Get familiar with the different outsourcing options
Episode 6 of The Outsourcing 101 Course Podcast
In this episode James Mackay goes through the different ways you can start paying for your outsourcing and he discusses the advantages and pitfalls of different methods.
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In the Free Outsourcing 101 Course we discuss all the different aspects involved with outsourcing. The tasks we are talking about in outsourcing are the kind of jobs you can do on a computer, or at least manage on a computer.
Here’s an example: if you fifty photos of Harley Davidson motorcycles, you might hire a freelancer to go to a Harley expo and take photos. Then they would supply the photos by email or a file-sharing program. That’s what I mean by being able to be managed on a computer.
So how do you go about hiring someone to do your tasks? Where do you start? At its most basic level you could simply post a message on Facebook or Craig’s List and hope for the best. But that’s not what I’m talking about. I will be covering doing outsourcing through dedicated platforms whose job is to match freelancers with projects.
These platforms all offer a way for you to hire, manage, pay and get reports on your freelancers and your projects. There are plenty of different platforms around but the main ones we’ll cover are: Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr, and Airtasker.
Upwork is the result of a merger between Odesk and Elance. This is my personal favourite. Some people have a Facebook window open in their internet browser all day and flick back to post and read updates. I do that with Upwork. I am pretty much on Upwork all day – messaging with my freelancers, posting new tasks and reviewing the reports. I have hired dozens and dozens of people for a multitude of tasks over the years and in all that time I have only ever had one really bad experience. But we’ll talk about that in another episode.
Upwork is the fully featured, rolled gold option is you’re looking to get started with outsourcing. BUT – DO NOT go directly to Upwork as you’re likely to be bamboozled and face overwhelm. Before you do anything go to outsourcing101course.com/upwork to watch my short intro video and download the all important fact sheet. I urge to spend 2 minutes checking out outsourcing101course.com/upwork
Right, now back to business. With Upwork you can pretty much get everything in the one place. You can hire from basically any industry – I can’t think of anything that wouldn’t be there. Upwork is a professional solution with comprehensive reports, weekly invoicing and tracking.
It’s easy to post jobs and to manage freelancers. Actually, one cool thing you can do with Upwork is check the work diary – where you can see screen shots of the work your freelancers are doing. This has two benefits: 1) you can make sure they are working on your project and 2) you can make sure they are on the right track and you can pull them up early if you see something you don’t like.
Upwork has comprehensive help, should you ever need it, but I can’t remember the last time I ever used it.
If keeping track of expenses is important to you, then you’ll love the Upwork reporting features. You can track and measure employee time, input, output, cost per freelancer and much more. I literally just email a few reports over to my accountant and that seems to be enough to get my books in order. So I’m pretty happy about that.
Obviously managing your freelancers is important and Upwork makes it easy. You can easily post jobs, interview applicants, view profiles and manage milestones and contracts. Importantly you can easily post jobs to be paid hourly or with a fixed price and to me, that’s very important. Very well organized.
What I don’t like about Upwork is that it keeps changing what seem like all the time. It gets frustrating when buttons are in different places and names of things are different. Also, the new messaging system gets slightly confusing.
But saying that, Upwork is definitely the pick of the bunch of the different outsourcing platforms. There are plenty of training videos in Outsourcing All Stars so you’ll master Upwork in no time. But remember – for now you need to go to outsourcing101course.com/upwork for vital information.
Another popular option is freelancer.com. Now, this site is an aggregation of a whole bunch of smaller outsourcing companies. It floated on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2014 and is a very professional outfit. I’ve used it but I will say I don’t love it – but apparently fifteen million other people do, and I assume they are finding benefit from it.
For me Freelancer.com isn’t as structured and doesn’t supply the same level ease to get multiple jobs done. I get the feeling the Freelancer.com aims itself to be suitable for one-off jobs – but as far as I am concerned, one-off jobs hardly ever exist. If you have success with outsourcing, of course you will go back and get more work done.
Fiverr.com is a great little innovation. People from all over the world post on there what they are prepared to do for USD$5. It’s pretty amazing what you can get done for such a low amount but as you can imagine, the tasks are pretty simple. If you want someone to photoshop your ex-boyfriend out of a photo, this is your platform. If you want long term, ongoing relationships with quality freelancers, then use Upwork. Fiverr.com is not really suitable for business purposes. While it’s fun it’s not terribly indepth with reporting and management and it can get frustrating trying to use it for anything beyond super simple tasks.
Then there’s Airtasker. Don’t use Airtasker if you want ongoing outsourcing for online jobs. This is more a local site where people will post what they need done. It’s great if you need your pool cleaned or your dog walked. It’s not good for business or project purposes.
So there’s my take on the major outsourcing platforms that you can use. In case you hadn’t picked up what I was putting down, use Upwork!
Outsourcing All Stars has instruction videos for everything you can imagine for Upwork but you can get a vital intro at outsourcing101course.com/upwork.
Check that out, then play around with Upwork. And don’t forget to listen to the next podcast where I share my journey and my $1,000,000 mistake.