Small business owners have seemingly endless to-do lists. Between running daily operations and managing marketing and sales, you wear many hats, and you could use more hours in the day. As your business continues to grow, you probably need help, but it may not make sense to hire more full-time employees.
One option is to hire expert freelancers. As specialists in such fields as data analysis, conversion rate optimization and writing, these individuals can help you grow your business and even work with you on a continued, long-term basis. Here are some tips for tapping into top freelancer networks:
Many large online freelancer networks exist, such as Elance and UpWork, but you may find these platforms challenging to navigate. They're crowded, and the spectrum of talent can be mixed. Not to mention, many subject matter experts aren't on these platforms: Instead, they're busy pursuing direct client relationships.
Ask your fellow small business owners for referrals. Aim to connect with individuals who have the experience you're looking for and have demonstrated track records. Do your research through your own network of business or personal connections, and you'll likely find vetted individuals who can help your business grow.
Many recruiters and hiring managers use LinkedIn to locate prospective job candidates. In that sense, the platform isn't a traditional freelancer network, but independent consultants are on LinkedIn, too. Search for professionals using basic keywords such as "freelance" or "consultant." Browse through search listings to find professionals who fit your business's goals.
The beauty of LinkedIn is that you can learn about the freelancers you're considering hiring. Browse their work samples, histories, client examples and recommendations. Click on links to their websites, which may provide additional information. Save profiles that you find compelling, and reach out to potential partners through LinkedIn to build a connection.
You may decide to use a platform that connects subject matter experts with advice seekers, such as Clarity. Using this type of platform is a straightforward process. Just search for the subject area in which you need help, and book consultation sessions with the professionals of your choice.
If you find a subject matter expert who provides helpful information, consider extending the relationship to a longer-term project. Use this type of platform to gather information from a number of experts, to vet potential partners, to explore a new business direction or even to build connections by answering questions.
The freelance economy is powerful, and many top performers are out there who may be excited to work with your business. To find them, however, you need to be creative with your search. Tap into hidden, less-than-obvious freelancer networks to find top talent.
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