Don’t Hire A Freelance Digital Marketer If They Can’t Do This

If a marketer isn’t organized, run away

When hiring a freelancer marketer, you have to ensure that you are hiring someone who is reliable. The organizational skills directly correlate to how reliable they are.


If they can show you campaign reports and data, create a system for file management, manage naming conventions, and create and manage your processes—you’ve found a winner. Yet, it is difficult to showcase this organizational ability without references.


Case studies, a resume, and a portfolio won’t be able to show you if the person you’re about to hire is organized. Even references can be skewed. Also, the previous client’s overall knowledge can be limited and they can also be unorganized. People tend to remember how they felt at the time, rather than the specific daily details that occurred when the services were provided.


This can paint the wrong picture on the quality of a marketer’s performance.


You can only test a marketer’s organizational skill in the moment, during a probationary period. Notice how they send documents, how they manage their calendar, how they provide access to documents and folders. If they seem to be all over the place in one interaction, a pattern may be hidden underneath. If you’re paying for quality, make sure they’re organized.


Related: How To Fail As A Freelancer


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How To Fail As A Freelancer

If you can’t do this, you won’t be able to retain your clients

There is a key mental shift that is required if you want to be a freelancer. To provide a valuable service to your clients, you need to be able to assign yourself tasks.


A freelancer is not a full-time employee. Even if the project leads to similar hours spent working, the key difference between working as an employee and as a freelancer is that you can’t rely on your client to know what tasks need to get done. You have to lead the client in the right direction, that’s why they hired you.


If they wanted to manage someone, they would have hired an employee to complete routine tasks. Instead, they took a risk in picking you to help them.


Consultants are great at client retention and although a consultant and a freelancer approach projects differently, there’s a lot that can be adapted to freelance work.


Think like a consultant: what are the unknown tasks?

25% of a consultant’s work is done BEFORE they even propose a project to a client. They have to first create a project proposal for the client, which justifies their services. The only way to truly justify the cost of a consultant’s services is by showing the client that:

  1. There is an unknown problem that they need to solve in order to sustain themselves or gain a competitive advantage,
  2. The consultant can provide a novel solution to this unknown problem.


This proposal can only be successful if the consultant is willing to take their own risks and assign themself the task of helping a company essentially for free, in the hopes that they will be hired for implementation of the project.


A freelancer doesn’t need to assume the same risks but, the same consultant approach can be applied during a project.


Freelancers have the advantage of leveraging platforms to help them source qualified clients. Unlike the research requirements needed to obtain a consulting project, a freelancer needs to create profiles on several freelance platforms, see a list of client projects and requests on these platforms, and notify the client that they would like to work for them.


If successful during the proposal and interview process, the freelancer can then begin working for the client. Yet, where most freelancers fail is after this stage of the process. The true value that they can provide is wasted as they expect the client to be the taskmaster during the project.


In most cases, the client actually ends up discontinuing the project because the costs of maintaining a relationship with the freelancer outweigh the benefits.

A freelancer must foresee and sell future tasks

If you want to be a successful freelancer, you must not only accomplish the goals of the initial project but, go above and beyond expectations by delivering work for tasks that were not requested. A client will only continue a relationship with you, if you demonstrate that the relationship has more beneficial outcomes than costly ones. If you want to be a freelancer, you have to be a self-starter.


If you can successfully assign yourself your own tasks, ideally before a client even knows that those tasks need to get done, you will be seen more as a partner in their business journey—rather than an additional burden. Doing this will not only help you retain your clients, it helps you get an increase of referrals when you request them.


If you have experience as a freelancer and have experienced a client discontinuing their relationship with you, ask yourself, “Did I accomplish more self-assigned tasks than expected ones? Did I do more than what was required?”


It may seem unreasonable to consider doing extra work without getting paid for it. However, when you consider that this extra work benefits your reputation and your chances of continued work in the future—it goes without saying that a client will hire the freelancer that goes provides more value than the one who simply does the minimum work required.


 you want to fail as a freelancer, don’t work harder, don’t consider the unknown tasks, do what’s expected of you, and just focus on the minimum.


Your competition will be focused on what matters—providing value.


Related: Finite and Infinite Games


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New Freelancer? Don’t Panic! There’s A Template For Everything

When beginning your journey as a freelancer, build off of what has already worked

One of the most daunting aspects of working as a freelancer is that you are responsible for everything. When you become a freelancer, you become responsible for filing your taxes, creating invoices for your clients, making contracts, and more. Yet, with the internet, there are ways to make the first few months of your new freelance career more manageable.


There is a template for everything. If you need an updated resume, you can find a template. Need a new website? There are templates for that too. You can find a template for all of the essential documents that every freelancer needs, such as:

  • Pitch emails
  • Proposals
  • Portfolios
  • Questionnaires for clients
  • Contracts
  • Invoices
  • Payment reminders
  • Tax documents
  • Business cards (yes, these are still useful)


The reason why you should use templates for all your documents when you begin your career as a freelancer is that these templates save you time. Why try to create something from scratch when other seasoned professionals have created stuff that works? By using a template, you focus on the stuff that really matters—providing stellar services to your clients.


Just don’t forget to personalize these templates in your own words. There isn’t much that needs to be changed when submitting an invoice besides adding your own logo and business information, but a cold email that begins with “Dear <First.Name>,” will get you zero leads.


The point is, make sure you leverage the work of others. You don’t need to be 100% original with the formalities. After all, it is already difficult enough trying to get paid as a newbie.


Image Credit: Unsplash

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