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The Do’s And Don’ts Of Working With Top Freelancers

The Do’s And Don’ts Of Working With Top Freelancers

The Do’s & Don’ts of Working with Top Freelancers

Amazing freelancers can pick and choose who they work for, so to attract the very best you need to be amazing too. We spoke to some of the top freelancers on Storyhunter to learn what makes them want to work with you again and again, and what leaves a bad taste in their mouths. Here’s a recap of their Do’s and Don’ts.

DO give feedback.

Constructive criticism is vital for freelancers to improve their skills. David Zlutnick, a documentarian and video journalist, says “I love to hear what a publisher thought of the work I produced. Of course I really love it when it’s rave reviews (everyone wants to hear a ‘good job’ when one is done), but constructive criticism is great too. Great publishers I’ve worked with will tell me what hits and what doesn’t, and what they’d like to see next time if anything needs to change. Positive and constructive feedback makes me a better producer and gets them a better product.”

David filmed “Why were all the teachers fired post-Katrina?” for MSNBC.

DON’T forget to communicate.

Not everything goes as planned on a shoot and it’s important that freelancers can reach you in a timely manner. David continues “it’s so refreshing to work with a publisher that is responsive to questions and concerns and even welcomes them. Sometimes it’s just getting the basic info needed for a shoot; and others it’s because something unexpected has come up that needs an answer from above. It’s not just nice, but essential to be able to work with someone who understands why good communication is key.” Plus, good communication is a step towards building mutual respect and trust.

DO be flexible.

Last-minute changes pop up during shoots all the time. Kathleen Caulderwood, a reporter and freelance video journalist, says she prefers “to work with editors and producers who are ok with changing the story if it didn’t go as they expected. Sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in a rut trying to force a story that didn’t happen.” When publishers are flexible about the storyline or production requirements, it makes the freelancer’s job not only easier, but the work will be even better.

Kathleen filmed “Body Painting Day 2015” for Mashable.

DON’T be inflexible on pay.

Allison Otto, a documentary filmmaker, cinematographer, and visual journalist, says she looks for publishers with a “willingness to negotiate salary and prompt payment.” Top freelancers expect fair rates and want the ability to negotiate pay based on the difficulty or length of an assignment.

DO respect your freelancer.

thiago.dezan, an independent photographer and filmmaker, says, “the most important thing in the relation between filmmakers and media companies is a process of mutual trust (or belief) in each other’s professionalism and integrity.” He felt that a respectful relationship is the first step for a successful production. Mutual respect means each side knows that they can rely on each other and work together even if something goes wrong.

Thiago filmed “Rio Carnival” for AJ+.

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By D. Simone Kovacs, Storyhunter Editor