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Smart Outsourcing Tips for Online Marketers

Jason Roy

When building a successful online business or managing a website for an offline business, the need to outsourcing certain tasks will likely arise. Few business owners have the time or the expertise to handle all of their web programming, content creation, backlink building, and other tasks that are needed to manage a successful website or online business. This is why you’ll need to find competent and dependable professionals to handle these tasks for you. In this article, we’ll be looking at how to find and hire dependable outsourcers for managing your website and your online marketing projects.

When is the Best Time to Start Looking for Outsourcers?

There’s an old saying that goes: “The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.” This certainly applies when it comes to hiring outsourcers. If you wait until the need for outsourcing is urgent, you’ll be under a lot of pressure to hire someone right away and are less likely to make a wise decision. It’s a better idea to plan ahead by determining which tasks you’ll eventually need to outsource and finding a few good candidates before the need arises. You can start by placing a very simple job on a bidding site such as Elance, Odesk or Guru and testing out a few qualified candidates.

Step One: Set Up a Test Job

Make sure that the test job you set up is small enough to where if the deadline isn’t met or if the job is done incorrectly it won’t create a serious problem for your business. At times, it might even be wise to create a $50 job simply for the sake of testing a few freelancers and finding out if they’re good long-term candidates. For example, you can do this for freelance writers by setting up a small job of three to five articles and creating a due date for them to be completed. The same method can be applied when hiring a web programmer or an admin/webmaster who can manage your website for you or analyze your traffic reports and bring you updates on a daily or weekly basis.

Having a minor test job during a time when you have no urgent need for freelancers will help you to make a good hiring decision based on the performance of each candidate, without having to use them for a project which will have a large impact on your business. The most important part of creating this test job is to be 100% clear and upfront about what you’re looking for and what you are willing to pay. Make sure that your detailed job description includes information about the type of job, the deadline, the resources available, and your expectations for performance. This will help you to attract more qualified candidates and it will make your selection process MUCH easier.

Step Two: Select More Than One Candidate

When it comes to selecting freelancers, it’s a good idea to have more than one candidate to choose from. So award your test job to a couple of providers that you like and let them prove their abilities to you.  If you only choose one, you might find out that they aren’t what you’re looking for and you’ll have to start to entire job posting and selection process over. So choose two or three candidates to award your test job to and don’t just stick with the lowest bidders. Try some of the higher-end and middle-range bidders and see if the additional money paid is worth the service that they are offering.  

One question which arises when hiring freelancers is how much is a fair amount to pay. This is difficult to determine because freelancing fees will range from just $10 an hour to as much as $100. Unfortunately, a freelancer’s fee does not always reflect their value and the quality of their work. So before you award the job, test the higher-end bidders by asking them to come down closer to the rates of the lower bidders. What you’ll find is that the fee they are willing to come down to is usually a more accurate reflection of what they are worth. After selecting a few candidates and having them perform a small test job, you’ll know enough about each one to select who you will be using long term.

Step Three: Proper Management of Freelancers

Once you have found a good freelancer, whether it be a writer, a web programmer, an admin, an SEO specialist, or a webmaster, it’s a good idea to take care of the relationship so that they’ll be there to serve you for a long time. Freelancers (especially the good ones) have no obligation to keep working with an employer and if you don’t take care of the relationships with your freelancers, you’ll be spending a lot of time searching for new ones to replace them. Here are a few things that you can do to make sure that you maintain good connections with your freelancers:

  1. Always, always, always pay on time
  2. Be clear about your expectations from the beginning of every project
  3. Don’t try to get them to do extra work without paying them
  4. Be prompt in responding to their questions
  5. Stay in touch, even if you don’t have any work for them

Do these five things and you’ll maintain a good relationship with your freelancers and they’ll be happy to work with you and will probably keep their rates the same as they were when you first hired them. A good writer, web programmer, admin, SEO specialist, or webmaster can be a valuable asset to your business and save you a lot of worries, giving you the space to manage the more valuable tasks for your business.

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