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When you’re a one-man show or even a startup the benefits of hiring freelancers are immense. You get to benefit from top talent without having to pay overhead costs such as insurance, paid vacation, sick time and more.

Your business gets to run even when you’re not around. However, just as there are lots of freelancers, there is a huge demand for top freelancers. It’s therefore, to your advantage if you’re able to retain your best freelancers.

But how do you do this?

Got the best writer? Perhaps a web designer? Or is it a virtual assistant? What can you do to ensure that you retain them and continue working with them long term?

Give them a Recommendation or Testimonial

Recommendations and testimonials are the Holy Grail for freelancers. They help them build a reputation, stamp their authority and stand out from other freelancers.

Offer your freelancers recommendations and testimonials that they can add to their freelance websites or business profiles. If you hire freelancers using online freelance platforms such as Upwork leave them a rating after they complete a project.

By doing so you get to build a relationship with them and get them to continue working for you.

Celebrate Them

Having a good freelancer doesn’t come easy so once you get one be sure to celebrate them. You can do this by sending them a gift. This could be for their birthday, Christmas, the birth of their child or any other milestone in their life.

You don’t need to go overboard with your gifts. A gift voucher such as Amazon gift card will do. Sometimes you can even choose to offer them a cash gift via PayPal.

I sent this gift to my amazing project manager who ran my team and business for me when I was sick for a week. Liz lives in the Philippines and I have a great friend that owns an amazing gift store in Davao. She personalised the gift card for me and chose the presents and organised fast delivery.

If you would like to reward your freelancer this is her shop. Gifts Davao 


Give Them a Bonus

Once in a while when a freelancer does an outstanding job or goes over and above to do a job for you, reward them with a bonus. This can be an amount of your own choosing that is above the rate you normally pay them for the job. Add a quick thank you note when sending them the extra bonus. They will love it!

Freelancer of the Month

If you have a team of freelancers make it a habit to honour those who stand out every month. Showcase the best freelancer every month and reward them with either a cash reward or a gift.

Let your freelancers know that you will be celebrating the best freelancers on a monthly basis. This will keep everyone motivated to keep working hard.

Offer Them Discounts

If you offer products or services that your freelancers may find useful, once in a while offer them discounts. You can alternatively offer them a cash voucher that they can use towards paying for a product or service of their choice.

Thank them Regularly

This is the simplest but the most overlooked way of rewarding a freelancer. Simply saying thank you for a job well done regularly will make a world of a difference and will make your freelancers feel appreciated and valued for what they do.

Always add a thank you note when sending freelancers their payment. Also, schedule time to email your freelancers a message reminding them how much they rock.

There are a few other ways to reward and show appreciation to your freelancers. To many clients these may seem obvious but unfortunately they are often overlooked. However, by doing the following you will have freelancers who appreciate you in return and want to work with only you.

Offer them the Best Rates for Their Talent

One mistake that most clients make when hiring freelancers is to offer them the lowest rates possible in a bid to save as much money as possible for the business.

Well, now this is the worst approach when looking for talent. Cheap attracts cheap.

If you come across a really good freelancer who will be a good fit for your team pay them what they are worth.

While we’re on the topic of pay, another way to appreciate your freelancers is to pay them on time. It may not seem like much but the peace of mind of knowing that they will be paid on the date agreed upon is priceless.

Offer them the Best Projects First

When you have new projects ask your best freelancers if they are available to take them up before finding other freelancers.

By going to them first you show them that you appreciate what they do for you and you love working with them.

Give them Referrals

If you know of other clients who are looking for services that your best freelancers offer, let them know you have someone who can help them out. Don’t be afraid that your freelancers will leave you for the other clients. Freelancers need as much work as possible to keep their businesses running.

By offering your freelancers a referral you actually gain their loyalty because you saw them as deserving of new business.

Offer Writers a Byline

If you find the best freelance writer around and whom you plan to use full time for all your blogging needs it will be a great move to offer them a byline.
A byline is one of the best things that a writer can have. It gives them free advertising and showcases their ability as a writer. Something they can be proud of. Some freelancers will even offer a discount in exchange for a byline.

While ghostwriting is totally appropriate sometimes as a client you really have nothing to lose if your content carries the name of your freelancer. If this is the case then make use of this incentive to offer your top freelance writer a good reason to stay with you.

Offer Then More Responsibilities

The longer you continue to work with a great freelancer you get to know their strengths and skills. Motivate them to up-skill and when you have new roles that you need to delegate give them the first shot. By doing so you make them feel useful and part of your business.

Knowing that there is room for growth will give them a good reason to continue working with you instead of spending time looking for new clients.

Most of these incentives will hardly cost you much but taking the time to appreciate good talent and letting the good freelancers know that they are doing a good job will go a long way to give your freelancers all the reasons to stay put. That’s what you want right? So go on let that freelancer know you appreciate them!