How to show freelancers you care, this week and every week.

Like a lot of agencies, we rely on freelancers. And as a former freelancer myself, I work hard to follow that old golden rule and treat people like I'd want to be treated.

Here are some tips for showing your appreciation to freelancers:

Provide reimbursement or support for payment options and platforms.

Some folks aren't set up to accept credit card payments, for instance, in part because it costs money to do that. Do your freelancers a solid and allow them to invoice for the cost of processing. You likely won't feel it because it's so incremental, but it makes a big difference to a solopreneur. Similarly, if you use a third-party payment system, offer to help your freelancers get set up. When you consider than one freelancer might have a different platform for each client, you start to see how much of a time suck enrollment can be. We pay via credit card, Venmo, PayPal and even old-fashioned check!

Pay promptly.

a dollar sign icon on Margot Lester's The Word Factory blog

Seems obvious, but you'd be surprised how slow some companies can be to pay. Make sure freelancers know upfront -- before you sign them on -- what your payment terms are. This makes cash flow planning a lot easier for them, freeing their mind of worry so it can focus more on your project. We generally pay our freelancers once the project has been approved by the client.

Share your budget.

We can save ourselves and our freelancers a ton of time over the course of a relationship by being transparent about what we can pay. Maybe it feels fun to be cagey about costs, but it eats up time on both sides of the transaction. If you really don't have any idea, say so from the get-go so you and your freelancer can collaborate on coming up with a fee. Learn more about the value of budget transparency.

Streamline feedback.

Fun icon on Margot Lester's keynote speaker page

This is another thing that seems small, but eats up time across your entire workload. First, if a lot of people need to be involved in reviews, make sure you review all the comments and changes before handing it back to your pro. Make sure you address conflicting comments/changes, answer questions and clear up anything else that might prompt the freelancer to write you back. Second, don't focus only on changes. Make sure to reinforce what's good about the work so those elements don't get changed in the process, and so the freelancer can start to learn what works for you. Get more advice for making feedback more effective and efficient for you and your freelancers.

The good thing about these recommendations is that they're relatively low-drag and yield big time savings across your team or organization. They also build loyalty, ensuring that top freelance talent chooses to work with you and not your competition.

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