I’ve not been a freelancer for terribly long, and I’m registered on a few sites like PPH, but I’ve noticed a worrying trend when I read job posts: a definite lack of detail. Why does this worry me? It means that clients are probably a) spending unnecessary time answering a multitude of further information requests and questions, and b) not getting the best freelancer for the best rate.
On a personal level, this means that I am not able to provide you, my prospective client, with the information you need about how I will approach the work, how long it may take and what value I can offer you.
As a service to clients and fellow freelancers alike, I’d like to offer six tips on what to include in your job ad so that you are contacted by the best freelancers for the job, and they can write the best possible proposal.
What to include in your Job ad
- Include a company description. It only needs to be a line or two, but an idea of what your organisation does, where you are based, a link to your website and what industry you are in is extremely helpful. Some creatives are better suited to certain types of work in certain industries, and this will help you attract freelancers who are the right ‘fit’.
- Elaborate as much as possible about ‘tone’. One word descriptions are not terribly useful as they can be interpreted several ways. Playful, formal, casual can all have different meanings according to where the article will appear and who the audience is. A casual style for a business audience is very different to a casual style for a fashion magazine audience!
- Be clear on the scope of the work you need. Always include the number of pages, word count, size of publication, the number of versions and how many rounds of amends you require – and be very specific. If you aren’t clear, you will end up paying far more than the quoted price when it becomes apparent the job is bigger than you first thought. And, the freelancer may not be keen to work with you again.
- Start date and deadline. I cannot emphasise how important this is, and I can guarantee you’ve been asked this question a hundred times. Freelancers are juggling endless tasks and are unlikely to bid if they can’t fit your work in or give it the time it deserves.
- Topics can be misinterpreted, so be specific. One line is often not enough. If you are too broad the freelancer will be left wondering how much research they need to do and you’ll be left answering questions on what you are really hoping to achieve.
- Use the extra notes section to your advantage. If you are seeking a copywriter, also include your website URL (or links to websites or content you are inspired by) so that we can get a feel for how you wish to communicate to your audience.
- Background and objectives: Why do you need this work completed? What are you hoping that it will achieve?
- Audience: Who will be reading/watching/seeing this work? Where do they live, what age are they? What careers are they likely to have?
- Where the work will be published: Is it intended for a blog, printed publication, website or billboard?
- Inspiration: These can be links to websites, magazines, blogs, Instagram, Pinterest…the list is endless, but it will give your freelancer an idea if their style fits with yours.
- What resources and/or information you are able to provide at the start of the job: This may be in the form of access to key staff; examples of company documents or past work; style, branding or tone of voice guides. The more you help us, the more we can help you!
- Anything you couldn’t fit in the other categories!
Freelancers want to write proposals that fit the bill, and would love to provide you with relevant examples and ideas that connect with the idea that you hold in your mind of the finished product. We want to get the work off the ground as quickly as you do – and the more information you can provide, the more easily this will happen.
Writing with so much detail may seem like extra work you don’t have time for, but spending ten minutes really thinking about the job, why it is so important, and the type of person you’d love to have to work on it will make an enormous difference to the proposals you receive and, ultimately, the work you receive back.
About the Author
Katrina is a self-confessed word nerd who has enjoyed a career in Marketing and Public Relations via a rich variety of roles in Australia, the UK, and the US. Her freelance business, Veracity Content, was born out of a desire to make the element she loved most about each role she’s held – creating brilliant written content – the focus of her career. Check out Katrina’s portfolio on PeoplePerHour!
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