From briefing thoroughly to clear communication, our Freelancer AMA members give some advice for culture organisations working with freelancers.
“Working with a new freelancer is a bit like working with a new member of staff – they will do their best work when they really understand the organisation. Take the time to brief them thoroughly and to explain how your place works, including all its little quirks and foibles (ok, maybe not all). Sometimes it’s easy to forget that it takes a while for someone new or from outside of the organisation to pick up all the knowledge and nuance that you’re familiar with.”
“In my experience there is a point in a client/freelancer relationship where you’ve built mutual trust and familiarity, and you communicate openly and honestly, but the freelancer still retains independence and impartiality as an outsider. It’s a fine balance, but strive for that point – that’s where the magic happens.”
Sam Scott Wood
“Decide whether you’re looking for a freelancer (someone who’s independent, but essentially working as part of your team), or a consultant (someone coming in to provide an external perspective or expertise on an area of work). Lots of us will happily do both, but it’ll help set expectations within the organisation and for the freelancer if you’re clear about what you want from the relationship.”
“You need to be honest about what skills are missing in a team to get the most out of a freelancer and make sure you’re making the best use of the people available to you. For example, a lot of arts organisations don’t have advanced digital expertise in-house. Bringing in a freelancer to run a project gets you the skills you need to deliver a great piece of work. It also allows you to take advantage of a fresh pair of eyes and reduces the impact of internal politics on the effective delivery of a project. ”
“The biggest driver in my career has been maintaining empathy with audiences. Placing yourself in the shoes of your customers is the starting point for any venue in my belief. Whilst having had a successful career as a curator of content for audiences, I was able to achieve that success because of my role in marketing, and through it effectively being able to maintain a balance between culture and commerce which worked for the bottom line and for the nourishment of audiences’ needs.”