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9 Steps to Finding the Best Freelancer To Create Your InfoProducts

Dec 29, 2007
If you want to rocket your business into overdrive then you'll need to learn how to outsource your product creation. Here are 9 steps to finding the best freelancer for the job you have.

Find the Best Freelancers for the Job

From my experience, Elance has the most qualified ghostwriters, but you don't want to bypass the other freelance sites like RentaCoder or Scriptlance. While there may not be as many to choose from, you might find one you like better.

On Elance, you can post a Select or Basic project. I always choose Select because then you get the better providers bidding on your project.

You have to pay a $25 deposit if you use Select, but it goes toward the project cost, so it's not like you're losing any money.

Elance and RentaCoder also both have escrow. On RentaCoder, it's required. The provider doesn't get the money until they've done the job. On Elance, you can set milestones so the provider gets doled out a deposit, and increments along the way.

On most freelance sites, the buyer won't be out any money to use it. The money the site makes is through the provider, who pays dues to be listed and pays a percentage of the project cost to the site.

Create Your Project Description

Be clear about what it is that you need. Some marketers go in there and write one phrase like, eBook on parenting. Not only will you be leaving the door open for disaster, but you won't get as many bids because you didn't provide enough details.

What about parenting? Becoming a parent? Colic? Temper tantrums?

What about it? Give a little more detail, or tell the providers that you'll give more detail via a private message board if you prefer not to broadcast your ideas for everyone to see.

Here are some specifics you want to include:
* How long you want the eBook to be
* What formatting you need it in
* What specific things you need covered, or if the writer needs to do the research to find out on her own
* What your price range is (if you know)

With length, you may not know exactly but it's good to give them an idea of about how long you need it, and in what time frame. Don't expect to pay very little for a 100-page eBook that you need in a week.

Always put your deadline earlier than when you really need it to allow for instances when the freelancer will be delayed in getting the project completed. You'll want time to see what the finished product looks like so you can edit it to your own specifications if necessary.

With formatting, make sure you put the specific font and size as well as spacing. You might see two bids one for $500 and one for $1,000. Only the $500 provider plans on giving you double spaced, 14 point Arial font, where you only get about 250 words to a page.

The $1,000 provider seems higher, but you're actually getting double the word count per page because they use single spacing, 12 point Times New Roman font.

Post Your Project

First, log into the site. If it's Elance, then you'll go to Post New Project. You need to choose which category your project fits into best. If it's writing for an eBook, then I usually go with ghostwriting.

They have a project description form you fill out. You have about 50 characters for the title of the project. Think like a marketer here and pull in eyeballs using something promising, not vague and unclear or else they won't waste their time.

Sometimes if I'm trying to find a good ghostwriter, I'll test them out on a small project first like some articles I can use for my affiliate marketing. Then if they write well, I'll hand over a full project like an

Enter the schedule, budget, and type of contract. I like to give my project the maximum listing time, to ensure I have enough quality providers bidding to do the job. I don't disclose my budget because if I say $1k, and the provider would have been willing to do it for $750, I've just shot myself in the foot and wasted $250 when I didn't have to. Either use Prefer Not to Disclose or Unsure so they have to bid what they feel is fair, not what you plan to pay.

For contracts, I don't do hourly because you never know how many hours it'll take someone to finish a project. Instead, choose fixed price. You can either escrow or not it's up to you. If I'm working with an established provider, I don't mind paying a deposit and then the remainder when they're done.

There's also a box where you can let providers contact you. Do it they may have questions you didn't think to answer and it could mean a big difference in what they bid if they're left without answers. Sometimes I attach a file to the project to clarify what I need. The clearer you are, the better the bids you'll get. I choose Select, but if you prefer to go basic to find some new Elance talent, be my guest.

Invite Top Performers to Your Listing

When your project goes live, you need to invite the best people to bid on it. Others can bid, too, but you definitely want the big guns clamoring to work with you. Click on View Project and then Invite Bids.

You'll get to search through the provider listings and send out invitations to people who you feel are at the top of their game. Some will decline it, if they're busy or don't like the project, but many will bid, and this will attract other providers to want to bid on it as well.

Evaluate and Short-List the Contenders

Once you start getting bids on your project, you want to weed through the providers and shortlist those you feel qualify for further consideration.

Anyone who uses a canned bid gets the axe on my projects.

If they can't take time to address my needs, then they obviously don't have time for their clients. I look for people who mention my project in their listing. Yes, I'm a selfish WIIFM (What's In It For Me) bastard but as a buyer, you have to be!

I immediately look at their ratings. I prefer people who have at least some ratings, but I won't nix someone if they have no stars. I will, however, get rid of anyone with less than 4 stars.

Choose the Right Person for the Job

Picking the best provider isn't always a cut and dry issue. I might find someone a little more expensive, but whose expertise and talent exceeds the cheaper bidders. Or I might find someone who is very amicable and reliable but maybe not quite as good pitted against a provider who has an attitude but whose talent is fantastic.

You have to weigh the pros and cons of each provider. I like people who are easy to work with, dependable, and have a good foundation of research and writing skills. I won't waste time on people who feel they're too good for their clients.

I check out their portfolios, read feedback (especially looking for any 1, 2, or 3 stars). And I open up a dialogue with the provider via the private message board before I commit to hiring them.

Get Everything in Writing

Before I award anything, I use the standard work-for-hire contracts Elance provides that shows I will own the work once it's done. Make sure you specify deadlines, costs, and anything else you feel is important.

Keep Tabs on the Progress

Stay in touch with your freelancer, but don't bug them to the point of distraction. If possible, ask them to send you the product chapter-by-chapter so that you can edit it as you go. At the very least, ask for the first chapter along with the title page and table of contents before they get too far along.

You don't want to wait until the very end to find out they're not matching your desired tone and style. If you read it early on the process, you can redirect them on the right path.

Tying Up Loose Ends

When I find someone who writes well, I want to keep them in my back pocket for future work. You want to stay on their good side so that you can get on their schedule anytime you need to.

Leave good ratings if they did a good job, pay your bill on time, and let them know you'd like to have them work on something again. Giving back-to-back work ensures you stay on their schedule without another marketer sneaking in and filling your spot.
About the Author
To learn more about creating your own infoproducts, visit Info Products Made Easy.

Affiliate Marketing questions and answers can be found at Look What G-Man Found .
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