You have a big list of tasks and projects you’d like to outsource. Now it’s time to start advertising your need for these various freelancers by posting projects and/or contacting suitable candidates.
There are two main types of freelancers that you’ll uncover in your search:
Local freelancers – These are the ones who live right in your own city. Not only that, but some of these folks are willing and able to meet with you face to face.
Remote freelancers – These are people who live too far away in order to meet them in person. They may live a couple hundred miles away or they may live halfway around the world. It’s generally impossible to meet these folks face to face.
Let’s look at the pros and cons of each of these categories….
Let’s look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of working with local freelancers:
- Language – Unless you’re working with someone who just recently moved from a foreign country to your local area, the vast majority of the time there should be no language barriers between you and your local freelancer.
- Ability to meet face to face or work closely together – First off, let me start by saying that not all local freelancers are willing or able to meet face to face with you. Indeed, some of them prefer telecommuting precisely for the reason that they don’t need to leave the comfort of their home. Point is, don’t assume that just because someone is local that they’ll meet with you. When in doubt, ask.
However, some local freelancers will happily meet with you, which means you can interview them in person. Some of these freelancers will also meet with you occasionally for face-to-face meetings. And some of these local freelancers will even agree to work in your office for the duration of a project.
- Comfort factor (due diligence) – If you’re hiring someone locally, often the due diligence process is easier and you feel more comfortable with the person. This is particularly true if you’re hiring someone who has an established business and good reputation, such as a web designer who’s worked with many businesses in your area.
- Pricing – Whether this is a pro or con really depends on where you live. If you live in an area with a high cost of living (like New York City or London), then generally you can expect a local freelancer’s services to be more expensive than if you lived in a rural area with a lower cost of living.
Now let’s go over some of these same factors in relation to remote freelancers…
- Language barriers – If you’re outsourcing to a foreign country, then you need to be absolutely certain that you and your prospective freelancer won’t have any language barriers. Several emails between you will help you figure this out. A Skype call would be even better (where possible).
- No personal meetings – Obviously you can’t work together in your office. However, some freelancers (not all) are agreeable to talking live on the phone or via Skype. If you go this route, just be sure to respect the freelancer’s time, meaning don’t tie her/him up for an hour.
- Time zone differences – Keep in mind that if you’re working with someone who lives thousands of miles away from you (especially around the world), you may be dealing with time zone differences. Thus even if a person works regular “business hours,” the bulk of this person’s business day may be completed while you’re still sleeping. As such, you can’t expect rapid communication, even if a particular freelancer is known for answering inquiries promptly.
- Pricing – As mentioned just a bit ago, there are a lot of factors that come into play when it comes to pricing. However, one factor is the freelancer’s location – and that means you may be able to get a similar quality of work at lower prices if you outsource to a region of the world with a lower cost of living (like the Philippines).
OK, now you know the pros and cons of hiring a local freelancer versus a remote freelancer (which includes foreign freelancers).
All posts in the “Grow Your Business with Freelancers” Series:
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