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FREELANCERS ARE SLUTTY, BUT SO ARE YOU
   Strategies for the Successful Engagement of Independent Contractors




                                                                 @justlikeair
Hi, I’m Shane & I run a
   100% FREELANCE
                                        
 driven company.	
  
A FEW OF OUR FRIENDS      (some people call them clients)




           www.shaneandpeter.com
USING FREELANCERS REQUIRES
A UNIQUE APPROACH
1.  When Does it Makes Sense
2.  Build the Right Team
3.  Craft the Deal
4.  Manage the Relationship
5.  Conclusion
Freelancer / Independent Contractor
   A person who offers their time and
   skill over a limited engagement in
   exchange for compensation.
1. WHEN SHOULD YOU GET HELP?
Thein Answer
  Is the Definition
Skill ° Time ° Work Load ° Perspective ° Bureaucracy
SKILLS       Require	
  ‘rubygems’	
  
             Require	
  ‘atchoum’	
  
             Class	
  SneezyWeb	
  <	
  Atchoum	
  
             	
  	
  def	
  layout	
  
             	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  html	
  do	
  
             	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  	
  head	
  do	
  




You are a master chef learning to code at night so 
      that you can make your own website.
TIME



     You missed your son’s grand slam 
 because of the 17th “emergency” in 2 hours.
                                   ©	
  Ed	
  Yourdon	
  via	
  flickr	
  
LOAD




Your staff goofs off due to inconsistent workloads.
PERSPECTIVE




Sometimes the answer is right in front of you and
    you just need someone to point it out.
Bureaucracy




Fill out Form 37A and we’ll get you an in-house
    designer 3 months from next Wednesday.
Great
    There are a TON of people who can help.	
  
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, approximately 10.3 million
workers in the U.S. (7.4% of the U.S. workforce) are independent contractors.
                           http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freelancer
Delegate
           not abdicate
No one knows as much about your business as you.
Freelance
  Is Not Free
 Look for a value proposition beyond just cost!
You can’t always get what you want
Get What You Need
Over ½ the requests we get from clients are for the wrong
 solution to the right problem. Be open to collaboration.
WHEN DOES IT MAKE SENSE?
•    Need a specialized skill
•    Your time has greater return elsewhere
•    Temporary help
•    A fresh mind focused on a problem
•    Bypass internal roadblocks
•    Saving money might be the wrong answer
•    Collaborate to find the best solutions
2. BUILDING THE RIGHT TEAM
Being the Right

 CUSTOMER
Make a Plan ° Do your Research ° Know your Boundaries
How do we win?
What are your metrics for success? If you can’t answer this right off the bat,
      stop what you are doing. You are about to lose a lot of money.
Don’t buy more than you can handle.
       It won’t solve your problem and you’ll just get disappointed.
Be an educated consumer
  & understand what’s under the hood!
$317,280?!   Always have a BUDGET defined by your
             business needs not the market’s cost.
What happens after you are

               “done?”
A purchase has a clear-cut beginning and end, whereas a
process is ongoing, and that is what you want from a partner.
Consider the life of the effort including maintenance, support
and future upgrades.
NOW GO FISHING
1.    Ask everyone you know
2.    Place an ad
3.    Check credentials
4.    Evaluate experience
THE RIGHT PEOPLE
•    Talented
•    Happy
•    Helpful
•    Curious
•    Accountable
TALENTED
1)  Normal interviews often don’t work 
2)  Remote interviews certainly don’t
3)  Review portfolios
4)  Try before you buy
5)  Hire slowly and fire quickly
When it comes to finding the right freelancer:

PERSONALITY MATTERS MORE THAN TALENT
HAPPY




HAPPY
HELPFUL




HELPFUL
CURIOUS
CURIOUS
ACCOUNTABLE
1getOUT contracts
    multiple
             OF 3                                                                      *

               Not everyone is going to be the perfect fit
 * In 2010, we tried 43 contractors of which 15 have multiple contracts (good year)
THE RIGHT TEAM REVIEW
•    Be the right customer
•    Find a good fishing hole
•    Try before you buy
•    Figure out YOUR culture
•    S&P’s: Happy, Helpful, Curious 
•    Accountable
•    Failures are inevitable, plan for them
3. CRAFTING THE DEAL
Enough talk…
Let’s Hook Up
     The 4 phases of a contract:
Discovery, Diagnosis, Design and Deal
WHO PAYS FOR THE DATE?
Creating a bid costs time and money. Interestingly
enough, the industry typically dictates who pays:
Industry	
                                   Vendor	
     Client	
  
General	
  Contractor	
  (ConstrucFon)	
  
                                               ✔	
  
Mechanic	
  
                                                            ✔	
  
Digital	
  Agency	
  
                                               ✔	
  
Technical	
  Writer	
  
                                               ✔	
  
Plumber	
  
                                                            ✔	
  
Deliverables
Exclusions & Dependencies
 Define exactly what you expect to receive for your investment.
    Figure out if there are any steps that must be first taken 
       by either party in order for the project to succeed.
COMPENSATION METHOD
Fixed 
Hourly 
Retainer 
Results 
Barter
There is no such thing as a


FIXED SCOPE
 I have yet to have a project that does not change as we work on it.
 This has proven true in construction projects in real estate as well as
 software & hardware. The act of creation is the act of exploration.
HOW DO YOU MEASURE?
Scope 
          Scope	
  
                 1hr	
  20m	
  acFve	
  play	
  together	
  per	
  day	
  
                 3	
  meals,	
  hand	
  cooked	
  


Time
            Time	
  
                 11-­‐14	
  years	
  

                 Payment	
  

Budget
          Licks,	
  hugs,	
  cuddles	
  and	
  undivided	
  love	
  




Quality
TERMS & CONDITIONS
Ownership
Support
Liability
Solicitation
Expiration
It doesn’t matter what it says, if they don’t


UNDERSTAND
  Legalese is for lawyers, not people. Write plain English contracts. 
  The best way to avoid problems down the line is clarity up front.
GET IT IN WRITING
    A handshake is a contract. Odds are, though, that you just shook 
on two different things. The effort of writing a contract encourages clarity.
S&P Contract Templates
Client Contract: 
http://bit.ly/sp-customer-contract

Master Services Agreement: 
http://bit.ly/sp-master-services-agreement
CRAFT THE DEAL REVIEW
•    How do I win?
•    Nail the scope
•    Tie it to a budget
•    Agree on a deadline
•    Discuss terms & policies
•    Put it all in writing
4. MANAGE THE RELATIONSHIP
5 STAGES OF A RELATIONSHIP
1. Romance / Attraction ….........
 Exploration
2. Reality Sets in ….....................
 OMG Love / Hate it
3. Power Struggle …..........….....
 Scope Creep
4. Commitment ….........…..........
 The Big Push
5. Co-Creation / Stability ….........
 Revisions / Support




                  From	
  a	
  presenta,on	
  by	
  	
  Josh	
  Sages	
  (h4p://slidesha.re/9y8ACi)	
  
The success of your project happened during


   THE SETUP
     The secret to managing a relationship with a freelancer 
is trust and clarity. Both of those were shaped during the sale.
How to build loyalty in a
polygamous environment?
PAY CONSISTENTLY & ON TIME
Make YOUR Deadlines
Most of our deadlines get blown by our
clients, not by us. It is your project. You
must hit YOUR deadlines.
STOPListen
 Collaborate &
    Nothing says “I care” more than “I hear you and totally understand.” 
You hired a technical expert. Please listen and seriously consider our advice.
BE ORGANIZED
Know where to find files.   Keep track of dates.   Reply to your emails.
JEALOUSY IS NOT SEXY
Respect the fact that freelancers work for multiple clients.
Clear Feedback is Essential
The only true measure of feedback quality: WTFs / Minute




                Adapted froman OSNews.com comic
TOOLS DON’T HAVE DREAMS. PEOPLE DO.
Check Yourself
      Before you wreck yourself

Client meeting for a Jewish teen website:

Client: “We want something that has
sort of an anarchist edge.
Something crazy like Mickey Mouse
with a swastika or something.”

Me: “Are you sure your demographic
is comfortable with swastikas?”

Client: “Why wouldn’t they be?”
             clientsfromhell.net	
  
95% odds they are a

TECHNICIAN
 Which means unless you have hired a project manager, 
           you ARE the project manager.
KNOW THEIR STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES
You can ask a plumber to fix your car, but don’t be surprised when it breaks.
We	
  call	
  it	
  a	
  “Scrum”	
  
THE KEY TO PROJECT MANAGEMENT: REGULAR REVIEW
  •  What did you do last?

  •  What will you do next?

  •  What is in your way?

  •  Do you need a meeting?
WHY CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG
When things are not working out, document, document, document. 
The best way to handle a charged and emotional situation is with a list of facts.
Serial Polygamy
•  Check availability and book ahead
•  Consistency drives loyalty
•  Share your excitement
•  Provide opportunities for learning and growth
•  Promote them to your network
•  Be flexible
•  Grow together
MANAGE THE RELATIONSHIP
•    Did you setup a win?
•    Pay on time, make your deadlines & be organized
•    Freelancers are people not tools
•    Check in on a regular basis
•    Give clear feedback
•    Maintain accountability while offering trust
•    Be prepared to manage and measure performance
•    Check yourself
•    Plan for a long-term relationship
USING FREELANCERS REQUIRES
A UNIQUE APPROACH
1.  When Does it Make Sense
2.  Build the Right Team
3.  Craft the Deal
4.  Manage the Relationship
5.  Conclusion
Freelancers are slutty
          but so are you
           We live in an open market. The best freelancers get to pick 
from a wide pool of suitors. The best clients pick from a wide pool of contractors. 
    In a polygamous world, we have choices. When competing for attention, 
              there are key things you can do to improve your odds:
Partners, not tools
Look for the right long-term partnerships. Start with skills,
but quickly move on to those things that drive a relationship.
You are going to have to work
   This is your baby. Prepare yourself to engage actively in the project.
The sale often
   defines the outcome
I can usually tell you if a project will succeed or fail before it even starts.
Set them up to win
 Provide the information, support and consistency 
       they will need to succeed fabulously.
Work together to have the project

Be On Scope, Budget & Time
And in the famous words of Bobby McFerrin




Don’t Worry, Be Happy
@justlikeair	
   shanepearlman.com	
  

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Freelancers are slutty, but so are you: Strategies for the successful management of independent contractors

  • 1. FREELANCERS ARE SLUTTY, BUT SO ARE YOU Strategies for the Successful Engagement of Independent Contractors @justlikeair
  • 2. Hi, I’m Shane & I run a 100% FREELANCE driven company.  
  • 3. A FEW OF OUR FRIENDS (some people call them clients) www.shaneandpeter.com
  • 4. USING FREELANCERS REQUIRES A UNIQUE APPROACH 1.  When Does it Makes Sense 2.  Build the Right Team 3.  Craft the Deal 4.  Manage the Relationship 5.  Conclusion
  • 5. Freelancer / Independent Contractor A person who offers their time and skill over a limited engagement in exchange for compensation.
  • 6. 1. WHEN SHOULD YOU GET HELP?
  • 7. Thein Answer Is the Definition Skill ° Time ° Work Load ° Perspective ° Bureaucracy
  • 8. SKILLS Require  ‘rubygems’   Require  ‘atchoum’   Class  SneezyWeb  <  Atchoum      def  layout            html  do                  head  do   You are a master chef learning to code at night so that you can make your own website.
  • 9. TIME You missed your son’s grand slam because of the 17th “emergency” in 2 hours. ©  Ed  Yourdon  via  flickr  
  • 10. LOAD Your staff goofs off due to inconsistent workloads.
  • 11. PERSPECTIVE Sometimes the answer is right in front of you and you just need someone to point it out.
  • 12. Bureaucracy Fill out Form 37A and we’ll get you an in-house designer 3 months from next Wednesday.
  • 13. Great There are a TON of people who can help.   According to the U.S. Department of Labor, approximately 10.3 million workers in the U.S. (7.4% of the U.S. workforce) are independent contractors. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freelancer
  • 14. Delegate not abdicate No one knows as much about your business as you.
  • 15. Freelance Is Not Free Look for a value proposition beyond just cost!
  • 16. You can’t always get what you want Get What You Need Over ½ the requests we get from clients are for the wrong solution to the right problem. Be open to collaboration.
  • 17. WHEN DOES IT MAKE SENSE? •  Need a specialized skill •  Your time has greater return elsewhere •  Temporary help •  A fresh mind focused on a problem •  Bypass internal roadblocks •  Saving money might be the wrong answer •  Collaborate to find the best solutions
  • 18. 2. BUILDING THE RIGHT TEAM
  • 19. Being the Right CUSTOMER Make a Plan ° Do your Research ° Know your Boundaries
  • 20. How do we win? What are your metrics for success? If you can’t answer this right off the bat, stop what you are doing. You are about to lose a lot of money.
  • 21. Don’t buy more than you can handle. It won’t solve your problem and you’ll just get disappointed.
  • 22. Be an educated consumer & understand what’s under the hood!
  • 23. $317,280?! Always have a BUDGET defined by your business needs not the market’s cost.
  • 24. What happens after you are “done?” A purchase has a clear-cut beginning and end, whereas a process is ongoing, and that is what you want from a partner. Consider the life of the effort including maintenance, support and future upgrades.
  • 25. NOW GO FISHING 1.  Ask everyone you know 2.  Place an ad 3.  Check credentials 4.  Evaluate experience
  • 26. THE RIGHT PEOPLE •  Talented •  Happy •  Helpful •  Curious •  Accountable
  • 27. TALENTED 1)  Normal interviews often don’t work 2)  Remote interviews certainly don’t 3)  Review portfolios 4)  Try before you buy 5)  Hire slowly and fire quickly
  • 28. When it comes to finding the right freelancer: PERSONALITY MATTERS MORE THAN TALENT
  • 33. 1getOUT contracts multiple OF 3 * Not everyone is going to be the perfect fit * In 2010, we tried 43 contractors of which 15 have multiple contracts (good year)
  • 34. THE RIGHT TEAM REVIEW •  Be the right customer •  Find a good fishing hole •  Try before you buy •  Figure out YOUR culture •  S&P’s: Happy, Helpful, Curious •  Accountable •  Failures are inevitable, plan for them
  • 36. Enough talk… Let’s Hook Up The 4 phases of a contract: Discovery, Diagnosis, Design and Deal
  • 37. WHO PAYS FOR THE DATE? Creating a bid costs time and money. Interestingly enough, the industry typically dictates who pays: Industry   Vendor   Client   General  Contractor  (ConstrucFon)   ✔   Mechanic   ✔   Digital  Agency   ✔   Technical  Writer   ✔   Plumber   ✔  
  • 38. Deliverables Exclusions & Dependencies Define exactly what you expect to receive for your investment. Figure out if there are any steps that must be first taken by either party in order for the project to succeed.
  • 39. COMPENSATION METHOD Fixed Hourly Retainer Results Barter
  • 40. There is no such thing as a FIXED SCOPE I have yet to have a project that does not change as we work on it. This has proven true in construction projects in real estate as well as software & hardware. The act of creation is the act of exploration.
  • 41. HOW DO YOU MEASURE? Scope Scope   1hr  20m  acFve  play  together  per  day   3  meals,  hand  cooked   Time Time   11-­‐14  years   Payment   Budget Licks,  hugs,  cuddles  and  undivided  love   Quality
  • 43. It doesn’t matter what it says, if they don’t UNDERSTAND Legalese is for lawyers, not people. Write plain English contracts. The best way to avoid problems down the line is clarity up front.
  • 44. GET IT IN WRITING A handshake is a contract. Odds are, though, that you just shook on two different things. The effort of writing a contract encourages clarity.
  • 45. S&P Contract Templates Client Contract: http://bit.ly/sp-customer-contract Master Services Agreement: http://bit.ly/sp-master-services-agreement
  • 46. CRAFT THE DEAL REVIEW •  How do I win? •  Nail the scope •  Tie it to a budget •  Agree on a deadline •  Discuss terms & policies •  Put it all in writing
  • 47. 4. MANAGE THE RELATIONSHIP
  • 48. 5 STAGES OF A RELATIONSHIP 1. Romance / Attraction …......... Exploration 2. Reality Sets in …..................... OMG Love / Hate it 3. Power Struggle …..........…..... Scope Creep 4. Commitment ….........….......... The Big Push 5. Co-Creation / Stability …......... Revisions / Support From  a  presenta,on  by    Josh  Sages  (h4p://slidesha.re/9y8ACi)  
  • 49. The success of your project happened during THE SETUP The secret to managing a relationship with a freelancer is trust and clarity. Both of those were shaped during the sale.
  • 50. How to build loyalty in a polygamous environment?
  • 52. Make YOUR Deadlines Most of our deadlines get blown by our clients, not by us. It is your project. You must hit YOUR deadlines.
  • 53. STOPListen Collaborate & Nothing says “I care” more than “I hear you and totally understand.” You hired a technical expert. Please listen and seriously consider our advice.
  • 54. BE ORGANIZED Know where to find files. Keep track of dates. Reply to your emails.
  • 55. JEALOUSY IS NOT SEXY Respect the fact that freelancers work for multiple clients.
  • 56. Clear Feedback is Essential The only true measure of feedback quality: WTFs / Minute Adapted froman OSNews.com comic
  • 57. TOOLS DON’T HAVE DREAMS. PEOPLE DO.
  • 58. Check Yourself Before you wreck yourself Client meeting for a Jewish teen website: Client: “We want something that has sort of an anarchist edge. Something crazy like Mickey Mouse with a swastika or something.” Me: “Are you sure your demographic is comfortable with swastikas?” Client: “Why wouldn’t they be?” clientsfromhell.net  
  • 59. 95% odds they are a TECHNICIAN Which means unless you have hired a project manager, you ARE the project manager.
  • 60. KNOW THEIR STRENGTHS & WEAKNESSES You can ask a plumber to fix your car, but don’t be surprised when it breaks.
  • 61. We  call  it  a  “Scrum”   THE KEY TO PROJECT MANAGEMENT: REGULAR REVIEW •  What did you do last? •  What will you do next? •  What is in your way? •  Do you need a meeting?
  • 62. WHY CAN’T WE ALL JUST GET ALONG When things are not working out, document, document, document. The best way to handle a charged and emotional situation is with a list of facts.
  • 63. Serial Polygamy •  Check availability and book ahead •  Consistency drives loyalty •  Share your excitement •  Provide opportunities for learning and growth •  Promote them to your network •  Be flexible •  Grow together
  • 64. MANAGE THE RELATIONSHIP •  Did you setup a win? •  Pay on time, make your deadlines & be organized •  Freelancers are people not tools •  Check in on a regular basis •  Give clear feedback •  Maintain accountability while offering trust •  Be prepared to manage and measure performance •  Check yourself •  Plan for a long-term relationship
  • 65. USING FREELANCERS REQUIRES A UNIQUE APPROACH 1.  When Does it Make Sense 2.  Build the Right Team 3.  Craft the Deal 4.  Manage the Relationship 5.  Conclusion
  • 66. Freelancers are slutty but so are you We live in an open market. The best freelancers get to pick from a wide pool of suitors. The best clients pick from a wide pool of contractors. In a polygamous world, we have choices. When competing for attention, there are key things you can do to improve your odds:
  • 67. Partners, not tools Look for the right long-term partnerships. Start with skills, but quickly move on to those things that drive a relationship.
  • 68. You are going to have to work This is your baby. Prepare yourself to engage actively in the project.
  • 69. The sale often defines the outcome I can usually tell you if a project will succeed or fail before it even starts.
  • 70. Set them up to win Provide the information, support and consistency they will need to succeed fabulously.
  • 71. Work together to have the project Be On Scope, Budget & Time
  • 72. And in the famous words of Bobby McFerrin Don’t Worry, Be Happy