How to Hire a Freelancer

Hiring a professional isn’t a luxury; it’s almost always smart thinking. Just think about remodeling your bathroom on your own and you’ll understand what I mean.

To be productive sometimes you need a second set of hands to free up your time and mental energy, so you can do what you do best.
Fortunately, the internet has made it easy to find the brilliant and talented freelancers who can help you, at affordable rates. You’ll wonder why you ever hesitated to hire some help.


What should you look for when you’re hiring a freelance writer or virtual assistant (VA)? Experience is a good start, but then again, there are lots of talented writers and VAs who are just starting out, so don’t weed out the newbies too quickly.

Ask for testimonials. Ask to see samples of work. Then talk to the freelancer about what you need. Can she do what you need done? Can she deliver on your timeline?

Craigslist is another great resource. You can post an ad for your project on Craigslist. Having said that, as a writer perusing Craigslist for work, I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly.

Give as much detail as you can about who you are, where you are, what you’re looking for, and what kind of compensation you can offer. I see ads posted every day that are vague, nonsensical, arrogant, and many more that are just plain sketchy. I don’t have the time or energy to guess what I might be getting into should I take the time to get in touch. The freelancer who does have the time to respond to something poorly posted may be available for all the wrong reasons.
Post a well-written, detailed job listing. Put a call-to-action at the very end. This is to see who reads to the end, and can follow instructions. Ask the applicant to respond with a link to his or her work or some testimonials with contact information.

If you are a small business owner, you should be networking with other small business owners (if you aren’t, you should be – that’s a whole other blog post). Ask other entrepreneurs for recommendations. Where I live, in Durham region, we have active, robust networking organizations; some of my best clients have come from networking meetings.

Check out other small business websites. If they’re good, find out who built the site. Ask who wrote the copy on the site, or who did the graphic design.
Use LinkedIn and Facebook, where you can search up “writer” or “communication specialist” and “virtual assistant” in your extended network.
One amazing resource is the job website Resumes are searchable, by keyword. If you search “writer” or “administrative assistant” in your city, dozens of great resumes will pop up. Pick out a few that look promising, and go on Facebook and LinkedIn to do some due diligence.

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