Freelance Outsourcing Nightmares: 4 Pro Tips to Keep Your Invoices in Check

If you own a business, you might outsource some of your work to freelancers to provide you with photography, translations, writing, and other marketing materials. If you have a lot of work that you have to outsource to others, you also have a lot of work that you need to track through invoices. You want to make sure that you and your freelancers understand each other so that you get the work that you need and everyone makes contacts that are profitable for the long-run. All parties involved will be happier with the outcome when things are as clear as possible, and you can make the transaction process clearer and more efficient when you use these four tips to keep your invoices in check.

Be Specific about What You Want

When you’re working with freelancers who don’t necessarily know your business and needs as well as you do, it’s easy to forget to be specific about what you want. If you’re hiring someone to take pictures of your building, make sure that you’re specific about which styles of photography that you like so that the photographer knows what you’re looking to achieve. Otherwise, you might get something back that you don’t want to pay for but feel obligated to anyways because you never specified what you wanted.

Be Specific about Pricing

Will you be paying your writer by the word, page, project, or hour? How about your graphic artist? You could pay them by the image, or they might give you a bulk-rate discount after a certain number of images. Specify exactly how they charge so that you’re not caught unaware when the invoice comes in the mail.

Use Independent Contractor Agreements

This hard contract can save you and freelancers many hours of time and a lot of frustration when you fill it out. It serves as written documentation of how the freelancer will charge and the specifics of the work that you want. This way, when you get the invoice, you won’t have surprises. These can be made by a corporate attorney. You should research the field of work and custom agreements. Make sure all stipulations are laid out so nobody gets surprises. This is great for interpreters, translators, and graphic design work.

View Their Portfolio

When you hire a freelancer, definitely view their portfolio. Also, you can request a smaller batch of work before you order a large batch so that you’re confident that you’ll get the quality of work that you were hoping for.

Whenever you outsource work, you need to understand that the freelancer will not understand what you want without you saying it. There are freelancers with a wide variety of experiences, so you can’t assume that what you need should be obvious. When you take the time to be specific from the beginning, you’ll save everyone hours of work and headache later in the process, and you’ll be happier when the invoice comes and you’re charged for the services that you thought you would be.

Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from West Jordan, Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.

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