This article is about hiring a freelancer on FreeeUp. Well, actually I needed a notebook specifically designed for podcasters. A notebook I could use to help me plan, research and tell stories for each episode. Being new to the podcasting world it would be a plus if the notebook could help me keep track of my workflow. I saw several amazing options, however, something was missing in what I saw.
I recorded my first episode in May 2018, before I recorded each episode I made notes on what I wanted to talk about. After a few episodes, I started to notice the format I used for pre-recording notes were similar.
Since I was unable to find what I wanted I spent some time hand drawing concepts and designs showing them to friends and family. I knew what I wanted, I wanted a tool that could help me research and create stories for my podcast.
Using hand-drawn designs, I tested out various concepts until I was excited about using the notebook for every episode.
This solved a problem for me
This solved a problem for me, I figured it may also solve a problem for you? However, there was one BIG problem I didn’t know how to create a professional looking design that I could send to a printing company (creating Podcast Stuff Notebook from idea to sales is a story for another day).
Without knowledge of professional design (publishing) software I had two choices:
- Spend countless hours learning software (yes, I know an argument can be made for using software that doesn’t have a high learning curve) or,
- Find a freelancer who already knows the software and hire them.
I chose to hire a freelancer who already knew the software.
My second problem: where can I find a freelancer who can do this for me. My immediate thought was to visit a freelancer marketplace. I’ve used marketplace services before. Generally, speaking in my opinion marketplaces can be categorized in one of two ways:
1) Write to the freelancer only and,
2) Interact with the freelancer.
A marketplace can be set up where each freelancer/ company creates a page and displays their work. After selecting a freelancer/ company and completing a form regarding requirements, a couple of days later you get your first draft. You review what is sent and then fill out another form requesting any changes (if needed).
Alternatively, a marketplace can be set up to allow a real conversation (phone or video call) with the freelancer/ company.
I’ve tried both types of marketplaces, and they both have excellent use cases. For this project, I wanted to talk to a human an explain my vision and expectations.
After searching a few marketplaces, I realized so many freelancers would fit the need. How do I choose? I didn’t want to spend hours talking to freelancers trying to figure out if we would be a great fit. In reality, I really did not want to talk with more than 5 freelancers (to save time).
I came across a service called FreeeUp, their product angle is “FreeeUp pre-vets thousands of VA’s, freelances and agencies each week for skills, attitude and communication then only allows the top 1% into the marketplace.”
I had briefly interacted with FreeeUp’s CEO Nathan, who was scheduled to appear on my podcast. Since Nathan is based in Florida, I told him that once I figured out podcasting in person, I’ll work on podcasting remotely (it’s nearly a year, and I still haven’t invited Nathan back, sorry Nathan soon would always love to have you on in season 2.)
Around the same time, I was receiving email newsletters from Nathan. I decided that the pre-vetting was essential to me. I didn’t want to spend much time vetting myself and created an account on FreeeUp. Plus since Nathan and I have interacted previously, I figured I could contact him if I were unhappy. During the project, Nathan did follow up with emails and texts to ensure my experience was nothing but amazing and I genuinely appreciate the CEO of the company taking the time to do this for a small project.
Choosing a freelancer
The experience was amazing, as soon I created an account I received an email explaining how things worked in FreeeUp.
I filled out the “request a freelance” questionnaire. The questionnaire was more detailed than what I have seen previously. I saw this as a positive, it makes me think about what I really want, and it doesn’t waste the freelancers time.
Within hours several freelancers reached out to me to introduce themselves and share their portfolios.
How FreeeUp works
Using FreeeUp saved me time as there is no need to browse unlimited profiles, based on what is entered into the questionnaire. FreeUp matches you with multiple freelancers. (however, if you enjoy browsing profiles FreeeUp may not be a good fit for you.)
My understanding is the matches are based on your budget (which corresponds to the experience of the freelancer. The lower the budget, the fresher the freelancer is. The higher the budget, the more seasoned the freelancer is). There is also an option to choose freelancers based in the USA or international.
After reviewing the first batch of matches, I declined one immediately as the skill set was slightly different and requested additional matches. In total, I reviewed 5 matches ranging from fresher to experienced and based in USA and international.
I spoke to 4 matches, explained what I was looking for and asked for their feedback. At the end of the day, I reviewed their portfolios and choose the freelancer I felt really understood my vision
Talking with 4 freelancers
- The difference between the lowest and highest price quote was about $4000 USD
- One freelancer walked me through the thought process of how that particular freelancer’s price was reached, and I was very appreciative.
- One freelancer provided fantastic feedback and suggestions and asked questions around what my vision is and my expectations around the final output. If I had selected a printing company and what specifications they need to print the notebooks. I got a good feeling with this freelancer and decided to move forward. Some of the questions asked made me feel confident that this freelancer has done this previously.
- One freelancer saw that I was raising funds on Kickstarter and my guess is that is the reason why the price came in so high.
Guess which freelancer I chose?
Yep, the one that asked the right questions and made me feel comfortable. Once I selected the freelancer I wanted to work with. We set up a schedule of deliverables, so we both are on the same page regarding timelines and plans. The freelancer, not only kept to the schedule but exceeded my expectations and I am super happy with the performance. Even when the printing company had a few issues and requested changes, the freelancer was on it in a timely fashion.
The payment structure was based on an hourly rate, the freelancer provided an approximate number of hours the freelancer expects to work on it. I was given a range, performing some basic math calculation, I calculated the expected total price. The project came in under budget. Since this project is priced hourly, I asked the freelancer to provide updates every X hours on progress and at any time if the freelancer thought they would need to extend beyond the upper range of the estimate.
Finally, this article is not sponsored. I truly enjoyed my experience with FreeeUp, Nathan had asked if I would be willing to provide a testimonial and I completely forgot about it for months, and therefore I decided to write this article.