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How to Outsource Effectively

Handshake with glowing background
Martina Mercer
May15/ 2015

We bring you tips on how to outsource effectively as a freelancer.

There are many reasons why you may find a need to outsource. In the working life of a freelancer some days can be oh so quiet whereas others see your inbox flooded with requests for work. Also, clients who’ve used you and are happy with your services will trust your judgement when choosing other freelancers for their websites, such as bloggers, copywriters or SEO experts.

Choose Carefully

When advertising a job you may be surprised at the amount of applications you receive, however, although it sounds cynical only 10% of these will actually live up to their promises. There are thousands of hopefuls trying to secure a freelance career as they believe it to be the ultimate way of life, yet many have no experience or qualifications and at the end of the day their expertise is your downfall.

Request a Test

All applicants will be happy to provide you with a free test. Whether it’s 100 words on the subject matter or a quick critique of a website design, bone fide qualified professionals will be willing to showcase their skills in a bid to win the job. This can also be beneficial as you can forward the test to the client to see if they approve of the freelancers style of writing or web design before committing to hiring.

Be Honest

The responsibility of the quality of work from outsourcing ultimately lies on your shoulders, however resist the urge to pass off their work as your own. When a client gets in touch, if you know you will be employing the use of others, be honest, tell them of your intentions and ask them if they mind. Some may prefer for you to do the work yourself however most will be happy with the arrangement as long as you supervise all work. This also acts as a little buffer, as although the client will blame you if the work isn’t up to par at least your professional reputation won’t suffer as they’ll understand others were employed to do the work.

Allocate Time

You may think that outsourcing saves you a lot of time and effort, and in the most part you’d be right. However, it is your responsibility to check and edit all work before submitting to clients. Make sure you allocate time to do this as this can eat into deadlines and if you rush the editing process you may miss a fatal mistake.

You will also have to spare time to send information to freelancers, answer any queries and chase them up when a deadline looms. Although eventually you will probably create a wonderful working team, initially you will realise that some people don’t rush when it’s not their own head on the chopping block.

Decide on Payment Terms

When outsourcing you must consider how you will pay the freelancers. Sending them direct to the client cuts corners however it leaves you no space to take a little for the time you’ve spent managing the project. Paying invoices on an ad hoc basis is a great way to outsource but be sure to check Inland Revenue rules and obligations as although paying tax and national insurance is their responsibility, there are nuances when working above an average amount of hours each week.

Look After the Good Ones

Some days it may seem like you’ll never find freelancers with your commitment and determination, however when you do stumble upon one that you can rely on and that produces faultless work, make sure you let them know. This will not only boost their professional ego but will also ensure you can use them again and again. They’ll appreciate having a client that is a pleasure to work for.

Martina Mercer

Martina Mercer is an award winning copywriter and digital marketer. She specialises in psychology delivering marketing that identifies consumer profiles and connects customers with brands. As an expert in proximity marketing, Martina is one of the only experienced beacon marketers in the UK highlighting her commitment to developing her skills in an ever changing consumer focused world.