the time is right.
2. You've Got Clients You Want To Work With Knocking Down Your Door That You Can't Help
I want to make a distinction here.
You don't have just ANY clients knocking down your door, you have clients that you WANT TO WORK WITH knocking down your door.
This means you are actively turning away your ideal clients because you don't have enough hours in the day. That's a travesty in my opinion. You should be working with the clients that make your heart sing, not turning them away!
Hire a freelancer to take care of clients you love but have worked with for a while. Make sure you hire the best freelancer, so they are well taken care of in the long run. You don't want this transition to scare off old clients; you want those clients to feel like they are in the best hands! The goal here is to get more clients, not replace the ones you currently have.
3. You've Got More Tasks Than Hours In The Day
When the tasks are piling up, hiring a freelancer is a great way to alleviate your to-do list.
If you have a ton of random tasks that need to be run through, you may want to hire a virtual assistant to take care of some of those tasks for you. You should be able to set up a package with a VA so you can have them on retainer for a certain number of hours each month. With those hours they can help you tackle your ever-growing to-do list.
You shouldn't be continuously in the weeds with your business. Hire out some of those tedious day-to-day tasks so you can focus on strategy, getting new clients, and scaling your business.
4. You've Got Plans And Systems In Place For How To Run Your Business
Freelancers shouldn't run your business.
I know that sometimes you want to hire out a content strategist or an accountant, but I feel like those are better off hired as employees OR hired after you have a strategy or accounting practices in place.
I think that people fail when they expect a freelancer to come in and pick their entire business up by the bootstraps. A freelancer can be very helpful for your business, but they can only do so much for you. It's your business, not theirs.
So, having plans and systems in place will be crucial. You will know when you are ready to hire a freelancer because you will have a lot of your business life together beforehand.
Don't fall into the trap of hiring a freelancer before you are ready to do it. It's okay to take some time with your business, build up these best practices, and then hire the freelancer when you are in a better place. Hiring before you are ready confuses the freelancer, wastes your money, and probably gives you a bad taste in your mouth about freelancers which isn't good for anyone.
5. Your Best Clients Want More Time And Attention From You
As you take on more clients, you may have some standout clients. Maybe one of your clients has a big budget, or they have a massive deadline coming up. You don't have to drop the ball on other clients to respond to clients who need more of your time. You may be ready to hire a freelancer if you feel that you need to spend more time with a select few clients on your payroll.
Hiring out some tasks to some starting freelancers is a great way to get through your to-do list with your clients without turning away clients you have built a rapport with.
Most clients won't mind the fact that you hired out a task, as long as it gets done correctly. Before you hire out the job, you may want to sit down with your client and let them know about this transition. Also, you must give your freelancer a deadline that's well before the project is due to your client, this way you have time to look over what they did and make adjustments as necessary.
When hiring a freelancer to spend time with other clients, you have to be careful and screen who you are hiring. You never want to hire someone who doesn't have your clients best interest in mind.
6. You've Got A Life Transition In The Works
Life transitions take up a ton of energy. Whether you are pregnant, moving across the country, or going back to school, you may be ready to hire a freelancer if you have a significant transition happening in your life.
A freelancer would help relieve some of the stress you are feeling in your life and business around your life transition. You may not be able to spend as much time with your business while planning a wedding or getting ready for a child. Being able to offload some duties while you focus on your life is the best feeling ever.
When hiring a freelancer during a life transition, you need to make sure that you have planned enough to sustain yourself and a freelancer during the transition. You don't want your business to be on the back burner entirely, otherwise, you may not be growing enough to warrant a freelancer. Make sure that you have something for them to do throughout the transition, so you aren't just paying a freelancer for nothing or promising them hours that you can't give them.
7. You're Stuck Doing Things You Hate To Do, But They Help Your Business Thrive
Last, but not least, you may be ready to hire a freelancer if you are stuck doing things you hate to do. These things you hate to do might be helping your business thrive, but you would rather spend your time doing anything else. Examples of this:
Guest posting on other people's blogs
Scheduling podcast interviews
Managing your email inbox
Engaging with new people on social media
Updating blog post images
Whatever you're stuck doing, you can probably hire it out to someone else. Life is no fun when you have to do stuff all on your own, especially if you don't want to. So, hire a freelancer to take that thing over for you!
Are You Ready To Hire A Freelancer?
Did any of these situations apply to you? It may be time to search for a freelancer for your company! I have all the faith in you that you will find the perfect freelancer soon.
Everything You Need To Know About Hiring A Freelancer by Entrepreneur
It Only Works If You Do: How To Utilize Freelance Content The Right Way by Amanda Cross Co.