It is the nature of freelance work that you work closely with companies without officially being part of them. There is freedom in this, both for the company and you, but can cause some unease when you come into the office. Personally, I think of myself as part of the team I work with but keep aware that since I work remotely, I need to keep my colleagues up to date with what I am doing. I am a resource that is employed only when it is needed, for specific projects. It is not dissimilar to the way that many organisations work today: teams are assigned to specific projects under the coordinator of a project manager. The project manager is, normally, commissioning my work.
Typically, a project progresses through the following stages:
- Initial meeting or chat
If it is the first time I work with a company, this is essentially an interview where the company and I get to know each other to establish if the task at hand is one that I am suitable for and want to do.
A proposal ensures that I understand what the problem is and suggests one or more ways of approaching it.
- Information gathering
When a proposal has been accepted, information is gathered. This may be marketing information for a campaign, information about a company and its competitors for web or brochure copy, interviews for an article or processes and screenshots for a manual. Information gathering forms the foundation for the project and is very important. Sometimes, the best way of gathering information is for me to spend some time at your offices.
- Defining structure
Whether the project is a web site, a brochure or a manual, structure is central. For some projects, the structure needs to be signed off before implementations begins.
This is where the work comes together, whether its the look and feel of a web site meeting copy, an article being written or the procedures and screenshots of a manual coming together.
All products need to be reviewed by you to ensure that you got what you asked for.
There will always be something you want to change, from a word to an image. Once the changes have been applied, your project is complete.
Depending on the complexity of the project, the implement > review > change steps may have to be repeated more than once. The aim of getting a freelance resource involved in the project is to minimize the impact to your team so it is my task to get it as right as humanly possible the first time. Careful information gathering and attention to structure and detail ensures that I do.