10 Lessons From 10 Years Of Hiring Freelancers

Want to scale your online business quicker? Then get help!

Nobody reaches the top on their own.

There are many ways to go about it.

Hiring freelancers to work for us has consistently given us a positive return on investment.

A sales page redesign doubled our sales.

One blog post cost us $100 4 years ago. It now makes us over $1000/month.

We doubled our search traffic last year. Was it because we dramatically increased our page loading times? Is that also why our conversions went up again?

All these investments pay for themselves within days…

Play the long game where you think past making a buck today, so that you can make 10 bucks tomorrow.

Here are my top 10 tips for having the best freelancer experience:

1. Expensive is usually cheaper

There is nothing more expensive than a bad freelancer.

How much will months of delays cost you?

How much will lower conversions cost you?

How much will a slower website cost you?

How much will a website that isn’t mobile optimized cost you?

…A lot more than getting it done correctly the first time.

I have used a lot of freelancers. Some of the best have been the cheapest. But at the same time, some of the worst have been the cheapest.

Don’t keep a freelancer just because they are the right price. This is a recipe for failure. This gives every one of your competitors a chance to catch up and be better than you.

When I was 17, I hired a designer named Jimmy. I was paying him $200 for a design. That was the majority of the money I had, but at the time, nothing was more exciting to me than building websites so I didn’t hesitate to hire him.

The thing about Jimmy was, he was quick. He could design a website in 2 hours. That would make his rate $100/hour.

If you could choose between a designer that cost you $20/hour or $100/hour, it’s likely you would take the first option. But remember, it’s not how much they cost per hour, it’s how much they cost to complete the project.

Don’t be scared to pay for a more expensive freelancer if they are going to complete the project quicker and to a higher standard.

2. Negotiate

Rule number one.

When I’m convinced I found the right person for the job, I say: What’s the best price you can give me?

This 9 times out of 10 will give me at least 20% off what they quoted me.

You can only negotiate so much because they are exchanging time for money. It’s not like internet marketing where you are selling digital products and it’s mainly profit.

If you pay upfront for a project, you can get a much better price but it comes with drawbacks. They have been paid so often their enthusiasm for finishing a project can be lacking. If you want to make changes, at some point, they will start arguing that this wasn’t part of the deal.

It’s about give and take.

3. Communication

Poor communication costs money.

Jump on Skype and talk to them.

Test how responsive they are when you leave a message.

See how excited they are about the work you want them to do.

The best freelancers are the ones that go above and beyond.

The best freelancers are the ones that love what they are doing.

Treat them as people, not as robots.

4. Following instructions

One of the first tips I was ever given when hiring people was to see how well they can follow instructions.

Ask them to email you their CV/portfolio.

Tell them to name the email something specific, for example: Why you should hire me for

Instead of writing up an email with the work they have done, ask them to put it in a document and attached it to the email.

These two simple requests can teach you a lot about someone.

If they can’t follow these two simple instructions, then will they be able to do the things you ask them to do, to the standard that you want them done?


5. Ask them to criticize you

This is helpful.

Ask any freelancer you are thinking about hiring to look at your current website and criticize it!

If they can point out a bunch of things you are doing wrong, then you just found a bunch of ways to improve your online business.

You want someone who will add to your business, not someone who will do just what you have asked.

6. Get them on retainer

Gone are the days where I have to look around for someone to help me every time I need changes made to my websites.

When you find someone you like working with, set up a retainer with them.

A retainer is a fee paid in advance to someone, in order to secure their services for use when required.

I have a designer on retainer for 48 hours a month.

Whenever I need something done, I just email him and I usually have it within 48 hours, sometimes the same day.

 7. Always check their work

A lot of the time, the freelancers I work with are working on live websites.

If they make a change to my website and there’s an error, it’s going to cost me until it’s fixed.

Often people just don’t check. And even when they do check, they often miss things.

Let’s say you ask your programmer to add a new advert to your website, they refresh the page and see it’s up. All good right?

Well… no, not if they didn’t click the advert to see if it’s taking them to the right place. You would be surprised how often links are not done correctly.

Internet marketers often will spend days looking at their sales and traffic, wondering why something isn’t converting, why they haven’t made a sale yet. Until finally it occurs to them to check their funnel to see if anything isn’t working correctly.

How much does incompetence cost? A lot more than getting it done correctly the first time.

8. Pay immediately

Every day that an invoice goes unpaid builds a barrier between you and the freelancer. Whether or not you paid the invoice is the first thing they’ll check when they wake up in the morning.

PayPal or Bank transfer works best. I prefer PayPal because they can invoice me and all I have to do is click a link in an email and it’s all set up to pay the correct amount, I just have to log in and click confirm.

9. Understand your role

If you don’t hire a project manager, then you are the project manager.

You’re responsible for providing content, creative direction, and keeping the project on task. If a project goes over budget or misses a deadline, that’s on you.

You can pay a freelancer 2x as much to manage the project (which is something they’re not good at), or you can take the reigns and manage it yourself.

Make sure they have everything they need up front to work quickly and less expensively. It’s your job to remove barriers.

10. Finding the perfect freelancer

Hiring the right person first time round will save you money and get the job done quicker.

The first developer I ever hired was from a tutorial forum. I could see from his forum posts that he was experienced enough to do the job. So I private messaged him and we started working together on a couple projects.

The second and third freelancers I hired were from a Freelance forum.

The 4th freelancer owned a Photoshop tutorial site.

You don’t go to sites like oDesk, Fiverr or Elance to find great talent.

You go to the places where great talent hangs out.

That’s why people go to AwesomeWeb.

AwesomeWeb was created because of a need.

When I look at all the big freelance directories and marketplaces, I feel like they got worse with age. Harder to find people. More barriers. Too much noise. Too many fees.

We’ve made it as simple as possible to find the perfect freelancer for your project. No barriers to searching, finding, hiring. No percentage fees so you’ll pay less. 100% open communication so you can get the best work.

Stop procrastinating.

Stop looking for excuses.

If you want to rise up, achieve more, then get help. Go to AwesomeWeb.com.

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Read more: ’11 Essential Lessons From Going Into Business With People’

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