If this busy season has left you feeling like you have too few hands, you’re not alone.
Many small business owners and new eCommerce entrepreneurs rely almost entirely on themselves for everything from digital marketing to product sourcing. However, as a business grows, multitasking can start to take its toll on you – because who has time to do everything, right?, and on your business – because we can’t be good at everything. Getting the right people with the right skills to fill in where your skills lack can make or break your business and turn you into an eCommerce giant.
Taking on full time copywriters, marketers, or graphic designers etc., doesn’t always make good business sense for a number of reasons. Reasons that can be answered with freelancers and these key benefits:
- Accessibility to a global market of skilled professionals
- Ability of freelancers to work independently
- Flexibility to hire certain niche skills
- Saving in benefit costs you would need to pay full time employees
- Saving you invaluable time
Freelancers, remote workers or digital nomads used to conjure up images of flaky, bearded people who didn’t want to be corporate. Today though, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Freelancers are highly skilled professions that with the help of co-working spaces and internet are now able to more easily offer their skills globally. In fact, it is estimated that by 2020 50% of the US workforce will be freelance.
Now I am not saying you should go out and hire 5 freelancers at once. No, when you’re starting out or are a new business you want to move slowly. Do an audit of your business needs and a good audit of what skills you have to determine where your biggest skill need gaps are and start with one perfect freelancer before spreading yourself too thin.
So how do you find the perfect freelancer? In this post we discuss just that as we guide you through where you can find the freelancers you need for any aspect of your online business.
1. Finding Freelancers Through Referrals
The first place you will want to start on your freelancer search is through your own network. In the same way your shoppers trust your products through your reviews and displayed UGC (user generated content), finding a freelancer through friends, family, fellow industry leaders is a great place to start. With freelancers taking roles for anything from restaurant social media managers to professional online PA’s, almost every business owner you are associated with may have a personal recommendation. Ask your network for freelancer referrals in the skill niche you’re looking for they can recommended based on skills, professionalism, etc.
2. Finding Freelancers on Social Media
Your next big freelancer search tool is social media. From photographers to SEO experts, everyone has at least a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or Linkedin profile giving you access to their portfolio of work. Here are the top two ways you can get your freelancer search on:
Facebook groups are a great freelancer resource, in fact I have hired most of my freelancers almost exclusively from groups. You can start by asking for recommendations, where allowed, in top eCommerce Facebook groups from fellow eCommercers. Also, by engaging with blog post links posted to the group, you can engage those service providers directly. Yes, freelancers are global but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be looking local; city/ local store owners/community Facebook groups can be a great resource for this.
Plus, a lot of these groups have weekly promo threads where freelancers can post their services allowing you to contact them directly through freelancing websites. That’s not to say those websites don’t have their benefits, but we will get to that later.
LinkedIn is by default the professionals social network, making it great place to get those freelance referrals from everyone in your work circle. Other ways to use the group is to search by professions, connect to professional acquaintances and use your connections to get some recommendations.
3. Finding Freelancers Through Websites
Next on your search list are freelancing job portals or websites. The bonus of using these sites is accountability and if you are new to hiring freelancers they can give you peace of mind. The disadvantages are that there are fees and, for some, is the amount of work you may find yourself having to manage with your project briefs when you have a lot of submissions.
Here are the top 6 Freelancing hiring websites:
From VAs (virtual assistants) to programmers, Fiverr is freelance website with bootstrapped entrepreneurs in mind. You can find the service you want, for the budget you want and in the time you need it, making it very flexible option; especially for once-off jobs like logo creation for example.
If you’re looking for something a lot more exclusive and have a bigger budget, then Toptal is for you. Toptal boasts at having a platform that only includes only the top 3% of freelancers who are added by invite only. This is the kind of platform you would use if you’re looking for a very specific business need such as CFOs or developers.
Upwork is a giant in the freelance search field. Formally known as oDesk, this largest site has over a million registered freelancers where you can hire per hour or per project depending on your preference. All registered users have access to skill tests which are shown in their profiles to give you peace of mind and allows you to choose between beginners to experts, depending on your need and budget. All work submissions and payments are done via the platform, which helps reduce risk.
Another big freelancer finding giant is Freelancer. Similar to Upwork, freelancer allows you to post your needs where freelancers can apply if it suits their skills. Too much work? No problem! Their ‘Recruiter Project’ function helps you find the perfect freelancer for less work.
If you’re exclusively looking for design work, then 99designs is for you. This freelancer platform puts you in touch with thousands of talented designers who can help you with anything from a ‘quick’ logo to the full branding of a new store. Their site works in three steps:
- The platform will guide you through creating your brief
- You then pick your package based on your budget
- You launch your project specs where over 100k designers can ‘compete’ for the job and you choose from the designs they present
If you’re looking for qualified freelancers experts in Shopify specifically, then Storetasker is the site for you. Acting as more of an online agency than a free-for-all platform, Storetasker is made up of a small group of elite freelancers and is easy to use, affordable and offers quick turnarounds.
4. Finding Freelancers Through Agencies
And lastly, for those eCommerce entrepreneurs of you who have a bigger budget for your skill searches, there is always freelancer search agency such as Remote that gives you access to their top tier remote workers. Or you can go niche with agencies that cover specialist subjects like blog management or SEO specialists.
You are well on the way to growing your virtual team! If you need further help or advice finding freelancers for your eCommerce business, drop your questions in the comments below and I will point you in the right direction.
Nicole is a content writer at StoreYa with over twelve years experience and flair for story telling. She runs on a healthy dose of caffeine and enthusiasm. When she's not researching the next content trend or creating informative small business content, she's an avid beach goer and coffee shop junkie.
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