Outsourcing is a new wave of doing business, not only because something you simply cannot do, but it is becoming more affordable to outsource something every day. Let’s take owning a website as an example, it’s just like running any other business, do you know everything there is to know about your website? Can you code, do HTML, PHP create custom designs using CSS, or do you know how to write high quality content, do you know how to do SEO and marketing? It’s very unlikely that you know all of it, so one or more things need to be done by someone else, that is where outsourcing is needed, but today you can outsource something cheap. Any project that you need to outsource can be done by a freelancer found on many freelancing websites, so how do you find a good one?
On average if you are looking for a writer, you would have to pay $15 to $20 or even more to have an article written by a US writer, but you can have an article written for $3 to $5. You are probably thinking for that money you will be getting a freelancer from India or the Philippines and that is not what you had in mind, there is no use in hiring someone to write an article that you have to proofread and edit. But that is not necessarily so, first of all you don’t need to find a native English speaker to have a good article written, English became a necessary language for all of us long time ago, so it’s not something to fear. On the other hand, if you need a programmer it doesn’t matter what country your designer is from, programming languages are the same in all countries! The fact is that in some countries people can live normally with $500 to $1000, and that is why they can afford to write for $5 per article, so the question here is how to find a good freelancer, that is the key to outsourcing.
Before I explain what to look for in a freelancer, above mentioned is not a prerequisite, you do not have to look for a cheap freelancer, but most people do. There are plenty of native English speakers working as freelancers in many fields. So, the question here is how to find a good freelancer? There are two types of freelancer that you are going to find, established freelancer in their field and newcomers. In most cases you can’t go wrong with an established freelancer, but some of them can be more demanding and really a pain to work with, so they also have their flaws. On the other hand you have newcomers that have little reputation or none at all, so most of the times people avoid them.
Ok, so which to go for, established ones or new ones? I say both, you have to give a newcomer a chance, because you never know, you might be sitting on a gold mine, the fact of the matter is that there are few things to look for in a freelancer, and they are the same for newcomers and established freelancers.
OK, so apart from established reputation and good scores from previous employers what is there else to go on? The first thing that I look for in a freelancer is availability, now I am not talking about a freelancer that is working exclusively for you, the guy has to eat, so that means he will have other projects. When I say availability I mean your freelancer has to be available for consultation at arranged times, if you need to make a last minute change you will not be able to do that if your freelancer is busy doing other things, communication has to be top notch.
The next thing I look for are not examples of previous work, hey that could be anyone’s work, even if it is published on Ezine, I ask for a short live example, if I need something written I ask for a 300 to 500 words article on a very rare topic, I am an expert in finding rare topics that are hard to research. That may fall under torture but if a guy can write what I ask him to I know he is good. If it is programming, well, that is something you will have to go with examples, look for usability if it is design or speed of it is HTML or PHP, I’m not an expert in other things so can’t help you much with that.
The last thing is to study their application letter; I can tell a lot just by reading their application. I know how to recognize a pre written application, they are easy to notice, it’s the equivalent of comment posting spam in my book and I turn those down immediately. Always include something at the end of your job post that they have to repeat in order to acknowledge that they read the entire post. Half of the freelancers that apply for your job post won’t even read the entire post, so that eliminates unprofessional freelancers. And of course there is the presentation itself, if they read your post and the letter doesn’t look like a pre-written form look for the confidence. Too cocky is not good, no confidence, not good as well, so it’s like making a good cake, you need to make it balanced and you have yourself a good freelancer that will get the job done.
I hope you like my recipe, How to Find a Good Freelancer. If you are actually looking for work check out my recipe, Find Freelancing Jobs.