Stickin’ it to the Skeptics

How to Find the Best Freelancer for the Job – the Right Way

skeptic (10698926_blog)The world is full of skeptics.

I might deduce that most of them are skeptical because they’ve been burned many, MANY times in the past. Some of them are skeptical for a lack of humility, or a blatant superiority complex.

And some ask loading questions just to yank your chain and get a rise out of you (which I’ve been know to succumb to from time to time).

But when it comes to finding the right freelancer for the job, you must refrain from letting these skeptics discourage you. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you won’t encounter them, because you most certainly will when you start posting on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn that you’re in need of a freelance writer, graphic artist or web designer. Inevitably, the pay won’t be good enough, the requirements will be too much or your application process is too lengthy to be worth the time it takes to fill out.

I’m not just speaking from experience as the hiring company – I’m speaking from experience as the skeptic. After all, I used to write for a “content mill” and know how terribly wrong a freelance writing job can go. However, if you really want the best, then you have to find them, and there are several ways to do that despite what the “seasoned veterans” might think of your methods.

Full Disclosure Shows Integrity
As tempting as it may be, don’t leave out any details when you tell people or post that you’re looking for freelancers. Let them know up-front what type of project(s) you’re needing help with and how much you’re willing, and able, to pay. By revealing this information, it shows that you have nothing to hide and that you have integrity that others may lack. Even if it’s not very competitive pay, at least you’re letting potential hires know.

Be prepared, however, for the skeptics to voice their disgust. Many of them are folks that have been in the game (whether it be writing, graphic design, what-have-you) for a long time and believe themselves to be far above a certain level of pay. Some may rant and rave about how you’re paying “sweat shop” prices for your expectations.

But, then, you have to ask yourself, why are these people looking on LinkedIn and Facebook for a job? If they’re so great at what they do and worth three times what your meager budget allows, why are they perusing Craigslist for anything they can find? Just a thought.

Make Them Work for the Work
Don’t be afraid to make the application process a bit time consuming. Ask lots of questions and require many portfolio samples. You want the best, right? Then you have every right to make sure that you’re getting the best.

I once had someone mention that filling out the Ink’d writer application “exactly as dictated” was asking too much. I beg to differ. By having writers follow specific instructions, we’re able to determine who will be able to follow the guidelines set forth on any of our projects. In my opinion, it’s not too much – it’s genius.

If you’re looking for a writer, asking for writing samples in addition to the portfolio, as long as they’re short and don’t require a lot of time, is not over the top. If they really want the job, they’ll happily oblige. Asking for spur-of-the-moment samples shows the writer’s versatility and free thinking ability. No matter how good her portfolio may be, additional samples give you the opportunity to see beyond what she’ll do with standard requirements – what she’d write if given the freedom to do so of her own accord. You’ll see her voice in its truest, raw form.

For graphic or web designers, don’t just ask for samples, ask for references and get some feedback directly from their previous clients. Yes, he may have stunning logos in his portfolio, but if it takes him three months to get it right, he may not be the fit for your project.

Keep Your Cool When the Skeptics Come Crawlin’
What I’ve learned is that many of the individuals who have an axe to grind with you are doing so because they feel threatened. They’re losing jobs to what they see as sub-par freelancers for less money and they’re ticked. I would be, too.

Don’t take it personally though. They really know nothing about who you are and the principles you build your business on. What’s important is that you get the best of the best so that you can continue to excel in those stellar principles and make a difference in your market.

So press on, fellow business owner – and snub your nose right back at those wanna-be’s. You wouldn’t want them working for you anyway.

(originally posted on Ink’d Content)

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