Freelance Subcontracting 101: Grow Your Writing Income

Freelance subcontracting, also called outsourcing, is a enterprise apply the place the chief or lead writer hires further writers, referred to as subcontractors, to assist complete a undertaking.

Here’s a take a look at how it all works from each side of the subcontracting coin.

How would freelance subcontracting assist me as a author?

Three widespread situations where you may usher in a subcontractor.

State of affairs 1: An excessive amount of work

I obtain a job enquiry to put in writing 100 articles, due in 8 weeks.

I estimate I can write about 30-40 articles in that time-frame. So, I can either:

  • Refuse the job, as a result of I can’t probably do that alone, or
  • Rent a subcontractor(s) to assist.

State of affairs 2: Deadlines are tight

I have a gentle stream of labor, and deadlines are shut, however on monitor. Instantly, my daughter will get sick, and I have to take 4 days off work.

On the similar time, I realise that I underestimated how a lot time I needed to finish certainly one of my tasks, and I’m quickly operating about two weeks not on time. My options are:

  • Keep on, work nights and weekends to catch up, and stay burdened, or
  • Rent a subcontractor to help me get on prime of my workload.

State of affairs three: Inexperience

I receive an enquiry from a company I like. The issue is that the work is just too far outdoors of my talent set for me to confidently tackle the undertaking. I can both:

  • Politely decline the job, or
  • Hire a subcontractor with particular experience in this matter, who can do a lot of the work, whereas I oversee the undertaking and study from my subcontractor’s niche experience.

Why would I hire a freelance subcontractor?

There are numerous explanation why chances are you’ll want to hire a subcontractor. Freelance subcontracting permits you to:

  • Take on extra vital tasks you can never do alone – scale your corporation
  • Make more cash – improve your charges
  • Study new expertise – develop management expertise and study totally different types of writing
  • Oversee work fairly than complete all work yourself – get more time to concentrate on other elements of what you are promoting
  • Collaborate with others – develop relationships, and construct groups
  • Get on prime of your workload – really feel less careworn, and improve your productiveness.

Getting started with subcontractors

Listed here are my prime ideas to ensure a constructive subcontracting expertise.

Inform your shopper before you rent a subcontractor

It’s essential to all the time be transparent together with your shoppers and tell them in case you are bringing in a subcontractor.

In rare instances, your shopper will not be proud of this association; perhaps they solely need to work with you. Or, perhaps the shopper has inner policies about who they’re legally allowed to hire.

Importantly, your shopper must know why you aren’t completing the undertaking yourself, so be sure to have a legitimate and professional rationalization prepared.

Your shopper will respect the open and trustworthy dialogue, and often, there are not any issues.

You additionally need to know your authorized requirements and obligations earlier than you rent a subcontractor. In some situations, subcontractors might must be paid superannuation. All the time verify your local tax laws earlier than you start.

Work with a subcontractor you understand and belief

Subcontracting should make life simpler, not more durable! Sadly, I’ve heard numerous tales of writers who’ve had nightmare experiences because they’ve needed to redo all of the subcontractor’s work.

To avoid issues, make certain your chosen subcontractor can do the job you’re hiring them to do; ask for samples and examples of earlier work.

You’ll have to look for someone who:

  • Has the talents to get the job carried out
  • Is pleasant to work with
  • Communicates nicely, including sharing any grievances
  • Has a strong work ethic
  • Is grateful for the chance.

Keep in mind: whereas your subcontracting association is a business one, it’s very important that you simply both deal with one another with respect – just as you do when managing relationships together with your shoppers.

Work out your finances

Subcontracting is an effective option to grow your freelance career, though it is advisable to think about whether or not you really can afford a subcontractor.

Should you’re not cautious, hiring a subcontractor can value you extra money than you make.

You’ll have to work out what number of hours you’ll spend on:

  • Challenge managing
  • Briefing
  • Checking and modifying the work
  • Rewriting and revising, if the work shouldn’t be at the proper commonplace.

The payment you pay your subcontractor needs to be truthful on each side. When you can’t afford to pay your subcontractor an honest fee, you shouldn’t be getting into into this association.

Instance state of affairs

  • Complete undertaking price range = $12,000 for 40 gadgets (eg articles/product descriptions)
  • I write 20 gadgets, and I outsource 20 gadgets
  • My payment per merchandise is $300 ($6,000 complete)
  • I pay my subcontractor $200 ($4,000 complete)
  • The extra $2000 difference/markup covers my time spent undertaking managing, briefing, checking, modifying, revising and so forth.
  • Keep in mind: Subcontracting is just not free cash or a commission! You continue to have to do (a number of) work.

Create legitimate contracts

Before you’re employed with a subcontractor, verify your shopper’s contract for any clauses about subcontractors. Some shoppers have particular agreements about who they are allowed to rent.

You also needs to create a separate subcontractor agreement (I like for this).

Tell your subcontractor they will solely communicate with you until otherwise agreed

Until you explicitly agree, your subcontractor shouldn’t talk immediately together with your shopper.

Ensure your subcontractor is aware of this. In case your subcontractor communicates together with your shopper with out your information, there could also be confusion, which may look unprofessional and cause issues.

Begin small, with one item at a time

Chances are you’ll find that it’s safer to commit to at least one piece first, as this lets you:

  • Get used to working together with your author
  • Understand the subcontractor’s fashion of writing and work ethic
  • Iron out any points before committing to a large venture.

Subcontracting challenges to concentrate on

Whereas working with a subcontractor could be a useful association for both writers, there are some challenges you’ll need to think about.

Quality of labor

If the work is just not at the proper commonplace, you’ll have to rewrite it (which takes additional time). Be cautious of relying on low cost medical writing outsourcing from a marketplace, as high quality can be doubtful.

Ensure you are accustomed to the author’s talent and expertise earlier than you comply with work collectively.

Ask for examples of previous work, even if you recognize the subcontractor personally.


Take the time to plan and work out should you can afford a subcontractor.

Work our a sensible and truthful markup (e.g. 30%). Keep in mind:

  • You don’t have to inform your shopper how much you’re paying your subcontractor, and
  • You don’t have to inform your subcontractor how a lot you’re getting paid from your shopper.

Money circulate

Talk about and ensure your cost terms together with your subcontractor before commencing the work.

Your subcontractor may have cost before you get paid out of your shopper. Meaning you’ll want to allow for this if the shopper doesn’t pay you on time.

Provisions if the subcontractor can’t full the work

Typically, issues might not go to plan, and your subcontractor might not have the ability to complete the job.

All the time have a backup plan, and don’t depart tasks to the last minute.

Ensure that your contracts assist you to part ways with out dropping cash.


Contemplate who will probably be liable for the undertaking revisions. You’ll have to:

  • Affirm the agreed amount of modifications with the shopper before you begin work
  • Understand that edits may be time-consuming and plan accordingly
  • Work out a plan if the shopper shouldn’t be completely satisfied together with your subcontractor’s work.

Easy methods to find a subcontractor

The good news is that there are many well being & medical writers on the lookout for work! Here’s how you’ll find good-quality subcontractors:

  • Your community – begin with writers you understand, as long as you assume you’ll be able to work collectively successfully
  • Phrase of mouth – ask individuals you belief for suggestions
  • Boards and discussion teams – you may put a call-out in relevant teams on LinkedIn or Facebook
  • LinkedIn and other social media – look for a private connection.

Ideas for subcontractors

Subcontracting is ideal for aspiring writers who’re getting began as a freelance well being author. However even skilled writers can benefit from working with other writers.

Subcontracting is right for people who are:

  • New to the business – and need to achieve expertise working with knowledgeable writer
  • In search of feedback – and would additionally like mentoring and business exposure
  • Experiencing quiet durations – and wish additional work
  • Glad to collaborate with different writers – and luxuriate in working as a part of a staff
  • Eager to take advantage of their specialty information – and have expertise to share
  • Curious about short-term roles – with out the long-term commitment.

Getting started: Turning into a contract subcontractor

For those who’re enthusiastic about finding a freelance writer to work with, here’s what it’s essential contemplate when getting started:

  • Contract – you’ll want one if your writer doesn’t provide it
  • Phrases and deadlines clearly outlined – together with your revisions
  • Cost terms explained – keep in mind, your writer pays you by way of the shopper
  • The chain of approval – how many people will edit your work, and what are the implications of that?
  • Guidelines – are you allowed to say you labored with this shopper, publish their emblem in your web site, and so forth.?

Maintaining a constructive relationship

Comfortable subcontracting relationships lead to glad writers and shoppers. and ongoing work. Right here’s find out how to maintain a constructive relationship together with your writer, so everyone is pleased:

  • Get a exact estimate of timeframe and price – ensure you’re not under-charging, because the job have to be worthwhile
  • Respect the association – don’t go around your writer and converse directly to the shopper
  • Go above and past – should you’re new to freelance writing, subcontracting is a good way to get repeat work but you should present that you simply care and are devoted
  • Don’t tackle an excessive amount of work – know your limits, and keep in mind that it’s okay to say no
  • Communicate together with your writer repeatedly – share your ideas and feelings together with your author, including any frustrations.

Being a subcontractor shouldn’t be without its challenges, too. Right here’s what you need to concentrate on:

  • Getting paid enough – don’t accept the work if the charge is just too low, and have an open conversation together with your author about charges
  • Quite a few individuals modifying your work – your unique version might change significantly, to the purpose the place you’re not proud of it; you’ll want to think about the way you cope with this
  • Getting feedback – it may be challenging to seek out out if the shopper accepted of your work whenever you’re not coping with them instantly
  • No byline – a key advantage of subcontracting is getting the experience so you need to use that to market your freelance providers, so all the time ask in case you are allowed to make use of the shopper’s emblem in your website.

Learn how to find subcontracting work

As a subcontractor, you will discover other writers via:

  • Networking and associations – join with experienced writers; on-line groups in addition to AMWA, AMWA (American) and EMWA are great locations to start out
  • Well being Author Hub Alumni – be happy to ask in the group, or contact me if you wish to put the word out
  • Your internal circle – it may possibly’t harm to ask individuals you recognize, as they could know somebody who knows somebody
  • LinkedIn – you might have contacts you’ll be able to reach out to, however keep in mind to write down a personalised message and be respectful.

The final word on freelance subcontracting

Subcontracting is an efficient approach for writers to realize experience and grow their freelance businesses – however it’s not all the time straightforward.

Being prepared and having clear methods in place are key steps for maintaining profitable subcontracting preparations.

Has subcontracting labored for you? Nonetheless have questions? Let me know within the feedback.

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