Freelancers can be a very useful resource when you are under a tight deadline, a severe cost constraint or when you need some help in a field you are unfamiliar with. But how do you know you are getting a good deal for your money, and how do you know the freelancer will carry out the work to the standard you expect? Well we’re here to run down some useful tips to help reduce the risk of you wasting your time and money.
1. Make sure it’s a freelancer you need – a lot of projects are not suitable for a freelancer to produce, because they need specialists from different areas to work on them, in order to be carried out to the standard expected. If you try to get a single freelancer to do one of these jobs, you might end up being disappointed – thus for larger projects you should think about using an experienced digital agency with proper processes.
2. Find a trustworthy freelance portal – We are in an age where more and more people are finding it hard to find a job or are being made redundant as many companies look to try and recuperate from the recession which crippled our economy. As a result, more people are turning to freelancing as a way to make money and pursue their new career. With this comes an abundance of freelancer portals for you to find your perfect candidate. Use Google to search and sign up to some of these portals. You could try OfficeCavalry.com or Guru.
3. Clearly explain your project – When you are posting a new job online, make sure you provide as much information as possible about the project and what you want to achieve. Don’t just state that you need a new website built, start by explaining why you are starting the project, the importance of it, why you need the freelancer, the jobs they need to carry out, the budget you have allocated, the time it needs to be completed in, the standard of work you expect and always include the goal or outcome of your project. If there is any other important information, be sure to include it in the description.
4. Read reviews and profiles – Once you’ve found a portal you are happy with, you then need to search for your ideal candidate. This is a person that in your eyes will be able to sufficiently carry out the work in the time scale you allocate to them.
Take time to look through their profiles, and look into their areas of expertise, and their previous work experience. You may also want to ask them to send you a portfolio so that you can see the quality of their previous work, and whether it matches up to the standard you require. Look for feedback from other users of the portal like you. All freelancing websites will have a review system, which can help clarify the credibility and quality of the end product.
You will also want to ensure that they possess great soft skills like good communication, a personal service and a professional approach to how they carry out their work. No matter how good a freelancer they are, you need to have a good working relationship with them.
5. Look for qualification and experience – Ensure that your chosen or prospective freelancers have the skill set required to complete the project. If you are happy with the service your freelancer is offering, then the next thing to do is refer to any previous work experience they have, determine whether this is relevant, and whether you feel this sufficiently equips them to carry out the task in hand. You should also see what qualifications they have, as this can be a contributing factor to the price they charge you.
6. Ask for references – Finally, if a freelancer can boast an array of credible work and work experience, then do a background check to see if their previous employers can back up their claim. If they have experience with an award winning digital agency, then make sure they have actually done this, and ask why they left their previous job. If they are as competent as they claim to be on paper, then they will have no problem providing you with contact details of previous managers. You will be able to obtain an honest evaluation of their work ethic, and the standard of work they produce. Any freelancer who is reluctant to give you references may have something to hide from you.