How to master the feedback cycle: 6 strategies for businesses working with freelancers

Feedback is a crucial part of every freelance project. As every task cannot be perfected at the first attempt, your feedback helps identify the freelancer’s mistakes and determines how to improve them. If you hire independent consultants, you probably receive initial drafts from their end. Giving feedback to them is an efficient way for you as the client to ensure that you are getting what you are looking for. 

The feedback cycle consists of three stages: detecting mistakes and inconsistencies, getting the draft revised and finalising the output. Your feedback instils value addition and helps freelancers polish their skills, build confidence, and get better at their job. Though constructive criticism is not always pleasant to hear, it elevates the chances of your project’s success. 

You should understand that your freelancer’s first draft might not always be flawless, yet it can be enhanced further. Freelancers play a vital role in making your projects up and running; hence they require your input to get things on the right track. As a client, you are responsible for providing them with essential information and direction to get the best out of their services. 

Practical Tips for the Clients to Establish a Feedback Cycle with the Freelancers 

Feedback from your end aids the freelancers in accomplishing projects with their expertise, leaving no scope for any inadequacies. However, most clients often hesitate when it comes down to giving constructive feedback to freelancers.

Most organisations have set processes for conducting 1:1 feedback sessions with their employees. Nevertheless, they lack the same ability in the case of independent consultants. You can ease those communication barriers and implement the following ways to evaluate your freelancer’s work:

Set-Up A Feedback Culture

While onboarding a freelancer, build a culture of weekly or monthly brainstorming sessions and implement it throughout their journey in your business. Give them constructive criticism on what they did well and where they have a scope for improvement. Feel free to be authoritative if something does not go well, let them know about it at the earliest so they can fix it beforehand. Such periodical sessions will help convey client feedback to consultants in a more organised and productive manner. 

Be Clear and Specific with Your Expectations

As a client, you should be clear regarding what you expect from freelancers to avoid misunderstandings and miscommunications. You should explain to them the scope of work alongside any particular instructions to follow so both parties can stay on the same page. Mention the milestones to be achieved with a realistic deadline to keep things sorted. 

For instance, if you have hired a personal branding consultant, you should be specific about your targeted audience, the brand’s tonality, and the type of content to be showcased on your social media. It will assist the freelancer in understanding your requirements accurately and delivering results according to that. 

Facts Over the Judgement

When evaluating a freelancer’s work, do not judge upfront. Instead, begin with your observations of the project and its impression on the target audience

Ask questions to the freelancers and know their mindset regarding the task. If there is any error in the work, give them a chance to explain their part. 

Imagine that your marketing consultant’s strategies are not effective in drawing traffic to your website or social media platform. In that case, discuss your suggestions with the freelancer to resolve the issue collaboratively.

Give Meticulous Feedback

While giving feedback, you should stick to the point to avoid confusion between the parties. The more specific information you provide, the easier it will become for the freelancer to implement the same and make the revisions expeditiously. 

For instance, if you are working with a strategy consultant who has shared a few recommendations with you, don’t give generic feedback and ask for rework without sharing nuanced insights. Be specific and tell them why some of their recommendations are not helpful for the company and what kind of new research or perspective you are expecting them to include.

Appreciate the Consultants Upon Impressive Output

You should remember to appreciate freelancers if their work is driving value to your business

Besides the weekly or monthly brainstorming sessions, often examine the scope of work to meet the milestones. Though feedback helps the consultants to improve their output quality, ensure to express gratitude when their work brings lucrative results. 

Let us assume you have hired a management consultant whose problem-solving skills or proficient strategies have helped your business overcome challenges alongside elevated growth metrics. In such situations, take a moment and praise the hard work. It will propel the motivation factor, encouraging the consultants to push their limits and perform better. 

Seek Advice from the Freelancers’ Fresh Perspective

Give the stage to freelancers and ask for their input as well. Since they have extensive industry perspectives, it helps them perceive things that your full-time employees might overlook. Being a client, sometimes you might also run out of ideas or strategies to be implemented in the business or project. 

Offer an opportunity for the freelancers to lay off their thoughts or suggestions on the table with you.

Follow the positive feedback loop to know your freelancers’ opinions or constructive feedback encircling the work. Ultimately, it evokes a sense of accountability and job satisfaction in them, strengthening professional relationships

Summing Up

As it is always said, if the criticism is taken positively, it can work wonders for a freelancer’s productivity. They are always eager to seek your feedback to know how their contribution makes a difference to your business. You can also opt for a client feedback form for consultants to gauge the communication blockades and share your outlook on freelancers’ services. After all, constructive criticism is a significant contributor to bringing excellence to any project and refines freelancers’ quality of work.