Freelancers are a great resource for individuals that want to outsource certain tasks, either those that are a one-time or infrequent occurrence, or those that happen on a regular basis. The freelance economy is growing by leaps and bounds and is poised to become one of the biggest sectors of the economy. If you want to take advantage of the mountain of skilled labor available to you, here’s how to find and hire a freelancer.
- Check out freelancing websites. There are a wide variety of freelance communities, where either those looking for freelancers can post their projects or the freelancers can post ads that employers can choose from among the listings. Either way, communities like oDesk, Elance, Freelance, and Fiverr have tons of qualified professionals ready to take on just about any task.
- Look at freelancers’ personal websites. While there are plenty of people with legitimate skills on those freelancing websites, there are also lots of people who are scamming you. You have to be savvy enough to tell the difference. The easier way is to look for freelancers who operate through their personal websites. These are far more likely to be legitimate because they have to pay for hosting, design, and content and scammers have much better things to do than set up entire websites just to grub a few dollars, when there are other platforms where they can do it for free.
- Consider contacting the people who write the blogs you love to read. If there is an industry blog that you love to read, chances are that if you contact the blog runner/writer, you’ll find someone who is also more than capable of doing a little freelance work on the side, whether it is writing, programming, customer service tasks, etc.
- Start small. You don’t want to dump all of your work on a freelancer until you both have had a chance to determine whether or not you work well together. Start with a small project, like one blog post, a small logo or icon, or another inexpensive task. Pay the person for their time, and if they don’t produce something you can use, you haven’t wasted much money on the trial. If they produce something you love, you can ramp up the workload.
- Shop Around. There is an abundance of freelancers on the market willing to help you, so don’t feel like you have to hire the first one you find. Take some time to shop around, check out the freelancers work, talk to them on the phone, and find out whether or not it is a good fit. If it is a good fit, and the price is right, then go for it.