5 Quick Steps for Tapping the Freelance Marketplace
The dreaded breaking point – more work than time to get all of those projects done. Sound familiar? Well, don’t worry. Overload happens to all of us at one time or another.
Here’s the good news – there’s a gigantic community of freelancers eagerly waiting to share their expert touch on your next overdue project. Whether you need help with programming that widget for your new blog or perhaps expert proofreading and editing of your latest manuscript, help is literally just a quick bid away. You can begin outsourcing today in just a few quick and easy steps.
1. Find the Freelancing Hot Spots
There are scores of websites out there playing matchmaker between project buyers and project workers. We’ll focus on the best and skip the rest. Two sites in particular are worth your attention.
Elance, perhaps the best known outsourcing website, supports a huge variety of service categories – everything from coding to graphic design. That said, the writing category is probably one of the strongest aspects of Elance.
Rent A Coder is another popular marketplace for freelancers and project outsourcers to connect. This service has a vigorous and healthy user community, but tends to be geared towards more technical services like software and web coding.
Project buyers can register and post projects at either of these sites for free. Registration does include a few basic verification steps to make sure you’ll take any projects you hire out seriously.
2. List Your Project
The outsourcing process is in many ways comparable to eBay. First, you post a bid request in the appropriate category. This request includes an exact description of the work you want to have completed and a deadline for the project’s completion.
Ideally, your project description will be as detailed as possible to give potential freelancers the absolute best understanding of the project’s scope. The more accurate you are with your listing description, the more accurate the bids you receive will be. Detail at the beginning saves time and avoids any misunderstanding later on in the process.
3. Receive and Review the Bids
Not long after you’ve submitted your project, you’ll begin to receive bids from a variety of freelancers or coders who are willing to complete your work. Many times, but not always, the very first bids you’ll receive are generic one-size-fits-all mass bid submissions. Just cast these aside.
Read each bid carefully and chances are, the perfect service provider for your project will jump right off the screen at you. The five star quality bidders will prove right away that they fully understand all aspects of your requirements. If a bidder doesn’t even take the time to offer you a personalized and project-specific bid, what are the chances of receiving quality work in the end? It’s also a good idea to request samples of the bidder’s previous work and check any feedback from previous projects they’ve worked on.
4. Choose Your Freelancer
Once you’ve identified the bidder you’d like to work with on your project, simply nail out the precise details via the outsourcing sites’ integrated private message boards. This way, you’ll be protected through the site in case any questions arise or any mediation is ever necessary. As soon as you’re confident about the terms, just click to accept the bid.
Of course, if you’re not quite sure you’ve received any bids you’d really like to accept, that’s okay too. Next time you might try listing in a related category with even more details to gather additional qualified bids.
5. Review, Accept, and Pay
As soon as the service provider has completed the project, they’ll submit the work to you along with an invoice or payment request. Just take a few moments to review and make sure it was indeed completed to the agreed upon specs.
When you are ready to pay, simply follow the steps outlined by the online marketplace you’re using. Your credit card or PayPal payment will go directly to the marketplace, which will in turn credit the provider’s account.
It’s just that easy! Welcome to the world of outsourcing – the affordable and practical new way of getting things done.
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