I’m using a new writer for one of the articles in the next issue of MyBusiness, and the article is due today. I’m always anxious the day the article is due—probably because part of me is worried that the article isn’t going to be very good. That doesn’t happen a lot, but trust me, it happens, and when it does you’ll tell yourself that you’ll never use a new writer again.
But it can’t work that way. If it did, you’d only be selling yourself—and your readers—short.
Freelancers and the vast diversity of knowledge, talent and experience they’re equipped with are one of the reasons our publications win awards. They help make our work better. (Oh, and it’s more cost-efficient to hire a photographer in California to shoot in California than to fly a photographer to California.)
Here at Hammock, we work with a lot of freelancers, mostly writers, photographers and illustrators. And over the years, we’ve learned a thing or two about how to work with them:
- Don’t hold a freelancer’s hand: Giving too much guidance on an assignment doesn’t leave much room for their own creativity. Give them some basic guidelines (maybe a few more if they’re new to working with your publication) and then let them run with the assignment.
- Do respond to their queries: Let them know if they’re on target with their ideas, if it’s not a fit or if they need to contact you in a few months. Whatever it is, let them know your response.
- Give feedback: If you use a freelancer but weren’t thrilled with the work they turned it, let them know what went wrong. They will appreciate the feedback for future assignments—whether it’s for your publications or not.