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

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

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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 and loyalty, there are key things you can do to improve your odds.

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 and loyalty, there are key things you can do to improve your odds.

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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
  29. HAPPY HAPPY
  30. HELPFUL HELPFUL
  31. CURIOUS CURIOUS
  32. ACCOUNTABLE
  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
  35. 3. CRAFTING THE DEAL
  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
  42. TERMS & CONDITIONS Ownership Support Liability Solicitation Expiration
  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?
  51. PAY CONSISTENTLY & ON TIME
  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
  73. @justlikeair   shanepearlman.com  

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