Back in 2008 I began a venture that required a website. I understood the fundamentals of using Dreamweaver and a bit of HTML, “so what they hey, I’ll build my own website”. Like so many entrepreneurs I thought that I needed to do everything, and not too much later I was struggling under the work load. I came across what was then getafreelancer.com, and it saved me from folding.
When I look back to 3 years ago I am gobsmacked at just how much I took on with so little knowledge. At the time that I found Getafreelancer I was working a full time job, organizing an international conference and doing the marketing, which included designing and building a website from the ground up. I was getting 4 hours sleep a night and was still unable to cope with all the work that needed doing. The first thing I found on Freelancer was someone to redesign the look of my company stationary, and from there I found someone proficient in Joomla, a content management system.
From Noob to Dude
I walked into the Internet Marketing (IM) world a complete Noob, and I entered the world of outsourcing in exactly the same manner. I lost time and money at a time that I couldn’t afford to. Most of the problems came not so much from choosing poor outsourcers, but from not understanding on my part of the clarity in communication I would have to use. In 2008 I went through quite a few Freelancers before I came across someone that could deliver what I needed. Through the experience of 3 years I now have almost no turn over of ‘staff’, and I can attribute it to me changing, not the Freelance community.
The only other piece of advice I can give regarding outsourcing is that you need to be realistic in the price you are paying and the amount of time it may take. Pay peanuts and you will get monkeys, for sure. Be prepared to do a bit of teaching, it is the price we sometimes pay to have the work done at the price we want. Everyone I have worked with that needed any training were willing and able learners. On that note there are plenty of specialists that know what they are doing, so you can depend on that if you are willing to wade through the freelancers to find them.
One last thing; I always am explicit in my project description, but most of the outsourcers won’t even read it, they will just post a generic message. Don’t let it stress you out; there are people that read and respond to your description, and that is your core group you will choose from.
Editor’s note: Use a secret phrase to find a web programmer and easily weed out people that ignore your requirements.
So, do I recommend outsourcing? You bet I do. Once I got my head around the concept, and started making some better decisions, I got more work done, and had less stress, all for an excellent price. Can’t really get better than that, right?
Tim blogs at Best Kindle and lives in Darwin, Australia (the tropics) with his beautiful wife and 3 children.
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