What I love about the web is that you can run your online business from just about anywhere. It allows you to hire and speak to people all over the world, and every day with new technologies it just keeps getting better. So if you’re thinking about hiring a freelance UX/UI designer, a freelance web developer or content writer, OR even an online assistant; I’m about to show you how you to do it effectively and why it’s better for you and your business.
Yes, there are dangers online and I try to educate my clients to do your research before hiring anyone online. I personally receive about 2-3 emails per week either asking me for a job (I’m not hiring) or offering web design and development or content writing services.
I delete most of these emails but I can only imagine the number of people who think to hire these spammers before doing any research – after all, if they’re overseas it’s not going to be easy to take them to court or kindly ask for your money back.
So as a fully online business, I try and reassure my clients that doing things remotely actually benefits them and more importantly it gets shit done faster.
I use to offer meetings every day of the week. I hardly do any now because we have the wonderful power of technology. Skype and Join.me are two tools I use to share screens and discuss what needs to be done.
The trouble with face to face meetings is that we spend hours finding the right meeting place, checking it has wifi, finding a seat that doesn’t have too much sun, and of course ensuring it has good coffee.
Personally, I have to ensure I have two hours of (unbillable) time for initial meetings, drive in possibly the worst traffic conditions (at the time of this post I live 20kms from Auckland CBD) and lose about 2.5hrs of development time where I could have been working on your project or proposal.
Every time I’ve done a Skype call with a client it’s taken roughly 20-40mins and we’ve covered exactly what needs to be done, you have a great idea of what I’m like, AND I can get stuck into writing up a proposal and quote for you straight after – bonus!
Out of office hours
I work pretty long hours as a freelancer but I don’t mind it because I work around ‘life’ and it works just fine. The other day I was returning from a holiday, waiting at the airport. Seeing as I had some time to kill I did some work. And because I actually like what I do, it was enjoyable. No need to clock in and clock out, because honestly I never really do, and that’s just fine.
The other key thing about working out of office hours (as well as office hours) is that around 50-70% of my clients are start-ups or run their online business as part of their portfolio, so they either only have a few hours to answer queries or work on their business, and usually it’s outside of office hours. So when I’m working on your project I’ll usually email you first thing in the morning or in the evening, when you’re also working on it. The rest of the time I’m head down in dev/design work.
Getting a website built, an app created or running through the UX process for your project is never easy. What makes it harder is actually getting access to the people you need to help you on your project. The bonus of working with a freelancer is that you can speak to that person directly, rather than email an account manager, project administrator or assistant before you even get to speak or get your work done. So ditch the extra fees associated with hiring a chop shop (unless they are freaking awesome at what they do) and hire talent directly, because I know first hand that you will need people who will be there for you when your project goes live.
The world is your workforce
There are many talented web developer, designers, UX gurus around the world that can be hired from anywhere in the world so rather than having to hire locally you can do it from the comfort of your own office, couch, bed. The only thing I would be mindful of is timezones – if your site goes down when it’s 1 am at your freelancer’s location then there won’t be anything you can do for another 5-7 hours. So ensure you have back up or are aware of this.
So when I meet a new client I usually do it over a 20-30mins Skype call. This can either be a phone call or a face to face video call – I don’t mind either. Sometimes when I’ve had a brief that requires us to look at the specifics of it I’ll do a screen share via Join.me. This tool allows me to send you my screen and we can both speak to it as if we were sitting right next to each other – great huh?
After that, I’ll send you a proposal document to review and an estimate generated from Freshbooks.
Often after I’ve launched a website I’ll create video training that I’ll send to you which shows you how to use your new website AND the benefit is that you can do this in your own time. Over and over again, because who remembers everything they’ve been taught in one sitting?
So there you have it. What to expect when hiring a freelance working remotely. If you have any questions, comment below or if you’re ready to hire a remote freelancer today – click here to start a brief.
This post is sponsored by Freshbooks, a system that makes Billing Painless.