How to Free Up Your Time With Outsourcing, Part 2

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Welcome back!

Last time you discovered a simple formula that helps you determine whether you can save both time and money by outsourcing a task. You also found out several places where you can find dozens if not hundreds of freelancers who can reliably handle your task. However, read on before you start hiring people…

How to Choose the Best Freelancer

I’m sure you’ve heard the horror stories about freelancers. Maybe one of your colleagues has shared with you a story about a freelancer disappearing with his money. Or perhaps you’ve heard stories of freelancers who were unreliable and produced poor-quality work.

Listen, those types of freelancers do exist. That’s why you need to spend some time up front doing your due diligence. While you may have to weed through a lot of freelancers in the beginning, it will pay off for you in the long run when you have a professional freelancer that you can trust with all your important projects.

So here’s how you do your due diligence…

  • Check the freelancer’s feedback (where applicable). If you’re hiring the freelancer off a freelance site like, then be sure to check his or her work history and ratings on the site. You’re looking for someone with a long, established history and a good reputation. Choose someone who’s been working as a freelancer for at least six months, but one year or more is better.
  • Look at the freelancer’s portfolio (where applicable). If you’re hiring the freelancer for some type of work such as writing or design, then be sure to check his or her portfolio. For best results, choose a freelancer who has some experience in what you want. For example, if you’re hiring a writer for a technical project, then look for a writer who has technical pieces in his or her portfolio. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, then ask the freelancer about his or her specific experiences and expertise.

TIP: Don’t hire a new freelancer (i.e., one without an established history), even if this person has a great portfolio. That’s because some con artists hire others to create their portfolio. Thus you can protect yourself by only hiring people with established histories and good reputations.

  • Check the freelancer’s references. Most freelancers offer references… and most employers just read the references. It’s better if you actually check on these references. This is an especially useful technique if you can establish that the person who gave the reference has his or her own good, established reputation online, as these sorts of references are more trustworthy.
  • Search the freelancer’s background. Finally, you should do a Google search to see if this person has a good history online and no pattern of complaints. To do this, do separate Google searches for the freelancer’s name, email address, telephone number, website and any other information you have.
  • TIP: Do note that email addresses and phone numbers are the best pieces to search for, since those item rarely change hands. Searching for a name or username is a little trickier, since multiple people online will have the same name. Indeed, I’ve seen two freelancers in the same field with the exact same name. As such, you really need to make sure that if you uncover information about a person using their name, that this person really is the freelancer and not someone else.

Now go ahead and screen all your freelancers using the steps above. Once you’ve narrowed down your list to a handful of the best freelancers, you can start hiring. I’ll tell you how to do that next time, so stay tuned!

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