A Guide To Hiring Freelancers Online
When work or creative projects become too much to handle alone, or you reach a technical
hurdle you lack the skills or time to overcome, being able to hire a freelancer to get you over
the line is a godsend. The internet—specifically online freelancer platforms such as Fiverr—
allow you to instantly connect to thousands of professionals across a range of industries. This
means with the correct preparation, business etiquette and clear terms, you can have your
project being worked on within minutes and overcome whatever creative or technical
gridlock you might be facing.
With so many digital freelancers looking for work, and so many options available in the
service market, finding the right person can be harder than you might think. Knowing exactly
what you’re looking for is hugely important for cutting through the noise, and having clear
terms outlined from the start, then following up with strong communication is essential. Here
are the key things to consider when engaging with a freelancer online.
The most important thing you can do before engaging with a freelancer is to know exactly
what you are looking for, and to have everything prepared in advance. You’re going to want
to know ahead of time if the work is ad-hoc or ongoing, and set your budget and timeframes
If this project is going to take some time or require frequent revisions, or if you’re going to be
looking for someone with these skills on a regular basis, you might want to take some serious
time to prepare your brief and get started on the right track.
- Writing Your Brief
Once you are ready to put together a concise brief to present to prospective freelancers, it is
important to focus on some of these key details:
• Deadlines: Be crystal clear on your own timeframes, and create enough breathing room
between their deadline and yours. However, also be aware you may not be your freelancer’s
only client, so try to be realistic and keep this in mind.
• Budget: Once you know how much you need and when you need it, figure out how much
money you can spare on the project, and then find freelancers with suitable portfolios who
charge enough under that number to still be able to scale and fit within your budgetary
• Scope: One of the core reasons why setting a budget upfront is important. Even with small,
seemingly innocuous tasks, a professional freelancer is going to be able to identify areas that
require more attention. On top of this as well, it will be in their nature to up-sell and expand
the scope of your project to lock in more work for themselves. This can be a valuable
addition to the project, but needs to be properly reigned in to suit your budget.
• Creative Vision: Regardless of if you’re hiring a designer, artist, writer, or even consultancy,
ensuring your vision is clear within your brief is crucial. The less transparent you are of what
you’re looking for and how you want it to look, the less chances you have of being
disappointed by the result and/or re-engaging for further (often pricey) iterations.
• Milestones: Break large projects up into manageable sections for which freelancers get a
portion of their overall payment. This will help you track progress and will make your
freelancers feel more secure. Setting milestones and paying by output puts the focus on
quality rather than the number of hours spent on work.
- Find And Engage Your Freelancer
Now that you have a clear idea of what you need, it’s time to get out there and get that role
filled. Here are some tips to help you find the right person for the job without too much
• Use clear search terms: If you are using a freelancing platform such as Fiverr, you’ll have the
ability to do a granular search to best find a digital professional who suits your needs.
• Read reviews: Investigate a freelancer’s reviews from past clients. Find out if any issues have
come up. If they have consistently low ratings, you may want to look elsewhere.
• Study their portfolio: Explore the projects they have worked on before. If you are looking for
a certain level of expertise or specific skills, find freelancers who have worked on similar
projects to yours.
• Offer a smaller paid project: Ask them to work on a part of the larger project you’re hiring
for, or an independent task. Judge the quality of their work first-hand. Pilot assignments are
especially useful when you’re hiring freelancers for big projects or long-term engagements.
• Be ready: Nothing can slow down a creative or technical process more than staggered or
delayed access. If you’re looking for a web designer or someone to work on an existing
website or platform, make sure you have the correct login details sorted well ahead of time,
as well as any relevant tools or assets, etc.
• Be respectful: As a general rule, courtesy is king. People will put in more effort for clients
they like or respect. Bark orders and demand work and the work you receive will be sloppy,
rushed, or they may just back out of the deal altogether.
- Feedback And Review
Once the deal is done, let your freelancer know how they’ve done for next time. For a job
well done, thank them publicly through a social media account, or refer them to other
affiliated businesses in your network as freelancers.
If you utilised other user reviews to help find and choose this person, pay it forward by
writing a review of your experience on whichever platform you found them on. Word of
mouth is incredibly valuable for “gig” industries, not to mention a positive review can do
wonders for building an ongoing relationship.
Culled from au.pcmag.com