You need to build out a team for your business, but you don’t have the budget to hire full-time employees.
Today that’s no problem! It’s easier than ever to hire people from all over the world for one time projects or ongoing work.
Freelancers can help you with almost any task. Need someone to write your blog articles? Want new functionality added to your site? A freelancer can help. Freelancers are skilled people that offer their services to any business that needs them. Plus, businesses can manage and communicate with their freelancers no matter where they’re located with collaboration software.
One thing that surprises clients when discussing freelancers is what they can accomplish with their help. The real limitation to what you can get done is your imagination. If you can think it, someone can make it happen.
A few examples of what you can use freelancers for:
- Data Entry
Many people may call this outsourcing, which is a fairly accurate term for it, but outsourcing has earned a negative connotation. Hiring freelancers is a great way to move your business forward without needing to hire full-time employees. I’ve hired many freelancers for myself and client projects over the years, and in this article I will show you how to build your own team.
Finding a freelancer is simple. There are plenty of platforms, and you just need to find one that works for you.
Here are a few places that you can use to begin your search:
Each platform is different, with different functionality and users. I generally stick with Upwork because I can easily post a job with what I’m looking for. From there I simply screen applications, message, hire and monitor the workers.
Platforms such as Fiverr are great because you can search the type of task you’re looking for, and find a gig that was created for that task. Then look at their samples, and read reviews before you even message the freelancer.
Depending on the platform, you can post a job or you can select someone to message about a job. I prefer to post a job. When posting a new job, you don’t need to be overly elaborate. I give an overview of what I need, list out the skills the freelancer should have, and submit it. For design and development jobs, I have actually drawn what I wanted on a piece of paper and then post that asking if someone could make it.
After the post is live, wait a couple of days. Allow multiple people to apply for your job so that you have options and can find the best candidate. An easy trick to weed through a large amount of applications is to ask a question somewhere within your posting. The best questions are ones related to the job, so you can see if the applicant knows what they’re talking about. I’ve also had success posting unrelated random questions. When people don’t answer the question, I immediately ignore their application because it shows that they don’t pay attention to details.
Once I’ve removed the people that didn’t answer the question, I review all the applications and determine who can be shortlisted. I usually try to narrow it to three people and then move forward to messaging those three with follow up questions. Don’t be afraid to ask for samples of their work or ask a lot of questions. You’re not hiring a full-time employee, but you don’t need to settle.
If you’re having a hard time choosing between multiple applicants, you can ask them to perform a test, or even do a trial run with them. Just be upfront about it being a trial, and discuss payment for their time. When you find someone you want to hire, you can negotiate rates and go over more details about the job.
Freelancers are working on projects. For this, you will need to be a good project manager or have excellent software for project management.
For some projects, you may only need a freelancer one time. On these, simply messaging through the platform will work. On bigger projects such as ongoing work, you will need to discuss with the freelancer about working together. If you have deadlines, or tools you want to use, communicate these with them.
When I have a freelancer helping me with multiple tasks, I begin to take the conversation off of the platform (using email/text/Slack). This allows me to keep the projects/conversations separate.
Since these people you’ve hired for a task are skilled at what they do, you shouldn’t need to micromanage them. Discuss the project and let them complete it. If they have questions, they will message you. If you’re unhappy with the final result, connect with them about edits/revisions. Very few freelancers will refuse revisions.
When you’ve hired enough freelancers to form a team, you can look into hiring another freelancer to manage your team. This will allow you to free up time to focus on other aspects of your business.
Working with freelancers can help your business achieve more than when you try to do everything on your own. It’s a cost effective strategy that will allow you to take advantage of skilled people that want to help.
Don’t forget that these people are also human. If you treat them negatively, they won’t want to continue to help you and your company.
On the flip side, if a freelancer isn’t working out, then you don’t have to stick with them. One tip that a friend shared with me was to hire slow and fire fast. I try not to cycle through freelancers because I know they are people with lives and bills, but I also have a business to run.
If you follow the tips from this article, you will be able to effectively build your own team of freelancers.
If you’ve got a team of freelancers, they might not all be under one roof or working at the same time. With ProjectManager.com, an online project management software, you can monitor, track and report on their progress in real time. See how ProjectManager.com can help you get the most out of your freelance time by taking this free 30-day trial.