How to pick the right freelancer for your project

So you've posted your project on Freelancer and the bids are rolling in. What happens next? We'll show you how to pick the perfect freelancer
Apr 7, 2020 • 6 minute read
Qasim Zulfiqar @BluLitmus
Technical Co-pilot
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Learn how to pick out the perfect freelancer for your project

It can feel overwhelming to see your project get dozens of bids in a matter of seconds. On initial glance, every bid seems the same. With a ton of reviews and credentials and everyone vying for your attention, you feel puzzled about how to pick the right individual for your project.

We hear you. But you don't have to worry.

Today, we delve deep into how you can choose the perfect freelancer and find your star in a sea of bids.

We know how tough it can be to figure out the right person, especially when the number of bids on your project is dauntingly high. You want to make sure that the person you choose is the best suited for your task, and that they fit your budget. That's why today we're going to take a look at all the major factors and answer any questions you might have about the process.

Figuring out the perfect match

When choosing the right freelancer for your project, you want to go with someone who's able to understand your requirements and has the right skill set to match. Having the right attitude towards the project is really important as well to make sure that you have great chemistry with the person you're going to be working with.

Here are some factors that can help with your decision-making process.

The importance of reviews

By taking a look at the user reviews of potential freelancers, you can have a deeper insight into their history. That is a great barometer for evaluating their skillset and professionalism. Freelancers with a higher number of positive reviews have a proven track record of delivering reliable results. That's not to say you should overlook freelancers who are new to the platform, but you'll have to judge them on different criteria than reviews.

That being said, looking at reviews will give you insight into how a freelancer has performed in the past. You'll be able to see the proportion of projects they've completed on time and on budget, as well as their overall star rating.

The content of the reviews can also help tell the story about the experience past employers had while working with the freelancers. Taking a look at the contents can be a major factor to help you with the decision-making process. A consistent history of quality delivery certainly reflects high-quality future results for your project as well.

You should also pay attention to the recency of the reviews. Recent reviews carry a bit more weight, as they show that the freelancer is still delivering high quality work and providing a good experience for their clients.

Past work and portfolio

The portfolio is an extensive display of the best content the freelancer has done. Taking a look at the portfolio of prospective freelancers provides an insight into the range of their skills and their potential. Make sure you extensively review the portfolio to help with the decision-making process.

Whether you are looking to get a website developed or content designed, portfolios are equally important as a great way to evaluate the diversity of content and range of skills of the freelancer. Portfolios are especially effective when you're hiring for a task like mobile app development, web development or graphic design.

It's also a good idea to pay attention to the type of work the freelancer has done in the past. Does their portfolio reflect work for industries and businesses similar to yours? Have they tackled projects with the same requirements as yours?

Another way portfolios are helpful is in assessing new freelancers. As we said before, you shouldn't pass someone by just because they're new to the platform. They may have an extensive portfolio of work that they've completed for clients outside the Freelancer platform, and this can be a great way to assess their skill level in the absence of reviews.

Getting the budget right

You might feel a bit of uncertainty about the budget for your project. You keep wondering if your posted budget is too high or too low. After all, if you've never had a website built, a logo designed, an app developed or a piece of content written, how are you supposed to know what those tasks should cost?

That's why Freelancer displays the average bid price for your project. The average bid can be a great barometer to give you an idea about the estimated budget range of the project. Make sure that you keep the amount in mind before you delve deep into communication and discuss with prospective freelancers. Taking an overview of the estimated budget will allow you to have a clear idea so you don't waste time in discussing outlandish bids from freelancers, or in being wooed by a low quality bid that's trying to undercut everyone else on price.

Communication is key

The good news is, you don't just have to choose a freelancer for your project based on your bid alone. You can communicate with all the individuals you feel might be suited for the job and extensively discuss the requirements of the project with them. By communicating with multiple individuals, you'll be able to have a clear insight into the skillset each of them brings to the table and their chemistry with you. This gives you the liberty to go with the best option after talking to a number of candidates.

Key questions and answers

While looking for the right freelancer, most employers have a range of common questions. Let's have a look at some of the questions you might have about the process.

How do I differentiate between so many different bids?

Pay attention to reviews, the number of projects, portfolios and especially recent reviews. Also, look to see if the freelancer actually read your project description. Attention to detail can be one of the best ways to ignore generic bids and hire individuals that put in the time to read your project.

You can also sort the bids by most recent, best rank and by price, and you can filter to only show bids from highly reviewed freelancers, by the number of reviews, by the bid price and by people currently online. This way you can filter out the bids you don't want to see, and narrow down your selection to the freelancers who best fit your requirements.

How do I figure out the right budget for the project?

Look at the average bid for your project. It should give you a decent idea of the budget you're working with. Before using the average bid as the barometer, make sure you wait for a substantial number of bids to come in so that the average bid figure accurately reflects the average budget freelancers will charge for the project.

Another helpful way to figure out a reasonable budget is to look at the median bid. Order your bids from highest price to lowest price and then look for the one smack in the middle. This should give you an excellent idea of a reasonable asking price for the work you need done.

How can I be sure about the quality of the delivered work?

The quality of the work you get is ensured by the Milestone Payment system. The way this works is, after you award a project, you create a Milestone Payment. Your Milestone Payment can be for the completed project, or the delivery of a portion of the project.

That money is then held in trust by Freelancer until the work associated with the Milestone is delivered. You only release the payment to your freelancer when you're happy with the quality of the work. That allows you to ask for revisions before you release any payment.

As we mentioned, you can break your project down into a series of deliverables, with Milestone Payments associated with each step. This way you're in control of every step of the process, and you know that the work being done is up to your standards.

What happens after I award the project?

Once you award the project, you'll chat further with the selected freelancer to clarify the requirements, deliverables and deadlines. This will give you the ability to extensively convey the details of the project and further associate that with Milestones.

How often should I communicate with the freelancer about the project?

As often as you like really. It's a great idea to mutually agree on the communication details so you never feel left in the dark about how your project is progressing. You can come to an agreement with the freelancer about regular updates and communication. You can tie these into deliverables and Milestone payments to ensure that you're getting regular updates about your project.

Final words

Hiring the right freelancer can seem daunting at first, but once you consider the credentials of the freelancers and communicate with them a bit, it can be extremely simple to find the right person for your project at the right price. And once you've found a skilled, reliable freelancer, you'll go back to them again and again. It could be the start of a beautiful friendship.

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