So you want to create a product, such as an ebook or maybe even a piece of software. However, you don’t have the time, skills or perhaps the inclination to do it yourself. You’d rather hire a professional to do it for you, which frees up your time to focus on the “money” tasks (like the marketing).
But maybe you’re hesitating a bit. Maybe you’ve heard those outsourcing horror stories of people getting ripped off, service providers missing deadlines, and buyers getting saddled with subpar work. Kind of turns you off the whole idea of hiring a freelancer.
The good news is that you can protect yourself and find the perfect freelancer to start creating amazing products for you. Here’s how…
Step 1: Locate a Pool of Prospective Freelancers
Your goal is to start with a big list of prospective freelancers and then narrow down that list to only the most qualified prospects. So, to make that big list you’ll do the following:
- Search Google. For example, if you’re looking for a writer then you’d search for phrases such as “hire a freelance writer” or “ebook ghostwriter”.
- Post projects on freelancing boards such as elance.com, odesk.com and vworker.com. Provide as many details about your project as possible so that you attract the most qualified candidates.
- Post a “want ad” on CraigsList.org or review ads from writers. This is a great method if you’re interested in working with a local freelancer.
- Ask for recommendations on marketing forums where freelancers tend to congregate. This includes WarriorForum.com, DigitalPoint.com and SitePoint.com.
Step 2: Look at the Freelancers’ History
Your next step is to narrow down your list of freelancers by doing your due diligence on each candidate. Here’s how:
- Browse the freelancer’s portfolio to make sure he or she does high-quality work.
- Check the freelancer’s feedback and ratings on sites like elance.com.
- Search for the freelancer’s name, business name, website and email address in Google. You’re looking for a freelancer who’s preferably been in business for at least a year and has an established history of providing high-quality work and good customer service.
- Review the freelancer’s rates to make sure they’re within your budget.
Once you follow the above steps, you’ll quickly narrow your list down to only the most qualified candidates. Pick one and then move on to the next step…
Step 3: Limit Your Initial Projects
You’ve done your due diligence, so you know your freelancer provides high-quality work on time. But before you hand over your biggest and most expensive projects to your freelancer, you better first check that the two of you work well together.
You need to be sure you have good communication so that you can explain what you need and your freelancer can turn it into a reality.
To that end, you need to do two things:
- Start small. Give two or three smaller projects to your freelancer first. If he handles them well, then you can start handing over your bigger projects.
- Provide detailed briefs. Leave nothing out, because you don’t want your freelancer to have any room to guess or assume. So if you’re writing a brief for a writing project, you’d include details such as:
- Word count.
- Working title.
- Niche (who’s reading the content).
- Purpose of the content (lead generator, paid product, etc).
- Complete outline of the content, including emphasis on any particular topics.
- Any examples or samples to demonstrate what you’d like the final product to look like.
Finding a good freelancer doesn’t have to be a nightmare. Just cast a wide net, do your due diligence and start slow.
Follow those three steps, and you’ll find your perfect freelancer in no time!