How To Hire Freelance Content Creators: A Comprehensive Guide

Posted by Josh Gallant 04 June, 2018 No comments

BOOM!

A great idea just popped into your head…

This idea could be the key to unlocking a brand new level of success in your business and you know it. There’s only one problem…

You have no idea how to bring it to life.

What good is an idea if you can’t actually create it and let it fly?

Maybe it’s a brand new video for a sales page…

Maybe it’s an ebook you’re going to use to bring in more leads

Maybe it’s a cornerstone piece of content for your blog that could go viral…

Whatever your game changing idea is, you NEED to bring it to life. The only question in front of you right now is short and sweet:

HOW?

How are you going to create this thing? You’re not a videographer. You’re not the best writer. Graphic design isn’t your cup of tea. Do you have to hire a full-time employee just to bring this idea to life? No way…

All you need is a freelance content creator.

If you’re not sure how to find someone qualified that can bring your vision to life, don’t panic. By the end of this post, you’ll have a list full of great creators who can’t wait to dive in and help you out.

The best part?

Follow this step-by-step process and you’ll save a ton of money, time, and headaches from start to finish.

You won’t get stuck working with overpaid and overhyped content creators that can’t actually deliver. You won’t be wasting your time scraping every corner of the internet trying to generate just a small amount of interest. You won’t waste your time and money working with someone who can’t actually do what they said they could.

Sound good?

Let’s dive in…

Step 1: Determine The Type Of Content You Need

Before you can actually start searching for content creators, you should make sure to outline exactly what it is you’re searching for. While a number of freelance content creators can wear many hats, it’s best to focus in on the ones who excel at the specific things you’re looking for.

If you haven’t already, take a few minutes to outline what type of content you’re looking for, and a brief description of the scope of work.

Example: If you’re looking for someone to write an ebook you can use to bring in more B2B leads, that’s going to require a different skill set than someone looking for catchy social media content for a campaign you’re running.

The more insight you have on what you need done, the greater your chances of hiring the best person for the job. Most projects will typically be one of or a combination of these four types of content:

1. Written Content.

Think blog posts, social media posts, ebooks, landing page copy, email copy, and any other form of written content. Make sure to be specific with what you’re looking for, as most freelance writers specialize in a few certain aspects here.

2. Video Content.

Storytelling videos, campaign promotions, explainer videos, event coverage, and more. If you’re on the hunt for video creation, make note of what you’re wanting to be included and where you want it to focus.

3. Photo Content

Product shots, event photography, team headshots, social media content, website photos, etc. Sure you could get someone on your team to use their phone, but the quality difference between that and a pro is usually worth the investment.

4. Graphic Design

Infographics, website graphics, blog post banners, book covers, social media visuals, and more. If you want to make sure your visuals are high quality, a good graphic designer will be able to do just that.

Step 2: Determine Your Budget

After you’ve identified what type of work you’re looking for, the next step is going to be determining how much you’re willing and able to spend on your project. When it comes to outlining the budget, the number one question is always…

How much does a freelance content creator actually cost?

The truth is, how much you need to pay is going to vary based on a number of factors like how big the project is, what type of content you’re looking to create, the skill level and experience of the person you hire, and what the content is actually about.

While there’s no one-size-fits-all pricing structure when it comes to freelance content creation, ClearVoice put together some general guidelines you can use to estimate how much you’ll need to spend depending on what type of content you’re looking for and how experienced you want your content creator to be:

When you’re identifying your budget, keep in mind that certain forms of content are going to take longer to create than others. If you find a content writer you love that charges $120 dollars an hour, the total project cost will be a lot different if you’re just looking for a 1,000 word blog post versus a 10,000 word eBook.

If your project has a strict deadline that’s fast approaching as well, be prepared to pay a bit of a premium to make sure the work is finished on time. Also… Keep in mind this simple idea:

You often get what you pay for. 

If you want mediocre work; pay mediocre rates.

If you want excellent work; pay excellent rates.

Step 3: Create Your Job Postings

Once you have an idea of what you’re looking for and how much you’re able to spend, it’s time to piece it all together into something you can use to the best talent for the job. When it comes to finding freelance writers and content creators, the process is going to be a bit different than hiring full-time team members.

Instead of relying on the full-time job search sites like Indeed and Alongside, you’re going to be focusing your efforts on freelance-focused sites like CopyHackers, CopyBlogger, Upwork, and Fiverr, as well as your own company website:

1. CopyHackers & CopyBlogger

If you’re looking for freelance writers, CopyHackers and CopyBlogger are the first places you need to go. Each site has a collection of verified and approved copywriters, content creators, and content strategists available for you to reach out to and work with.

When you go to the Copy Hackers For Hire section of CopyHackers, you can search for a writer that matches exactly what you’re looking for and who you’re planning to speak to with the project:

With CopyBlogger’s Certified Content Marketers search tool, you can look up specific keywords that align with the scope of your project, and sort by the type of writing you’re looking for, from case studies, to landing page copy, and more:

2. Upwork & Fiverr

Again, if you’re looking for writers, CopyHackers and CopyBlogger are the places you need to be. There’s a great chance you’ll find the perfect writer for your project. If you’re looking for a different type of content, whether it be video, graphic design, or something else, Upwork and Fiverr should be your next stop.

These two sites are the go-to for freelance contract workers no matter what the scope of your project is. They’re not as targeted as CopyHackers and CopyBlogger, but each has a large network of capable content creators available to you. Fiverr even has its own network called Veed.me full of videographers available for hire.

On Upwork, after you create an account, take a few minutes to search for people you could see yourself working with. Use the search bar to look up keywords like ‘freelance video editor’, ‘freelance graphic designer’, and anything else that relates to your project.

If you find someone you’d be interested in working with, reach out to them with the scope of the project and see what their interest levels are. Once you’re ready to create your job posting, there are four things you need to include when posting a job on Upwork:

  1. The scope of work.
  2. The project’s deadline.
  3. Your budget.
  4. How you’ll pay.

Once the posting is live, any Upwork users that are interested will begin to reach out. From there, you talk with the people who respond and decide if there’s someone you’d like to work with.

The process on Fiverr is going to be pretty much identical. Post your project with the same key elements included, then talk with the people who reach out through the posting. If you find someone to work with, awesome! If not, don’t panic, there’s still a lot more you can do to find someone great.

3. Your Own Website

CopyHackers, CopyBlogger, Upwork, and Fiverr are all great resources, and there’s a good chance you’ll be able to find what you’re looking for through these sites. That said, if you limit your search to these networks and nowhere else, you’re going to miss out on something incredibly valuable…

The pool of talent that isn’t actively searching for jobs through these sites.

Think about it… If a videographer or writer is so good that everybody wants to work with them, they probably won’t be actively on the lookout for new clients. Does that mean they aren’t interested in more work? Sure it’s possible, but I’d say there’s a good chance they won’t say no to a good contract.

Instead of relying solely on CopyHackers, CopyBlogger, Upwork, and Fiverr, use the same project scope and create a post on your own company website. All you have to do is publish the posting as a regular blog post like we did here:

We were on the hunt for full-time talent, but you could easily shift your focus to freelance help. The key is to create a post you can refer anyone you find outside of Upwork and Fiverr to that gives them a deeper rundown on the project.

Step 4: Go Where These Creators Spend Their Time

Now that you have an active job posting on your website, it’s time to start searching for the best talent you can find. The key here is to go to wherever these talented folks are already spending their time.

Here’s the thing:

The best freelancers are creating content of their own on top of the client work they do.

Find some folks creating content that’s similar to what you’re on the hunt for and reach out to them. If they’re interested, share your job posting with them and go from there. Use these popular networks as a starting point:

  1. Medium for Writers
  2. YouTube for Videographers
  3. Instagram for Photographers & Videographers
  4. Unsplash for Photographers
  5. Dribbble for Graphic Designers

Step 5: Share Your Job Posting In Popular Communities

The key here is to give your job posting as much reach as possible. The more qualified people you’ll be able to reach, the greater your chances of find that perfect fit for the project.

When it comes to the communities you should be sharing in, there’s a clear frontrunner you should be focusing your efforts on…

Facebook Groups

If you’re searching for talented freelance workers, Facebook Groups are a great place to look. Whatever it is you’re searching for, there’s probably a group full of experts and talented individuals that can either help you directly or refer you to someone who could.

Post like this one from Troy Osinoff in the All Things Social Media group on Facebook are great for sharing your opportunities and generating some interest for your job posting:

You can also jump into these networks with a request for referrals based on what it is you’re looking for. Using the same example from before, if you’re looking to hire someone to help you create an ebook to generate more B2B leads, you can share a post asking the community to recommend talented people. It could also be a simple request for photography help if you’re searching for it, like this:

Slack Communities

A great place to find content creators are the hiring sections of some of the popular Slack channels. A lot of content marketing Slack groups have a jobs channel where you can share your opportunities and ask for recommendations and applications, like this one here in the Buffer Community.

LinkedIn / Quora / Reddit

The same process can be used in other communities as well like LinkedIn Groups, Quora, and Reddit. Share a post asking for recommendations or folks to reach out if they’re interested, include a link to your job posting, and let the conversations flow.

Step 6: Reach Out To Your Network For Introductions

At this point, you have job postings live on Upwork and Fiverr that are generating interest, a job posting on your own company blog bringing in some traffic, and a few posts in relevant communities on Facebook, Linkedin, or somewhere else that you’re getting some referrals through.

By now, you’re probably getting a good amount of traction across the board. Your inbox is probably filling up with interested content creators, and you very well may find the best person for the job through this process.

But before you commit to someone, there’s one thing you MUST do first…

Ask your network for introductions to their best people.

There’s no better signoff than a recommendation from one of your colleagues or members of your network. If they’re willing to recommend someone, there’s a great chance that person delivers high-quality work and was a pleasure to work with.

The best way to do this is through a well-crafted LinkedIn status update.

Make sure to provide some detail around what it is you’re looking for with the project, and include a direct ask for recommendations from your network. If you don’t ask, you won’t get much traction on the post. Here’s a quick template you can tweak and run with for your own posting:

Hey everyone – My team and I at [YOUR COMPANY NAME] are on the hunt for a content writer to help us bring our new B2B-focused eBook to life.

We’re looking for someone that’s consistently delivering great work, so if you have a go-to freelance writer that’s done great work for you in the past, I’d love to hear all about them.

Leave a comment or shoot me a message if you have someone to recommend!

Take that quick template, flip the project scope to match your own, add your own personal touch and hit post. If you can find someone this way, the chances of you wasting your time and money on a low-quality content creator who was able to talk a big game before the work started goes down big time.

Now Over To You…

By now, you should have a list of interested content creators on hand. Folks you found through CopyHackers and CopyBloggers, Upwork and Fiverr, your own job posting, Facebook Group referrals, Slack communities, introductions through your network… All of these channels should have brought in a good amount of interest for you.

Now the ball is in your court.

You know what you’re looking for, so it’s time to decide who you’re going to work with. If you have more than one person you want to say yes to, see if you can identify a few other project ideas you’ve been sitting on. Just because you don’t work with someone on this specific project doesn’t mean the door won’t be open again in the future.

Keep this list of content creators on hand. If you’re looking for something different in the future, dig it back up and reach out. Before you know it, you’ll have a handful of the best creators in town ready to work with you as soon as something new pops up.

Have you worked with freelance content creators before? If so, what was it like for you? Did it save you a ton of time? Was it better than hiring a full-time content creator? Drop a comment down below or reach out on Twitter and lemme know your thoughts!

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