Video meetings have made working with remote freelancers easier than ever before. If you hire a remote freelance writer, the first thing to know about video meetings is that you should schedule them sparingly and agree on the frequency of meetings with your freelance writer at the start of your project. Requiring freelancers to come to regular staff meetings can blur the line between freelancer and employee. However, video meetings can certainly be used to negotiate the terms of a project, have check-ins as the project develops, and discuss future opportunities. You can make sure that these meetings are productive for you and your freelancer with these tips.
Test Your Technology Before Your Meeting
The worst way to start a video meeting is to discover that your camera or mic is not working. Test the software before your meeting begins, and make sure that all of your components are working correctly. It can be helpful to test your system out with someone else in your office, so that you can confirm that there isn’t excessive background noise and that your lighting makes it easy to see you. These simple tests can save a considerable amount of time.
Set the Agenda
Video meetings are different from phone calls. You should prepare for them as you would for a formal, in-person meeting. Create an agenda that addresses all the points you want to cover, and send it to your freelance writer. This will give you both time to prepare any information you will need to present during the meeting. An agenda will also keep you both on track during the meeting, so that it doesn’t run off-track and take longer than necessary.
Carefully Consider the Invite List
In some cases, it may be helpful to have other employees in a meeting with a freelance writer with you, so that they can share information or provide insights that can help to frame the writer’s work. However, be judicious with your invitations, so that the meeting only includes people who really need to be there. Adding too many people to the meeting will not only make it take longer than necessary but also creates the potential for a freelancer to be treated more like an employee than a contractor. A small video conference is much more effective than bringing a freelancer into an all-hands meeting environment.
Allow Time for Questions
Often, when clients schedule meetings with freelance writers, it is because they want to provide direction about a project. That’s important, but don’t forget to allow time for your writer to ask questions or provide feedback or suggestions. For example, you may be looking for an SEO piece, and your writer may have advice about keywords or word counts that could make the final result more effective for you. Leave time in the meeting for a give and take of ideas.
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