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Joining Teams: A Freelancers Guide To Teaming

Last Updated: January 12, 2019



Welcome to Teams!

Joining a new team and working with them for the first time can be enormously rewarding and exciting, but also a little daunting, which we completely understand. The truth is, when a new team is formed, everyone is feeling this way. We are taking a leap of faith together: the client maybe worried about the project while we wonder what it will be like to work together. In order to effectively “team”, we’ve found the following formula has created the best environment for success.



What makes a successful team?


Quickly building trust and respect among teammates


Wethos hand-picks every single person not only on our platform, but who goes on our teams. That means we have to ask you for a certain level of trust that we’ve selected the right people for the job and that each person is bringing something unique to the table that the team as a whole may need to succeed. If you go into Teaming with this in mind, it will enable your team to quickly jump into action without fear of the unknown.

supporting productive conflict


We know that not everything can be peachy keen all the time, especially when work is important and stakes are high. There will be times when there is conflict or disagreement, which we believe is an important part of this process and makes teams stronger in the end.

When conflict arises, the most successful teams focus their debate on the work in front of them, not personal attacks or emotional responses. If you hold respect for one-another, it’s easier to take a step back and see a perspective you may not have before, and open up to learning from that and moving forward.

Mitigating failure while still promoting new ideas


We all have a natural desire to avoid failure, as it can be emotionally painful. We also know that most of our lessons come from failure, and sometimes mistakes are unavoidable. Teams who embrace small failures quickly, readjust, and keep going, enable themselves to continue to take necessary risks on projects. They’re able to problem-solve and troubleshoot faster, rather than dwelling on failures and pointing fingers.

Teams who turn against each other during rough patches quickly devolve, become unproductive, and further derail important initiatives.


Consistently working to unblock each other


Each team member is incredibly important to the success of a team, and key stakeholders in areas of expertise should be consistently looking for ways to make their team members lives easier. Developers who flag technical challenges during the design stages, designers who adjust their execution if parts of it have caused complexities, writers who willingly rework lines that may be too long, are able to keep teams moving fast and empower their teammates to do the best job possible.

Successfully distributing leadership among key stakeholders


Distributed leadership requires trust and respect above all else, which ultimately translates to self-awareness and knowing when to say “I don’t know”. Individuals who were able to focus on completing their parts on-time, to spec, with consistent and reliable communication, were able to keep projects moving.

Lapses in reliability are the gateway to teams falling apart. Once teammates feel that you can no longer be trusted to deliver on your part of the project, the dynamic begins to unravel.

Considering team success more important than individual success


Ultimately, the success of the team is the success of an individual, not the other way around. Teams who focused more on giving credit rather than taking it found themselves commended for their efforts more often than not and understood the exponential impact of the group as a whole.



Roles & Responsibilities

On teams, each key stakeholder is responsible for a vital part in success or failure. Great teaming requires trust, distributed leadership, reliability, and shared understanding, and if one of these roles is missing or lacks accountability, it will have a domino effect on the rest of the team.


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  • Delivering your portion of the project on time and to spec

  • Collaborating with team members and working to unblock others

  • Giving client presentations when necessary

  • Collaborating with Project Managers to manage and adjust timelines/deadlines as needed

  • Providing help to Team Strategists when needed to close new projects


The Project Manager

  • Working with the Resource Manager to source freelancers for a new team

  • Working with Team Strategists to brief and kick off a new team

  • Supporting the team in reviewing deliverables to ensure they’re on-brief and any feedback is incorporated

  • Sending deliverables and tracking feedback from clients

  • Working with the team to create and manage timelines and due dates

  • Scheduling calls & presentations

  • Fielding issues or out of scope work from the team

  • Sending consistent, weekly internal and external recaps on progress, blockers, and upcoming due dates

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  • Winning work for freelance teams

  • Working with freelancers to accurately scope new projects

  • Supporting the Project Manager in kicking off new projects and teams

  • Supporting the client in additional resources or scope increase requests

  • Unblocking Project Managers when issues arise


The Director of Accounts

  • Getting all necessary SOWs signed by freelancers

  • Tracking billing cycles, invoices, and contracts

  • Answering any questions or issues around payments or project wrap-ups

  • Paying out freelancers on-time


The Resource Manager

  • Conducting initial freelancer interviews and accepting them into the pool

  • Providing on-boarding documentation and our code of conduct to new freelancers

  • Managing and getting freelancer agreements signed

  • Managing our freelancer database



Teaming Guidelines



01. Creating a profile



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Sign up and registration

The first step to joining teams is signing up on and registering a profile. Your profile will be used by the internal Wethos team to determine your fit for projects that are kicking off.

Optimizing your profile

When building teams, we don’t just take into account your skills and experience, but also the things you are passionate about. The more robust you can be in filling out your profile, bio, specifics around past work or experiences you’ve done, and what you care about, the better we can match you with work and teams that align with you.

A FOCUS ON Diversity

We ask information upfront about how you identify because we strive to build the most diverse teams possible, as we know bringing different life experiences, backgrounds, and perspectives to the table increases innovation.



02. Freelancer On-boarding


Take a 15 minute call with our resource manager

After you’ve created your profile, one of our resource managers will reach out to schedule a 15 minute call with you. This call is meant to act as an initial interview, as we speak to each freelancer who signs up for our platform to ensure quality when forming teams.

Agree to our rates

At Wethos, we set the rates between both the freelancers and the nonprofits. We do this to help streamline our processes, insure that approved freelancers are getting paid for the same output of work across race, gender, class, disability, etc., and enable you to join projects quickly without having to worry about negotiating rates.

Review our Code of Conduct

We expect all of our freelancers to review and agree to our Code of Conduct which outlines what we expect from you as a freelancer joining teams, and what to expect from us. This helps us keep everyone accountable for creating a welcoming, inclusive, and supportive environment to thrive.

Sign the Wethos Teams Freelancer Agreement

The email letting you know that you have been approved to join Wethos Teams contains a link to review and sign the Wethos Teams Freelancer Agreement. The Agreement is a standard independent contractor agreement that describes in detail our mutual obligations, responsibilities, and protections. If you have any concerns with the Agreement, just let the Resource Manager know. If not, just sign it online, and we will send you a countersigned copy for your records.

Get added to Slack

After you’ve signed off on your freelancer agreement, our Community Manager will reach out to add you to our freelancer Slack channels. You don’t have to join Slack until there is an active project if you don’t want to, we give all accepted freelancers an opportunity to connect with everyone, share projects they’re working on inside or outside of Wethos, and find community among passionate, mission-driven freelancers.



03. Joining A Project


We win the work

One of the biggest differences on Wethos is that you are not actively pitching and winning work for yourself as you may have to on other platforms. When we reach out to you with an opportunity, it’s for a project or scope that has already been won and signed off on by the client.

  • We do this because many freelancers are incredible at their craft, but maybe aren’t natural born sales people, which inherently holds great people back from doing great work.

  • We don’t want to waste your time looking at endless job boards filled with projects that were posted months ago and are gathering dust because of flakey clients.

  • Any time you receive a communication from us about an open project, you can assume it’s for active work unless otherwise specified

Waiting in our queue

Once you’ve been fully approved in our system and signed all of your paperwork, your profile will be moved into a queue for the next project that arises that you may be a good fit for.

  • Your wait could be anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks, depending on how the projects are flowing and what your skill-set is. Certain types of projects are more popular than others at different times of year and across different types of clients, which is what affects your wait time the most.

Project Interview

Once you’re approved in our system and waiting in the queue, a Wethos Project Manager will send you an alert via email if we have a project we think you will be interested in, if we don’t hear from you within 4 hours, we’ll move onto the next person in the queue.

  • In the email alert you can expect to see details about the project, and a scope of work that outlines deliverables, hours, payment and a light timeline

  • If you’re a new freelancer, we require a 15 minute phone interview to join an active project. Once you’ve successfully completed a project with us once, your profile is marked in our system and you will be able to automatically join any additional projects without an interview.

  • The best way to win more work on our platform is to prove yourself reliable, communicative, highly-skilled, and trustworthy on your first project



04. Connecting With A Team


Signing your Scope of Work

After your interview, if all looks good we will have you go ahead and sign the SOW. This acts as a project contract and is meant to protect you from scope creep, make sure you get paid on-time, and level-set expectations across your team.


After your scope has been signed, your Project Manager will schedule a briefing call with the rest of your team and follow up with additional information briefing materials that are stored in a specified Dropbox link via email. Your briefing materials should include:

  • Link to your signed SOW

  • Link to the project brief including background information on the organization or project

  • Link to a light timeline

  • Breakdown of your other teammates, bios, and roles

  • You will also receive communications from our Director of Accounts who will add you to a Slack channel with the rest of your team and add you to Justworks which is our current payment system.



05. Working on a Team


Kicking off

To kickoff a project, you will be apart of 2 important calls:

  • Internal project briefing: this is a 15-30 minute meeting with the rest of your team. We will use this opportunity to make introductions, ask additional questions, and clarify any outstanding items that need addressing before work begins

  • External project kick-off: This is a 30-60 minute call with the client to meet their team, introduce yourselves, hear what the client is trying to accomplish in their own words, and an initial Q&A session for any outstanding questions


At the beginning of each project, you will work with your Project Manager & team to solidify a timeline so you have a sense for when you’ll need to deliver your portion of the work by

Your Project Manager will also set-up a weekly status with the client that everyone is expected to join. This helps us from trying to schedule check-ins ad-hoc as everyone's schedule is constantly shifting. If you can’t attend a check-in one week for whatever reason, please let your Project Manager know ahead of time.

Weekly external recaps will be sent by Project Managers to the client and full team that includes the following:

  • Recap of the week, progress made

  • Visualization of timeline, what’s upcoming the next week

  • Sending out holds on the team and the clients calendars for deadlines we expect you to hit next week

  • Deliverables we’ll need from you in the next week to prep them with deadlines

Delivering rounds of work

All work delivery must go through your designated Project Manager to send through to the client. Project Managers are responsible for making sure the work is on-brief, any feedback has been incorporated from the last round, and any brand guidelines are taken into account when completing the work. Project Managers are not responsible for giving feedback on the work itself beyond those areas as we expect team members to be experts in their area.

To deliver a round of work, please upload it to your designated Dropbox folder and message the link to your team via Slack at least 12 hours before a deliverable is due.

  • Tag any additional team members that you would like feedback from

  • Team members are expected to be responsive as to not become a blocker to the project

Feedback tracking & client communication

Your Project Manager will be the gatekeeper to all meetings, feedback, and client communication. We do this to help streamline communications and make sure nothing falls through the cracks and gets lost

You are welcome to request a meeting with the client at any time, please go through your Project Manager to request and schedule any additional client meetings

Calls are recorded and notes are taken by your Project Manager. All feedback is relayed to the full team after a call via email recap and posted to Slack for reference.

Working hours and expectations

At Wethos, we don’t have set working hours or expect people to be online at certain times beyond their weekly team status and client check-ins.

We do know however, that sometimes team members need to be unblocked in order to move forward (ex. Developer who needs clarification from a designer)



06. Project Completion & Payments


Key Roles


Links & FAQs

Is my performance being reviewed?

How do I get put on more projects?

Do I have a chance to review my teammates?

important timing

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Payments & Invoicing

We put all freelancers on steady billing cycles and specify those cycles in your SOW before you sign it. If your project is less than a month long, you can expect to be paid out at the end of your project. If your project exceeds 4 weeks, you will be paid out on the first Monday of each month through the completion of a project.

If you have any financial issues or burdens that prevent you from waiting our 30-day invoice period, please let your Project Manager know ASAP so we can accommodate accordingly as best as we can.

Project Wrap Up

After a project is completed, your Project Manager will set up a quick de-briefing call within 48 hours of project completion with your team and your Team Strategist.

On this call we will do a quick retrospective on the project, what went well, what didn’t go well, what we can improve upon next time, and any feedback or suggestions from the team for each other and for us.

Following this, we ask freelancers to fill out a brief feedback survey to help us improve our process and your experience on teams

After a project is completed you will be put back into our pool of approved freelancers. After completing your first successful project, you’ll be able to join teams without an interview moving forward.