Hiring Your First Freelancer Online? 4 Mistakes To Avoid Like The Plague



Sometimes you have to do a little too much alone. Or you don’t have the expertise to do it yourself. Or maybe you just want to scale your business. So you decide to hire a freelancer – and then you get into trouble …

You see, a lot of people don’t really know what they’re getting into when they hire freelancers. A good freelancer can be a lifeline, someone who can really help you stay ahead of your workload.

A bad one can consume your money and time, and cost more of both than if you did it yourself. There is no such thing as a foolproof formula or equation, but knowing the mistakes to avoid can help you make an informed decision:

1. Tune in to the cheapest option you can find

Listen, I understand: money doesn’t grow on trees. You’re trying to take responsibility. But by hiring the cheapest option, you’ll likely pay in other ways – extra revisions, more hand-holding, or worst of all, getting completely ghostly.

I recently got in touch with Michael Brooks, the founder and CEO of goLance. Brooks knows the cost of freelancing through the wide range of services offered by global freelancers using the award-winning goLance platform. “Before you choose this person, look at the full background and level of experience the freelancer needs, and don’t just pick someone because their quota is lower,” he says. “A freelancer who delivers the quality you need and expect calculates the market price for services.

There’s an old saying about this, and it exists for a reason: “You get what you pay for.” There’s no place that sounds truer than when you hire freelancers online. Be prepared to pay a little more for quality. High price doesn’t necessarily mean better quality, but it is a good indicator.

2. Make micromanagement part of the process

You’ve probably never met your freelancer face-to-face, and it can be easy to try micromanaging them. It’s understandable – it’s your money and your job, after all, and you’re giving it to someone you don’t know. The tendency is to treat them like an employee.

You are not.

They are trying to do their job efficiently because they are likely to be managing a number of clients, and the more time you take, the more likely they are to charge you for it. They may require you to pay for extra calls, revisions, or meetings – and even if they don’t, you increase the chances that they’ll stop working with you because you’re making more effort than the work is worth.

Freelancers are here to make your life easier, not harder. Hiring someone you don’t trust to do the job independently is a waste of money for you and a waste of time for both of you.

Hire talent. Get the job done. Keep going.

3. Offering 100 percent prepayment (the first time)

There are tons of brilliant freelancers online. Unfortunately, the opposite is also the case. Some people take your money and give you substandard work – or worse, they never give you back.

Offering full payment before the job is completed is a great way to get robbed. At the same time, a good freelancer will likely, in good faith, ask for a partial payment before starting their first job. Give them a partial payment and the rest will come after the job is done. It’s a good middle ground that protects both you and your chosen freelancer.

Trust is the key here. Once you’ve established a relationship, you’re ready to play with payment structures. But don’t start with something that could burn you on the back end. This is your “first date”. You get to know her and you don’t buy an engagement ring. Set your payment accordingly.

4. Failure to have crystal clear expectations for your project

An employee who has worked with you for years may know what you mean when you give vague instructions. A freelancer will have no idea. If you don’t know what you want, they can’t give it to you.

How can you expect a freelancer to provide vague details?

When you give them a sketchy project assignment, expect to get something back that you don’t like. That means more revisions, more time, more frustration. Freelancers are not mind readers. Don’t ask them to. Give them strong guidelines and a clear project description and you will get a better end product.

Find the right freelancer

Hiring your first freelancer online can be a challenge. It can be very rewarding for your business as well. A good freelancer can expand your team and give you skills that you would otherwise never have.

Don’t make these mistakes.

Lots of other people have. You have the option to avoid them. Go ahead forewarned and armed in your hiring process and you will find that you can build relationships with high quality freelancers, not just nighttime scammers or newbies.

Well worth doing it right.

July 28, 2021