One of the keys to being successful selling services to local businesses is finding and keeping good talent. I’m sure by now you’ve heard a few horror stories about outsourcing overseas, I’ve even had a few myself. Hiring overseas definitely has it’s up and downs but overall it is a great way to go because it keeps your profit margins so high. Trick is finding those quality people, training them and like I mentioned keeping them.
There are a few things you can do in the process of building a solid team of outsource workers that will help you weed to muck and avoid the common pitfalls. The first thing you need to do go to a site like upwork.com and create an account that you can use to hire people. From there you will want to make a post, ideally for a project you already have that somebody can work on. If you are just getting started hiring somebody to build your site and create a logo for your business is a good way to kill two birds with one stone.
The post that you make will have a big impact on the type of people that apply to your job. First off make sure you are very specific in what you need and be clear that you are looking for ongoing help. Also in your post give specific instructions (any kind really) that candidates must follow when writing you back. I usually say something like “please include any recent work, links to your portfolio and a little bit about why you are right for this position”.
Once you make your post, you’ll be getting tons of applicants usually within hours and the next step is to weed through them to find the best ones. BIG TIP! Don’t just look for the cheapest people, you want the best quality. Sure $5 an hour sounds a lot better than $10 an hour but just remember that you get what you pay for. At the end of the day having A++ work will make you more money through referrals than the couple hundred you save on a project.
Look for people with plenty of experience, clear English and good reviews from other providers. Select the five you like the most and set up a meeting with them via Skype. Before you give them a project, just get a feel for who they are as a person. Be on the lookout for people acting like they are looking for full time work as an individual that are really scouting sales for a larger company. While working with a “team already in place” can be useful, I prefer to work directly with the person handling my clients projects.
Once you have vetted the candidates, give the project to the best one(s) and wait to see how long it takes them to get back to you. The one who gets back quickly with the best work is the outsourcer you want to bring on to your team. From there you simply rinse and repeat this process anytime you need to. Ideally you want to retain them with simple things like bonuses but you will lose some people and have to go back to the well.
If you prefer to work with people stateside you can also use this process in Craigslist for free. Simply make a similar post in a major city under the “computer gigs” section and you will get people from all over the US. I’ve had good success working with “up and coming” designers in less expensive parts of the country for as low as $16/hr which is pretty dang good.
No matter how you go about it, make sure you find yourself a good designer because as a marketer you will always need one!