Before a freelancer applies to a posting, they should make sure their profile looks great. This is what editors will see before they commission a freelancer, so take the time to make it perfect!
- You’ve got three or more links to your best and most up-to-date work samples.
- You’ve tested all your links and made sure they opened properly inside your profile page (check that your Vimeo settings allow your video to be embedded, for example).
- You’ve selected which services you performed in each work sample.
- Your location information is current.
- Your profile photo reflects the professional image you want to convey.
- You’ve selected thumbnails that make your work samples look amazing.
Go here to edit your profile. Once you've done that, you’re ready to begin.
Apply to a Posting
Make sure to provide any relevant information about the type of access, expertise or previous experience you have in covering this type of story. Remember, first impressions are key. If you are not based near the location of the posting or already have secured travel plans, please refrain from applying. Unless otherwise mentioned, publishers are not willing to cover travel expenses.
NOTE: Please do not try and get official access or press permits from a government or organization on behalf of a publisher or Storyhunter unless you have written permission to do so. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about applying for press credentials.
PRO TIP: It’s always good to do some research on the company that created the posting before you apply, so you can write an initial message or pitch that resonates with them. Mention if you've worked with similar media outlets. Be courteous, but no need to be super formal.
Define the deliverables and price
When discussing a project, make sure the deliverables and pricing are clear before accepting the offer. If you’ve chatted with the publisher by phone or Skype, it's important to summarize what you agreed upon in your project page after the conversation. That way everyone is on the same page, especially when it comes to pricing, deliverables and deadlines. This keeps everyone accountable!
You can generally negotiate the payment for a project if you feel you need to! We encourage you to write the publisher in the message thread and explain the reason behind your asking price. Once that has been agreed upon, you can make a counteroffer using the counteroffer button.
PRO TIP: If you don't hear from the publisher for a while, send them a message on the platform. If your story is time-sensitive, let them know!
(If you are declined for a project, don’t be discouraged. Try again next time!)
You’re off to work on your project!
As with any professional project, always keep your publisher up-to-date with your progress. Each project you complete on Storyhunter is reviewed by the publisher you worked with. A great review is an important step towards landing future commissions!
If you've negotiated to have your expenses covered, ask your publisher how they would like you to keep track of them. We recommend keeping all your receipts. Before marking the project as done, upload copies of your receipts to the "Assets" section on your project page.
VERY IMPORTANT: If by any chance something unforeseen happens which may influence your delivery deadline, make sure to let your publisher know AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. Nothing is worse than getting news of a delay in delivery time at the last minute, when the publisher is counting on your story.
*** Try your best to take a great photo of you while working on the Project! We pick the best and use them to feature you on our blog, weekly newsletter and social media pages. What makes a great #storyhunter photo? We can see you, holding a camera, shooting something really interesting. The photo looks amazing and makes people say “Cool!” ***
Once the publisher reviews and approves your work, they will mark the project as “complete”. We handle all payment and issue it by the 30th day of the project being marked complete! Don't forget to keep your payment information updated in your profile.
PRO TIP: Make sure to add a link of your published project to your profile (where it says "pending publication"). For editors, working with freelancers they have never met can be daunting. A completed project on the platform shows that you’ve proven yourself with another publisher. The more projects completed and verified work samples you have, the more publishers can get a sense of your work, and trust your portfolio.
So what's next?
Once your story is published, let us know by tagging @storyhunter, and...
- If you’re on Facebook >> Like our page.
- If you’re on Twitter >> Retweet us @storyhunter.
- If you’re on Instagram >> Follow us.
What are the services and tools provided for freelancers?
We help freelancers build their reputations to win more jobs, introduce them to new clients, and handle all the hassles of contracts and payments, so they can focus on doing the work they love. Most freelancers outside of Storyhunter are on their own to track down payments (often getting paid months after finishing a job) while we guarantee to pay freelancers within 30 days once they’re properly set up. We charge a service fee to connect freelancers with new clients, and our fees fall as they do more work with those clients.
Below are a few of the tools we’ve built for freelancers:
- Matching them with postings
- Organizing projects
- Advances and expenses
- Expedite payment option
- Storyhunter Select
What types of services and tools do you offer brands, agencies and media companies?
We help companies find, hire and manage freelancers around the world while providing a suite of software tools that allow for quick matching with vetted freelancers and producers, streamlined payment, e-signatures, budgets tracking, and productivity tools for communication and team collaboration. This allows large companies to act nimble and move quickly with the rapidly changing landscape for content creation to find freelancers they need for any job, anywhere in the world. Here are just a few of the features that streamline the operations of our clients, enabling freelancers to get hired more often, by more clients, than in a world without Storyhunter:
- Search for freelancers by location, skill and rating
- Posting that automatically matches them with vetted freelancers
- Manage, review, duplicate and edit posting
- Hire, negotiate and sign contracts
- Save messages and add attachments
- Manage cancellations in a fair, streamlined way
- Manage budgets, invoices and spend
- Tracking budgets using costs codes
- Flagging and blocking freelancers
- Advances and expenses workflow
How does Storyhunter make money?
Storyhunter makes most of its money from service fees on its marketplace and freelancer management system. For the freelancer management system, where Storyhunter agrees on a standard legal and payment structure with each client, the service fees are only charged on the client side since it wouldn’t make sense to charge freelancers for simply getting paid by our system. For the marketplace, we charge freelancer service fees based on the amount of work they’ve done with each client. We also charge clients a processing and administrative fee on each project, depending on the agreement with the client or their membership plan.
Storyhunter also has yearly membership fees for clients to have access to the technology, freelancers management system and global customer success teams. For many clients, paying freelancers can be very difficult within their corporate structure, so Storyhunter works out an agreement once, so they can hire freelancers safely and easily.
Storyhunter also offers add-on services, such as through it’s full service content house, Storyhunter Studios, which acts like a production company built on top of the platform and powered by it’s global network of producers called Storyhunter Select.
How do you try to help freelancers receive payment in a timely manner?
We pay out freelancers within 30 days of the project being marked complete. Once a freelancer completes their Payoneer registration, payments are automated and can be tracked with the Reports tab. We work out the payment terms once with the client, so they can hire as many freelancers as they want without extra approvals or needing to process extra invoices. Then we handle all the e-signatures for their standard contracts, payments to freelancers in over 192 countries, tracking each invoice by budgets and then we handle all their tax reporting at the end of the year. On the freelancers side, we offer something similar: Payment setup allows a freelancer to be hired by multiple clients anywhere in the world and not have to do any more paperwork or track down any payments with multiple clients.
For background, large companies have increasingly implemented corporate policies of paying vendors within 45 days, 60 days, 90 days, and even 120 days. We believe this is too long to wait for a freelancer, so we negotiate preferential payment terms with them and even if we don’t achieve 30 day payment terms with them, we still guarantee that for the freelancers (and finance the difference if needed). For clients, it’s much easier to make one exception for a company like Storyhunter than to process a large amount of small invoices from freelancers. They also are more open to a system that allows them to receive one invoice for multiple payments, so they have less invoices to process. Here’s more answers to questions about payments.
How do you find new clients for freelancers?
Storyhunter has hundreds of clients that use Storyhunter’s marketplace and freelancer management system to both find new freelancers to work with, and to re-hire freelancers they’ve worked with before. Every time a freelancer does a job, clients leave a review. That review informs our algorithm that then matches freelancers with other clients. Once a freelancer has connected with a new client, they can work with them as many times as they want, and our service fees decline as they complete more work with a client. Then, as we bring new clients onto the platform, freelancers will have access to more postings based on reviews and verified work samples by each service entered. Since we make our money to maintain the platform by the service fees we charge on each transaction, once we’ve introduced a new client to a freelancer, freelancers must always get paid from that client on Storyhunter (unless they hire a freelancer full time or you leave Storyhunter and wait a year until our non-compete ends). In short, we are 100% aligned with freelancers to keep finding more jobs and keep delivering great work for clients so we can focus on finding new clients, and the cycle goes on.
Find more information on our matching system here.
How does Storyhunter help get freelancers timely responses from clients?
This is a tough one, mostly because clients sometimes get a large number of pitches, and reviewing all of them quickly is difficult. e have tried to make responding take less time for clients by providing tools for them to more quickly review and respond to pitches. We have also implemented time-limits to force clients to respond or risk losing out on their pitches.
- We require clients to respond to pitches within 14 days, and standard applications within 7 days. This forces them to respond in a timely manner. Clients get multiple emails and notifications as the deadline approaches.
- Clients receive reminder emails to update applicants and notifications to remind them to give freelancers updates.
- Saved message templates so they can create quick responses if they often send the same updates or replies.
Since adding these measures, we have seen fewer complaints about unresponsive clients, but it still happens. When we ask clients about it, they say they want to respond to everyone but sometimes just don’t have the time. They get a lot of messages, so I wouldn’t take it personally.
Why would I want to get paid on Storyhunter if I already know the client?
Getting paid through Storyhunter provides a number of benefits to the freelancer. We guarantee payments within 30 days--hassle-free for the client, we allow freelancers to build their reputations through reviews, we provide freelancers access to new clients and jobs, and are an ally with freelancers as they grow their business. If a freelancer requests a client pay them through Storyhunter, no fees are incurred and our non-compete does not apply. Freelancers who are invited onto Storyhunter by a client for payment incur no freelancer service fees and can receive payments from multiple clients through the same easy-to-use system.
How are rates on postings set on Storyhunter?
Clients enter a budget range in each posting. Then, final budgets are negotiated directly between the freelancer and client in the message thread. Once a general budget is agreed upon, a client typically makes an offer. Before an offer is made, freelancers and clients should agree on a general scope of work, including deliverables, services, expenses policy, kill fee policy and any other point that would affect the price of the project. Freelancers can always make a counter-offer using the counter-offer tool once an offer is made. At the completion of a project, clients may adjust the project amount if both parties agree on the new price. It’s always advised to update clients on any development that may increase prices or expenses to get approval for those changes while the project is still going on.
See a longer FAQ on rates here.
Do you have a system for advances?
Yes, for larger projects, it’s common that clients will agree to an “advanced” payment. We actually built a tool tailor-made for “advances” so clients can easily pay them without hassle. Since some clients don’t have payment terms that allow advances, not all clients can offer this. Paying advances have always been a challenge for large companies in which creating content is not their core business. Because of this, getting advances paid can be a big hassle outside of Storyhunter. So what we do is we work out the legal and payment arrangement with each client, so that advances are easily accounted for. Note that advances would need to be negotiated directly with the client so make sure to discuss this possibility with them if this is something you want to negotiate. It’s best to ask if this is a possibility sooner than later if you need an advance on a project. If the client doesn't know how their company pays advances through Storyhunter, ask them to reach out to their account manager at Storyhunter, so we can help explain the process.
Get more information here.
How do your expedited payments work?
Since we recognize that some freelancers really need money faster than 30 days, we’ve added a way that we can release payment faster, and then we deal with the financing of this payment. With our expedited payment option, freelancers can receive payment within 3-5 days for a financing fee of 5%.
How does it work on the client's side? How do you ensure they find the right freelancers for the job?
Our algorithm notifies only freelancers that fit the criteria they’ve entered, based on services, location, ratings and other factors. We also have a feedback tool for clients to get a sense for how happy they are with their applicants. Our client success team also is available to help them find the right match and relay any feedback freelancers have made on postings, so they can adjust the posting accordingly. If qualified freelancers in the area don’t apply or the client is not happy with the applicants, our community team does outreach and reaches out to freelancers who may have missed the notification. Our goal is to find the right freelancer for the job that wants to work with the client within the scope of work outlined.
Get more information here.
When pitching, how long should I give a client to respond to my pitch?
This is a common question and often depends on your business approach. The good news is we have built a system that automatically notifies clients multiple times when they haven’t responded to a pitch. After multiple notifications, we automatically decline the pitch within 2 weeks. The time period was picked because it gives clients enough time to discuss pitches with their team and at least reply with an update or ask the freelancer for more time (we also built a group update tool to make responses to multiple pitches easier). That said, if the pitch is urgent, or if the freelancer is working under a time constraint, we recommend putting a note at the top of the pitch that a reply is needed by a certain date to continue the work.
Freelancers can follow up with an email after a week or so, checking on the publisher’s time frame. This will send the publisher another notification and may make them take a second look at the pitch.
Get information for tips on calls for pitches here.
Do you have a way to give clients recommended price ranges based on what you see in the market by service and region?
Yes, we’ve built this system, which actually is the only one like it in the world for our industry. This price recommendation engine allows clients to automatically get feedback on their rates when they create a posting. Our recommendation algorithm analyzes a posting's services, location, budget and other factors to provide a recommended “day rate” for each posting. Our algorithm also takes into account the day rates that freelancers have chosen in their profiles, so the rate listed on a freelancer’s profile determines what postings they will be notified about, and also directly influences our recommended rates. Here are some of the ranges by service.