Are you looking for a freelancer to handle some work for you? You may be concerned about whether your work is in good hands or have heard horror stories from unreliable freelancers others have hired.

It doesn’t have to be this way. With a bit of research and by following the tips below, you can find a good freelancer in no time.

1. Take your time

Hiring the first freelancer you come across is unlikely to get you the best results.

If you’re desperate for someone to complete an urgent task, it’s best to use an agency or at least an online freelance marketplace such as Upwork or People Per Hour where you can look at a freelancer’s ratings, completed project types and testimonials.

If you’re not in a hurry, then take the time to do the job properly and:

2. Check out their portfolio

How much experience do they have? How many projects that they’ve completed are similar to yours? Do they specialise or at least have significant experience in your niche or industry?

Any freelancer worth their salt will have samples of previous work that you can look at. If they also have a case study showing you how they worked through a project from the initial brief to completion, so much the better. This can give you an insight into their working process, how they communicate and how they respond to feedback.

3. Check out their references or testimonials

Naturally you’ll be looking for indications that they can deliver quality work. You want a freelancer who is familiar with your industry and the type of project you require completed, and has a good record for delivering on time.

References and testimonials from previous clients are great signs that this is a reliable freelancer capable of quality work.

4. Ensure your expectations match up

The way that freelancers and companies work varies hugely. Some companies like to give a freelancer a project and then forget about it until it’s delivered back to them completed; others like constant oversight.

Some companies like freelancers to keep company office hours, even if they work remotely; others don’t mind when they do the work, as long as the work is done.

Whatever your expectations as the hirer, ensure you’ve made them clear – bearing in mind that if freelancers wanted to work 9-5, 5 days a week, in an office for one employer, they would probably be doing so.

Expect to be flexible and don’t expect your business and your project to be the sole focus of the freelancer’s time. The practicalities of making a living as a freelancer mean they will probably be working on other projects alongside yours.

5. Remember what you might get if you pay peanuts

It’s always tempting to go for the lowest quote or hourly rate when your budget is tight. Certainly, if you’re looking for freelancers on online marketplaces with a worldwide reach, you will often find very low rates offered from freelancers living in countries with a very cheap standard of living. $10 for them represents much more in purchasing power than it does for someone living in the UK or USA, for instance.

However, you always need to weigh quality against cost. If you need to have work redone because it’s of such poor quality, then your choice of a cheaper freelancer will have been a false economy. If a less experienced freelancer takes twice as long to complete your work as a more experienced one would, then you may end up paying out more money overall. And if they miss an important deadline, it could have serious repercussions for your business.

If a job’s worth doing, it’s worth doing well, as the saying goes. To ensure that your job is done well, make sure you do a good job of finding a great freelancer!


Have you ever hired a freelancer? Do you have any concerns or questions about hiring freelancers? Please share your thoughts in the comments.


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