If you’re not using freelancers to get jobs done, you’re missing out! For several years now, I’ve used Elance.com to find freelancers to write articles, create book covers, do design work, copy writing, formatting and more. The first time you test the waters it might take a while, but once you get into the swing of things you’ll want to use freelancers for everything. Consider this – you can have someone anywhere in the world doing work for you while you sleep! And the great thing is that it’s not expensive. I’ve had great article writers charge $15 for a 750 word article. It beats me doing it!
Hiring a Freelancer from Elance Checklist
- Open an Elance account if you don’t already have one
- Login to Elance
- Along the top menu bar roll over ‘Hire’ and the click ‘Post A Job’
- Enter a name for your job in the ‘Name your job’ box. Use keywords that freelancers will search on. Be descriptive.
- Selecting a ‘Job Template’ will populate the ‘Describe it’ box for you. I often use one of these and then change it according to my needs. Otherwise, outline the project, give a bit of background and create a bullet list of the exact deliverables that you want.
- Select the category of work that you want – this is self explainitory
- Request specific skills or groups – this is optional but is helpful for freelancers to search for. I try my best to pick as many skills that are relevant
- Select hourly or project. I always go for project and under $500, but that’s how I like to work.
- Expand the ‘Location, Privacy and Other Options’ area. Select freelancers from certain locations – I often do this if I’m requesting article writers. For example, if I’m posting to a UK website, I’ll aim to hire UK writers rather than American to ensure the English is correct.
- Change the post this job for 7 days at the most and if you’re in a hurry, do 3 days. Any longer than 7 and you get too many bids and it draws out for too long!
- Check over everything else and make any changes that reflect your needs
- Click continue
- Don’t pay for a premiere listing – I’ve done it a couple times and noticed not difference in results
- Ensure you’re happy with the advert and then allow it to be published
- On a daily basis pick a time when you can review bids. It’s easiest to compare several at a time rather than looking every time you get a bid.
- I use the rating system and rate the bidder quickly – I give 5 stars anyone that looks perfect and 4 to those that are good but not the best.
- Decline anyone that doesn’t fit the bill. Be ruthless in this, otherwise you’ll feel overwhelmed when making a decision. If you feel bad doing so, when asked the reason why you can always write a little note in the ‘other’ section saying that you really liked their bid but on this occasion it just wasn’t right.
- Use the notes area to write your thoughts and reminders of why you liked them or didn’t like them the best. After looking at several bids you’ll forget who is who. Use the notes – the freelancer will not see them.
- Before the closing date, narrow down 3 – 4 candidates. Get rid of the bids that are too high or too low. Also – if I have too many bids I get rid of anyone that doesn’t personally respond to the project. If people say, ‘look at my portfolio’ rather than adding some files/samples for me to look at I rate them lower. People that respond to your particular job are those that will give you more attention!
- For the 3 – 4 that you’ve narrowed down, write all of them a message asking them the clarify something or any question – it doesn’t matter. The reason you’re writing is to see how quickly they write back and the tone they use to respond when messaging.
- Based on the price, portfolio, proposal, time frame and correspondence, choose the one you like best but as an act of courtesy you might want to tell the others that they made it into the final three but didn’t make the cut. Keep in mind that you might use someone later.
- Once you select the freelancer, they will be notified of your selection. Wait until they agree to the job before you fund the escrow account. (If they choose to decline the job it can take a while to get your money back!)
- Once they accept the job, fund the escrow account and get started on the project! I usually message the freelancer saying ‘congratulations and welcome aboard.’ From here on out, you simply message each other to get the job done!
- Once the project is complete and you’re happy, release the funds.
- Provide the freelancer with feedback. Easy-peasy!
Get started and learn the art of delegation at Elance.com