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How Laura Hired (And Fired) Her First Freelancer, And What She Did Next To Find The Perfect Fit.

Laura stared down at her list of small business marketing activities for the week…

She breathed a sigh of relief they were all broken down into manageable micro-steps…

But she couldn’t shake this feeling…

“When am I going to get all of these done? With full-time work and only a few hours spare each week, how am I going to make time for everything I want to do? I never seem to have enough to get around to marketing myself...

Laura began to feel unaccomplished, overwhelmed, and worst of all, behind. 

...

Laura remembered something her accountability buddy said to her a couple of weeks ago…

That she believed, “No small business owner should ever have to break down from overwhelm trying to build it on their own.”

Feeling inspired, Laura decided to overcome her fear…

She was going to hire her first Freelancer. 

Laura was on a budget and very new to all of this, so she chose to stick with Upwork because it was recommended by her more experienced accountability partner…

She’d heard that Upwork has an escrow system that protects both her as a client and the freelancer too, which helped her to feel safer if anything were to go wrong. 

Laura set up her profile and did her best to write a job post that would attract the best possible Freelancer…

She was specific in her outline of the task, provided detailed information about her niche and topic, stated her budget upfront, and asked the Freelancers for samples of previous work. 

Laura was confident because she knew that a good job post would attract good talent.

Laura hit submit and smiled with accomplishment because she’d just checked off a big task from her long list…

And after whipping up a light dinner, she returned to her job post…

30 new proposals.

Her eyes lit up with excitement. “30 people are interested in helping me?!”

Laura began to scroll through the proposals one-by-one, laughing at some for their attempts and drawn with curiosity to others…

Eventually, Laura came across one that caught her eye immediately.

This proposal was a league ahead of everyone else’s, the reviews were outstanding, and at the rate the Freelancer was requesting, Laura thought she’d found a winner. 

She accepted the proposal and transferred the money into escrow…

The Freelancer requested the information about the task and Laura provided the details so they were ready to start.

Everything was good to go.

A few days later the due date on the task was coming up so Laura sent the Freelancer a quick email asking how it was coming along...

She never heard from them again.

After a few follow-up messages, Laura pulled her money out of escrow, scrapped the project, and posted again to find someone else.

What could have possibly happened, especially when this Freelancer seemed so great?

One of the most effective small business marketing tips is to hire a Freelancer who can help with your small business marketing.

There are plenty of gems out there, but unfortunately, as Laura experienced in her first job post…

You’ll most likely find yourself inundated with low-quality proposals and need to filter through those who are dishonest, unreliable, and waste your time.   

When it came to hiring the perfect freelancer to help complete the tasks in my small business plan, it took me a while to figure out what I was doing. 

I had to go through a lot of poor-quality freelancers before I learned to weed them out.

In this article, I’m going to with you 5 mistakes to avoid when hiring a freelancer to help with small business marketing, and how what you can do instead:

  1. Look closely at the Freelancers’ previous history

The first thing to check is how many total hours the freelancer has logged on their profile.

When you're starting out as Laura was, a rough guideline to follow is now hiring a freelancer unless over 100 total hours have been logged. 

There are definitely highly professional and experienced freelancers out there who might be new to Upwork, but unless their portfolio is brilliant it’s best to avoid less than 100 total hours to reduce your turnover.

Sure, you can get seasoned workers that are new to upwork that doesn't have many hours logged yet but it can be a home run or a strikeout because they don't have their feedback at stake.

When you get a bit more advanced, you can consider working with new workers because you'll know what to look for.

Also, look a little more closely. What is their history like with long term clients they’ve had in the past?

I recommend going with workers who have worked with a past long term client for at least three months.

How are their ratings? Do they have good reviews?

If you’re not sure, move on to the next candidate.

  1. Only hire contractors who have handled similar jobs in the past
  2. Ask the Freelancer to explain the project in their own words.
  3. Have an initial voice call before you agree to hire them.
  4. Test with a ‘micro-task’ before jumping into a big commitment.

  • Bonus Tip: Ask for samples of their previous work.

  • Every freelancer should be able to show you proof they’ve completed work similar to what you’re looking for. 

    Even if the freelancer is relatively new and their rate is lower than those who have more experience, the least they should provide you is some spec work to give you a sense of what they can produce for you as well.

    As you could see from Laura’s experience, there are freelancers out there you’ll want to avoid like the plague... 

    But hidden amongst them are absolute gems. 

    All you have to do is follow a few simple steps to find them, and when you do, hold onto them…

    Because freelancers who how to do small business marketing will make your life a WHOLE lot easier.

    They will help you to complete the tasks in your small business plan.

    They can significantly improve your small business marketing.

    And they can even go on to become your small business marketing assistant and provide you with a ton of solutions you never even knew existed.

    If you get the hiring process right then having a trusted freelancer on your side can be the key to scaling your small business up and bringing you in more money…

    And the best part? They will help to reduce the amount of work you have to do yourself so that you can concentrate on finishing what’s most important and enjoyable. 

    I hope these tips help you to take the leap of hiring feeling prepared. 


    -Kandis


    P.S. Make sure to keep an eye out for next weeks’ article as we follow “(X) Things Laura Did To Find The Perfect Freelancer For Her Small Business Marketing.”