Probably no different from most other partnerships and sole proprietorships, we need specific help periodically for key tasks, but not enough help in that general area that we are ready to hire someone yet. If that scenario sounds familiar, read on.
As described in an earlier post, two websites we frequent are Elance and Guru. (Full disclosure: Sam hired me from Elance to write an article for him years ago, which is how we first started working together on web projects.) If you’re stuck with some portion of your project these websites can help it take wing.
First, rest assured that the right person is out there.
Thousands of providers on Elance alone claim writing as their specialty; and writing is just one of the hundreds of categories of expertise to choose from. With those numbers, it’s practically impossible NOT to find someone you’re comfortable with after the first or second job. If you enjoy the process and you are satisfied with the completed work, you may even ask about hiring that person again. Then, when a similar job comes up again in her field, you have a go-to expert to contact. Most creative people appreciate repeat business.
When you’re browsing these sites for the right expert to help you, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Divide a large project into smaller chunks and let a few different providers prove their abilities. Test the mettle of your top few picks to see which one you like the best. Then bring the winner on board for the bulk or remainder of the project.
- Read the feedback on the outsourcing website. You will learn about the professional’s work ethic, timeliness, communication, etc — qualities and details you may not have considered before, but which might mean a lot to you once they are on your radar.
- Read the personalized messages from individual bidders. See if there’s enthusiasm behind the pitch .Is he excited about your project? Why? Does he have experience with your field on a professional or personal level? For example, maybe a novice writer whose child just happens to play competitive soccer is better qualified for your sports piece than the experience sports writer who covers cycling and racing. Sometimes the “hungrier” bidder will do a better job than the one with an impressive portfolio and hundreds of finished jobs under his belt. Sometimes it pays to look closely at the eager newbie gurus as well as the ones who have valuable experience.
- Google the people you are considering. We recommend staying within the website for hiring and payment, since it is designed to protect both you and the worker. But we like to check around the web for more feedback, too. If the provider has had a lot of complaints from previous customers on another site, you’ll know.
- Take the time and effort to write a clear, detailed job description because people can’t read your mind. If you can’t be bothered to put in the effort to describe your project, then you won’t get the results you really want.
Elance and Guru have been lifesavers for us. If you’re stuck in a problem at work, discover how easy it is to access affordable resources right from your desktop. The experts are there to serve you, no matter how small or arcane your problem.
Any other clues to finding a short term solution on a work sourcing website? I’d like to hear how you do it! Please comment below.
Written by Jen McGahan