If your company has joined the ranks of businesses that have survived the COVID-19 transition to remote work, congratulations! With brighter, more optimistic times ahead, you can more comfortably settle into your work from home set up. If you’re back on track toward growth, you may even be in the market for hiring new talent. More specifically, if you’re looking to ramp up your marketing efforts, there’s no time like the present to explore the freelancing sphere.
The key to success in the freelance market lies in decided planning and tactful execution. If you’re outsourcing your marketing, you’ll want to make sure the person and work you’re paying for is top-notch. While there is plenty of cheap labor out there, the result yielded may not live up to your standards— in these cases, it’s always a far better idea to cough up more cash for a job well done.
Ultimately, when searching through the sea of marketing freelancers, you can’t afford to hire the wrong people. So what should you be looking for? In this post, we’ll walk you through 6 must-have qualities you should look for in a marketing freelancer.
1. Technical expertise
When looking through your pool of marketing freelancers, you want to first make sure that the job they are applying for can be feasibly accomplished by a freelance worker. A job that requires someone who needs formal training on your company’s particular process for a job well done may be better suited for someone you’re willing to bring on board either part-time or full-time. Some positions simply call for more specialized expertise than others and some positions require more dedication than others— and some freelancers don’t have the capacity to spend their full workday on your particular task.
In the event that the marketing efforts you need fulfilling can be done by virtually any qualified freelancer, you’ll want to make sure all potential hires meet the level of technical expertise you expect. In order to ensure that the freelancers you’re most interested in have the hard skills you’re looking for, ask them questions about their skills and experience on projects similar to the one you’ve proposed. You might even consider adding a short assessment to the application process to weed out individuals who don’t meet your benchmark.
It’s worth keeping in mind that the education level required for the job will depend on the role or project you’re hiring for. Don’t excuse candidates who don’t have their Master’s in marketing— there are so many qualified freelancers who are either self-taught or college-educated who can go above and beyond your expectations. The key is asking about their expertise and looking for previous examples of their work to back it up.
Depending on the type of business you run, your staff may have access to classified information. Given to the wrong hands, everything from private consumer records to confidential business earnings reports could do your business a major disservice. If the job you need done requires any handling of private data, it’s important to look for reliability and trustworthiness.
Employers recruiting during the COVID-19 pandemic are particularly unlikely to be able to meet their candidates face-to-face, making it much more difficult to evaluate if the applicant that stars on the glowing resume before you is actually the person they say they are. During an interview, you should be on the lookout for any red flags that may call into question the credibility of the applicant.
You can accomplish this by adding a criminal background check to your standard employee screening process. By incorporating this element you can save yourself time, as anyone with a related criminal or untrustworthy background obviously won’t bother applying.
3. Problem-solving skills
Before recruiting any freelancer, you should have a general understanding of how the applicant in question approaches conflicts and difficult situations. Everyone eventually runs into work-related challenges, but it’s important to understand if the candidate you’re interested in is resilient and witty enough to deal with adversity in an appropriate and positive way.
Katie Fellenz of Trust & Will says, “to get a gauge on a candidate’s problem-solving skills, ask them questions about previous challenges they’ve faced in the workplace and how they were able to overcome those struggles.” From there, you’ll be able to get a sense of how they approach difficult clients, tough time management, and more.
4. Project management skills
Your marketing freelancer will need to maintain a sense of order and organization throughout the duration of their tenure with your company. Whether you’re working with a social media analyst or an SEO specialist, project management is an absolute must. Between multitasking and streamlining tasks, you’ll want your freelancer to be a mastermind at both.
Your company’s remote workforce will depend entirely on technology to conduct their everyday work duties. Although tech-savviness tends to come with the freelancer territory, it’s well worth your while to make sure the marketing freelancer you hire is familiar with all of the software programs and applications your company uses. This ranges from video-conferencing platforms like Zoom and Skype to training-necessary programs like Google Analytics and SEMRush.
Your company’s technologies can vary widely, so it’s smart to ask your applicant if they are familiar with or understand your arsenal of program(s). Choosing candidates with experience using your programs of choice can significantly decrease the time spent training them on the platform and reduce the probability of obvious mistakes.
6. Expert communication skills
Communication is crucial, and a freelancer without strong oral and written skills should be an immediate red flag. The nature of remote work is already very hands-off, so it’s important to know that whenever you need to reach your freelancer, they’ll be there, and they’ll be able to communicate exactly what’s going on on their end in simple, comprehensive terms.
As you venture down the road of finding the perfect freelancer for your outsourced marketing job, keep in mind that the job done is only as good as the mind behind it. Choose carefully when selecting the individuals that will make up your growing remote workforce.
Samantha Rupp holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. She is the managing editor for 365 Business Tips as well as runs a personal blog, Mixed Bits Media. She lives in San Diego, California and enjoys spending time on the beach, reading up on current industry trends, and traveling.