Successful remote freelancers are made up of a lot of different characteristics which can be measured by the way you run your business. Whether you hired one remote freelancer or twenty, there is a certain aspect with which you should be approaching a freelancer which can have all the effect on your company.
But a successful company is based on how well the remote freelancers perform together and individually. In understanding this you have to realize the person behind the screen is someone who needs support and instruction from time to time. Motivation and inspiration should always be one of your top priorities for remote freelancers. When they are happy, they are productive and meeting the goals you have set for them. Here are 10 ways to motivate and inspire these freelancers and ensure your business continues on the path to success.
#1 – Weekly All-Hands Meetings
For remote freelancers to understand short term goals and responsibilities, a weekly freelancer meeting should always be considered. This is done so you can determine where freelancers are at as a group and as an individual.
During weekly meetings like this it’s important to allow them to speak freely on projects they have questions on or opinions about. This allows them to stay on track with where you want them to be headed for the week so they will enable your business to land on the long term goal later.
#2 – Bi-weekly One-on-Ones
Having a sit down with freelancers as an individual will help both mentally and structurally within your business. During this time you should encourage them to speak out with whatever they are having problems with so you can help meet their goals for projects.
One on one meetings are always good because there are always those remote freelancers who don’t like to speak out in a crowd during the all hands meeting every week. Even if it’s encouraged, there will always be that one person who doesn’t feel comfortable speaking out. This gives them a chance to have a more intimate setting with you and it also shows them you’re interested in their valuable opinions.
#3 – Relate the Person To The Company Goals
There is nothing more powerful than handing a responsibility to a freelancer. While most business owners don’t think about it in this way, it really is a powerful thing. If you have a goal within your company and you have specifically hired someone for it, then you have strategically planned for this person’s talents to help you meet those goals.
It’s important to connect the dots for them on this fact. Showing the freelancer you need them in order to meet certain criteria or goals makes your company more personal and also gives them ownership of the company in a sense. Relating the person to your goals shows them you trust them with the responsibilities you have given them and you understand the value they bring to your business.
This ownership gives them a sense of entitlement and you will find a freelancer will accomplish their tasks and responsibilities like you (the business owner) would because they feel it is their’s as well. Ownership is power and you are giving it to them.
#4 – Share Important Milestones That The Company Is Hitting
Every freelancer wants to hear that the business is succeeding. It builds morale and a higher productivity level. It is crucial to announce future milestones and announcing them when you arrive because it creates a harder-working work force in your company.
Better yet, you can give them a milestone to shoot for by rewarding them when they meet the goal you set. Amazon gift cards and other gifts (which I’ll talk about later) are always great to help hit a milestone marker.
#5 – Offer a Raise System That Increases As The Company Grows
No one wants to work for a company who refuses to talk about pay raises. Remote freelancers are usually more compliant to your message if they know their paycheck is going to get bigger as the company gets larger as well.
Of course, if the freelancer is completing tasks on time and being the freelancer you want them to be, it’s important for them to realize you would consider a raise once you have the budget for one.
#6 – Offer A Bonus System For Freelancers
One of the best ways to get more productivity out of remote freelancers is to offer a bonus system of some sort.
This can be anything you’d like it to be, but preferably something freelancers would enjoy. You may have to ask them, but gift cards are easy and a popular choice. If you want to include larger bonuses when massive goals are completed, you can step it up a notch with iPods and other big gifts.
Bonus systems help freelancers focus on the goals you want to achieve and if they know there’s a prize waiting on them on the other side of the goal, you will find your business will get there much faster.
#7 – Give Honest Feedback of What Is Working and What Isn’t
If you want to create a well-oiled freelancer machine, you need to understand how to give positive feedback and negative feedback in a positive way which will still get you correct results.
Someone is going to make a mistake. Granted, if you run a business for any amount of time, a freelancer is going to miss something small or do something stupid. When this happens it’s important you know not to call them out publicly in front of other people (like at the weekly meeting).
Rather, get them one on one alone and learn why they made the mistake and help them figure out how they can rectify it efficiently. Growing and learning each other and how you run your business and how they work is important in order to build your business.
On the other side of this coin is positive feedback. When you are only coming out of your cave to shout at someone for doing wrong, you are sending a bad message to remote freelancers. Understand when someone does something right too. When that happens, public praise is the recommended course of action.
Remember, praise publicly, find mistakes privately.
#8 – Create A Concrete Development Plan For Them
So many business owners find freelancers quickly and get to work fast. It’s exciting to learn you have a group of people who are helping you meet your next business goal, however, if you want long-term, loyal freelancers who will stand by your side, you need to develop these people into a hybrid workforce which can take on multiple roles and responsibilities.
Learn remote freelancers’ personal goals, their weaknesses, strengths, and other characteristics which make them who they are. Once this is found out, create a development plan based on a conglomeration of all of these attributes. If they need help learning how to engage the customer better, perhaps a one hour onboarding per week would help them learn how to deal more effectively with the area where they are lacking in.
Always be creating opportunities where freelancers can grow and develop themselves personally because it will come back to create a solid business for yourself.
#9 – Send Them Gifts
Once upon a time I was working remotely for a company based out of San Diego. About a month in, a package arrived at my door. It was 5 boxes full of different coffee and cookies.
Two months later, another box arrived. I tore open the package and it was chocolate covered pretzels, cookies, and fudge.
I asked them why they were sending me all of these cool gifts that were making me fat, and they simply told me they appreciated the work I was doing and all of the hours I was spending for them.
You don’t have to have a good reason to send remote freelancers gifts. Especially if your company is doing halfway decent this year, a Christmas gift is a definite given. Appreciate freelancers and they will give you 110% every day. The $20 you just spent will be an investment into the mental morality of a freelancer in the future.
#10 – Offer More Responsibility As They Grow
As a business owner, it’s your main task to watch freelancers. Monitor the way they handle each task you give them. Make notes on which one grumbles, write down who did the work with a positive attitude, all of this will help you when it’s time to help one of them climb the ladder later.
For the freelancer who is showing initiative, slowly begin to add more responsibilities to their workload. If you have an idea of a position you would like to fill within your company, add responsibilities related to this position for the freelancer in question. Once you see they can handle the extra responsibility, allow them to step forward into the position.
When a freelancer sees you’re willing to open the gate and allow them to grow within your company you build trust and respect and they will not only feel motivated, but inspired to work as hard as they can. This is just one of the ways loyalty is made within your company.
Simply putting remote freelancers to work is only half of your responsibility. You must oversee, inquire, meet, encourage, build, motivate, be personal, and a lot of other things in order to create a group which will go to the brink with you in your business.
What are some creative ways you inspire freelancers? Do you have a special story you would like to share with someone to help them? I would love to hear about it in the comment section!
Wade Harman is a content writing wizard with an M.A. in Cognitive Psychology. He share social media psychology and other marketing tips online related to cognitive trigger response. He loves to fish and read comic books for fun, to get the creative juices flowing.