How to Get Your First Freelancer
Small business owners work a lot, even more so in today’s digital age. In fact, a Forbes survey found that almost one-third of business owners work more than 50 hours every week. The same report also states that 86% of business owners work on weekends. It doesn’t have to be that way. If you’re currently working long hours and have zero time to actually grow your business—and don’t have the resources to train and onboard a full-time employee—it’s probably a sign that you need to hire freelancers. With a freelancer, you can save money, time, and effort down the road and still have access to the kind of expertise you need.
Companies typically hire expert freelancers to gain efficiencies with larger projects, such that you now have more time to focus on your core competencies and set yourself for success. That said, many people have thought of hiring a freelancer but do not know exactly where to start. Some even worry about the possible complications of trusting their work to somebody else. Not to worry! With the right plan in place and an understanding of your company’s needs, getting your first freelancer can be a largely painless process. Consider these helpful expert tips:
First ask yourself: What do you need?
Before identifying a freelancer to work with, you should first determine your project’s scope of work. What exactly do you need help with? How long will you need the freelancer’s services? What’s your budget like? The answers to these questions will streamline the process and set the tone for how you start your search, as well as who you ultimately hire. Map out the goals, responsibilities, and timelines for the freelance position, including the required milestones, timing considerations, and other details of the job. Don’t leave anything to chance or assumptions.
Another major benefit to defining the project’s scope of work is that it will also help you avoid scope creep (changes, continuous or uncontrolled growth in a project's scope) as your project progresses. Scope creep can ruin a project because it will not only cost extra money but can also make you miss your deadline. It also affects the freelancer, since they were already working on a specific set of criteria that has now expanded, costing them time.
Determine Minimum Qualifications
Now that you have a clear idea of what you want to achieve by choosing to hire top-quality freelancers, it becomes quite easy to determine the characteristics you need to meet those objectives. Taking the time to consider exactly what you need will help you draft a more accurate job description, identify the right candidates, and hire the best freelancer for the job. Factors to consider include:
Find that Someone
Now that you know exactly what you’re hiring someone for, the next step is to find them, or better yet, let them find you. There are numerous websites for hiring freelancers, such as Taskenator, which makes it easier for you to find freelancers since its platform is designed to allow them to reach out to you. The process here is quite straightforward -- all you need to begin is a detailed job description. Remember the scope definition exercise you did earlier? Well, now you know exactly what to include in your job description and summarize your project needs. Qualified freelancers who are interested in working with you will then send you their proposals in response to your job description. From there, you can simply shortlist those that meet your criteria.
Keep in mind that you don’t necessarily need to hire the highest rated freelancers, but it is generally a good idea to go for one that has a positive rating and has a well-established portfolio. Knowing that an applicant has already been proven to be effective will make the interview and work assignment easier down the line. If you like what you’re seeing on their portfolio and proposals, you can reach out and ask questions, but be respectful. You haven’t hired this person yet, so be mindful that the time they’re spending doing your trial work or responding to your questions is a time they’re not spending on another project.
Interview and Hire
Some people opt to skip the personal interview phase and keep the communication limited to emails and Skype chats. But since this is your first foray into the world of freelancing, you may want to consider go for it and grab some first-hand experience. It’s also a good idea to know the person you’re hiring on a personal level; know about their backstories, motivations, their families, hobbies. Let them get to know you as well. In the end, a successful freelance hire is one in which there is mutual trust and a common sense of direction.
When you’re confident you’ve found your ideal freelancer, it’s time to make a deal. A written formal offer works best as it is a stark reminder as to what was agreed upon by both parties, including the agreed price and method of payment.
There you have it. This guide should help you easily navigate the ins and outs of finding freelancers for hire and choosing the right fit for your business needs. So what are you waiting for? Get your first freelancer today!
Meta Description - Looking to hire your first freelancer? Check out this easy guide on not just getting to know the process, but also making sure that you hire expert freelancers that are the right fit for your business goals.