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How to Find Talented Freelancers Who are a Great Fit for Your Business

find talented freelancers

Many traditional employees are making the switch to freelance work. And for a host of different reasons. Working online comes with its own set of challenges though and upstart entrepreneurs do struggle sometimes to find the right freelancer for the job.

While it might be more difficult to find a talented freelancer, we have some reliable tips to help you out. Here is how to find talented freelancers for your business.

Create an Enticing Ad or Job Description

When you are posting an ad or job, you want it to attract the attention of superb freelancers. You want the posting to include as much important information as possible, without it being too long. If a job posting is too long, some people may overlook it.

As we all know, freelancers get to pick and choose which jobs they would like to work on. This is why a job posting is so important – you want to attract the right freelancers.

First, you will want to start with a catchy title that will entice people to read the description. When writing the description for the job, keep it simple with as much pertinent information as possible.

If you don’t include enough information, people won’t understand the project, or won’t feel confident that they are a good fit. So they won’t apply.

On the other hand, too much content can seem overwhelming. So they won’t apply.

Remember to include the type of job it is, and a brief, but clear outline of the task at hand. You’ll want clarify the terms of payment, and how long the job will last. Most freelance jobs are a short-term position, though some can become long-term with the right dynamic.

Other important information to include are a deadline or timeline, as well as answers to any commonly asked questions.

Post the Ad

Naturally, if you know of anyone who might be able to recommend a freelancer, approach them. You can save yourself time and hassle by working with a freelancer that an associate of yours has already worked with, and trusts. Send them your job description and see if you’re a fit.

If that’s not possible, be prepared to post the ad. There are all kinds of potential outlets. If you’re looking to hire a local freelancer, try local newspapers or job boards, or Craigslist. If location is not important, specialized online freelance sites such as Upwork or Guru are a great option.

Evaluate Candidates & Check References

Ideally, you’ll get multiple applicants for your position, giving you the opportunity to pick and choose. Evaluate your candidates based on their responses, resumes, and completion of any tasks that you may have required during the application process.

Naturally, you can’t believe everything you read on a resume. That’s why it’s important to ask for and follow-up on references. That will enable you to find out what past employers and coworkers think about that specific freelancer. If you used one of the freelancer websites, your applicants will likely have accrued reviews from past projects that can you use to help you evaluate.

Then, connect with your best candidates to narrow down to your hire.

Consider an Agency

There are also some agencies and web platforms that can help you find talent as well. Most agencies have a rigorous interview process, and have their own methods to keep track of their freelancers. They will track their work, their progress and projects they have worked on.

You can contact an agency and ask them to send a fax with some resumes.

Interview

When it comes to interviews, remember to be thorough, especially if you are hiring someone non-local. You may want to consider video calls for your interviews, which can make it feel a little more personal. During the interview, be clear about your expectations.

Your expectations can include a deadline, certain aspects of the project, communication prefernces, and whatever else you may require. When you are open and clear about expectations, you will weed out any freelancers that might not be a good fit for the job. This is important, as you only want talented freelancers who can meet or exceed expecatations.

During your interview, you may want to ask personal questions as well. Ask them about their strengths and weaknesses, or maybe ask them about something that they have overcome. These questions can help you understand them more as a person.

Take a Chance

Because so many people are switching to freelance work, some candidates may not have a lot of experience. ratings, or reviews. That doesn’t mean they aren’t worth a shot. Sometimes, you just need to trust your gut when it comes to hiring a freelancer.

If you feel that they may work out, you can offer a paid trial run or ask them for a paid sample of their work that pertains to the job.

Consider Something Long-Term

Sure, you’re looking for a freelancer. But be open to the possibility of a long-term work relationship. Many freelancers would prefer a steady flow of work, as opposed to a few short and quick projects. While short projects offer more freedom, long-term relationships offer more financial stability.

Of course, you don’t have to keep the first person you hire forever. However, if you find a freelancer that exceeds your expectations and you work well together, you might want to consider a long-term partnership.

Conclusion

With the rise in the number of freelancers, it’s easier than ever to find candidates to complete needed work. But finding the right talent in a sea of potentials is a challenge.

Follow the tips above to get a high number of qualified applicants to land the perfect one.

Whether you use a local job board, online freelancer sites, agencies, or referrals, take the leap and enjoy the flexibility and wealth of talent available with freelance professionals.

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Smart Ways to Fund Your Startup

When you’ve got an excellent idea for a startup, you need a good plan to ensure its success. Unfortunately, a lot of startups fail due to lack of funding.

In order to make sure your startup doesn’t fall into this group, you need some smart and proven ways to get it funded.

Here are some smart tips for securing money for your startup…

Seek Easy Sources of Funding First

First, do you have any savings? You don’t have to drain your bank account, but if you can draw even a little bit from savings, it can prove a worthy investment. Naturally, the more you fund yourself, the more control and equity you retain. At the very least, be aware of what resources you have available and what you’re willing to sacrifice.

Next, look to family and friends who you find reliable. Putting a campaign through your social media to reach them can be beneficial too. They can then share this with other people they know, expanding your reach and helping you find good partners.

You can also reach out to business contacts that you’ve networked with; see if they can direct you to others who will likewise be willing to help fund your startup.

Try Crowdfunding

This smart funding tip nearly goes without saying. Crowdfunding has proven very successful for many startups, so you’d be remiss to not consider it. To start, you need to make a reasonable goal for funding. Again, use your family and friends to help you spread the word.

Use crowdfunding sites like Indiegogo you can actually sell products to gauge market interest. The success of your campaign can be used to pull in investors down the road.

Alternative Lending Sources

Another smart way to fund your startup is alternative lending. There are plenty of sites that facilitate peer to peer lending, but you’ll still have to pay it back like any other loan.

However, the advantage is that peer-to-peer lending can be more forgiving, offering lower interest rates than traditional bank loans. If you have to get a loan, this might be a smarter, more flexible option.

Consider a Partner

Turning your startup into a partnership can come with some compromises. Often though, these aren’t deal breakers and there can be more benefits than not. First, a partnership means you’re at least splitting costs. When you’re just beginning, this can prove very valuable.

Naturally, a partner can provide all kinds of other value as well. They may have complementary skills, or have experience that you lack. A good partner will make your startup more attractive to potential investors. They will widen your base of exposure as well.

Smart Funding Isn’t Only About Bringing in Money

Smart funding is also about spending what you have wisely. If you’re looking for funding from a loan, you’ll need a business plan. To raise your chances, you need to show that you plan on spending it wisely.

First of all, use all the free or cheap resources available to you. For printing and flyers, libraries often allow you to print either for free or for very little. Local small business associations are a gift for startups too.

You can get great tips, spread the news about your startup, and do some networking (often for free). Another fantastic tip is to use social media to promote. A good rule of thumb is that whenever you think of spending precious funding on something, look for a free version first or seek out less expensive alternatives.

Here’s an example:

You want to send in documents to apply for a grant to fund your startup. Rather than invest in a fax machine or go to your local copy shot, you can get a monthly internet fax subscription instead.

Always make sure to manage your finances and spend wisely.

Consider an Angel Investor

Angel investors can be just what you need, as they are often wise to the process of startups and businesses. They can provide you with the funding you need, although often in exchange for a stake in the business.

The other benefit is that they’re often very business savvy and provide you with plenty of advice along the way. Look for a list of accredited and trustworthy angel investors if you want to pursue this funding option, but know that you will need a very impressive pitch to secure an investment.

Funding You Don’t Have to Pay Back

There are all kinds of grants that are available to new and existing businesses. It’s worth the time and effort to research and apply for them.

Unlike other forms of funding, grants are free money. You don’t have to pay it back, much less with interest. But it requires work. You’ll likely have to write a proposal and meet other qualifications.

Summing up Ways to Fund your Startup

Startups are gaining a special place in today’s culture. It’s easier than ever for someone with a good idea to secure funding and bring their product to fruition. By making use of smart funding options and maximizing your outreach, you can make it happen.

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Best Time-Management Strategies for Successful Entrepreneurs

best time management tips

As an entrepreneur, you have a lot on your plate every day.

At times, it may seem impossible to get everything done.

Yet there are many entrepreneurs out there who are incredibly productive, managing what seems like a double workload.

You might be wondering: How do they do it?

A huge part of success comes down to the ability to manage your time well. If you want to get the most out of your day, here are some of the best time management strategies for successful entrepreneurs.

Start Simple

Sometimes the hardest part of a task is simply getting started. So start small to reduce procrastination and get yourself going. Once you have momentum you can tackle your task with newfound focus.

Break Tasks into Sub-tasks

Tackling a difficult task requires a lot of mental energy. Tackling a small tasks requires only a little. So break down projects into manageable sub-tasks that you can deal with quickly and effectively. In this way, you’ll progress through projects with a clear head and focused attention.

Keep a Time Journal

If you would like to see how much time you spend on any specific task, keep a journal of your time. From there, you can assess if you spent that time well or if there’s room for improvement.

This will also help you see if there are tasks you can delegate or get rid of entirely.

Time Limits

We tend to take all of the time we have to complete a project. So if we give ourselves two weeks, we take two weeks. If we give ourselves one week, we’ll complete it in one. Granted, you should make sure that you give yourself ample time to get your project done right. But anything beyond that, prevents you from moving on to the next important task.

Prioritize Your Tasks

One of the best ways to manage your time is to figure out what’s important, and disregard the rest. Don’t waste your time on tasks that can be done by someone else, or ones that don’t need your attention right away. In other words become a master of setting priorities.

Sure, we all like to cross things off of our list. But if we’re tackling less important tasks just to accomplish that, we’re managing our time poorly.

Plan Your Week

It may take time to plan your week, but it’s well worth it. Planning injects much-needed predictability and transparency into our otherwise chaotic schedules.

Besides, we’re creatures of habit. Planning similar activities for the same time each day (or same day each week) helps us stay motivated, focused, and productive.

Leverage Tools & Technology

So many of the tasks that we once handled manually, can now be simplified or altogether automated using technology. Take a good look at where you’re spending a lot of time, and look for tools that can take some of that effort off your plate.

Set your bills to pay automatically. Schedule social media posts a month in advance. Set appointments automatically using an online calendar. Send faxes on the go using your smartphone. Call your leads using power dialer software, rather than dialing manually. Use team and project management software to keep everyone on the same page.

Find the tools that make your day easier and help you manage your time.

Hold Yourself Accountable

The buck stops with you.

Take responsibility for your productivity and time management skills and be honest with yourself when you are, and aren’t, succeeding. Set goals for yourself in terms of accomplishing tasks, and hold yourself accountable when you come up short. Reward yourself when meet or exceed your own expectations

Be Realistic

We all want to get a lot done. But giving ourselves too much just makes us crazy and keeps our mind spinning in circles. Be realistic as to what you can accomplish, and you’ll find that you manage your time much more effectively.

Also, give yourself a little leeway when things don’t go as expected. We all get interrupted, some tasks take longer than anticipated, sometimes we have unexpected fires to put out. And sometimes we just need a break. Even the best time managers have rough patches.

Summing up the Best Time Management Tips for Entrepreneurs

Time management is a critical skill for every successful entrepreneur. By working efficiently and ensuring time is spent only on the most important tasks, we increase the value of every hour of every day. Follow the tips above to stay focused, efficient, and sane when there is much to get done.

What’s your best time management tip?

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An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Prioritizing Your Tasks

How to Prioritize Tasks

Being an entrepreneur is an exhilarating and stressful experience, especially in the beginning. Many people will spend almost every waking moment on their business, which is understandable in the early stages.

However, you also need time to spend with your family and friends. Not only that, you will also need time to just enjoy your life. After all, you wouldn’t want to resent your business because of all of the time it takes up.

One easy and proven way to balance work and life is to prioritize your tasks. Prioritizing your tasks will help you save time, be organized, and most importantly, focus on what is most important. If you follow our guide, you should notice a significant change in your time management.

Without further ado, here’s an entrepreneur’s guide to prioritizing your tasks…

Make a List

The first step to prioritizing your tasks is to make a list of everything that needs to be done. After that, you’ll need to reorder the list in order of importance with the most important tasks on top. Remove anything on the list that’s not important. Otherwise, it tends to serve as a distraction.

Tackling the most important tasks first helps you stay focused on what matters most, while reducing stress. When you get big tasks done first, you breathe a little easier, and avoid rushing through them at the end of the day.

While making a list, there are a few more things to remember: first, it’s okay if you don’t finish an entire list in a day. The next point is that you shouldn’t make your list too long. An endless list can put stress and pressure on you, which won’t help with time management.

Stay Focused

Procrastination gets the best of us from time to time. It doesn’t matter who you are. It’s important to make an effort not to get distracted with tasks that aren’t productive during the workday. For example, many people find themselves scrolling through social media or reading the news. Unless it actually pertains to critical work, don’t let it be a drain on your time.

Set Aside Time

Unfortunately, there are many interruptions that may happen in a day. If you set aside an hour or two each day to attend to them, rather than allowing time for interruptions whenever they occur – it can really help. Use this time to check and answer emails, return phone calls, or talk to employees if needed. Let your employees know the time that you set aside for these tasks, as it can help them prioritize their tasks as well.

Group Similar Tasks, Or Not

If you have multiple tasks that are alike, consider grouping them together or setting aside one block of time to complete them. It’s often better to keep your mind focused than to jump back and forth, and having to get back into the groove.

Like most rules, there are exceptions. So if you feel that too much of one type of task is causing burnout, it’s perfectly understandable to give your brain a break, and come back with a fresh perspective.

Avoid Multitasking

Multitasking is a mistake. It inevitably results in reduced focus and lower quality work. Your brain needs to be engaged in the one task at hand. What’s interesting is people tend to multi-task thinking it saves them time. Often, it does the opposite, requiring you to go back and fix what could have been handled properly the first time.

Know Your Strengths & Delegate

Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, it’s just a part of life. That is why if you have employees, you need to delegate some of your tasks to them. Know your strengths and build on them instead of struggling with tasks you are not good with.

Factor in Energy

Everyone has peak energy levels at different times of the day. We all tend to have valleys as well. Factor in your energy as you prioritize tasks, so you can get into a zone during the most critical tasks. This is another reason to start your day with more important work. We’re more likely to peak early and flag late.

Don’t Overload

Without a doubt, starting a new business can be stressful and overwhelming to many people. If you’re just starting out and you feel overwhelmed, you’re not alone. Try not to overload yourself with tasks; take it day by day and only finish what you can.

Be reasonable with yourself and your time. There’s no shame in not being able to finish an overabundance of work.

Prioritize Sleep

There’s one thing that always deserves priority. Sleep. Your productivity throughout the day depends on it. If you don’t get enough sleep, your brain doesn’t function properly and your work suffers in many ways. Sleeping less may leave you more hours in the day, but every hour will be compromised.

Summing Up How to Prioritize Tasks

Setting priorities is an absolutely vital part of being productive and being successful. Like anything, there are some important rules to follow to ensure that you do a good job of setting priorities and organizing your day. Follow the tips above to get to the most important tasks, with the greatest focus, and the optimal chances for entrepreneurial success.

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How Businesses Can Earn Customer Trust - 7 Surefire Ways

How to earn and build trust from customers and prospects

Trust is everything in business.

Especially in today’s online world where customers often research businesses before they even consider reaching out or visiting personally. And of course, trust will need to be established before a sale takes place.

But trust makes a world of difference post-sale as well.

When someone finds your company to be reliable, they are more likely to become loyal. That means repeat business, positive reviews and write-ups, and referrals to friends, family, and associates.

If you find yourself losing out on business to the competition, or struggling to keep clients happy, loyal, and spreading goodwill, read on for some trust-building tips that might just work for you. Here are 7 ways your business can earn the trust of prospects and customers.

1. Have a Presence on Social Media

Most people use social media every single day. A large percentage of people who use social media use multiple platforms as well. You can use this to your advantage, as this will give you plenty of opportunities to reach out and connect with your customers. Your consistent, genuine engagement with them will gradually build trust.

Simply having an active profile builds trust.

Interact with customers and prospects by posting regularly. Just be sure not to only post promotional or business-related content. Share industry news, humor, and quotes. Ask questions and opinions. Let customers chime in about relevant topics. These types of posts will show that you care about them as a person, not just as a customer spending money.

2. Never Doubt the Power of Reviews

Reviews by real people will have an absolutely positive impact on your business. So do everything you can to ensure customers have a great reason to review you favorably. If you ever receive a negative review, don’t get defensive. Reply amicably and try to fix the situation.

Only having positive reviews can make it seem like your company is too good to be true. Not only that, it can also seem as though your reviews aren’t genuine. If other people see that you try to fix any issues, it can build trust knowing that you care.

Try to gather testimonials from customers and display them on your website or company page. This can also attract new customers and show that your company is trustworthy.

3. Obey the Golden Rule

Most people have learned the Golden Rule in elementary school. The Golden Rule is to “treat others how you would like to be treated.” Without a doubt, this is one rule every businesses should follow.

Treating your customers with respect, integrity, and fairness (always) is something that businesses tend to fail at. Customers who don’t feel valued don’t buy, stay and refer… so go out of your way to make customers feel appreciated. That means helping them make decisions that are best for them, even if that means a lesser sale, or none at all.

4. Utilize Feedback

Customers like to be heard, especially when it comes to feedback. If you receive enough feedback about something that can be improved, make it a priority to do so. This builds loyalty, as customers who feel heard want to stick around.

5. Keep Your Promises

Promises are very important to your customers – they like to know that they can trust your company and your word. If you promise to have something delivered by Saturday, make sure it is there by Saturday. If you offer a deal or promotion, be sure to honor it.

It may seem like this goes without saying, but in reality, many companies don’t follow through on what they, or their employees say

6. Prioritize Communication

Clear and timely communication is essential in any relationship, especially business ones. Complications during communication can cause many issues. That is why you should prioritize fast and open communication with all of your prospects and customers.

There are many surefire ways for you to communicate with your customers. Email and phone are a given. But now many businesses utilize live chat, social media, video conferencing, and even texting. Many businesses continue to send faxes.

7. Deliver a Great Product

What’s the best way to earn trust? Easy. Simply deliver a great product. Make sure your product or service does what it’s supposed to do, and offers value to the customer. With great service behind that, you’ve got a recipe for trust and long-term success.

Conclusion

There are a variety of helpful methods in building and maintaining customer trust. Doing so is more important than ever and is key to maintaining a positive reputation.

These proven tips can help you bring in new customers and repeating customers as well as help expand your business. When consumers are happy with a product or company, they are more likely to suggest it to the people in their life. Word of mouth is one of the most effective marketing tools, so earn your customers’ trust and it will certainly pay off in the long run.

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