Several years back, making money online or finding someone to complete some online work inexpensively was a pipe dream. However, with the advent of an online era, these demands are very easily met, and the opportunities are wide and varied.
Obviously, when searching for a freelancer, we need to focus carefully on hiring the right person for the job we seek to fill. The key, of course, is to hire someone recommended by a trusted and reliable source who complete the work effectively and efficiently.
One such resource is UPWork (formerly oDesk), one of the largest online job portals, where one can find freelancers such as graphic designers, project managers and software developers. Whether you have a short-term task or a long-term job, UPWork will help you find it at a reasonable price. You can even hire a team of people online if you have the right management skills.
How to get started with UPWork and hire a freelancer:
UPWork allows you to either hire a freelancer to get a job done, or you can register yourself as a freelancer and make money by producing work for other people’s projects.
To begin, consider reading this awesome guide by Srikanth, in which he describes how a virtual assistant works.
In today’s UPWork tutorial, I will explain how you can get started with UPWork, with the goal of hiring someone to produce some work for you.
Here at ShoutMeLoud, we have used UPWork to locate freelancers for tasks such as the following:
- Creating slideshare slides
- Creating transcripts of YouTube videos
- Creating blog posts from YouTube videos
- Finding niche writers
These are just a few examples of the many tasks for which you can hire a good freelancer.
Let’s get started with this guide for entrepreneurs and bloggers, illustrating how to use UPWork to hire freelancers:
- Create your free account on UPWork: This is a simple step of filling in some basic details, and getting started with UPWork.
- After signing up, add the details for your profile, and verify your payment methods. To date, I have had no payment issues or payment disputes when working with UPWork/oDesk.
- Create your job profile: This is where you offer a description of the job you are seeking to fill. Begin with a detailed description of the job, the time-frame in which you need to have it completed, and the skills, educational background, and abilities you seek from the person whom you will employ to complete the job at hand.
Once you have listed your job description, weeding out the right person from a huge list of applicants is a daunting and rigorous task in itself. You do not want to select someone who does not fit your profile or is not a quality (or genuine!) job- seeker.
Tips for using UPWork to choose the right freelancer for your task:
- Assess the resume of the potential employee thoroughly before hiring. Make sure he or she is a good fit for the job description you have laid out. Thoroughly research his or her past work and freelance work history if possible. Do not hire anyone with no previous experience.
- Look for positive reviews from previous clients. UPWork has a review feature which allows potential employers to read reviews of the clients who have employed a particular freelancer in the past. Look for red flags here as well. For example, UPWork has an option of hiding reviews or testimonials. However, these are reflected in the freelancers’ profile as hidden reviews. These are people whom you don’t want to hire, as the lack of transparency is a clear concern.
- Once you are satisfied with the freelancer’s credentials and work history, arrange a Skype call. For smaller, less expensive jobs, you might also choose to communicate with the potential employee/freelancer via email or chat. Skype offers you the opportunity to meet with someone face-to-face, however, and that can offer a more revealing interview experience. However you choose to interview your potential freelancer, ask about his or her past experiences, and evaluate his/her communication and interpersonal skills.
- You can shortlist 2-3 people based on your communications, and then assign them a short task which will allow you to evaluate their work. This will help you to accurately assess their ability to complete your task or job.
- After recruiting the right person, communication is an important aspect of maintaining a steady workflow. Ensure there is consistent two-way communication. Provide short deliverables, offer feedback, and provide corrections if necessary. However, make sure that he/she does the majority of the task, as that is what you are paying for.
- Keep track of the ongoing work through an UPWork work diary. This feature offers you a screenshot of the ongoing work as well as the work that has been completed to date, and also keeps track of the time invested in doing a particular task or job. Hourly details can also be checked through UPWork’s time tracker software.
- You can also get support from UPWork’s customer care if you are not able to find the right person. They can help you to select the profile you are searching for, if you find yourself in need of assistance.
How to pay your freelancers after the work is completed:
Payments can be made through credit card, PayPal or a bank account. You can pay your freelancer on an hourly basis or upon the completion of the project. UPWork charges 10% of each payment made. So, for instance, if you pay $ 10/hr for the work, UPWork will charge you $1, and the remaining $9 will be transferred to the employee. It is your responsibility to negotiate a payment schedule with your employee. My suggestion is that you never pay 100% of the billing amount upfront. Instead, pay according to the tasks completed.
UPWork also manages all billing hours, allowing you to remain free of all the hassles of paper work and invoices. However, I highly recommend that you also maintain a financial work sheet rather than simply relying on UPWork’s customer support.
Rather than keeping an in-house team, it is a great alternative to locate great talent online, as there are plenty of quality fish in the market. Just be sure to hire a quality worker.
It is also good to get into the practice of designating some of your workload to people who can do it better than you can. This will save you time and energy which you can then invest in the things that you do best.
So far my experience with UPWork has been excellent, and I would recommend UPWork or any other similar freelancing site to assist you in creating a virtual team for your work projects.
Please feel free to use the comments section below to share your experience with UPWork/oDesk or any other similar site that you use.