Where to find them, how to hire them
These days, you may feel as though your medical practice is expected to do more with less. You may be offering in-person appointments as well as telemedicine. Perhaps you expanded your hours but have fewer employees now. You may be faced with tasks you never had to do before, such as posting on social media to keep patients up to date with new COVID-19 protocols.
Whatever the task, there’s likely a freelancer you can hire to perform it quicker and cheaper than you or one of your employees could. Here’s what you need to know.
Some ideas for freelancer-friendly tasks
During the pandemic, we’ve seen the increased growth of the “gig economy”—a term for all the workers who perform various tasks on a contractual basis or hourly rate, such as Uber and Lyft drivers, food delivery people with DoorDash and Postmates, and those who run errands or perform handyman jobs, via TaskRabbit, for example.
Small, clearly defined projects like installing a TV in your waiting room or taking staff photos for your website are ideal for freelancers or gig workers.
Here’s an example of some tasks your practice might consider hiring a freelancer or gig worker to do:
- Install a flat-screen TV in your waiting room to broadcast patient education videos
- Set up a telemedicine area in your office with proper lighting, background, and sound
- Update your hold and voicemail messaging to mention the newest treatments and services you offer
- Create a short practice promo video
- Create content for future social media posts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc.
- Conduct an SEO audit of your website and an action plan to ensure you are not missing any online opportunities
- Write copy for your blog or email newsletters
- Take photos of your staff for your website, or edit your photos for color correction and cosmetic touch-ups
- Redesign your waiting room to accommodate social distancing
- Create patient satisfaction surveys
- Create custom artwork for your exam rooms
These are just suggestions; the options are endless. Small, clearly defined projects are best for freelancers you’re paying by the hour or assignment. For bigger, more involved projects, such as redesigning your website, you may be better off hiring a design firm. For our advice on website redesign, see our recent post, Rendia Has a New Website!
Where to find freelancers and what you can expect
While you can certainly find freelancers the same way you’d find other employees, such as by word-of-mouth or placing a want ad in your local paper, there are many online platforms dedicated to finding workers for short-term gigs. These include Fiverr and Upwork, as well as more specific sites like 99Designs for graphic design and Havenly for interior design.
The pros of using these sites include convenience, a variety of choices, and the fact that the sites have typically vetted the freelancers beforehand. Many include ratings and reviews. You won’t need to deal with contracts and payments are usually handled through the site.
You likely won’t find an experienced professional on a site that charges $5. For a low-stakes job, that may be fine. For a higher profile project, you may want to invest a little more.
Some sites, like Fivver, charge clients as little as $5 for projects, which is far less than you’d pay even a minimum wage employee. Of course, you often get what you pay for. You probably won’t find an experienced professional with an extensive portfolio and a sophisticated aesthetic on a site that charges a few dollars. If it’s a low-stakes job like recording hold music or designing a simple direct mail piece, that may be fine. If it’s a higher profile project like a logo design, you may want to invest a little more.
Here’s a look at a few specific projects offered by gig workers:
- On Fivver, this person will create a basic 15-second medical promo video for $35 with a three-day delivery time.
- On 99Designs, the cost for a medical practice business ad like this one starts at $299.
- On TaskRabbit, rates to mount a flat screen TV (providing their own tools) ranged from about $30 to $50 an hour, depending on the worker’s experience and turnaround time. This does not include a tip.
Questions to consider before hiring a gig worker
Here are a few questions to consider when hiring a freelancer:
- Can this job be done remotely and asynchronously? Many of the gig workers on the above sites may be based overseas.
- What is the turnaround time for this project?
- If applicable, does the project price include revisions? If so, how many?
- If it’s a design project, does the designer provide stock art or photos or do you have to provide your own?
- Does the freelancer require payment or a deposit upfront, or after the job is completed?
- What’s the cancellation policy if you or the freelancer decide not to move forward with the project?
Another option to consider if you need an extra pair of hands around your practice is hiring a summer intern. Read this post to find out more: Should Your Practice Hire an Intern?