There will be a day when you have a full staff of employees. But as you are building your company from the ground up, you have to make the most of every dollar you have. One of the ways you can do this is to take advantage of the vast network of freelancers – both in the United States and throughout the world – to help you with various parts of your business. Freelancers can supplement your growth by providing various resources on an “as needed” basis without the need to hire full time employees.
Here’s a guide on when, where and how to use freelancers for your startup.
- Accounting. even though you may not know anything about accounting, you need to be able to keep your fingers on the pulse of the business. An efficient way to do that is with a freelance accountant. A freelance accountant will give you one-on-one time. You don’t want a big accounting firm managing your startup. What you want is a freelance accountant, who will be on your call 24/7. For this function, you also want to have this person local so you can meet and interact. This is one place where freelancing sites aren’t that great. However, you can find accountants by:
- Asking other entrepreneurs
- Posting questions on accounting forums
- Posting a listing on job sites
- Facebook groups related to entrepreneurship and accounting
- Reading finance blogs and interacting with other visitors
- Marketing. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are great tools with the right expert. If you are a startup, hire a single freelancer as opposed to a firm. You will get more bang for your buck. If there’s any place you want to spend a little more, this is it. That’s because there are just so many phony individuals in this niche. Everybody says they are an SEO expert nowadays. Make sure you set goals for your expert and make sure his pay is conditioned by achieving those goals. Don’t be fooled into hiring ‘social media experts’ or ‘market research experts’. That’s basically all hype. Do all the social media management on your own. There are tons of tutorials out there on how to manage your Facebook, your Twitter, your Pinterest and every other profile. Try to read as many of them as possible and then get to work.
- Design. From logo creation to website design, to banners and flyers, your company’s image really makes a difference. Make sure your freelance designer knows a bit of coding. Great designers usually do. You want a design which is easy to implement, not just something which looks great.
- Coding. For coding you want a firm as opposed to an individual. Great coders are usually very reluctant to interact with people. That’s why you want a freelance firm. More and more companies are enlisting their services on freelance websites. But if you can, work with a local company for the coding part. It will be easier to push them in the direction you’re wanting. Another crucial reason you want a company, and not a freelance coder is the fact that you need an interface between you and the programmer. You need someone to put some pressure on the coder every now and then. A firm is just safer.
- Analytics. Here’s one you’ll want to handle on your own. Don’t hire anyone for this. You need to know what CPM, CPC, funnels, bounce-rates and all that other weird gibberish means.
- Newsletters (Writing). If you’re a startup relying on sales via the Internet, collecting and maintaining an e-mail list is the absolute way to grow. Creating the newsletter then becomes a high priority task. Either daily, weekly or monthly, you need to take the time and create a newsletter from scratch each time you send out an email to your subscribers.There are some great freelancers out there who can work for you on this one. But they charge a lot. That’s not the way to go if you’re just starting out. This is one you an handle.
- Blogging. Hire a blogger. Great content and can sell ice to eskimos.
- Customer Care. Don’t freelance this. It is too close to your relationship with your customer. Instead of freelancing, find a local resource and bring them in. You want a local employee, whom you can supervise.