How to Maintain Long-Term Working Relationships with Freelancers

I feel quite fortunate that most of the work I presently have are clients with whom I have worked for more than two years. In one or two cases, I have clients that go back to my first year of operation (2013). The client knows I can be relied upon to produce the sort of work that they want. In turn, I know I can rely on them to pass more work my way when the time comes.

Sometimes though, these relationships drift apart. It doesn’t take me long to get the measure of a client and work out whether they are the sort of person or business with whom I want to work for the short or long-term. There are clients where I just want to get the work over and done with, make my excuses and never talk to them again.

What do you do if your freelancer stops responding or tells you they no longer want to work with you? As inconceivable as it might be that a freelancer would refuse actual money from an actual paying client, it seems they’ve decided it’s not worth the stress or the hassle. Here are some steps businesses can take to avoid being left holding the baby during a crisis.

Pay on Time

This cannot be stressed enough. One of the biggest bugbears of a freelancer is constantly having to chase up non-paying clients or those for whom late payment is a matter of habit. Chasing you for payment is time not spent working on projects – maybe even your current project. If days, weeks and months pass and you’ve still not paid, this is the fastest route to them ultimately refusing to co-operate. You can save yourself a lot of trouble and keep your freelancer on side by settling up within the specified time frame.

Don’t Expect to be Top Priority all the Time

Most of us are flexible. I know I am. I will always attempt to fit people in when they have urgent work. Sometimes it’s a definite no and sometimes it’s a “Not Friday, but how does Monday suit you?” I have come across clients who expect to be my top priority every time and they will not budge. They cannot conceive that other client projects could possibly be as urgent as their work. Expecting to shoot straight to the top of the pile every time is a ticking time bomb. I guarantee there will come a time when they stop even replying to your emails – especially if you expect a discount.

Co-Operate and Engage. Don’t Demand or Micromanage

On a similar note, pushiness is not a way of getting what you want. It’s important to remember that although the freelancer works for you, they are not an employee. They can and will say “no” to work. They can and will walk away from a client that is more hassle and stress than the money is worth. Expecting a freelancer to be on call and throwing a constant stream of curveballs demonstrates inflexibility on your part. Micromanaging is the quickest way to get our backs up too. Work with your freelancer: enquire, discuss and agree – but never demand.

Be Up Front about Your Needs

“It would have been good to know that before I started”. Do you get that a lot from freelancers? Not being given the right information at the right time is another frustration. A freelance content writer is not always an expert in the field about which they are writing – they will nearly always need some guidance. Even when they know the subject, they may have a different idea about what you want from your vision of the work than you do. It’s down to you to convey what it is you want to the freelancer before they start.

Do You Need a Freelance Content Writer?

Copyright MG Mason
Copyright MG Mason

If you wish to hire MG Mason Creative Services for your web freelance content writing needs, please contact me via the About Page here. You will also see my terms and conditions, and charges.


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