While painters and sculptors create the art, museum curators select the pieces to include in an exhibit.
The best curators understand the museum’s mission and audience and choose stories to create an experience that will draw in and engage visitors. They decide which artists to highlight and how to present the information for their audiences to consume.
Curation is a powerful practice for content marketers, too. It can take many forms, from a simple display of resources to a well-detailed analysis piece. It can bring multiple benefits to your content marketing strategy, allowing you to:
- Create more content with less effort
- Help with SEO through internal and external linking
- Become a go-to resource for your topic/industry
A few years ago, a friend of CMI, Heidi Cohen, offered this succinct definition of content curation from a content marketing perspective:
To meet your audience’s information needs, content curation is the assembly, selection, categorization, commentary, and presentation of the most relevant quality information. You add your human editorial perspective while integrating your 360-degree brand.
Let’s explore several ways to adopt a content curation strategy to deliver practical, sometimes original, and occasionally personalized content for your audience.
But before we do, I want to take a moment to remind you that curation must be transparent: give proper credit, including links, to the original sources.
1. Offer a list of relevant reading, listening, or viewing
Christopher Penn of Trust Insights curates content in his weekly newsletter, Almost Timely News. On his subscriber sign-up page, he explains why (and it’s really the primary audience benefit of most curated pieces):
I know you’re busy. I know you’ve got a million things to do, a lot going on, and have a million different things vying for your attention every day. The newsletter provides a nice roundup of the week’s stuff, stuff you don’t want to let slip through the cracks.
The newsletter’s “What I’m Reading: Your Stuff” section offers an excellent example of a simple approach to curation. The section includes bullet lists of headlines and links to “the most interesting content from around the web on topics you care about, some of which you might even have written.”
The image below shows how Christopher adds value for his readers by organizing the links into categories they can quickly scan to find the most relevant or interesting ones. In this example, the categories include:
- Social media marketing
- Media and content
- SEO, Google, and paid media
Under each category heading, Christopher links to three articles, using the original articles’ titles. Under the social media marketing heading in the image, for example, he lists What is Social Media Marketing Automation: 10 Tools To Save Time.
Takeaway: Aim for helpful content. What does your audience want to know? Who has created content that can answer their questions? Scan those resources and pick the most relevant ones. Your audience will appreciate not having to do the work themselves.
2. Write an original article by tailoring others’ content for your audience
Influencer Marketing Hub created an original article (The Best Times To Post on Facebook) by curating several research-based original articles from Sprout Social, Buffer, and CoSchedule.
Most of the piece relies heavily on the Facebook section of the CoSchedule article The Best Times To Post on Social Media in 2019 According to 25 Studies, even including CoSchedule’s original graphic showing recommended Facebook posting times, as the image below shows.
Takeaway: Original research makes great fodder for content curation. You can build on the investigative work someone else did by sharing the most relevant insights with your audience.
3. Simplify social threads
The little spool of thread emoji appears more frequently on Twitter and other social media platforms these days. TLDR Crypto often curates some of these threads into bite-size content for its newsletter audience.
Their model briefly explains the key point or conclusion from the thread and a brief background explanation, if necessary, accompanied by a link to the original thread.
In this example, TLDR Crypto explains the topic (stablecoin farming) and then shares what the Twitter thread from Aylo of alpha please covers (a spread-out risk strategy):
Takeaway: Social media is awash with threads. It can be challenging for most people to keep up with the volume or discern the ones most relevant to them. Your brand can do it for them. This curated content also can be helpful to those who don’t use social media regularly. You can also curate the threads into an easier-to-consume format. Twitter threads, for example, can be cumbersome to read (especially if you don’t have Twitter Blue). Digesting them in a single paragraph makes the content easier to consume.
4. Bring together multiple sources
The Newsette goes all-in with content curation throughout its daily news email to help educate and empower women. It takes a theme or topic and finds multiple sources to develop it.
For example, in a less-than-300-word piece entry on fitness that ran in the newsletter, the writer takes readers on a quick, highly curated ride. First, they talk about short bursts of exercise (citing three sources). The writer makes their own point (original content) about a study on the benefits of bicycling (the research involved only eight participants). Then, the writer cites another source about how moderation leads to stamina, noting how the target discomfort level (another source) makes that hard to achieve. With input from an exercise physiologist, they conclude that people should treat exercise as fun more than medicine.
Interestingly, the curated sources were diverse – national media, local media, blogger, medical journal, etc. They included Slate, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, She’s a Beast: A Swole Woman’s Newsletter, Fortune, National Library of Medicine archives, and The New York Times. While most of the referenced articles were published this year, the medical study was published in 2017, and The New York Times piece was undated.
Takeaway: Don’t just curate content from traditional and expected industry media. Solo bloggers, local media, journals, and more can provide relevant content inside and outside your niche. Often, they help you tell stories in unique ways that may surprise your audience or at least get your audience’s attention.
5. Appeal to many
Avalara, a tax compliance solution provider, took the time to curate a list of how each U.S. state handles sales tax on shipping. In a paragraph or two, the article explains each state’s relevant laws while linking to the full-text version and other applicable content. Readers can go directly to those states where they operate or ship to.
Takeaway: Curating content like this allows your audience to easily find the information relevant to them. Whether it’s geographic or subtopics in your niche, you can pull from multiple resources to tackle a big topic in a way that has something applicable for most in the audience.
6. Go deep on a topic
In The Profile, Polina Pompliano maximizes all things curation. Accompanying her 750-word feature story (The Profile Dossier) about UFC champion Francis Ngannou, she curates additional content about the UFC champ that her audience might be interested in reading, watching, or listening to. Polina creates a phrase for each item to highlight the content’s point, followed by a couple of explanatory sentences, so readers (or viewers or listeners) know what they’ll get if they click through.
Takeaway: Show your work and make it a value-add for your audience. When you do the research for an article, podcast, or video, document all your sources (titles and links, at a minimum). After you finish the planned content, revisit your notes to create additional content. Select the most valuable resources for audience members who want to learn more and publish (or link) them with the original content.
7. Make something new from something you already created
Jodi Harris is CMI’s master of content curation. Jodi regularly creates fresh articles by combining insights and examples from her (and other CMI writers’) earlier works. For example, her recent article 9 Visual Tips and Examples From Creative Brands and Experts includes tips from published pieces by Jodi and other CMI contributors. The image below shows one such tip, Consider the story – not just the visuals, which includes a point made by Robert Rose in a different article and related video.
Takeaway: You likely have created a lot of content in various forms on similar broad topics. Think about how to pull together the most salient points from several to craft an original piece. You also can mix up formats. For example, you could curate information from several articles into a single podcast episode.
Be a regular content curator
Curating content is a lot like doing your audience’s homework. You’re doing them a service by doing the research, pulling together shared ideas, and finding little-noticed content.
But content curation isn’t only a benefit to your audience. It’s also a great help to your content marketing team and strategy. Curation helps you quickly develop more (and more thoroughly sourced) content.
Why not start planning your next content exhibit now?
Cover image by Joseph Kalinowski/Content Marketing Institute
11 Email Marketing Design Tips to Drive More Revenue
When you think about what factors and processes are needed to get the most out of your email marketing campaigns, you might consider these first: more sophisticated personalization, leveraging first-party data more effectively, or more precise targeting and timing.
While those are all important, there’s another more fundamental aspect of email marketing that’s just as critical to success: email design.
With more than 333 billion emails sent and received every day, and adults logging more screen time than ever before, it’s never been more crucial to have well-designed emails that can quickly cut through the overflowing inbox clutter, capture recipients’ attention and compel them to take the desired action.
Whether you’re looking to supercharge your email newsletter or inject new life into your lifecycle email campaign strategy, here are 11 email design tips and examples that can drive site traffic, purchase intent, conversions and revenue.
“All aspects of email design – including accessibility, readability, layout and responsiveness – have a huge impact on open rates and conversions. In reality, email marketing design is the gatekeeper to campaign success.”
— Samantha McGrady, Tinuiti Strategist, Lifecycle Marketing
Essential Elements of an Email
You might not consider all these quote-unquote “design” components, but they all play a central role in how an email is perceived and consumed.
- Subject line
- Pre-header text
- Color scheme
- Body copy
- Signature and footer
- Unsubscribe button
The Eleven Keys to Effective Email Design
All elements of an email come together to create an overall design. Whether that design is cohesive or advances the objectives of the email depends on how well the individual elements are executed. Here are 11 tips for making email design work for you.
1. Responsive Designs Pay Off
Mobile-friendly email design is a must. While the exact percentage of emails opened on mobile devices like smartphones and tablets vary by source, it’s estimated that over half of all emails are accessed on mobile. That means ensuring an email displays correctly and can be read easily across devices, screens and resolutions are essential. If an email displays poorly, it’s likely to be deleted in under three seconds.
Utilizing a responsive email template will automatically adjust your email to fit the screen it’s being viewed on, whether that’s a desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet. Most drag-and-drop email builders feature built-in responsive design templates, but you’ll also want to keep mobile formatting in mind when considering image size and the length of copy blocks within the email.
2. Keep Accessibility Top-of-Mind
One key aspect of email design that goes hand-in-hand with responsiveness is accessibility. Accessibility refers to an email’s ability to be received and understood by persons with disabilities or using assistive devices. So just as responsive design ensures that emails can be accessed across device formats, good accessibility practices preserve an email’s usability regardless of the recipient’s circumstances.
An accessible email will have a logical flow and high readability in terms of descriptive subject lines, links and headers, and larger and well-spaced typefaces. It will also use high color contrast and utilize alt-text liberally. Perhaps most importantly, an accessible email will not lean too heavily on visuals or hide information in images, as adaptive tools like screen readers can struggle to convert them.
Keeping accessibility top-of-mind is important for reaching the maximum percentage of your subscribers or target audiences and contributes to good overall email marketing usability.
3. Customize Your Pre-Header Text
Pre-header text used to be an afterthought, and many marketers defaulted to the first few words of email body copy. Now, because of the way emails are displayed in mobile and desktop inboxes, pre-headers are widely recognized as the second-most important text element after the subject line. Pre-header text indicates to the reader what the email is about; it’s essentially a visible meta-description of the email.
As such, the pre-header text should complement the subject line and reinforce the critical call-to-action within the email. It should, like the subject line, entice the recipient to open the email and keep reading while also reading while offering an informative preview of the email itself. And it needs to accomplish all of this concisely in an abbreviated space.
Crafting a compelling subject and pre-header pair can feel like writing poetry, but getting it right can significantly impact open rates and conversions.
4. Use an Effective Layout
The layout is the most recognizable aspect of email design and likely what most people think of first when considering the design elements of an email. Layout determines the flow of your content and the order in which your readers consume information. The most basic principles of email layout are maintaining organization and logical consistency, capturing attention through aesthetics, and manipulating the recipient’s eye where you want it to go.
- Organization: In essence, this means establishing a clear visual hierarchy. Try to display the most important information and convey essential details early on (higher) in the email.
- Aesthetics: incorporate white space to give your content breathing room and lend a more elevated look. Clutter and “walls” of text are difficult to read and lead to email abandonment. Instead, utilize negative space to accentuate key points and keep the recipient reading.
- Guiding the eye: Use directional cues to draw attention to the most essential part of your email. Effective layout templates leverage natural reading and eye movement patterns to focus the recipient on desired email elements.
Many email templates use the following common layout patterns, each of which guides the reader’s attention in specific ways:
- Z-pattern layouts place a zig-zag of content within the reader’s typical sight line, starting at the upper left corner.
- F-pattern layouts emphasize the left side of the email, inviting readers to return their eyes to that side for most information.
- Inverted pyramid layouts, perhaps the most familiar layout, load critical information at the top and create a visual funnel toward a CTA at the bottom.
These principles are laid out in the following two wireframe examples of common email layouts. Notice how both lean on the reading path of the human eye while maintaining a recognizable hierarchy and putting vital information up top:
5. Choose Colors Strategically
Color scheme is an essential element in any design, and emails are no exception. The right combination of colors – or the strategic limitation of a color palette – can elicit emotion, direct attention to important content, reinforce brand image or distinguish a single email from a series or campaign.
There is plenty of room for experimentation with color in email marketing. Still, good general rules of thumb are to avoid clashing colors or using too wide a variety of colors, use bright colors sparingly, and stay consistent with color usage across branded marketing assets. And as with accessibility and responsiveness, it’s also important to consider how an email is being viewed; for example, if being read on a mobile device in “dark” mode, pure black text can appear illegible.
It’s important to remember that color isn’t limited to graphical elements or iconography in the email; the text color used and dominant color in embedded images or photographs should also be considered. These colors should work in harmony to support your content, brand and the purpose of the email.
6. Use Clean and Clear Text
An organized layout and strategic use of color will go a long way toward making an email readable and effective. Ultimately, though, the information you want to communicate stems from the email copy itself. One hard and fast rule for text in an email is to be clear and concise.
Remember the 333 billion emails sent and received last year? Your target audience received some of those, and they almost certainly didn’t read every word of every email they received. So many of those emails were probably never opened, thanks to poor subject lines.
Emails should draw the eye with an attractive design but be easy to skim. Get to the point quickly, or risk ending up in the trash.
When in doubt, follow these guidelines:
- Maintain a good text-to-image ratio
- Keep the headline to two lines or less
- Keep text on a simple background so that it’s easy to read
- Bold or highlight keywords or phrases
“Reduce the cognitive load. We really want to create our emails to be clean and concise.”
— Sammi Nutsongtat, Klaviyo Design Specialist
7. Treat Email as a Brand Opportunity
Of all the potential touchpoints a recipient might have with your brand, the email you just sent them is unlikely to be their first. That makes it very important to keep email design consistent with your overall brand design.
Incorporating strong branding – not just a logo or a tagline, but brand-specific colors, imagery, typography and content tone – helps email recipients identify the message’s source and provides a more cohesive experience from the inbox to the landing page. That can reduce your bounce rate as users interact with your brand across different channels.
A good branding evaluation question to ask: If I removed our logo from these email designs, would our subscribers identify our company?
Your brand’s identity tells your story, so it’s important to be conscious of your email branding. Branding should remain consistent across all channels, whether email-to-email or email-to-website.
8. Your Typography Style Matters
Using a consistent typeface in email design can reinforce your brand image and identity, though, like color, there is some opportunity for experimentation. The most important thing to remember about typography is that it should be easy to read at a skimming pace and shouldn’t detract or add confusion to the message.
Emails can also contain more than one kind of typeface, for example, one font that looks better at a larger size for headers and another that looks cleaner for entire sentences of body copy. That said, too many different fonts in an email can make it hard to read. A limit of three fonts per email is a good common-sense rule. Again, a drag-and-drop email builder usually has several typeface options and suggestions for specific email elements or sections.
9. Personalize Elements of Your Emails
Personalization is one of the dominant themes across the marketing and advertising industries right now, as technological advancements and the rise in importance of zero- and first-party customer data have made true one-to-one, brand-to-customer engagement possible. Email marketing, which was perhaps the first marketing vector to make widespread use of basic personalization (think mail merge and auto-filled salutation lines), can also incorporate more sophisticated personalization techniques – and should.
The goal of personalization should be to make an email meaningful and valuable to the recipient. That means incorporating bespoke, custom content blocks based on customer data, including insights like purchase history or position in the customer lifecycle or buying journey. Narrow segmentation can help target specific customers, and personal touches like incorporating profile information or preferences can help humanize your brand and create stronger relationships.
In short, you should seize every opportunity to include more personalized elements in your emails.
10. Always Use a CTA
This might seem like email marketing 101, but no list of email marketing optimization tips would be complete without addressing calls to action or CTAs. Usually rendered graphically as a button, a good CTA should concisely describe the exact action the email reader can expect upon clicking and be placed at a point in the layout where the next step is logically implied.
Effective CTAs typically appear at the bottom of a section in a contrasting color to the email’s overall color scheme. Multiple CTAs can be used – some research suggests that having more than one CTA increases click-through rates – but only where the natural progression of the content suggests they appear. As with many of the design tips presented here, CTAs should be used in a cohesive, consistent manner.
11. Avoid Abrupt Design Changes
Consistency isn’t just important within an email; it’s also important across campaigns. Design shock, or suddenly presenting drastically different creative to an existing audience like your subscriber base, can impact the success of an individual email or an entire campaign.
When updating your email designs, consider rolling out the changes in an iterative fashion or testing the new creative out on a small group of subscribers before rolling it out to your entire audience.
As the example above illustrates, gradually transitioning to a new layout while keeping many other design elements consistent helps minimize the effect of design shock. Keep this in mind as you embark on new email campaigns or make universal changes to your email marketing approach.
How to Use A/B Testing to Improve Your Email Design
You can put as much thought and preparation into email design as possible, and the email might still fall short of performance expectations. The only way to ensure a successful campaign and maximize conversions is to engage in A/B testing by sending slightly different versions of an email to distinct segments of your audience. It’s a straightforward process that many email platforms support, but sadly, nearly 42.9% of marketers don’t know what to test.
When assessing an email design’s impact on an audience, there are various things you can test to help drive higher clicks, conversions, or overall performance. These include:
- Call to action button styling
- Overall layout
- Number of products featured
- Lifestyle vs. product imagery
- Cheeky vs. simple copy
- Animation vs. static
Once you know what to test for and have identified what you’re trying to prove, run a few test emails to sample groups, isolating one variable at a time over a series of weeks. Evaluate which works best for reaching, resonating with, and converting the most recipients, and you’ll gradually improve your conversion rates.
Resources & Tools to Improve Your Email Design Game
There is no shortage of email design tools available to help you get the most out of your email marketing strategy. Some are full-service email-building platforms, while others are helpful stock image sites or graphics libraries. Here are a few of our favorites:
Klayvio is a well-established, full-service email marketing platform optimized for ecommerce and featuring sophisticated personalization tools. Klaviyo’s robust library of customizable, responsive templates, support for A/B testing, and dynamic content capabilities can help users of all levels put email design optimization tips into action.
Need a more comprehensive and data-driven approach to email and lifecycle marketing? Our own Performance Creative offering is based on moments that matter and features integration with multiple channels and touchpoints throughout the customer journey.
It’s perhaps unsurprising that one of the biggest names in design software also has one of the most robust stock image catalogs available. Adobe Stock allows users to search for specific image types or browse by category, ensuring you’ll find the perfect photos or images for your email campaign.
Any design process – including email design – can be collaborative. Figma provides a platform to facilitate that collaboration that includes several email-specific features, including a library of visual assets teams can build themselves.
Design is a central aspect of email marketing performance, and getting it right can be the difference between a positive ROI campaign and a forgettable brand encounter. You can probably think of several marketing emails in your inbox that slapped a basic template together with uninspiring (and uninspired!) copy and called it a day. Or maybe not, because you deleted them without getting past the subject line.
Your email campaigns can help solidify customer relationships and prospects through accessible designs that embrace solid layout principles, on-brand typography and images, a concise and catchy subject and pre-header, logical CTAs and compelling copy. You’ll ultimately generate more opens, leads, conversions and revenue for your company, too.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published by Greg Swan in August 2019 and has been updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
How to choose a content marketing automation platform
A 1917 poster says in bold capital letters: “I WANT YOU FOR THE U.S. ARMY,” along with the famous image of Uncle Sam pointing at the viewer.
In 1917, most advertising was blunt and direct, but in the following 100+ years, consumers have become desensitized to typical marketing strategies. As a result, companies have turned to new forms of marketing to reach their audience.
One of these forms of marketing is content marketing: an indirect type of advertising that delivers blog posts, podcasts, and other forms of content to indirectly market a brand to consumers. Today, businesses can automate many aspects of content marketing, and choosing the right platform for content marketing automation unlocks new efficiencies and return on investment for companies.
- Content marketing is a powerful way to reach customers by providing value through content.
- Automation makes content marketing efficient and convenient.
- Optimizely can help you take your content management to the next level.
What is content marketing?
Content marketing is a new strategy for reaching potential customers by delivering content they want to consume. Content marketing improves the brand’s image by providing useful or entertaining content which builds goodwill and brand recognition among potential customers.
Content marketing takes many forms: podcasts, digital video, webinars, articles, infographics and more. Creating and delivering quality content is difficult because it must deliver on multiple levels: it must be useful, entertaining and informative, but it must also inspire confidence and credibility. In other words, quality content marketing must be both good content and marketing material.
Why would a company spend its marketing dollars on content marketing instead of more direct forms of advertising? There are several reasons content marketing is a good choice for companies:
- Content marketing improves organic reach by delivering content that customers want to consume. This can range from entertainment like TikTok videos or online quizzes to more serious informative content like how-to guides and video conferences.
- Content marketing inspires confidence in your brand by establishing your company as an expert and key player in your industry.
- Content marketing improves goodwill by delivering personable, relatable content that meets customers where they’re at. Rather than trying to make customers interested in your company directly, content marketing capitalizes on the things your customer is already interested in.
How to automate content marketing
AI can’t host a podcast or present a webinar (at least not yet), but automation plays an important role in content marketing.
Social media is one of the largest opportunities for marketers. Social media is the second largest market within the world of digital advertising, second only to search marketing. Content marketing is uniquely poised to cover both categories as it can optimize content for organic search results and social media sharing.
This is where automation comes into the picture: automation can’t take over your social media presence for you, but it can take on some of the most tedious and error-prone aspects of your digital presence. Some key ways you can automate your social media content marketing are by scheduling posts, connecting various social media platforms to publish content on multiple platforms at once, regularly sharing your content, automatically promoting content and more.
Recently, AI has taken significant steps forward in Natural Language Processing (NLP), which makes AI chatbots a powerful way to connect with users on social media platforms (as well as on your platform).
A fan of the television show Arrested Development would finish the phrase “The money is in the…” with “banana stand,” but experienced marketers know that the right answer is “the money is in the list.”
This popular phrase refers to the fact that email marketing is one of the most important aspects of a marketing plan, and a longer list of quality leads is one of the most reliable ways to grow sales. Email newsletters are one of the most popular forms of content marketing but sending email after email is a tedious and treacherous process as it creates limitless opportunities for human error.
Automation revolutionizes email marketing by automatically sending emails. With a customer relationship management platform, email automation can automatically send emails based on milestones and timelines and personalize emails based on the customer’s name and history. This level of personalization is difficult for small businesses and impossible for large ones, but with automation, it’s straightforward and convenient.
One of the keys to marketing automation is tracking marketing communication performance. Marketers should be performing A/B testing to see which campaigns perform the best and merit further expansion, but tangibly measuring the outcome of these tests is difficult without the right tools.
Automation helps companies track the performance of their content marketing by collecting data from various platforms, bringing it all into one convenient place and providing metrics about the traffic and conversions coming from each piece of content.
Features of the right content marketing platform
Harnessing the value of these powerful automation options requires a quality content marketing platform. The right platform should include some qualities that maximize its usefulness.
- Flexibility. One of the essential functions of automation is the ability to share content on multiple platforms simultaneously. While this is already a powerful option, it becomes more powerful with a headless API that empowers you to deliver content on various platforms.
- Personalization. 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions, and 76% become frustrated when companies don’t personalize their communications. The right content marketing platform makes personalization second nature with robust personalization tools that go beyond copy-and-pasting names. Content marketing platforms like Optimizely target personalized digital experiences to dynamic customer segments.
- Capacity. Your business has unique needs, and your content platform shouldn’t hold you back. Rather than making your job harder, the right content marketing platform makes your job easier by offering a wide range of options and high-capacity storage for all your needs.
When it comes to content management, Optimizely is an industry leader. Optimizely’s advanced tools range from A/B testing, e-commerce support and headless digital experience management.
To learn how Optimizely can help you harness the power of automation and revolutionize your content marketing, request a meeting today to start the next chapter of your marketing journey.
Skills to Look for in a Freelance Software Developer
According to Statista, the number of software developers around the globe is expected to increase to 28.7 million by 2024.
Freelance software developers benefit companies because of the ease and speed with which they can be onboarded and used as project-specific resources. This blog will answer the most asked concerns about using contract services.
Benefits of Hiring Freelance Software Developers
When hiring a freelancer, your first expectation is impeccable skills and expertise, followed closely by cost savings, or vice versa. Here are the most popular reasons why companies choose to hire freelance talent.
Full-time employees cost an organisation a salary, as well as added investments in training, equipment, perks, overheads of utilities and rented space, and benefits such as healthcare and social security.
Freelancers work remotely using personal resources; businesses reduce investments without losing quality.
Businesses reduce financial risk by working with freelancers on an hourly, monthly, or project basis. Setting a clearly worded contract that the freelance software developer agrees to and signs, mitigates financial risk and clearly stipulates ownership of intellectual property.
Freelancers with niche expertise such as software development company in London, provide companies with the best talents for their projects. Hiring freelancers for different projects allows businesses to match the varying demands of each project, streamlines workflows and ensures productivity.
Businesses choose professional freelancers expecting them to complete any given task with minimum input from the organization. You can access talent from across the globe on platforms such as UpWork, People Per Hour, Fiverr, and Toptal, amongst others. Client reviews on such portals help in assessing proficiency and expertise.
A freelancer is as good as her or his portfolio. Successful freelancers achieve credibility by building long-term relationships and providing consistent quality. Freelancer work depends on referrals and good reviews, hence a potential contract employee’s work portfolio, and reviews showcase their abilities.
Skills of A High-Quality Freelance Software Developer
The first criterion for hiring a developer for your project is knowing what skill sets are needed. List your project specifications to customise your search and determine the expertise required for the project. Freelance developers may work on web development (front-end, back-end, or full-stack developers) or mobile application development.
Front-end freelance developers
Back-end freelance developers
Full-stack freelance developers
Mobile app developers
Mobile app developers develop, create, and test mobile applications for iOS and Android operating systems. Mobile app developers have programming language skills such as NodeJS, PHP, Python, or Ruby on Rails. They must also be proficient in back-end frameworks, database management and security, and hardware interaction. They need expertise in UI/UX design, security, and the Internet of things (IoT) for mobile devices.
How to Locate the Best Freelancers Online
Talent portals such as Upwork, People Per Hour, and Fiverr showcase many talented freelance software developers. Here are steps on how to hire talent from an online opportunity marketplace.
Set a Hiring Budget
Look for similar job postings to learn what are the current hourly rates for the work you require. Define a reasonable budget. Beware that a freelance software developer may have higher hourly rates than regular employees.
Clearly Define Project Requirements
Freelancers can be effective resources when you provide clear details about your project requirements. Be sure to mention the following
- Allocated Budget
- Payment terms
- Project start and end dates
- Clear job descriptions
- Project expectations
Shortlist and Assess Freelance Software Developers
Top software developers typically work harder and achieve results because client reviews are essential to their ongoing success. The details you post make it easier for them to determine if they fit your requirements. Once you begin receiving qualified responses, choose according to their ratings and reviews, your interview process, and any sample project to build software and check their skills.
Six Factors to Consider when Hiring Freelance Sofware Developers
Hiring a freelancer revolves around their technical skills, certifications and education, attitude towards work, and ability to deliver results. Here are some crucial pointers to help you find the most appropriate fit for your project.
Freelancers must be able to handle the technical requirements of the project. They should be well-versed in software stacks, coding, development and task management software, version control tools, and deployment processes. Freelance software developers may charge more for specific technical abilities such as mobile app development, web development, or project rescues.
Freelancers who have worked on similar projects will have come across pain points and solutions. Any relevant experience enhances their expertise for your project and boosts their ability to strategise toward productive outcomes. Note that a freelancer’s experience typically increases their pay rate.
Experience and expertise increase a freelancer’s worth, but their services must provide value for your money. Knowing current hourly or project rates ensures that you are connecting with the right candidates. Freelancers that accept less payment may be new to the market and want to create a client base. Or, are choosing to supplement their income with multiple projects, which may reduce their work quality.
Education and certifications improve a freelancer’s pay scale, but they do not signal a freelancer’s abilities. The easiest way to gauge work ethic is from social proof such as client endorsements and their portfolio. A professional freelance software developer will openly share these details, with their client’s approval, of course.
A reliable freelancer will have a long-standing client base, developed by consistent efforts and proven results. The more repeat customers a freelancer has, the better the chances of them being dependable. The following actions demonstrate the integrity of any freelance work and can be testified by customer reviews.
- Following instructions
- Regular updates
- Quickly responding to queries
- Willingly accepting critique
- Meeting deadlines consistently
One of the best features of acquiring freelance talent is access to global resources. Ensure that your communication skills match. Also, check that the culture and holidays in the freelancer’s location do not conflict with project development. Location can also affect fees, where freelancers in the USA charge the highest as compared to their Asian counterparts.
Finding and hiring the right freelance software developers is easy when you have the necessary checklists in place. Software development work is complex, make sure you are vetting your candidates carefully to get the best fit for your project. Good luck!
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