~ 8 Minute Read
Once you’ve taken the plunge into micropreneurship you’ll soon find that you will need help. Besides the fact that there are only so many hours in a day, there will be some tasks that you simply won’t have the expertise to complete efficiently.
Things like website design, coding, logos, and content writing are tasks that I outsource regularly to help me work efficiently and use my time on the big picture stuff like marketing and researching business opportunities.
I’ve been using Upwork for many years (formerly called Elance) and I’ve learned a lot about the freelance market in that time. I want to share some tips that I’ve learned along the way so that you can avoid some of the mistakes I made early on in my micropreneurship journey.
1. Only Hire Native English Speakers For Content
This tip may be common sense but it is important non the less. There are some really great non-native English speaking freelancers out there that are great for things like virtual assistance and logo design work. But when it comes to content writing I have a strict native English speaker policy.
There are a few reasons for this. Non-native English speakers have a great foundation for the language, but they may not understand some of the nuances and slang necessary to write engaging content. Because of this you may find yourself editing and rewriting the work of your freelancers, which defeats the purpose of having the freelancer in the first place.
2. You Get What You Pay For
It can tempting, especially to those new to hiring freelancers, to select the cheapest quote. I would strongly advise against this. Just like anything else, most things that are cheap, are cheap for a reason. You’ll end up having to edit the freelancer’s work or worse; start over completely.
The one exception to this rule are new freelancers who have not worked long enough to build a good reputation. Sometimes they can be a great way to get quality work on the cheap. But this takes more research and effort to find those freelancers, and inevitably they will raise their prices as their reputation builds.
Personally, I like to find established quality freelancers and be able to keep them around for the long-term. This allows me to spend less time hiring and more time on things that help me grow my business.
3. For Coding and Web Design, Hire Individuals
The first job I outsourced was for a website design, which included a lot of custom coding. Of course, being new to the world of freelancing I hired the cheapest and highest reviewed freelancer I could find. In this case that happened to be an outfit from India.
This soon turned out to be a nightmare due to the language barriers, which was an issue for this complicated project. On top of it all they were not thoroughly testing their work so I was spending hours finding bugs and telling them what they needed to fix. Not a good use of my time.
At the end of the day I did get a working site with the features I was looking for, but the coding was a mess. So bad that when I tried to update the site freelancers hired for the job said that the coding was so bad it couldn’t be updated. Ouch!
My experience has been that you should work with individuals rather than businesses when it comes to coding and web design jobs. This allows you to only have to communicate with one person making things more simple and clear. I also always hire coders from North America or the EU so that things don’t get lost in translation.
4. Only Use Fiverr For Logos and Other Basic Work
Fiverr is a very interesting place. You can hire someone to do almost anything including having someone dress up and make a video as a creepy clown.
My experience with Fiverr has been hit and miss, and I generally would not hire on Fiverr for more complicated jobs like coding or content. Definitely do not use Fiverr gigs to build links to your site unless you want Google to give your site a nasty penalty.
I pretty much limit my jobs on Fiverr to logos, and overall I’ve been happy with the work I’ve received. In fact, the Black Tie Grinders logo is from a Fiverr gig. I’d say for the $40 I spent I got my money’s worth and then some.
5. Write Clear Instructions
This is one of the most important tips I can give those of you looking to hire freelancers. Be sure to spend time writing out specific instructions for your job so that both you and freelancer has a clear understanding of what the job entails. This way freelancers applying for your project will be able to provide you with an accurate quote.
If you do not give detailed directions for the project you’ll find the freelancer won’t have the information needed to complete the job correctly. This will make the whole process harder and less efficient.
Detailed instructions include a breakdown of steps required to complete the project and what features should be included on the finished project. This is especially important for coding and design projects.
By providing good instructions you’ll ensure that both you and the freelancer are satisfied with the partnership.
Are you someone who hires freelancers? Are you a freelancer? If so, what are your tips for hiring and working with freelancers? Let me know in the comments.
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