How to Hire Your First Freelancer

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How to Hire Your First Freelancer

As a freelancer, I’m often approached by people that want to use my services. However, many times, they’ve never had to hire a freelancer before. Meaning, they don’t know how to go about hiring me or finding the right person in general. Finding a freelancer is different from finding an employee from mindset to how to get one in general. It’s important to note these differences so that you can find the right fit for you.

Hiring Mindset

  • Remote: You should expect that for the most part, a freelancer will be working remotely. This means that they will have other clients and might even be in another time zone. However, a good freelancer will still be able to talk to you in your timezone without issue. Also, there’s no need to worry about them having other clients, a good freelancer is an expert at balancing!

  • Communication: Communication with a freelancer is vital to getting what you need. You might be from different cultures or even speak different native languages. When you communicate, whether in person or online, you need to make sure you say exactly what you mean. This involves both a detailed job description and to the point speaking. Online, it’s hard to tell tone so you have to be extra careful (as does the freelancer.)

  • Know who you are looking for: Specialization is huge for freelancers. I specialize in content creation & small business marketing. My team specializes in all different types of marketing. Together, we can do just about anything. However, you need to be sure you are looking for the right person. If you want a marketing plan, a social media manager will not be the right person. The same can be said for the other way around.

  • You’re their client: Perhaps one of the most detrimental mindsets in freelancing (for any party) is that a freelancer works for someone else. A freelancer is a business owner and anyone who comes to them is their client. That’s why we charge more per hour than an employee. They should have a contract for you to sign and you should be able to talk to them as an equal, not a subordinate.

How to Hire a Freelancer:

Create the Job Description

You might know that you are looking for someone to post to your Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. If you don’t know how much, then say you are looking for someone that can make you a social strategy and execute it. At the same time, if you know your budget, it can be good to give a general idea. You can find freelancers from $15 an hour to well over $100 an hour so it’s important to say “I have a small budget” if you know you can’t afford $50 an hour, 12 hours a week.

Another great tip here is to get examples of what you are looking for. In general, the more you can show a freelancer what you want, the better results you will get. This can be examples, past works, that you DON’T want, and more. Remember, just like any employee or co-worker, a freelancer might take try to two to get used to what you are asking for. We pride ourselves on our ability to change our styles, but it still takes a trial or two to perfect yours.

Post Your Job

For the fastest method of finding someone, join Facebook groups for freelancers. You’ll be able to post jobs and within hours or even minutes, you will have many people from all over apply for the job. For the best results, tell people, not to PM you but to leave their website and portfolio in the comments. This way, you’ll have an easy place to find all of the candidates.

If you’d rather not use social media in your search, check out sites like Angel ListProBlogger, and You can always use traditional sites to hire a freelancer as well so try putting your job everywhere. A note about UpWork and similar sites, I don’t recommend or use it. While it was good in the past, it’s oversaturated. The prices that people compete for, result in the harm of our whole industry. That’s not to say there aren’t great freelancers on there, they are just mixed in with many low-ball offers.

Contact Your Top Applicants

If you’ve found job applicants that you like, it’s time to check them out further. I’m sure that you’ve already looked over anything they sent, but you need to be sure that they understand what you are looking for. You also need to get a rough guess of what they will charge and what you can expect from them. During these talks, it’s still important to remember that you are a potential client and they are potential outsourcing companies.

They will ask you what you are looking for, what your budget is, and other things that a normal applicant wouldn’t. You should look to see if they can understand what you looking for and if they “get” your inner voice. In the end, look for a well-done contract or quote so that you can compare it with the other companies you are thinking about hiring.

Sign the Contract

After picking the person/company that you like the best, it’s time to get to hire. They should have a contract that says exactly what you will be getting and what they will get in return. Read over this just as you would any other contract to be sure you are getting just what you want. After signing, set a time to get to work. Overall, deciding to hire a freelancer isn’t that different than hiring an employee so long as you change your mindset and know where to go.


Deciding to hire a freelancer isn’t hard. Finding the freelancer perfect for you can be. However, as long as you know what exactly you are looking for and tell them that before they apply, you will save yourself a lot of time and trouble. Make sure to have the right mindset going in. Don’t forget to read contracts first.

If you are looking for someone in content creation or marketing, check out my website. If you like what you see, contact me today and I’ll have a free hour to two-hour consultation with you to make sure we are perfect for each other. If we aren’t I’ll even help you find the right person.

By |2020-07-28T03:34:39+00:00January 4th, 2019|Consulting|

About the Author:

Ashley Madden is the free-spirited founder of Helianthus Advising - through which she helps small businesses grow. While she loves her job, she's also quite fond of video games, hiking, reading, and playing with her pets (Loki, Freyja, and Hela.)

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