Getting What You Want from Freelancers

To get the results you want for projects, the most important thing is to say to your freelancers what’s on your mind. As a popular song goes, “Tell me what you want, what you really really want.” If you do that, you and your freelancers will get things done in no time.



Getting what you want from freelancers often start with an agreement. It’s standard procedure for employers to draw up a contract for any employee, but some freelancers present their own contracts themselves. A contract defines specific rules and guidelines both parties have discussed. For a project freelancer, a contract can also include the following:

1. Project Scope

If you’re assigning a bulk project, include the total number of articles you expect. List the title, topic, and word count for each article. You can also indicate sources you want to be included and specify the number required. If necessary, have your freelancer make an outline for each article. This will help him or her organize ideas and avoid steering away from the topic.

2. Deadlines

It’s important to always set deadlines, but remember to set attainable ones. If it’s for a long-term project, like a book, you can set mini-deadlines for each chapter, to make the task more manageable. Online systems like BasecampHQ can help remind and list down what needs to be done.

3. Payment Terms

Indicate the amount of payment for the overall project. You can also include a breakdown of the payment, such as how much per article or per hour. Aside from the amount, you should also specify how and when you’ll be paying.

It’s important that you and your freelancers discuss and agree on all terms, to avoid confusion and disagreements in the future. Ask them if they want anything added or removed  before drafting and signing the contract. Both you and your freelancers should each have a copy, so you can review the contract from time to time.

Once you lay everything out, let your freelancer do his or her thing. Don’t micro-manage. Creative minds don’t like to be restrained. In the end, what counts is that he or she produces quality work, and you get what you want and expect.

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