The Ultimate Guide to Selecting Freelancers for Your Startup
As a startup, it’s likely that you have your hands full trying to get your business off the ground, and the last thing you need is to worry about finding and managing freelancers. But, as most startups quickly learn, hiring in-house employees is not always feasible – especially when you’re just starting out. This is where freelance platforms come in handy as a cost-effective solution to reduce your team’s workload and make the job easier.
In 2020, freelancing contributed $1.2 trillion to the U.S. economy. (Up from $900 billion in 2019). By 2027, it’s estimated that 86.5 million people will be freelancing in the United States and will make up 50.9 percent of the total U.S. workforce. Therefore, it is vital to understand the freelancing industry and consider utilizing these resources when looking to fill positions for your company.
This article will break down how to select freelancers for your startup using various platforms. We’ll cover everything from checking their fluency in English to finding references. By following these tips, you can be sure that you’re selecting the best freelancers for your business!
How can startups use freelancers?
Startups often need to be lean and agile to succeed, which can be a challenge for hiring. Full-time employees require a significant investment of time and money and may not be the best fit for every task. This is where freelancers can be a secret weapon for startups.
They can be hired on an as-needed basis and can often be found at a lower cost than full-time employees. In addition, freelancers are typically more flexible and adaptable than full-time staff, making them ideal for startups that need to pivot their operations rapidly.
There are many benefits to hiring freelancers for a startup, such as:
- Saving money on labor costs.
- Having access to a broader talent pool.
- Freeing up time to focus on other aspects of your business.
- Reducing the risk of hiring full-time employees.
- Reducing the risk of turnover.
Of course, hiring freelancers does come with its challenges. Startups will need to put in some effort to find quality freelancers, and they will also need to manage them effectively to get the most out of the relationship.
Where can I find freelancers?
When starting a business, it’s essential to find the best freelancer. It can be challenging to know where to begin with so many options available. However, there are a few public places to look for freelancers that can help get you started.
One of the best places to find freelancers is online. Several websites allow businesses to post jobs and receive bids from interested freelancers. Online outsourcing can be a great way to find talented individuals from all over the world. Still, it’s also essential to take the time to review each candidate’s portfolio and ratings before making a hire.
Another option is to look for local freelancers through networking events or referrals. A local freelancer can be a great way to find a more personalized service. Most freelancers are happy to work with startups and offer creative solutions within budget.
Don’t forget to ask your friends and family if they know anyone who might help with your project. Referrals can sometimes lead to the best results. Either way, remember that when you’re looking for a freelancer to help with a project, it’s vital to take the time to find someone who is a good fit for your needs. Today, more freelancers are out there than ever before, but not all of them will be right for every project.
Most freelancers have their strengths and weaknesses, so it’s essential to find someone whose skills match the task at hand. Finding the right freelancer will save you many headaches in the long run. You will get better results while building a good working relationship with someone who understands your needs.
Are freelancers reliable?
There’s no denying that freelancers have a lot to offer startups. They’re often highly skilled, independent workers who are very reliable. Plus, they’re usually more affordable than hiring in-house full-time employees.
However, there are also some downsides to working with freelancers. For one thing, it can be tough to manage them. You’ll need to put much effort into the hiring process and carefully select the right people.
Anyone who has hired a freelancer prior knows that proper management is key to getting the results you need. Poor communication can quickly lead to missed deadlines and poor-quality work. That’s why it’s helpful to discuss your expectations upfront with any freelancers you’re considering hiring.
During the hiring process, ask about their availability and whether they have experience working with similar projects. Find out how they plan to manage their time so that your project doesn’t suffer. Once you’ve hired a freelancer, communication is vital. Stay in touch throughout the project to ensure that everything is going according to plan.
Best platforms for hiring freelancers in 2022
Now we’ll discuss where you can get the best freelancers and which platform you should choose depending on what you need them to do.
Coding Ninjas – software developers and teams
There are many options for finding freelance talent, but not all freelance communities are created equal. Startups looking for expert-vetted software developers and teams should check out Coding Ninjas.
Coding Ninjas is a freelance platform that connects startups with pre-vetted freelance software developers and teams worldwide. With Coding Ninjas, you can post a project and receive proposals from talented freelance developers within 24 hours. Because all the freelancers on Coding Ninjas have been vetted by the Coding Ninjas team, you can be confident that you’re working with the right person.
So, if you’re a startup looking for top-notch freelance talent, check out Coding Ninjas.
Gigster – developers and designers
If you’re a startup looking for expert freelance developers and designers, Gigster is a great platform to consider. It is a freelance community of vetted talent who can help you with development and design projects of all kinds.
Gigster can connect you with the right freelancers to get the job done, whether you need a new website, app, or logo. Due to all the freelancers on the platform being pre-vetted, you can be sure that you’re working with qualified professionals.
Growth Geeks – marketers
It can be hard to know where to find quality freelance marketers when you’re a startup. You may not have the budget to hire a full-time staff member, but you still need someone to help you with your marketing initiatives.
That’s where Growth Geeks comes in. They are a freelance website that connects businesses with expert freelance marketers from all over the world. Whether you need help with social media, email marketing, or anything in between, they can connect you with the right freelancer.
Plus, all their freelancers are vetted by a team of experts to ensure that you’re getting quality work. So, if you’re looking for a freelance portal that can help you connect with quality marketers, consider hiring from Growth Geeks.
Superside (formerly Konsus) – designers, copywriters, data entry
Superside is an excellent freelancer platform to check out if you’re looking for expert freelancers. This freelance website is filled with talented freelancers who can help with various projects ranging from graphics and design to copywriting and data entry.
Due to this platform pre-vetting all its freelancers, as the customer, you can be sure that you’re getting high-quality work from experienced professionals. Plus, because there is such an extensive group of freelancers, you’re nearly guaranteed to find a good fit for your project.
Also, if you need more than just freelancers, Superside has a network of business consultants who can help with everything from marketing to finance. This platform is a one-stop-shop for all your freelancing needs and is worth checking out.
Speedlancer – designers, marketers, writers
Speedlancer is a freelance website that connects businesses with expert freelancers worldwide who can help with various tasks, from design and marketing to writing and research.
The platform makes it easy to find suitable freelancers. The Speedlancer team vets all freelancers on the site, which means that businesses can be confident that they hire experienced and reliable freelancers.
Additionally, Speedlancer offers a range of services to help businesses get the most out of the freelancing community. These services include business consulting, freelancer management, and project management.
As a result, this platform is an excellent option for startups looking for expert help with their business tasks.
Toptal – developers, project managers, finance professionals
If you’re a startup looking to hire freelancers, TopTal is another excellent platform to investigate. As the freelancing community continues to snowball, you can be sure to find some top-rated on this platform who can help your business grow.
You can also access a wealth of consultants who can help you with everything from marketing to finance. TopTal is an excellent option for startups looking for expert help with many great freelancers to choose from.
These marketplaces are vast talent pools. They have top freelancers that work with Fortune 500 executives to freelancers beginning their careers. Since the talent pool is so extensive, it’s essential to make careful decisions with freelancers.
Upwork – all verticals
If you’re looking to hire freelancers to help with your startup, Upwork is a top-rated platform. You can find freelancers in all verticals, from software development, marketing, copywriting, and graphic design, making it easy to find top talent worldwide.
To identify the best freelancers on Upwork, start by looking at their reviews and performance ratings. Then, look at how much they’ve earned on the platform. That said, if you like a proposal submitted by a freelancer who is just getting started on the platform and has the skillset you are looking for, it can still be worth the conversation. While freelancers who have made much money tend to be high-quality and in-demand, there are other skillful individuals who can get the job done.
Finally, don’t forget to read their profiles carefully to get a sense of their skills and experience. You’ll find the best freelancers for your business needs by taking these factors into account.
Content Mart – copywriters
Content Mart is a freelancer platform that connects businesses with the ideal freelance writer for your project. Content Mart is an excellent option for startups looking for freelancers because it offers a wide range of freelancers and a variety of tools to help businesses find the best freelancers for their needs.
Startups can use Content Mart to post projects, receive proposals from freelancers, read reviews, and check previous work before hiring. In addition, startups can use the “Amount Earned” feature to see how much money a freelancer has earned, which can help identify top talent. Overall, Content Mart is a great freelancer platform for startups looking for copywriters.
Freelancer – all verticals
For startups looking to hire, freelancer.com is a credible platform to consider. There are freelancers available for hire in all verticals worldwide. When looking for top talent on freelancer, some things to consider include reviews, delivery speed, and the amount they have earned.
Looking at social media pages can also give you an idea of the quality of work to expect. If you’re happy with what you see, don’t hesitate to reach out and get started. With so many talented freelancers available, you’ll find the perfect fit for your business.
PeoplePerHour – all verticals
If you’re a startup business looking for freelancers in all verticals, PeoplePerHour is a great platform. One of the best things about this platform is that you can easily find local freelancers already familiar with your business and community.
This can be a considerable time and money saver, as you won’t have to spend as much time training them on your specific needs. Another great way to identify top talent on PeoplePerHour is to check out reviews and completed projects. This will give you a good sense of the work you can expect from each freelancer.
Finally, another helpful metric is the amount each freelancer has earned on the platform. This can give you an idea of their experience level and how in-demand they are.
If you’re running a startup, you may be considering using freelancers to help with some of the work. Freelancers can be a great way to get work done without hiring full-time employees. However, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind when managing freelancers.
First, it’s essential to set clear expectations from the start. Make sure you communicate what you need to be done and when you need it delivered. Properly communicated project requirements and deliverables will help prevent any misunderstandings later.
Second, you’ll need to manage your budget carefully when paying freelancers. Ensure you know how much you can afford to spend on each project, and don’t overspend. Several freelance websites allow you to post projects and receive bids from freelancers, which is an excellent way to find someone who fits your budget.
Finally, remember that freelancers are businesses too. Treat them with the same professionalism and respect that you would any other business partner. Being friendly and professional upfront lowers the risk of conflicts later.
By following these tips, you can successfully manage freelancers and get the work done you need without any hassle.
How do freelance portals charge you?
There are many ways freelance portals can charge you for their services. One common way is by taking a commission, which is typically a percentage of the total contract value.
For example, if you hire a freelancer through a portal that charges a 10% commission, and the total contract value is $1,000, then the portal will keep $100, and the freelancer will receive $900. Another common way for freelance outlets to charge is by taking a contracted percentage.
A contracted percentage means that the platform will take a portion of the contract’s total value and give you a discount if you hire many freelancers or spend a lot of money on freelancers through their site. If you use a freelance portal that charges 20% for contracts under $5,000 but gives you a 5% discount for contracts over $5,000, you will pay $4,500 for a contract worth $5,000.
Some freelance portals offer discounts for industry knowledge or social media accounts. For example, if you have an account on Twitter with over 10,000 followers, you may be eligible for a 5% discount on your total contract value.
There are many ways that freelance portals can charge you for their services, and everyone is different. Knowing how each one works before signing up for an account or hiring your freelancer will help keep your project budget intact.
How do I find a good freelancer?
Startups often find freelancers to get industry-specific tasks done quickly and affordably. However, it can be tricky to find a good freelancer who is knowledgeable and reliable. To increase your chances of finding a great freelancer, start by looking for industry-specific knowledge.
Social media accounts can be an excellent place to check for industry expertise. By looking that person up on platforms such as LinkedIn, you can check to see their previous work history or even previous employers.
Another critical factor to consider is whether the freelancer has a good track record with previous clients. Reviews, testimonials, and ratings can give you a sense of the freelancer’s quality of work.
Lastly, ensure that the freelancer you hire is willing to sign a contract outlining the scope of work and payments.
Here are some core characteristics of finding the perfect freelancer for your project scope:
When hiring a freelancer for your startup, it’s good to ensure that they have a solid English competency. Ensuring they are English fluent will make it easier when working with them closely on various tasks because clear communication is essential for effective collaboration.
Here are three reasons why English competency is essential for your freelancers:
1. You need to communicate effectively with your freelancer to provide clear instructions and expectations. If English is not their first language, it can be incredibly challenging to share complex concepts or technical details.
2. Many freelance marketplaces require that freelancers have a certain level of English proficiency to be eligible for membership, meaning you will have a smaller pool of potential candidates if you don’t require English competency from your applicants.
3. As your startup grows, you’ll likely need to expand your circle of contacts and build relationships with other businesses. If your team members don’t have strong English skills, it can limit your network and do business with others outside your own country.
Check their previous work
If you’re considering hiring a freelancer to help with your startup, it’s essential to do your research and ensure they’re a good fit. Checking their portfolio is a vital part of the recruitment process, as it will give you an idea of their skills and experience. It will also help you gauge their work ethic and see if they’re a good fit for your company culture.
Of course, it’s not always easy to get access to a freelancer’s portfolio. They may not have an extensive portfolio on their website, and they may not be willing to share links to their previous projects with you due to NDA’s or protecting their previous client’s privacy.
However, there are ways to get around this. Ask the freelancer for references from people in their circle or managers who have worked with them before so you can speak with someone who can vet them if the platform hasn’t done so.
Many freelance marketplaces allow you to see reviews and ratings from previous clients, which can help you make your decision. So, taking the time to check a freelancer’s work is essential in ensuring that they’re the right fit for your startup. By doing your research up front, you can avoid any potential problems.
Ask for a couple of references
Many startups don’t ask for references when hiring freelancers, but this is a mistake. Although you may not need references for project-based freelancers like copywriters, you should pursue references if you want to bring on a consultant or project manager. This can save a lot of time and money in the long run.
Asking for references is just good business practice. When you’re hiring a full-time employee, you always check references, and it’s the best way to ensure that you’re hiring is qualified and will be an efficient addition to your team.
Of course, you can’t always get references from a freelancer’s previous clients. But if you can, it’s worth following up with. A positive connection from a satisfied client is the best assurance that you’re making a wise decision in hiring a particular freelancer.
Do a project trial with them
When you’re hiring a freelancer for your startup, one of the most common things you can do is request a test project. Doing a trial run or test project allows you to see what the freelancer can do before fully committing to them.
Graphic designers, for example, will often create a test project (usually a logo or other simple design) before they start working on a larger project.
Test projects can be paid or unpaid, but generally, you should always choose to pay for test projects. This shows that you are serious about working with a freelancer, and it also ensures that you will get high-quality work.
Free test projects are often not as comprehensive or well-executed as paid projects, so they are not always a good indicator of the freelancer’s true abilities. It doesn’t hurt to request one. If the freelancer is right for your company, you will know during the trial.
Red Flags to Avoid
Many startups hire freelancers to save on costs and increase business efficiency. However, there are certain red flags that you should be aware of when hiring freelancers, as they can often lead to subpar work and decreased productivity.
Put these types of freelancers at the end of your list:
– Candidates That Say YES to Everything
When many startups are first getting off the ground, they often rely heavily on freelancers to get work done. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing – after all, freelancers can be a great way to get the job done without hiring regular employees.
When freelancers say “yes” to everything, they often don’t have the time or focus on doing any one thing exceptionally well. As a result, you might find that the work you receive from them isn’t up to the same standards as what you’d expect from regular employees.
– Candidates That Don’t Ask Questions
This can be a sign that they’re not interested in the work they’ll be doing or that they’re not familiar with the startup’s business model. Additionally, it can be challenging to gauge a freelancer’s work ethic and commitment to quality if they’re not asking questions during the interview.
Asking questions shows that freelancers are interested in doing their best work for your startup and are willing to put in the effort to understand your business. Therefore, it’s generally best to avoid candidates who don’t ask any questions during the interview process.
– Candidates That Seem Arrogant
As a startup, you’re always looking to improve efficiency and get the most out of your resources. When hiring freelancers, it’s essential to be aware of red flags that could indicate a lack of professionalism or commitment. One such red flag is arrogance.
While it’s true that many freelance professionals are confident in their abilities, there’s a difference between confidence and arrogance. Arrogant freelancers tend to be dismissive of feedback and resistant to change. They may also have a sense of entitlement, expecting to be paid more than they’re worth without delivering commensurate results.
They’re probably not the right fit for your startup if they’re unwilling to work within your guidelines or listen to constructive criticism.
– Candidates That Talk Poorly About Their Previous Clients
Another red flag to watch out for is a freelancer who talks poorly about their previous clients. This could be a sign that they don’t work well under pressure or are not good at meeting deadlines.
Either way, it’s not something you want to deal with at your startup. Instead, find freelancers who have a track record of success with other startups and who can speak positively about their previous clients. These are the type of freelancers who will help your startup succeed.
Finding freelancers that fit your startup can be a daunting task. There are many different platforms to choose from, and each one has its pool of excellent freelancers, and a few you should avoid working with. By taking the time to understand your needs and the skills of the freelancers you’re considering, you can make sure you find the right fit for your startup.
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