In today’s marketplace, freelance employment is essential. Especially in industries like writing or designing, freelancers are invaluable to making sure your business remains profitable. You may only need a small job done once or many jobs done over a long period of time, but you will still ask the same question: How do I find a reliable freelancer?
There are dozens of sites such as freelancer.com or upwork.com that advertise themselves as the go-to place for finding the right freelance worker. And it is sometimes the case that you will find good freelance workers on these sites. But the problem is you have to wade through thousands of freelance workers who are either underqualified, unreliable, or out of touch with what it is you are needing. This is why generally it is best to avoid these kinds of sites.
The first tip to finding a good freelancer is look locally. If you find a local freelance worker, you will be much more able to communicate with them consistently and maybe even face to face. This will help when you are trying to ensure they know what it is you need.
Also, a local freelance worker will be more in touch with the local culture, which may be beneficial to your business if you are looking for someone to write about something local or advertise to a local audience. If the freelance worker has never visited your city, how are they going to write about an upcoming event or create an advertisement targeted to the people living in your city?
You are not the only person in your area looking for or working with freelancers. This is why it is a good idea to reach out to people you know or who have businesses similar to yours to see who they work with. If they have worked with freelance workers consistently, they may be able to tell you who is reliable and warn you who to avoid. Freelance workers generally work with multiple clients, so you probably won’t have an issue hiring the same freelancer as another business.
Use social media
Freelance workers have to do much more than just the work they receive from their clients. They also have to advertise themselves. Social media is the most financially effective advertisement tool right now, and freelancers use it prolifically. If you are looking for a designer, Instagram is filled with designers displaying their work. Linkedin and Facebook also have freelance workers publishing their writing and design for others to see.
Even if you don’t need any freelance work at the moment, if you anticipate ever needing some in the future it is a good idea to follow some freelancers on Instagram or Facebook just so you can see their work and keep track of them. Then when you do need someone to do a job for you, you won’t be scrambling to find someone. You can just direct message the ones you already know.
Ask the freelancer for references
Freelance workers generally work with many clients, so it shouldn’t be hard for them to give you references from some of these clients. If a freelance worker is unable to produce a reference, treat this as a caution signal.
It doesn’t always mean they are bad at the job. It may mean they are just starting out. But it could be a sign they are not performing what they are asked to do or that they are not building solid relationships with their clients, both of which are aspects of a freelancer you want to avoid.
Start with a small job
After you have vetted your prospective freelance worker, it is best to give them a small job first. This can test their reliability on a small scale so that if things go poorly, neither of you end up getting hurt too badly. If they perform well, then you can begin to give them the more important work and start a long-term relationship that will be good for both of you.
This article originally appeared at brennanhallock.com/five-ways-to-find-a-reliable-freelancer/
If you would like to learn more about my freelance work, check out my site: brennanhallock.com, Instagram: @brennanhallockdesign, Facebook: www.facebook.com/brennanhallockdesign, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.