My Method To Hire A Top-Notch Virtual Freelancer in 72 Hours Or Less

My Method To Hire A Top-Notch Virtual Freelancer in 72 Hours Or Less

When you want to hire someone, chances are work is already stacking up and you feel overwhelmed.   And now you need to add a mini-project of hiring someone just to dig out from under the work.

But, even in the virtual space, away from office politics, people stuff is still messy.

It’s a bit like dating and marriage.   You try out a few people trying to find the one who’s just right for you.

Sometimes you find that person but the timing isn’t right.  Or the date you did together just didn’t work.   It can take a lot of trial and error and grace and forgiveness and hard conversations and tough decisions.  And then, you’re married happily ever after right?

Um, right.  We all know what it really takes.

Entering into a work relationship with someone is similar.   You need to try things out.  You’re going to have some bumps, hard conversations and wins.   And even though this is a contractual work relationship, it doesn’t make those cycles any less challenging.   However, you have the advantage of not needing to live with this person.   Just agree mutually.   They do this work.  You pay them the agreed amount.

So how do you avoid the endless cycles of “dating” the wrong person project after project in your business?

Here’s my tried and true method of finding the RIGHT freelancer for your team or project.

1. Create a Job Description that attracts the RIGHT people and repels the WRONG people

Words to include in your job description to help narrow down the field:

“The right candidate will…….”

  • Be available during these hours:
  • Know how to use these online tools:

“This is not for you if……..”

  • You are not available between 8 am and 5 pm daily
  • You are not looking for a long term partnership
  • (or the opposite) You want a long term full time gig.

 

2. Have an automated application process that weeds out the wrong candidates right away

I use a google form like this.  (Feel free to borrow it).

Ask specific questions that will help you learn about their personality and skills related to the position.

Test them.  Ask them to create a graphic, format a spreadsheet, email you something from a shared google drive.  It proves they know how to do what you are asking.

Make the application long enough that only those serious about the work will take the time to do it.

3. Make yourself available and be responsive to the applications

You will find the right person in the first 24-48 hours your application is out there.   Start the relationship off on a good foot and let them see you are a professional, you are responsive and in an unspoken way, that same expectation will be on them for this job.

Also, moving fast and hiring well takes a BIG stresser off of you personally.  I always feel so good when I talk to a talented person and hire them onto my team.

4.  Setup a good contract and communication expectations

Onboarding can take some time but when done well, sets everyone up for success.

Always work from a contract.  And always agree upon communication:

  • Frequency
  • Format (text, email, Voxer, etc)
  • How you will use a project and task management tool like Asana or Trello or Basecamp

 

Now, thinking back to that marriage analogy, wouldn’t it be awesome if we could do the same to find the love of our lives?    Nahhhh….. we’d miss the chase, the adventure and the romance 🙂

Why Finding Your First Client Is The Hardest

Why Finding Your First Client Is The Hardest

Your first client.

It’s going to come easy if it’s your sister-in-law, neighbor or former employee. But that first “you don’t know me” client is going to be the most challenging you ever land.

Why is this?

Think about the first time riding a bike.

The first time you went on a date with someone.

The first time you took calculus.

The first time you had to figure out how to cook a Thanksgiving turkey.

No matter how many books your read or how prepared you thought you were, it was still kind of hard. You made some mistakes. You fell down. You had to erase. You said some things you wish you could take back.

But you did it. You didn’t sit and ponder. In some cases, you had schedules and deadlines forcing you to just do it.

And if you’re reading this, it’s clear you survived.

Getting up the nerve to bid on new projects and talk with prospective new clients for the first time can feel exactly like this.

You Get Over the Fear of the Unknown

“Can I really do this? what if I fail? what if they say no? Or worse, what if they think I’m a crazy lady?”

You Get Experience

Everything gets easier with practice. What do you tell your first time soccer player? Keep practicing! Touch that ball 500 times a day was what one coach shared with my daughter. Pretty soon it feels natural having that ball on your feet. On every part of them actually. Top, bottom, sides, toes.

The first time you start you don’t know what it feels like to have a pushy client…

… a wishy-washy client…

… a client who never returns messages…

… a last-minute Lucy.

You don’t know what it feels like when they push back on price or ask for a service you don’t know or offer and ask for an unrealistic deadline or ask you to propose a plan for them.

Then, Word Gets Out

When you do good work, word gets out. And your next and your next and your next clients come from this reputation and network you are building.

Your first is going to be the hardest, I promise.

So How Do You Get Started?

Stop thinking and start doing. Get over that learning curve quickly.

Research prospects.

BID on jobs.

Write up your services and pricing.

Bid on jobs.

Ask others what they think.

Bid on jobs.

Create something for your portfolio.

Bid on jobs.

Make a deadline for yourself (do this by next Friday. There. I just gave you one!)

Do it in community. Where you can ask for support and feedback (like over in our How She Quits – How She Succeeds Community).

The freight train of your Virtual Professional business starts rolling along faster and faster with each new client you add.

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