Choosing the Right Freelancer by Process of Elimination
If your organization is like more than 55 percent of companies, you are considering hiring a freelancer to do your writing and editing, content marketing and strategy, ecommerce and product management, bookkeeping, and administrative tasks.
With more than 56.7 million people in the United States working as freelancers, how do you whittle down the field to find the perfect freelancer? You use the process of elimination, of course!
How to Choose Your Next Freelancer with the Process of Elimination
Determine what type of freelancer you should hire
Today’s freelancers provide a surprisingly large variety of products and services, from written content to cat catching.
Eliminate freelancers who cannot produce the needed services (or, in some cases, are allergic to cats.)
Establish a budget
Determine your budget and be clear about what that budget is when you communicate with prospective freelancers. If you like to negotiate, leave a little wiggle room at the top.
Eliminating freelancers who are over your indicated ceiling costs shortens your bid list, but don’t be afraid to eliminate freelancers who are priced excessively low, as they may not deliver the quality your organization needs. Hiring a freelancer is like most investments – you get what you pay for.
Set timelines and deadlines
Ask the prospective freelancer if he or she can produce all of the product or service needed, and if he or she can meet deadlines as necessary. Freelancers often stack projects, so availability may vary.
Eliminate freelancers who cannot produce the quantity of content you need at the pace at which you need it.
Review “Star levels,” and other ratings systems
Many online platforms use “star levels” and other rating systems to indicate the levels of skills and experience their freelancers bring.
While helpful, the ratings systems are not always accurate. The number of reviews, platform levels and other ratings systems do not necessarily correspond to higher skill and mastery or consistent output, as freelancers new to any particular platform may be highly skilled and experienced at writing on other platforms. Furthermore, many part-time freelancers work full-time in the same industry in which they freelance, so they may bring skills and experience not reflected in the ratings systems. With that being said, ratings systems can help you choose the right freelancer for your project. Freelancers with high ratings can typically deliver high quality products at a fast pace.
Eliminate freelancers whose ratings may indicate poor quality.
Reading reviews is one of the best ways to learn about a freelancer. While they can be biased one way or the other, reviews can provide information that fills in the gaps between the freelancer’s profile and proposal. Keep in mind that some great freelancers may not have any established reviews on their profiles, especially if they are new to a platform.
Eliminate freelancers with obviously terrible reviews; consider freelancers with at least a few positive reviews. Ask freelancers without any reviews for more information about their experience.
Consider pitch/proposal quality
A freelancer’s pitch or proposal is a good indication of the energy, innovation and personalized service you can expect. Freelancers who stamp out cookie cutter pitches may lack creativity, for example, and those who respond with a two-word proposal may be too lackluster to meet deadlines.
Eliminate those presenting pitches and proposals with spelling and grammar errors, of course. Depending on your organization’s need for personalized service, consider eliminating freelancers who present obviously canned pitches or proposals.
Poor communication can significantly lower quality and cost-effectiveness for everyone involved.
Eliminate freelancers who refuse to communicate with you during the pitch/proposal process, as they are not likely to get chattier later on.
Review skills and knowledge of your industry, as needed
Some industries require a freelancer to have specialized knowledge in an area in order to carry out certain functions. A freelance writer should have some knowledge of medicine before writing a press release for a medical researcher, for example.
Eliminate freelancers who do not possess fundamental knowledge of your industry to accomplish a project, unless he or she possesses other skills that make up for that lack of knowledge.
Eliminating freelancers who do not fit your needs is a great way to find the one or two that do. For more information about finding the best freelancer for nearly every task, visit WriterAccess. We have a world-class platform that’s now connecting thousands of customers with professional writers, editors and content strategists around the globe.
Lynn H has been a professional writer, providing exceptional content online and offline, for nearly 20 years. In that time, she has penned thousands of articles for doctors, universities, researchers, small businesses, nursing organizations, sole proprietors and more. She writes everything from blogs to white papers; her specialty is putting complex scientific concepts in simple terms. She specializes in medical writing, creating informative and engaging content for professionals in medicine, dentistry, nursing, pharmacy, medical manufacturing, chiropractics, optometry, emergency care, plastic surgery and others.