Organized Freelance. Part 2. Performers

    When creating a web studio, agency, etc. Performers are your main resource and tool. Their level of professionalism and responsibility are the main factors affecting your earnings and the quality of work.

    When you are looking for employees, remember that you are hiring a co-owner rather than an employee. Their level of competence in any matters should be a cut above yours. Otherwise, you hire yourself a problem that you will have to solve yourself and at the same time it will be very difficult to grow.

    When selecting artists, you need to understand how much money you are willing to spend on a particular specialist. Among the heap of offers you will find several more or less adequate. If you see that this is the person you need, but the price is not very comfortable for you, try to negotiate. Imagine your benefits and try to work together, even if the order goes to zero. Because with the following orders you will receive much more by raising your bar. By the way, on my first orders, the designer received about 50% of the total budget. That is, at first I earned less than my designer.

    As I said earlier, we work piece by piece. Half of the payment at the beginning and the second half at the end of work. But pay the first half, when a person really delved into the project, in the terms of reference, so that later there would be no contentious issues. The second half is strictly at the end, so that the person does not relax before the finish.

    A reasonable question often arises, but what if he takes half and leaves? It happens, but in order to prevent this from happening, the employee needs to make it clear that you have a stream of orders, that everything is strictly paid and that it will work - there will be money. When a person understands this, he has the motivation to do it qualitatively, to squeeze complex projects and not back out halfway.

    In order to close the question completely, we need insurance, i.e. additional performers who will be ready to take on the project. Therefore, I propose to make a list in Excel, where there will be contacts of freelancers, divided by profession, price and timing of creation. For the first month of work, I got 30 contacts, really high-quality and potential employees. I think you should make a no less list, and especially allocate time specifically for the selection of performers.

    You can search for artists on freelance portals, specialized forums, through Google in a pinch. You can find it on social networks, personally freelancers often come to us personally with good portfolios in search of work. The possibilities are actually very many. The main thing is not to grab the first ones, and, having sifted out the total mass, find yourself adequate workers.

    Motivate employees, of course, you need money. If the project is delayed and turned out to be an order of magnitude more complicated than planned, make it a small surcharge, even if it will be a trifle, but it will be a sign that you understand the situation.

    Just like in regular companies, give out bonuses, this helps to keep a friendly attitude. Celebrate the anniversary of the company, this helps to unite the team into a single team.

    Well, as I wrote earlier, a stable flow of customers, with an adequate fee, is the best motivation for a freelancer.

    As for the hiring of managers, first of all, you need to understand that at the first stages no manager can do better than you, you must form a team yourself, create a reputation of the studio among clients, you will know all the possibilities and, if necessary, take risks, take an order for services, which were not previously provided. It is more pleasant for the client to communicate with a person, a professional, and not with a half-robot, who has scripts for all questions and objections. Another question, when you can not cope, you will need to hire managers.

    There is a classic triangle of managers (taken from here , can be found in more detail)

    Sales Sales Manager. He is responsible for sales of projects on incoming requests - first contact, preparation and presentation of proposals and estimates, conclusion of a contract. Sometimes it is also engaged in the development of “cold” contacts - that is, it searches for customers on its own (or through channels such as large RAs, system integrators, etc.).

    PM. Project manager. He is responsible for the production of the project, controls the timing-price-quality. He leads the project team as part of the production of the project, solves production issues with representatives of the customer.

    Account Account Manager. Provides customer service, develops strategic relationships with the client, responds to complaints, tries to make him comfortable and easy at the entire stage of the client’s existence. As a rule, motivated to sell projects and services to existing customers. In many ways, the account role is intermediate between PM and Sales.

    It is worth noting that we are talking about roles here. The specific organization scheme of the “triangle” may imply the combination of several roles in one manager.

    Each manager has his own interests and motivation. There are also different modes of operation, as I described earlier, if divided into two types, then the PM works just in the "creator" mode.

    Initially, you will combine all these roles. Then you can choose what exactly you want to do.

    The best scheme at the moment, I consider Sales & Account + PM.

    And here you can choose: either continue to accept applications and guide customers, or engage in a product. Personally, I like to work with a team and a product, so I try to transfer all questions about clients to a manager.

    Payment is also carried out piecework, depending on the budget for the project (which is usually agreed both with me and with the team members). Perhaps it makes sense to switch to a salary or time-based payment, but at the moment, the motivation of our manager does not fade.

    Answers to some comments on the previous article:

    How to choose how long you work with them (or they are with you), how often there are shoals. It’s also interesting what projects you work on, what you write on, what tools you use. thanks

    - Several people work from the very beginning, I was lucky, I have extensive experience working with performers, so I found people without problems who I do not have to blush for. It happens, of course, that we break the deadlines. But I usually tell the customer a day or two more than any of the freelancers promise. Often saves from unnecessary questions.

    We are working on regular landings. We are more a marketing agency than a web studio. We conduct market analysis, create landings, sometimes corporate sites, online stores. Further already promotion. Well, some related services.

    Regarding the tools. There are great services and programs. Everyone, I think, can pick it up on their own.

    - how do you distribute the payment received from the client: do the designers, typesetter, programmer, pm receive equally or according to some algorithm?

    - It all depends on time costs and the level of professionalism.
    For example, a designer will spend 5 days developing, his share of the project will amount to 7 thousand rubles (approximate figure). The typesetter can do his work during the night, and accordingly he will receive an order of magnitude less. These people have different workloads. The designer is able to complete 3-4 projects per month. Layout designer is many times more. Therefore, it makes sense to keep more designers.

    - what to do if they took a project, the programmer and layout designer are ready to work, and the designers are busy with their projects? This is not from the article, but from your comment that such a situation is possible.

    - The situation is possible and even frequent. It is solved simply - we are looking for additional designers. This is the beauty of our work scheme, we are not dependent on specific people, there will always be more performers.

    There were also questions about how these recommendations were tested and how effective they were. We have been working a little less than a year and talking about great achievements, of course, is not appropriate. This is my personal experience and it’s up to you to use these tips or not.

    Link to the first part

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