Should you hire a freelancer? The short answer is you can definitely try. But it’ll cost you.
Here’s the golden rule: good talent is never cheap. It does not have to be expensive, but it most definitely isn’t cheap.
Great websites and mobile applications require tremendous resources. Unfortunately most people don’t understand the complexity and the variables that go into the process of creating an exceptional product. Because of that, they are easily lured in by crowd-sourced services such as UpWork, Freelancer, and other penny-for-the-work-done services. These places can be highly misleading and are always a lot more expensive than previously anticipated, and extremely frustrating to the customer.
So while you can definitely try to recruit a freelancer, I’m going to give you reasons why you certainly shouldn’t.
The vast majority of freelancers are poorly qualified developers and designers who misrepresent their skill-set in their profiles.
One might think that hiring someone who says he or she has 7 years of development will naturally result in a fast delivery of beautiful work. The problem is that you can never check that experience. You are literally hiring a stranger from a remote location and can only hope to see a needed outcome.
Freelancers will always give you a very attractive quote for their services just to lock you in.
The brutal truth is that you always get what you pay for. There is always a reason a freelancer can’t charge a higher price – he or she simply cannot compete with high-prized talent. Trust me, if they could, they’d jump on it right away.
Freelancers will tell you they can get the job done in 2-3 days.
The fact is that by asking for a low price for their services, they need as many customers as possible. A long queue forms and clients grow frustrated at waiting for their projects to be completed by someone who has very little knowledge on how to code or design.
Freelancers will tell you they are available 24/7.
The reality is that most freelancers live on the other side of the world, so when your business day starts, it’s already late evening on their end. Because of time zone differences, every 24-hour day becomes a 48-hour nightmare of waiting and miscommunication. Let’s not forget that 99% of freelancers work on their own time, and when they do go to sleep, there’s no one around to pick up their shift.
Freelancers answer to no one.
There is nobody who can monitor the time line and quality of their work. Nobody but you; so be prepared to spend a lot of your time trying to convey feedback to someone who does not have any accountability, and who gets agitated by your dissatisfaction of their poor, half-baked results.
So, do you still want to hire a freelancer? If you’re very technically savvy, know at least something about web and app programming and how software is built, have lots of patience and low expectations, and on top of that a flexible budget, then by all means, you should absolutely take advantage of crowd-sourced options.
But if you are looking for someone who is highly skilled, communicates well, understands your requirements, and does not mislead you, I urge you to hire a reputable agency. You will save lots of time, nerves, and money, without losing any vision (or enthusiasm) for having a great product.
Image Credit: Jesper Deleuran