When you are setting up your own online passive income business from home, you will inevitably find that there is a gap between what the business requires and what you are skilled at. For example, you may be an expert in marketing but you need a software developer or an accountant. And even if you had all the skills that your business needed, you will probably find that you don’t have enough time to do everything yourself.
You then have four options- work yourself to death, settle for mediocre quality, employ someone on a permanent basis or outsource the work. Employing someone on a permanent basis is risky when you are still trying to achieve stability with your business, cashflow is tight or you simply cannot afford an expensive job ad placement.
This is where freelancer sites come handy. Some freelancer sites require you to pay a monthly membership fee before you can put up a job listing but since there are so many other options, I have only chosen to focus on the sites that allow you to pay only after you have selected a particular freelancer or you are satisfied with a freelancer’s work.
Multi Freelancing Services
These are the most versatile providers of online freelancers. You can hire freelancers for a one-off, short-term, project-based or long-term contract for a wide variety of work ranging from coding to ebook design to virtual assistant work.
I personally am an active user of these sites and it’s my first ‘go to’ place when I am looking to hire someone short term. As with most things, there is a wide variety of people listed in these sites. Some are great at what they do and others, are well, questionable.
Generally, my experience with these sites have been positive but I can remember one of my worst hires being a guy who not only didn’t do the work but was pretty much not in contact after I hired him. He just seemed to disappear from the face of the earth. Thankfully, I hadn’t yet paid him but I had to make up for lost valuable time in hiring someone else to do the work.
To increase your chances of making a good hire, follow these strategies:
1. Always choose a freelancer that has a high rating or good reviews on their profile. Never pick a freelancer with a bad rating. You would be better off hiring a newbie than a freelancer with an existing bad work habit.
2. If you are on a low budget and you cannot find someone with a high rating to work within your budget, then consider hiring a brand new person. Normally, these brand new hires are willing to work for a much lower rate in order to get some work started or to get a good rating. I have used newbies before and have been pleasantly surprised by the high quality of work.
3. If you are hiring a newbie, please take the added precaution of arranging a face to face Skype or Google Hangout interview. In one of my experiences, I hired a lady new to UpWork who seemed highly qualified for the role. She had attached examples of other work that she had done and it was good stuff. I messaged her and all seemed well.
However, because of the specific work that I wanted her to do, I wanted to meet her on Skype face to face. She said Yes but when it came to the appointment time, she only wanted to chat by Skype text. She made all sorts of excuses saying that her spoken English wasn’t good enough, accused me of not co-operating with her etc. I stood my ground of insisting that I wanted to talk on Skype.
Finally, she admitted that she wasn’t who she said she was. Her brother was going to be the one doing most of the work as she was still new. He was willing to talk to me by Skype but I was certainly not interested in continuing with the hire after that. I had no information about him and it was her that I wanted to hire, not him. Yup, people are not always who they say they are.
4. Be aware of the time differences of who you hire. If you need to have meetings regularly with this person, be prepared for late nights or early mornings if you hire someone on the opposite end of the world from you.
5. Go with your gut feel. If something doesn’t feel right or things don’t seem to make sense before you even hire the person, trust your instinct and hold out for a more suitable person. I once hired someone who I had some reservations about because he tried to change the terms of the contract before the contract even started. In the end, he agreed to do the work I asked. Nevertheless, throughout the rest of the contract, I had trouble with him as he kept trying to change back the terms of our contract.
Don’t ever feel that you have no choice. The list below will show you that there are many, many more options to find suitable freelancers if you can’t find one at your favorite site.
Help is sold for $5 or multiples of $5.
A website specifically for hiring students from a US college
Virtual assistants from Sri Lanka
Web, Software & Tech Development Specific Services
Specifically for marketing and SEO services
Design Specific Services
Specifically for logo design only
Bartering And Service Exchange Sites
Bartering is not a new idea- it existed before the currency of money came into existence, of course! Well, thanks to technology, we have now kicked it up a notch- you can find many sites allowing you to barter for services.
Bartering is useful if you are starting out with a great set of skills or if you have a zero or extremely limited budget.
Personally, I find bartering much more challenging as you need to find a person who is interested in what you have to offer and has something that you want. That’s why I thought it important to mention Simbi.
At the date of writing this post, Simbi is still in a beta phase but it looks promising. Simbi allows you to offer your service to others in exchange for ‘Simbi currency’ that you can use to buy services from others. You get to choose how much Simbi you want to charge for your services and you get to list as many services as you want. So the idea is to earn as much Simbi as you can so that you can buy more services. Or you can trade services directly. The variety of services you can find on there is huge as well, ranging from post-childbirth planning to web development to learning how to throw a frisbee!
An especially great place to share or learn a new skill or hobby!