Whether your growing business needs to rapidly scale or you simply want to keep up with changing technologies to adapt and remain competitive in today’s market, creating a flexible work team can help by providing continuous and rapid access to the best talent.
Having the right access to the right talent gives you a valuable edge over your competition. Thanks to the current interconnected nature of the world, you are now able to connect with potential freelance team members by selecting from a massive pool of candidates from across the globe.
We’ve gone over the advantages of hiring a single freelancer, but there is a growing trend toward hiring freelancer teams. Hiring freelancer teams are used as an alternative (or complement) to having an in-house team and proponents often claim it can be more effective as you can hire the best talent from around the world. But is that true? Let’s have a look.
When you employ single freelancers, you might have one or multiple freelancers who are doing different tasks for you, working on various projects and submitting on different deadlines. Often, they have no idea how your business structure works, and they work on their own and report directly to you.
On the other hand, hiring a freelancer team starts the same way. For example, you hire five freelancers who don’t know each other, and then you create a team amongst them. The team ends up working together on projects and collaborating in general.
Of course, there are countless advantages to having a strong team of marketing specialists:
It does take an entirely different level of communication though. Important issues need to be clearly communicated to everyone; your job will be to coach, mentor, control, encourage and improve productivity. Moreover, you need to make sure that you share your expectations and objective with the whole team.
Although hiring freelancer teams can result in many benefits, there are also a couple of pitfalls you should avoid.
Communication will not be easy. Often, freelancers don’t work from 9-5, so you have to keep track of who works when, when they are available, and try working around their work schedules. The problem is – if one person does not submit on time, the whole team gets negatively affected as they work together.
If you have a team of freelancers, you can’t just rely on email or text messages to keep in touch. You need to start using project-management and freelancer management tools to be able to stay up-to-date with everyone’s progress and to communicate with everyone easily.
When you’re working with a group of freelancers, you might find yourself losing track of who is doing what, who is submitting when and so on. It will be critical for you to track performance and have an appropriate plan in place.
Depending on one freelancer has its risks, but depending on multiple freelancers results in even higher risks. While some clients are more than happy to trust an entire team of freelancers to do the work, it will take some level of individual management and caution – you don’t want to end up investing in the wrong people.
If there is a distinct level of expertise between freelancers on your team, then this might lead to negative or poor results for your company.
You will need to cherry-pick team members who have the same skills, attitudes, and experiences. The process will take a little bit more time, but the team of freelancers needs to match the way you want to operate.
Firstly, you need to figure out what type of people do you want to work with. Do you want people in your time-zone? Do you want experts? Do you want native English speakers? Do you want someone who can work as independently as possible? Do you want someone who had experience working in a team before?
You also need to identify what type of project you’ll have and then deciding what kinds of skills you need for that project to succeed. You will need to write up a project brief with information about your business, what your deliverables are, what requirements are required, what your objectives are and what the timelines and budgets look like.
After you’re done figuring out the different sets of skills, create a job post for each skill you need, with a detailed project description for each.
Strive to hire the best marketers the first time around. Use the assessment and testing strategies we explained in chapter seven and eight. Make sure to choose freelancers who might be able to work together as a team.
As mentioned in the last post, you will need advanced tools to manage multiple freelancers, and it’s always better to have them ready in place and to be familiar with them.
Now, you will need to onboard the freelancers. We’ve gone over that before, but the only difference here is that the onboarding process will be conducted for multiple freelancers at the same time. You want to create a culture of excellence and teamwork from the start, and you want to make every one of your marketing specialists feel like an integral part of your team. Give each of them set tasks, and keep them engaged. Schedule regular meetings, communicate clearly with them and always encourage them to provide feedback.
Make sure you assess your team’s progress on a monthly basis and reward the top performers to create an incentive for them to innovate.
The role of a stellar marketing team should never be ignored. Having a group of marketing specialists can very positively impact your business. There isn’t one optimal structure for a team of marketing specialists since there are many possible constellations based on your project scope. You might want to hire experts for content marketing, PPC, social media, lead management, influencer marketing or other disciplines to reach your project’s goals.
For example, let’s say you’re running an e-commerce store. You will probably require performance marketers who analyze your site engagement, website visits and reach while finding ways to improve these and other metrics and content strategists who write SEO-optimized articles and posts.
A typical structure is:
CMO/VP of Marketing/Head of Marketing
This is the person (or are the people) who defines the strategy, makes sure everything is aligned and is responsible for reaching the overall goals.
The types of specialists you will employ depend on your business and projects. These are common roles: