It’s Time for the Annual Freelance Performance Review

 In General

Freelance Review

It’s Time for the Annual Freelance Performance Review

The freelance industry is growing, and not just in creative fields. According to Forbes, 34 percent of today’s workforce is independent contractors, but by 2020, this figure is expected to grow to 50 percent.

Why? Benefits include running your own business, setting your own hours and not having to attend as many meeting or events—such as the annual performance review.

Benefits of Performance Reviews

 There are certainly benefits to annual performance reviews for employees. For example, they can result in a raise or promotion while providing an opportunity to be heard. But have you ever thought about conducting annual performance reviews as a freelancer? Freelancers can also benefit from reviewing their work with clients on an annual basis.

January is a natural time to look back at your accomplishments of the previous year and plan ahead for the new year. Stepping back and reviewing what you’ve accomplished in the past year is a healthy exercise to assess opportunities moving forward.

Unlike full-time employees, we as freelancers are our “own boss” — yet we do have clients to answer to. Should you assume that if you continue to get assignments you’re doing a good job? How can you secure better or more work? What actions can you take to become more valuable to this client or to others? And how can you boost your income?

Prepare Before You Meet

 Set up a time to meet with your clients and ask in what ways you contributed the most to their success and what you can do to add more value going forward. To prepare for these meetings, I keep a running list of articles and assignments with descriptions of the work—the time it took, challenges, readership and engagement metrics, and other feedback. While the recap of my work comes in handy with current clients, it also enables me to quickly locate samples to review with prospective clients.

As freelancers, do we need performance reviews? Perhaps not. But taking time for critical self-assessment offers learning opportunities to develop a game plan for the future.

For more thoughts about performance reviews and communicating value to clients, read these articles:

Authored by Cheryl Syrett
Cheryl Syrett is marketing communications writer and editor and former Freelance Forum board member. You may reach her at and connect through LinkedIn.

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