Let’s look separately at the two primary reasons for hiring part-time or project help: 1) Work you are not capable of doing for yourself, and/or 2) Work you do not WANT to do for yourself.
Help for what you can’t do yourself
Hiring part-time or project help is a no-brainer when it’s for something you can’t do yourself. For example, a logo design, a book cover, copywriting, web functionality, etc.
There are plenty of places you can go for this help. I like the two below because:
- Each designer shows you designs they have completed for your type of projects.
- Each company holds the money until the person you hire completes the job as you have specified — a protection you will want and need.
- Each company shows ratings (and comments) from others who have hired this person.
Fiverr — for design
I’ve had good success with Fiverr for design for my logo and two of my book covers. Fiverr got its name because you could get help for $5. (Today, that is almost never the price!)
- Book cover design: When seeking this, I “hired” two different designers for $20 each, picking the two whose samples most impressed me. One of the two designs I got back just didn’t do it for me. But I loved the other one — which you can see for Pricing Psychology Report — on the Books page of this website.
- BTW, both of these designers were outside the US. One in Nigeria and one in Europe.
- Corporate logo: For this I hired two logo designers — one for $30 and one for $45. Each gave me three different versions — so I got six total. I was very happy with both designers, so it was a tossup as to which logo I finally used. You can see it on the home page on this website.
UpWork — for web design help and more
If you need web design help, I’ve had success twice using UpWork. I like it because I can be VERY SPECIFIC on exactly what I need, and Upwork finds designers to suggest who have done exactly that thing. For example, I build my websites in WordPress — and wanted to look only at designers with experience in WordPress. For my last project, I wanted to only see designers who had designed a carousel in WordPress. You can also ask for bids for the job from those designers.
- Web form for signups and auto delivery of a free report: Last year after struggling to set this up, I finally looked for help from Upwork. You can see the finished result on the homepage of my website for senior citizens — SeniorDefender.Net. I posted a fixed rate in Upwork for this of $400, but I can see I overspent by about $150. It’s probably smarter to have designers bid on your project. But… I wanted to attract better designers who might not always bid on jobs where they know newbies will underbid them.
- Setting up a slider or carousel: What is this? You can see it on my Help4Entrepreneurs page on this website. This slider moves across the page, showing new topics that can be selected. Again I posted a fixed rate — this time of $300. I could have found someone willing to do it for $180, but I’m very happy with the price I spent and the quality of the work. I wanted to make sure I could edit it myself, so part of the job description was training me on how to edit and upgrade it myself going forward.
Help for what you don’t WANT to do yourself
Hiring a virtual assistant (VA) is one of the first hires considered when the amount of work gets too overwhelming. Or you can hire one before that happens(!) Natalie Sisson has a great chapter on this topic in her Suitcase Entrepreneur book — well worth your reading. She quotes someone saying, “I hired my VA before I felt “ready” and I can honestly say that it was one of the most important decisions I made in the first year of my business.”
Where (and how) do you find them?
To test with a specific task, you may wish to use Upwork (see above), provide detailed instructions, and a specific due date. It could also be a good idea to hire two people for it. Other choices include:
VirtualStaffFinder.com is a resource you should also consider. They specialize in helping you hire a Virtual Assistant — and offer a free downloadable ebook, The Ultimate Virtual Assistant Salary Guide. Get this ebook if you’re even considering hiring a VA. It has info I would never have considered, as well as normal salary ranges. For a full-time VA (as of 1/2020) they say the going rate is $450-$700/month, and the rate for a half-time VA (4 hours/day) runs half that. Obviously, at these rates, you’re looking at VAs based in the Philippines (most common) or India.
The state of California vs. your business
If you’re willing to pay much more, just a word of advice. Don’t hire anybody on a regular independent contractor basis who lives in the state of California. California’s tax assessors try to make everyone an “employee” instead of an independent contractor. As an employee, they can get tax money out of you for the state coffers. This was true even 15 years ago, when subscription newsletters were under siege from the state. Independent contractor freelancers, who wrote an article or two for newsletters or edited newsletters, were being reclassified by the state as employees. Today the state is after Uber drivers and everyone else who gets some amount of regular money from a business. Even if you’re just one of an independent contractor’s 2-4 clients — the state still wants them considered an employee.
It’s a bad situation for California freelancers, but if you contract with one of them it will be very expensive for your business.