Entrepreneurs want to be heroes. They have this idea that they need to do EVERYTHING in their business.
And while they may be able to do some things better than a freelancer, they’re also limited to a certain number of hours every day. So while it may be tempting to do it all yourself and save a few bucks, that’s not the best way to grow.
Instead, the best thing to do is to decide on a few tasks to outsource, and then execute. This article will show you how to choose a freelancer that will work for you and save you both time and money.
Where to Start
There are a lot of freelancing websites out there, but only a few are really worth looking into. The first one to join is oDesk.com. As the biggest outsourcing site out there, they have hundreds of thousands of freelancers available to help your business.
And even though many of them don’t speak English as a first (or second) language, there are also thousands of people who do. Americans, Canadians, Australians- you name it, they’re probably on oDesk.
The second place to look is Elance.com. They’re very similar to oDesk, except some businesses claim that the quality coming from here is a bit higher. That’s up for debate, so take it as you will.
Post a Job
Once you sign up for a site, your next step is to post the job opportunity.
Try to use simple language that is easy to understand. Use short sentences and words, and try to keep your paragraphs to only a few sentences each.
Besides the description of what the person will be doing, how long you need them, etc. there are two main things you need to include:
A description of what kind of experience they have similar to the job you’re posting.
A small, simple task to show that they didn’t just copy-paste a wall of text into their response. So for example, you can tell them to say “pink elephant” at the very beginning of their response. If they don’t do that, you can just skip to the next person!
Prepare a Small Test
Once you post your job, you’ll probably have dozens of freelancers contact you. Based on their response, experience and ratings from previous employers, you should select anywhere from 3-5 to test.
Whichever one performs the best will be your next freelancer.
Keep in mind that you’re essentially hiring them to take this test. It will cost a few bucks, but it’s MUCH better to do this upfront than to find out after someone works for 20 hours that they don’t know what they’re doing!
Your test should be similar to what they’ll be doing for you. So if it’s writing an article of some kind, have all of them write a short 400 word article on the same subject. If it’s graphic design, give them all the same instructions and see which turns out the best.
This is possibly the most important part of the whole process. The biggest mistake most employers make with freelancers is not testing the waters first!