How to Work with Freelance Marketers
Are you considering hiring a freelance marketer to help with your business’ marketing needs? Working with freelance marketers can be a cost-effective solution for businesses of any size. But, before you begin, it is important to understand how to work effectively with freelance marketers to ensure a successful partnership.
In this blog post, we will go over some frequently asked questions about working with freelance marketers and provide tips on how to structure the scope, fees, and communication.
Define what is and isn’t in the scope?
It is essential to have a clear scope before starting any work with your freelance marketer. The scope defines what tasks the marketer will perform and what is outside of their responsibility. You should define both what is included and what is not included in the scope of work.
For example, if you are hiring a marketer to help with your Facebook advertising, they may be creating the Ad sets and writing the brief for the Ad creatives required - but not producing the ad creatives. Alternatively, they may be doing an SEO audit and presenting recommendations, but not deploying the recommendations to your website. In broader terms, the marketer may be doing the research and creation of your strategy or growth plan, but not the implementation and execution of this plan.
A clear scope allows your marketer to provide an accurate quote on how long the work will take and how much it will cost. It also ensures that you know exactly what you’ll get and the cost and timings to get it. If you are unsure about what is and isn’t included, make sure you ask your marketer so that you are both on the same page.
What is Scope Creep?
Scope Creep is when the scope of the work expands beyond the original agreement. As the project progresses, you may find that you want to add additional work to the project. If you want to do significant pieces of additional work that are outside of the original scope, you should expect this to have an impact on cost and time. This is fine; it's just something to be aware of if you’re giving more work to them.
How should you communicate with a freelancer?
The quality of the work and of the relationship will be heavily influenced by the quality of communication between you and your marketer. People tend to assume that everyone works the same way as them, and that is not always the case! Some clients and marketers communicate mostly via email, some might be on Slack, and some prefer WhatsApp.
You need to decide what channels work best for you both, and for the type of work you are doing. If you’re doing a small one-off piece of work then email might be fine for day-to-day communication. However if it's a more in-depth or intense project then you may be working together more closely and therefore need more frequent communication - for example if you’re hiring a CMO or a paid media manager - so Slack or WhatsApp might be better options so you have more frequent and open lines of communication.
You should also clarify the expected response times for both parties. Traktion marketers know that communication is key and should respond within a reasonable time, but if you require very fast response times then consider talking about SLAs before you begin work. You will also need to respond back to their queries in a timely manner.
If you’re contracting someone to spend a few hours spread throughout the week on your ad accounts then you would expect slower responses from them than from someone you hire to be full-time.
Please bear in mind that most of the time your marketer will have other commitments and other clients.
An example that you could agree to is that messages should be acknowledged within 1 working day, and urgent issues should be responded to within 1 working day.
How should you handle expenses?
It is a good idea to have a think about what expenses might occur during the project - if you are travelling to meet in person then will travel expenses be passed on? If tools and subscriptions are required to complete the work then will this be passed on? If creatives for the ads need to be produced then will this cost be passed on?
Most clients and businesses agree to pass on expenses at cost - this can either go through Traktion or with the invoicing/billing done directly between the two parties.
Who is responsible for giving access to systems and accounts?
It is your responsibility to give the marketer access to everything they have advised that they need access to in order to work on your project. This may include Ad accounts, analytics accounts, the place you store your assets and creatives etc.
You should give them access as soon as possible - ideally when you begin the project if not before. This way the marketer can start familiarising themselves with everything, come back with any questions, and get stuck into the project quicker. Any delay in giving them access to what they need will lead to delays in the project.
If you are unsure on how to give your marketer access to something, or you are unable to, you let them know as soon as possible so they can advise you.
To avoid any confusion when you begin the project, and when you stop working together, make sure you are clear:
- if access to anything needs to be provided by either party,
- and what should happen at the end of the working arrangement (eg access removed, account disabled etc).
How should you handle sign off procedures?
Sign-off procedures are used to formally ensure all parties are aware of what is expected of them and provide clear records.
You may want to outline a sign-off procedure for Ad copy & creatives going live to ensure you review all of them before your marketer switches them live and starts spending.
It is a good idea to briefly document the sign-off process so that it is clear and outlines:
- Who (what stakeholders) has to sign-off on what
- Timings - the marketer cannot get on with the work and the project may be delayed if things are not approved and signed off in a timely manner.
How to manage multiple stakeholders for a marketing project?
If you’re a larger organisation then there may be multiple stakeholders involved in your project that the marketer may need to deal with - which could be both internal and external.
Make sure you introduce the freelance marketer to the team and any other relevant stakeholders. This will help them get a better understanding of the company culture and how they fit into the organization. It also helps ensure everyone is aligned and knows who is who.
You should do this as soon as possible, ideally before you kick off the project so that there are no delays when you begin.
What is the best way to onboard a freelance marketer?
Onboarding a freelance marketer is similar to onboarding any other employee or contractor. There is no one set way to do it but there are a few key steps you should go through to ensure a smooth onboarding process:
- Clearly communicate the scope of the work and the expectations for the marketer's role. This might include a list of tasks and responsibilities, deadlines, and any other relevant details.
- Provide the freelance marketer with any necessary resources or tools to complete their work. This might include access to company systems or software, company branding guidelines, or other relevant materials.
- Introduce the freelance marketer to the team and any other relevant stakeholders. This will help them get a better understanding of the company culture and how they fit into the organization.
- Set up regular check-ins or progress updates to ensure that the freelance marketer is on track and to address any issues or concerns that may arise.
- Be open to feedback and suggestions from the freelance marketer. They may have valuable insights and perspectives that can help improve your marketing efforts.
In conclusion, hiring a freelance marketer can be an excellent option for businesses of all sizes. However, it is essential to work effectively with them to achieve the best results. When you hire a freelance marketer most of the work to ensure the project is a success starts before the project officially begins by ensuring everything is set up clearly and defined, and expectations are set. By following these tips and having a clear agreement with your freelance marketer, you can have a successful partnership and achieve your business's marketing goals.