Get the best price for your project: Advanced strategies for hiring contractors | Evan Kimbrell | Skillshare

Get the best price for your project: Advanced strategies for hiring contractors

Evan Kimbrell, Director at Sprintkick

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12 Lessons (58m)
    • 1. Welcome to the class!

      2:16
    • 2. First thing to do

      1:05
    • 3. The "Keyer" question strategy

      7:36
    • 4. The $50 test

      4:02
    • 5. Rapid cycling posts

      4:47
    • 6. Repeating the project back to you

      4:06
    • 7. Getting them off the platform

      4:15
    • 8. The long term strategy

      5:12
    • 9. Use messaging to your advantage

      7:07
    • 10. Negotiate hybrid rates

      9:30
    • 11. Divide by specializations

      6:10
    • 12. Keep the learning going

      1:50

About This Class

Outsourcing has endless possibilities - if you know how to use it. Knowing how to outsource effectively is an incredibly useful skill whether you're an entrepreneur, a manager, a marketer, or small business owner. Being able to incorporate outsourcing into your project, your business, or even your job can dramatically change your rate of success - you'll be able to hit goals sooner and spend only a fraction of what you would have otherwise needed.

This class is for those of you who already have some experience looking for and hiring freelancers, firms, or contractors. I'm going to show you a couple of more advanced techniques for extracting the most value from whomever you hire. Implementing these techniques will help you save time and money, especially if you plan on using a freelancer to test new features and ideas.

Cost is often the single largest factor in whether or not a project succeeds or fails. By mastering outsourcing you can virtually guarantee that you get the lowest and most reasonable price every time you launch or engage in a project.

What you'll learn:

  • Use advanced techniques for bringing your project together quicker, negotiating bid prices, and vetting your potential partners
  • Be able to use advanced search criteria to find and locate more specific outsourcing partners
  • Build a contracting strategy that works with your level of experience and your idea's level of progress

Transcripts

1. Welcome to the class!: Hey, guys. I'm Evan Kimbrell, and I'm the director at Sprint Kick, which is a web and mobile development studio based out of San Francisco, California. So this class is called Get the best price for your project. Now, the idea behind this classes for those of you out there who have experience working with contractors have experienced looking for contractors Or maybe even took my other class where we covered a crash course on how to find them, vet them and hire them. Now, I'm gonna show you some really advanced techniques to really extract the most value out of the relationship you have with the freelancer. Ah, contractor or a freelance firm. We're gonna cover a lot of really cool techniques in this class. One of my favorites is the $50 Test, or I show you how you can take a tiny amount of money and pre validate a contractor or a freelancer before you even really work with them on the main project. We're also gonna talk about some other really cool things, like Keir questions we're gonna talk about. How do you negotiate things like hybrid rates we're gonna talk about? How do you take advantage off online platforms to get the most out of your search for a contractor. Not only is it gonna help you save money when you test out new features, new ideas, but it could also impress your boss when you come back to him and say I only spent half assed much as I was budgeted. I love teaching this class because these are techniques and advanced strategies that I've come up with over the last, like, five and six years that are really kind of fun to implement on. There's something that can really help you get the most out of every single contractor relationship Now. The only prerequisite to this course is that you have some experience hiring contractors or hiring freelancers. Now, if you don't have experience with that, I suggest you go and try my other class, which is called Hiring Freelancers online. But also, if you don't have experience directly with online platforms, a lot of these lessons still have value to you hiring freelancers offline. Alright, guys, I hope you're excited to take this class Click enroll and I will see you guys inside 2. First thing to do: Hey, guys, welcome back to the class. So I have an assignment for you really quickly. I want this to be the first thing you dio eso at the bottom of the skill share page. It says discussions, the clip discussions, and then you can click new post. I want you right now to go and do that and introduce yourself. You don't have to tell me a lot of information. You can just say your name or your from. But what I'd like to actually hear from you is one. What do you struggling with? And to what are you looking to get out of the class? I think this is something that helped immensely with the class. I really like to make my classes as engaging as possible. I respond to everyone, and I want to make sure that as I'm teaching, I'm meeting your goals and I know exactly what I'm trying to fix. Okay, so this is the first thing. Just go down to the bottom of the page. Do that now. Don't skip it. You can skip it if you want, but I think you'll miss out. All right. Seeing the next lecture 3. The "Keyer" question strategy: Welcome back to the course in this lecture, we're gonna talk about a strategy called adding keywords or what we call tears into your project descriptions and into your specifications. Now, right off the bat, I just kind of made up the word when I say tears, I use this quite frequently. Eso it's much easier just to call it something, so that's kind of a nickname I've given it. It doesn't necessarily have to be keywords, but it could be key phrases are key questions now, one of the biggest problems that you'll have when you're going over a list of people on your trying to determine who you should give the project to is that you have a massive people that may or may not have written a template response, and you don't know if they've rid read the entirety of the project description. That's obviously a problem because you don't want them to be bidding on something that they haven't actually thought about. You also don't want them to be signing up, saying they could do something if they haven't tried and actually comprehended every section of what needs to be done. That's obviously going to set you up for problems on the road. A lot of times, freelancers bid on 10 projects, not realizing that they can't actually fulfill four of them. Similarly, a lot of times freelancer just bid based on what other people say on and if they ever win the project, then what ends up happening is the Illini. Their tried to re negotiate the price, or they might quit halfway, so that's a risky one. Avoid, so to get around that what you can do is you can add key or questions, and they're very similar, like screener questions that we saw on up work on up work. We saw that they asked that question up front. Onda person has to answer it to even bid, but this is actually going a little bit farther than that. So Akira question is, when you add a question or you add some kind of key instruction inside of the project description that only someone who read the project description would actually be able to see. So to give you an example, you might say in your project description, you know, in your bid, please say this phrase. That's a common one. I've seen what they're basically trying to do is very quickly identify who has read and who has not now we don't use that technique because freelancers and freelance firms they can see each other's bids. And so if they put that at the top of their message, runs of happenings have a lot of people seeing that and posting. It has also gotten to a point where that technique has become so popular. That group's actually kind of anticipate that so look into other people's bids to see if they can steal that. So I'm gonna give you some strategies for adding in key or questions, adding in these little snippets that basically test to see whether or not the freelancer has read the entire description. My favorite technique is probably the simplest. What I want you to do is basically take your project and divided out into sections, so it's pretty easy. Honestly, if you have a description in your descriptions two pages long, just figure out where you're shifting from one side of your application or one side of your work. Andi just divided out, put a section to it, and then what you want to do is put it every single section. Ask a question and ask them to say Give me an estimate for how long will take to get this section done now. Traditionally, what you do is you put one big project description and then you ask them to give you an estimate based off that. But what you can do is just cut in half thirds or fourths and say Give me an estimate for each section Now if the person's paying attention, they should be able to do this very, very easily. It shouldn't be that hard. Some of them might struggle with it a little bit because sections can be inter related. But you just want to make sure that they at least give it an attempt towards it. And as we talk about in a separate lecture, it's always a good idea to ask for time, not money. Don't say estimate out the cost for the section asked them how many hours it will take, and we'll explain later in the course why that's important. Another option. What you can do is at the very beginning of your project description or within your specifications sheet. I asked them to give you two pieces of information. So essentially what you're doing is emulating the screener questions on up work and then kind of in putting that into your project description itself. So what you could do is you could just ask them, say, show me a portfolio item that is similar to this project. Tell me what your availability is, something that is maybe specific Navy generic. But it's something that if they don't respond with that information, you know that they're not someone who has, like, strong attention to detail, and they clearly might have glossed over your project description. Another strategy is within your project description. If you have a section that might be a little bit more difficult or could be done in multiple ways, what you could do is, you can say to the freelancer in the project description, How would you address this? How would you build this? What thoughts do you have on this? And then what you can do is that you can look through the project proposals and see who exactly actually answered the question. And this is a helpful because it's also a test to see how thoughtful and how experienced they are thoughtful people will actually give you multiple options or they'll just straight up tell you, Well, I'm not entirely sure, but when I do do the project, I'll research it, and I'm confident I find an answer. That's a perfectly acceptable answer because you have to understand these people are bidding on lots of projects. They don't waste their time doing the research up front for a project they're not gonna get . Of course, that does have mixed results. Obviously, don't pick a key or technique that is too obscure or too time intensive, because it might be the case that no one doesn't. That didn't exactly help you then. So if you're doing a big project and people are going to spend more time up front on their proposals, you can try that technique. This is a short project, low budget, probably not worth doing. The last technique I like to use is a very generic easy one. What you can do at the very end of your project description is just asked them and say, What do you think of the project? That is it all that does is it asked them to step back a little bit, not speak specifically about what they're building, but actually give you a thought about it now. Do not expect that answer to be poetic. Don't exactly expect an answer that you would hear from a co founder or a business partner or even like a consultant. There's a good chance that they'll just say there that whatever your idea is, it's great and obviously because they don't want insult you or make it sound like they're not interested in the project. But a lot of time you can tell if people do have genuine interest. The point here is again just a test of whether or not they're thinking about it, whether or not they've read that and then to get some kind of an idea of how articulate, how dynamic on again, how thoughtful they are. So those are good techniques for putting in kier questions. Remember, key or questions are the little snippets Little Easter eggs you hide to see who exactly read your description. It's really helpful because then when you just glance over all your projects, you can very easily figure out the ones who did not answer the key question correctly, didn't see it, and you can remove them from the list. That way you can start whittling it down from, say, 40 people down Teoh eight or nine or something like that, something where it's now manageable. Alright, guys, try out these techniques in your own projects. If you have some other suggestions for what's worked for you posting the group discussion, otherwise we'll see the next lecture. 4. The $50 test: So you might be thinking that the criteria about how to pick a good freelancer is not bulletproof. You might still have a little bit of anxiety around picking someone and giving our esque rowing a large amount of money, and you're not even sure whether or not they're gonna be able to produce what you want. At first, I say, Go off of those five criteria had listed before. That's never gonna let you down. But there is one way that you can take this validation to the next step. I call this the $50 test because it costs about $50 or 100 tumblers. It's a very small amount of money now, what you want to do. And this is a tactic that's worked for me many, many, many times. This is actually how I've developed some of my longest lasting contractor relationships is once you've whittled down your list down to a very short list, maybe you're talking two or three people or firms try taking off a very small side task and assigning it to them and then paying them for it. Now, the whole idea behind this is you just want to validate how they actually operate once you are a client. Now, a lot of people are really good at pitching themselves and selling themselves, and the one of them have really flashy portfolios. But you can never be 100% sure until you actually work with them. Now, if you just pick something really simple, I suggest once you've picked your graphic design, what you can do is you can take that graphic design. And in a lot of cases, it's just gonna be an image like a photo shop file. Or if you bought a template and you have an HTML file, What you could do is you can assign them a very small task. So if it's a photo shop files, just image. Tell them that you want this to be converted into HTML and CSS. That is a relatively cheap task that shouldn't cost you a ton of money. And if you have an HTML template, send it to them and say, I want to change something about it. Try to change something really anything say, you know, changing the width of something or changing the look around something. The point is, is that once you give them a small piece toe work with. Then you can see how well you actually operate together. Whenever I do this, almost invariably, 50% of the people I give this tiny little $100.50 dollar test two, they end up just failing. All of a sudden, the responsiveness changes. All of a sudden, I noticed that there's a much larger gap in our communication that I thought before a lot. And all of a sudden I find out that they don't really have the same design sensibilities that I previously had thought they had or what I was implied by looking at their portfolios . So in short, give them the ultimate test. If you're not sure, if you want to work with them or you have a bunch of freelancers that you rate them all kind of equally and you don't know which way to go, try tearing off a tiny little bit of work, give it to them and then see how they operate. I guarantee you one of them will stick out way above the other ones, and it'll make your decision so much easier. $50 or $100. It's not a lot of money when you consider how much money you could be spending on this person and also think about whether or not your application actually takes off, gets a lot of users, gets lots of attention. You're gonna want this developer to be in it for the long haul in case you need them. And so you're gonna kick yourself in the head if you don't do a really simple validation trick, and later down the line, you find out this person's a lot more flaky than you thought. You find out that they are not nearly as good at design or understanding what good Web development standards are. You know, there's a lot of different red flags that'll come down later, and you just want to make sure that it's not too late when you notice them. And this is the hands down the best tactic I've ever used. 5. Rapid cycling posts: Hey, guys, welcome back to the course. So in this lecture, I'm gonna cover one of my favorite strategies for getting mawr out of freelancer and outsourcing platforms. So the strategy that it's often used by people who outsource all the time, or looking for freelancers all the time, something that I use constantly when I'm looking for freelancers. One of the biggest issues you'll have is that when you post on freelancer or up work or e lands, you'll notice a big spurt of activity. Usually within the first hour to two hours. You'll get 4 to 5 bids within the first day. You might get 25 30 40 usually. What then happens is that in the next day you might only get 2 to 3. The next day you might only get one. The next day you only get one, and then the next day you get zero. Now, why does that happen? The reason why that happens is because when you post a project, they give you a lot of exposure really quickly. And what ended up happening is that a lot of freelancers and a lot of freelance firms have adapted to that. So what they do is actually build bots. Or they hire people who literally just look in the new section for projects that have popped up very quickly. And that's all they do is they just troll those areas now. One pretty much unavoidable problem of posting on some of these platforms, especially on freelancer eyes, that a lot of times people just post template responses. Now that's a reaction to a lot of different things. If you have a project that is very run of the mill, if you're posting in a section that has a lot of competition and not a lot of supply, you're gonna get a lot of people posting template answers. As I've explained elsewhere in the course, looking for a freelancer who actually respond specifically to your project and appears to be dynamic and thoughtful is incredibly important. So much mawr important than the price they pitch you. But what ends up happening a lot of times you post a project and you get 25 bids, and only one person maybe gives you a actually thoughtful, unique response. So the way you get around that is a technique we just call rapid cycling posts and This is something that we do in Freelancer. A lot of the time on freelancer you get honestly, you'll probably get all of your bids within a couple hours and then nothing after that. So what you can do is you can post a listing, post it, see the batch you get. If you do not find someone immediately who clicks, you repost it. Okay, How does that work? Well, the way it works is pretty simple freelancers only going to look at the content of your post and not necessarily any of the other unique identifiers in what you're putting up. So really, all you have to do is slightly change the title. Slightly change the description, maybe delete a paragraph. What we often will do is do an attachment on the attachment, have all these actual information about the project, but also a good strategy because you want to make sure people open and spend time reading it on. And we just move information in there and move some of it back into the project posting. That's all. You really have to dio You do not need to pay to get featured. If you pay $25 you. Yes, you might get 100 bids, and that might be helpful. But you can also do if you could just rapid cycle your post post one weight in our post, another weight in our post another and you get 100 for $0. Now, the biggest advantage to doing this is that when you actually are posting a project or you posted projects in the past, what you'll notice is that there's almost always an obvious answer to your freelance, especially if you've actually put some thought into the post. You know exactly what you're looking for and you're responsive. What I mean by responsive. I mean, when you post it and people give you a bid, you immediately respond and ask questions to make sure that they're engaged and make sure that this isn't just a robot or a template response. But what you could do is very quickly sniff out who are the good freelancers and who the ones they're gonna fit. And a lot of times you just will not get a winner. You might get someone you're not totally sure about. Win and out reposted. All you have to do is change the title ever so slightly repost it. You don't need to pay for upgrades. This is especially helpful if you're trying to hire someone right now and you post and no one says they're available right now. Reposted. You'll notice that you'll get maybe 2030% of the same people bidding, but you'll get another fresh batch of 80% different. Okay, that's an advanced tip, an advanced strategy. You guys can try it out if it doesn't work for you. Are you thinking of a strategy? It's a little bit better. Just posted the group discussion private message me otherwise, guys, I'll see the next lecture. 6. Repeating the project back to you: you guys welcome back to the course. So in this lecture, we're gonna talk about a technique that can dramatically help you eliminate miscommunications on and to help you kind of make a final selection when you whittled it down to a shortlist of who you want to work with for your project. So the short of it is that we use a technique where the very end of the vetting process we asked the freelancer or the freelancing firm to repeat back to us. What they're doing for the project now seems redundant, right? Like you've had this discussion, you have this very long good explanation. Hopefully, it's good. Why would you want them to have to repeat that back to you? Well, it's actually something that's incredibly useful. It's not really that redundant at all. If you do it correctly. First of all, you don't ask them to repeat back to you what your project does. That is not particularly helpful in the reason why that's not particularly helpful is because you're not judging the freelancer based off of how well they understand your project as a whole or what your company does, or what your company mission is, they need to understand what exactly is the segment that they're working on and what are the objectives they need to get done and a little bit of the why? So what you want them to do is to repeat back to you a summary of what it is that they're working on, or similarly asked them. What is it that they are building now? That's important because they don't need to understand the entirety of the system of the only building, one section. They just need to understand the section. The point here, though, is that we're going to see how again, how thoughtful, how articulate they are when they repeat it back. And a lot of times you can essentially find some minds. That would have been a problem later. A lot of times you can have freelancers who are, you know, a okay, the entire vetting process and the very end of the process. You ask them, repeat the project back and you find out they have absolutely no idea what they're doing, or they have some very core misunderstandings about what your project is or what your product does. Now. Sometimes these air pretty innocuous they're things that aren't Ah, huge deal. But you have the opportunity to correct. And sometimes they're absolutely huge. They're building something and they have no idea what it is or they're planning to build it backwards. So well, you can do is you can correct them. If you want to stick with this freelancer, you can also get a final indication off whether or not you both understand what is going toe happen and what you both expect out of it. Now in general, if you're trying to outsource to, say South Asia, lower your expectations for how good they're pros is going to be a zoo long as they understand the gist of it. That's what you should be going for. So keep in mind, it's all relative to your project on where you're trying to outsource to. But in general this is very helpful. When you're down the like, two or three freelancers or even one and you just want to be 100% sure that you're on the same page, just ask them. Hey, repeat back to me what it is that you're building, what it is that this project is supposed to dio now how you actually do it is Honestly, the last thing I do right before I hire them is I just asked them. Hey, I just want to make sure that we don't have any misunderstandings. Do you mind just letting me know what, exactly your work, What you're going to work on, um or can you give me a summary of the project now? I might sound a little bit weird, but well, you can do with the very end of that is you give them a carrot and just say, you know, I just want to make sure that, you know, there's no mis understandings. As soon as we get through, this will be ready to start or something like that. So they understand that it's kind of like the final hurdle on. Do you just want to make sure that this last potential issue is out of the way? Okay, guys, let me know in your own experiments how all this works. View posting the group discussion if it's an issue or you have some suggestions otherwise to see in the next election 7. Getting them off the platform: Hey, guys, welcome back to the course, So in this lecture, it's gonna be a quick one. We're just gonna go over a real quick strategy that has really helped us accelerate the vetting process for finding who is a good project. Who has a good project proposal on who's a good freelancer on Do save you a lot of time in this process. Okay, so the short of it is, get the freelancer or the firm get them off the platform. So what I mean by getting them off the platform is that at the very beginning, the process. You have a lot of project proposals, and it's very, very helpful if you get them to leave the messaging system or the embedded system that each platform uses to facilitate conversation. Now, in general, Feuz lands a freelancer up work there, very bulky systems for communicating. You send a message, sends it to them, they accept it, and then they respond on. There's usually a lag in between the times. It's almost like writing an email back and forth, and it's completely anonymous. Eisenson, you can contact them directly off the platform. Now that messaging system is fine, right? you can get a lot of information out of people, but we will notice is that over time, the more message you send, you'll get a lower and lower response rate simply because they're bidding on other projects that probably got something else that's come through. They're focusing their attention over there. They might disappear entirely if you ask too many questions. So what I like to do is I like to get them off the platform for at least the messaging part of this whole process. So I usually like to ask them if they have Skype asked him If they have what's app, ask them if they can talk on the phone. Whatever it is, 99% of time, it's Skype. If you get them on Skype and then you talk to them, you convert them so much more quickly. You don't have to wait for them to respond. You don't have to wait for them to get an email notification to log onto the lands to the message. You you can talk to them instantly, and all of a sudden you can see how they are. You can see how responsive they are. You can see how thoughtful they are. You can see how smart they are. You can figure out very quickly how well they understand the project on how well of a fit they're going to be. And you can do that honestly, and 10 minutes with them on Skype, you don't necessarily need to call them. You could do Skype chat. That's perfectly fine. There's a lot of benefits of doing that. Honestly, you can ask them, Hey, do you have Skype? Let's talk on Skype, and if they don't have Skype, you can use that as a red flag. It's very strange that a freelancer who supposedly is good at what they do has been doing this for a period of time, is not willing or does not have the ability to talk to you on Skype. So if you want to save time, get them off the platform. Those communication tools are very clunky. They're the worst part about those outsourcing platforms. So if you just navigate around that you can get people on Skype, you can have. I mean, you can interact 20 times faster through Skype, figure out if they're worth it in 10 minutes, as opposed to taking several days to figure out whether or not they're worth it and having an abandonment rate that's way too high to be acceptable. Okay, that was a quick strategy. That's something that's really, really helped me. It really helps me kind of establish long term relationships with them really helps kind of improve the response rate on both sides. It's really nice that you can directly contact someone if you need anything or have a question, you could just message them and it doesn't have to be monitored by the other platforms. I always suggest using the other platforms for there s Kraus service, and they're milestone services. So all of them have this system where you can pay money to them. And as an intermediary they'll judge when the project's done and release it at the correct time. Now, don't try to do the transaction off of their system entirely until you have a rapport with the freelancer or you have at least have your own established process and a lot of expertise with contracting so really simple. If you want to figure out who is the best, very quickly get them off the platform, get them onto Skype and figure it out so much faster 8. The long term strategy: welcome back to the course. So in this lecture, I'm gonna go over really quick, quick and dirty kind of strategy that you can use to get better results from your freelancer and for your job postings. So this is one that here it's spring kick we've actually tested with quite extensively. And it's something that we've noticed a lot of people who outsource frequently do not take advantage of. And so it's something that we think it's really crucial that if you're taking this course, it's something that you try out at least a couple times. So the strategy in this lunch is literally just whenever you are making a job posting, always say it's long term. Okay, now, let me explain why you do that and what I mean by that. Typically, when you're listing out your listing and you'll see later in the course and we go over things like perks, perks are things that you list in your job posting that are supposed to entice the freelancer to take your job, posting more seriously and to be more interested. But when you go through that and you start thinking of perks, one of the things you can always list is, you can say that it's long term now. The reason why we say this is a strategy is because it has a lot of beneficial effects. But it's also something that even if you're not looking to hire someone long term, it's still a valid thing that you can list and say Now, first off, if you say it's a long term project, Ah, freelancer or a freelance firm, they're just gonna take it more seriously. That's important. You want your freelancers to take this seriously, If they don't, they're going to give you templates. They're not gonna pay attention to what you're asking, and you're just gonna get an overall, lower quality experience Now. Not only do they pay more attention to it, you'll actually get MAWR accurate prices, and this is something we've played around with it. We even caught freelancers giving us to prices for virtually the same thing. One was lower when they thought it was long term. Now, to understand why this happens, you need to understand why a freelancer likes a long term projects and why they do not like one off projects. It seems rather obvious, but I think It's kind of important understand what's going on here. It's not just that long term means more money. What it means is that they don't have to spend as much time looking for projects now. Imagine your developer and you spend four hours in a day programming and getting paid for it, and you spent two hours trying to find another project. So you just spent six hours working and you're only gonna get paid for four hours. That is something that freelancers and freelance firms hate having to deal with. Its bigger for freelancers because they just don't want to spend time looking for projects . And they don't want to have to develop that as a separate skill set to what they're good at . They want to focus on their craft every time, every hour they spend. Doing something else, like acquiring clients, is generally thought of his wasted time. It's it's not time for them to grow. It's not time for them to get better what they're doing, it's just not a good situation. So if they can attach to you get a long term project or get follow on projects that changes the mental calculus for them, If you knew a project was a one off project, you would probably bid higher because you have to factor in the time it took to not only find the project bid on the project, win the project but also established the basic report. Get set up on Get working with your employer So there's always an advantage to saying its long term. Now, how do you explain that every project is long term? Well, it's not necessarily that the project itself is long term. It's that you're looking for a long term relationship. Whatever you've worked with someone, you're going to be significantly more likely to work with them in the future, especially if you be good experience with them. Even if you have a okay experience. You've already worked with them. You know how fast they respond. You know how fast they get work done, and you know exactly what they're good at and what they're not good at. That is almost always better than going into the pile and looking for another person you've never met. You have no familiarity with. So when I say long term project, what I really mean is it's a long term relationship. Even if this project does not extend, you're always going to be one of the first people I come to if I ever have a project that's similar to it. Almost in every scenario where I've hired someone had a good experience with them in the project didn't work out, I was able to find them another project that they could work on. So they still get repeat work. They still do not have to establish the report with me. They have to re introduce themselves to whatever the new project is, but it doesn't really matter. They didn't have to find a client. They've already found me. I just passed him on the next project. So don't be squeamish. When you use this term. It's one of the best things you can put. It's what free answers really, really look for. They want long term clients, and it's gonna reflect that in your price. When you say that. So obviously keep in mind. As long as you think you're going to be contracting something else out in the future, then chances are there's an opportunity for you to have a long term relationship with a contractor. That's usually the case in 95% of time. OK, I'll see you the next lecture 9. Use messaging to your advantage: Hey, guys, welcome back to the course, so Ah, in this lecture just want to talk a little bit about a technique that is almost never used on. It always drives me crazy. It's something that can really help you get a lot more bids for your projects. Every single system that we've covered in this course allows you the option to kind of turn this whole process upside down, as opposed to posting a job profile than having someone find it and then send you a proposal. You can actually go and look for specific freelancers, you think look interesting or look like a good fit and send them a message. So each one handled it a little bit differently. It's definitely something you should take advantage of. A lot of people don't do it cause they think it's going to be onerous, or it's gonna take too much time. I'm telling you right now, that's not really the case. Here's how I do it. Whenever I have posted job, I'll just open up a separate document and all right, a quick message and I'll make this generic. This is what I'm gonna send to the freelancer. I just generally say, Hey, I was looking at your profile, and I thought you would be a good fit for my project. And then I could give some basic information about my project. My project is for and IOS up, that you have some. You have similar skills for If you're interested, just let me know. Hope to see you in the project page something along those lines. Really? It just needs to be generic. Um, the idea is that you gonna look for people, have the same skill sets that you want and then say something that makes it appears if you've really looked in depth at their profile, that's gonna increase the chance chances in the likelihood that they're gonna bid on your project. Really? This is enough to get you know, if you send 30 messages, you'll get 20 bids. Um, unless, of course, you're in Freelancer. In that case, maybe you only get 10 but that's a significant amount of interest. It's also gonna increase the quality of your proposals because the people who get a message from you who come to your project and bid they think they already have a leg up. So they're going to spend a little bit more time on your project. So the way that I just go about doing it is I just copy it. So each one of them is a little bit different on E Lance. As you can see right here for a page we made before on a page remade before. Um, here's invited and you can see that I took advantage of this for a project that we're building before, um, for a client. And you can see over here I sent 28 invitations. Six Accepted, 14 declined. That's pretty good at the means. I got six bids out of the 28 I sent after you create a project on the Lance. What? It does it. It's automatically going to populate a list of people that have the skill sets that you set up in your project page. And then with one button, you can invite 24 people or something like that. Lance is gonna limit you to messaging 30 people a day, So what you can do is just set an alarm and come back the next day 24 hours after you post it and just keep doing this until you get someone that you're really happy with now, obviously, keep in mind we have those other techniques for figuring out what's a good bid and what's not a good bid. So you can quickly get rid of the ones that are junk, um, and moved through them or quickly. Otherwise, if you invite, you know 100 people, you might get 80 bids, and that might be overwhelming. It's really all you do is hire search freelancers. So right off the bat, it just gives you a generic one over here. This is where you need to get detailed, though you need to pick exactly what you want. You know, if I'm building an IOS application, I might pick my categories. I t programming that I can pick my country, and I can pick my skills. David, give you lots of the stuff over here. Number of reviews. People who don't have enough reviews means haven't been on the system long enough. Feedback. Same thing. Um, you only go for people were higher rated. Typically, don't mess with these, um, hourly rate is worth doing it. If you're very specific about that, we could get very specific to what we think we need. Maybe I want only one individual, only one. An individual who's an i t in programming. I only want them in a picker region. Ah, let's say Eastern Europe. Um And then I can say with specific skills in Iowa's so we can just say IOS development. There we go. OK, now I have a pretty good list of people. Okay, Now I have a pretty good list of people. All I have to do is go through and click Hire me. And then what will happen is if I have a job posting that's active, I'll just it says you invite them to a job, invite them the job you could continue in. The next message will ask you to send them a private message. That's right. Copy and paste the message. You can actually get a virtual assistant do this for you every single day, and it only cost you 50 cents a day. Um, it's funny. You can actually use the Lance Oro desk or up work. Sorry to actually go and hire someone to do this for you. So in freelancer, it's a little bit different. You just go to hire freelancers and then you got a browse directory. It works in a very similar way because then after that, we're gonna look at, ah criteria the used to narrow down the list. Over here, you can pick your country. You can look for keywords. You can pick exams, they've passed things like that. It doesn't let you get too much in depth. So then what you would do is instead of clicking, hire me because this will ask you to create a private project. You actually click their name once you're actually into their page over here, instead of hitting higher me, you just drop this down, you say invite to project. So then I have a fake project I put up. I can invite. So after you get invited, asked you to send a message and you're all set. So just go through as many as you can. Um, they're gonna limit you again. I think it's 2 50 a day, which is more than you would ever need. Okay, On up work, you just go to freelancers, you gotta find freelancers, and then here you can search for specific skills or countries, or you can go through a broader category So maybe I'm looking for again an IOS developer. So we'll go to mobile development. Okay. And then right off the bat, we can see here. It populates a list and I can get mawr specific. How much experience do I want? How much feedback do I want? I can also pick pretty much everything that we've seen in the other one. So use these. Get very specific invite as many people as you can. If you're not getting a bids that you like, keep inviting people. There's no reason not to max out this option whenever you can. Honestly, this is one of the better things that will help you throughout this entire process. And you can use this with a law of different platforms. They open this up to you. Not enough people take advantage of it. It's really, really simple. So I should just write a template message. It will dramatically increase your bid rate, the total amount of bids, and it will dramatically increase the chance you find someone that you really want to work with. So I will see you guys in the next lecture 10. Negotiate hybrid rates: Inevitably, when you list your project, you're going to run into the question of whether or not you should do a fixed rate where a per hour project most studios you'll talk. Teoh will prefer a per hour because they understand that most projects will always have things that slipped through the cracks, things that aren't listed out in the specifications for the project. And they'd rather get paid on a piecemeal basis to cover the entire project. That's a little bit idealistic, I would say, because most people who list their projects are not going to want to just have an open ended budget like that. They're not gonna want to say yeah, $100 an hour until it's finished, because I could get out of hand very quickly, and you kind of need to rely on the expertise of the freelancer or the firm to tell you how long this is going to take and then you want them to stick to that timeline. So what are the pros and cons associated with fixed costs and per our projects with a fixed cost? Obviously, the biggest pro is that you can save a lot of money when people give you a fixed cost. It is inevitably going to be lower than what it actually would cost in a per hour, mainly because they know that when they give you a fixed cost price, you're comparing it against other people, and so they have a very strong incentive to keep that number down. Obviously, be aware of people who pitch you prices that are abnormally low. That means they're probably cutting too many corners. And they're assuming this is a lot smaller of a project that it probably really is. But the biggest cost savings come from fixed price projects. Now, also, an advantage of fixed price is that you can know going into it what exactly your budget should be if they say that your projects and it costs $2000 or $1000 that is a good indication of what your budget should be. However, always keep a contingency fund just in case. There are things outside of the scope of the application that you're gonna need to rehire the freelancer or the firm to go back and add now the biggest con to the fixed price project in my eyes is the negative incentive structure that it creates. Let's say that you've engaged with a firm to build your application. Now if they said it's gonna cost $800 that is the pre agreed amount. Now, how did they get to that $800? Well, for them, they're gonna try as much as possible to cut costs when in the middle of the project. If they see something that's gonna cry extra effort, they're simply going to ignore it because they wanted to be exactly around that $800 it gives them a huge incentive to go below $800 so that they could have a profit line. This is not the case with freelancers, however. They will do the same thing. They budget in their head how long this is going to take. That's how they calculate your fixed price. And when it goes over that amount of time you can find some really negative things will happen. The freelancer might cut back on the amount of time they're dedicating to the project. They might start delivering lower quality code. All of the headaches you've heard about people working with contractors typically has to do with fixed price projects. and on the other side of the table. If you're the one who contacted at an $800 project, you're gonna try to squeeze out every single bit of value out of that as you can. You're probably gonna argue later down the line that your specifications actually said that they should do more and more and more. So you have to forces working in opposite directions and they're not working towards each other, which is the way they should, because you both should be on the same page. You want to create the best product and not just fulfill the requirements that you've written to the best you can. At the end of the day, getting a cheap project bid is not worth the chance that the freelancer or the contracting firm ends up losing interest in the project or ends up bailing on it. If you notice on freelancer dot com, they list out the completion rate because they have so many freelancers. They have people who underbid everyone else and then you'll notice is an average completion rate might be 70%. So what happens if you're that 30%? That can really kind of screw up your project, and it could really add months to your timeline for launch. On the other hand, we have the option of paying per hour. Obviously, the advantage of per hour is you don't have to have the same kind of stress between you and the contractor. They know that whatever effort they put in, it's going to get paid. So they're going to focus on making the product as good as possible because they know that if they put in overtime hours, they're going to get paid for it. Per our projects also make it such that you don't have to stick to your requirements to the T because the requirements are helpful for the developer to understand what they're building. But it's also to help them understand what is getting paid for and what isn't the bank per hour. You can very easily and fluidly add things to your specifications, and you also don't need to make a very long packet of information for them because you know that whenever they have questions about what to build, you can answer it at that time. So if the idea what you're trying to build isn't 100% concrete. You can instead opt to use a per our agreement and then spend less time up front, building your requirements and specifications and more time as the project progresses. This allows you an advantage that you can build something, and as you see it getting belt, you can change it. You can modify, and you kind of tweak in whatever direction that you think you should go with it. The obvious disadvantage of the pain per hour is that you don't know what your budget is gonna be, and it happens a lot of the time that the budget will just get out from under you. You expected to spend a couple $1000 you know, after a couple of months here, $5000 that can happen, especially not keeping tabs on what's being done, how long it's taking. It makes it very hard up front to know what it's gonna cost at the very end. Another disadvantage is that it inevitably is more expensive. If I ask someone what they're per hour wage is, they're gonna pitch me something that's way higher than if I asked them how much a project would cost. That is roughly equivalent of, say, eight hours of work. It's just something about psychology and the way that people bid. That makes it so that per our prices are much higher than fixed price projects. Another big disadvantage with paying per hour is that sometimes you don't know whether or not they're being honest in how much they're charging you. Unless you have something set up like an O desk team room or e lance work room. It's very hard to say what is worth four hours of work and how much of that time was spent working and how much time was spent not working. You open the opportunity for someone to be a little frivolous with their billing. I've known a lot of contractors who are otherwise reputable to take their invoices and add 20% regardless, getting into an argument with a developer over what should have taken eight hours or four hours or 12 hours. That is not an argument you wanna have. You honestly are just not in a good position to say how productive that person should be. It's way too complex. So how do I get around this? I've come up with a solution that I think works quite well. And I strongly suggest you do it too. I do a hybrid. I ask the contractor upfront to tell me not the project price, but how many hours they think it will take them to Dio. And then once I have the hours, that's roughly equivalent of what I'd see in a fixed cost price and then negotiate their rates slightly lower. So if they say to take me 100 hours, Andi, I want $50 an hour. What I can say is, OK, I'll prove it at $35 an hour, again, kind of takes in the the advantage of being able to leverage this project against him. Once I see that you've approved a large portion of ours, chances are they're going to say yes, regardless of what the actual rate ends up being. You don't necessarily have to haggle them. Sometimes you will lose a freelancer by doing this, but the most more often than not, they will stick with you and you'll take a significant discount now, after the 100 hours has expired. What I start to do is I do everything piecemeal. So I say I want to add this section to it now. How long will that take you in terms of hours? And then what we'll do is we'll pitch it back to me in hours. And so I'll say, I want to add this feature and they'll say, Oh, that's an easy one that will take me three hours And they know that three hours is in this case times 35. So it's $105 so they know that they have to keep the per hours low. Otherwise, it's not gonna get approved. And that's how I prevent people from running up the hours. So if I said add the small feature and they just said 10 hours, it should be six. They know that there's a chance it won't get approved, and I will argue with them. And I might say, OK, that's too complicated. Is there any way you could make it simpler? And virtually every time they can find a way of reducing it by 2030%? Doing it incrementally like that makes it such that the freelancer knows they have to be honest about the price, and it makes it much harder for them to inflate the numbers. It also makes it much harder for the numbers to run away from you. Because if I approve 100 hours, I know exactly what that cost. Then I know how much is left in my budget. And then I start approving all a cart section saying, Okay, four hours here, eight hours here, 10 hours here. And that's how I reach the remainder of my budget. That's why I keep the freelancer engaged in honest 11. Divide by specializations: Hey, guys, welcome back to the course in this lecture. We're going to talk about another one of the best practices for contracting and outsourcing , and it's called Dividing by Specializations. Now, a lot of you guys who are not totally familiar with Web work or mobile work or, just in general digital work design work, probably not familiar with every single piece that goes into your project. So let's say that you're building a Web project. Your project has separate sections to it. So it's not just that you have one person make you a website, you need someone to do the design and you need someone to do the development. Now, even within the development side, there's different sections, and within the design side, they're different sections. Now, when I say separate out the specializations, what I mean by that is first, you need to recognize that they're separate sections in your project timeline or in your project's scope. And then you just divide by that you look for one person for each section, as opposed to one person who do does the entire thing. Now what's the benefit to doing this? So let's say in one scenario, you have someone who says I'm gonna make your Web application, including everything. I'm gonna help you with the strategy. I'm gonna help you the design. I'm gonna develop it, I'm gonna market it. And then the ult alternate option is that you get four different people. One person helps you with consulting the idea. One person designs it, one person develops it, and then one person helps you with the launch of the marketing. The difference is is that when you have one person do all of those things, they're typically on average as a whole, much more expensive. Why? Because it's a much rarer thing to find someone who could do all of those things. And so they're time is much, much, much more valuable. Also, when you have one person do all of those things, they can't possibly be an expert. Every single one of them, Typically, they're gonna be good at one or two things, but they can't possibly be a master. Every single section. Now, in the other scenario, you have four different people doing every single section. You can pick people who are good at that one thing. And because they're specialists, that means that that is their craft. They're not good at other things, but they're also not attempting to work on other sections of your application. Now a specialist, you usually end up saving quite a bit of money because it za question of scale. Almost one person works on the same thing over and over and over again. They get really good at that one thing. They're faster at it on bacon. End up charging you less, and now this can apply in many different scenarios. Here's a great example. If you're building a website or Web application and you get someone to design it, and then you get someone who says I'm gonna take that design and I'm going to develop it well, you can actually add another step in that process When you have a design. Typically it'll come to you in like a Photoshopped file or an illustrator file or whatever . A PNG pdf And then what ends up happening is the developer has to convert that into something that the browser can actually understand. They take the images out by what a technique called slicing. They do all of the layouts for the actual application, so that it displays correctly on the browser. Then they do the heavy lifting of actually making the buttons work. The functionality worked. The pages load correctly. So what you can do is you can actually find a specialist to do that in between job, which is taking design and turning it into HTML and CSS, which is the preliminary work the developer would have been doing now. Typically, a developer is good at either back end work or they're really good at taking designs and making them into HTML CSS. So in the case that you have someone doing both just generic development, typically that means that they're probably not as good at both signs on their probably charging ume or because they actually it takes them a lot more time to do it. Now. If I specialized in just taking a design and turning it into something a browser could read of just images in html, I probably be pretty good at that. I'd also probably do it in half the time. It's someone who does not spend a lot of time doing that, and this is a great real life example. So if you had a design, what you can do is you can go to a studio that specializes in taking website, taking design and turning them in an HTML CSS, and they cost a fraction of what someone else would charge. Your developer probably would charge you $40 an hour, and he probably tell you take him 20 hours. That's 800 bucks. But you go to a company like pixel crayons site slinger. There's a lot of other ones out there, or even just a studio you found on the lance that specializes in this. On day, we're going to charge you probably $100.150 dollars because they're very good at it. So think about specializing. The only downside to specializing is that it requires more management on your side. It requires a little mark, more coordination. You need to make sure that the people are helping you in each segment of your application or your project are in sync with the others. In general, it's just gonna require that you're a little bit more on the ball. You make sure everybody's on the same page. Everyone understands the same look and feel. It's really helpful to brief everyone on the same information, even if it's not necessarily related to what they're doing, just so they can know what to expect and know what their final product should be, so that they can hand it off to the next person. So this is the best practice. I think it's great if you're an advanced outsourcer or contractor. If you've worked with Web projects before, if you're brand new to it, you might be tempted just to use one person to do the entire thing, which is perfectly fine. Obviously, pay attention their portfolio, but expect to pay a little bit more money and expect it's gonna take a little bit more time . So if you're up for it and you think you can do it, try to find someone who can do individual segments of your project. You save money, you save a lot of time, and usually the product ends up coming out better. If you guys have any questions posting the group discussion, love to discuss it. Any experiences you've had, just let me know 12. Keep the learning going: Hey, guys, I just wanted to say thank you for taking this class, and I hope you learned something. I hope what I said made sense and I was clear. If you have any questions, any concerns, just posting the group discussion all respond to you. You could even send me a direct message if you want to. I want to give you a quick word of how you could take the skills that we learned in this class and how to bring it to the next level. Learn some other related skills. So in this class, we learned how to effectively negotiate with contractors and freelancers. I give you some strategies for getting kind of the best project dynamic with your freelancers and also some strategies on how you can effectively lower the overall price for your project. Now there other skills that I think are kind of essential if you want to go down the route of hiring freelancers, and I have other classes that conserved to kind of augment this class. So there's two specifically that I'd say check out. You can't really negotiate down a project price without absolutely understanding what it is and how to communicate that to a freelancer. So I would suggest you take my other class, which is called build documentation for your project. That one. We're gonna go over how professionals take the idea in their head and put it onto a computer in a way that freelancers, creatives and developers can understand. You know, what I'd suggest is master outsourcing. So you're probably interested in saving money? That's probably why you're interested in this class on getting a lower price. Well, whether ways to get a lower price is by outsourcing, but you need to have some basic skills with outsourcing, and you need to know what to avoid. And what are things that work and what are things that don't work. So that's another one called Master Outsourcing. Okay, if you want to go further with your skills, check those out. Otherwise, again, Thank you for taking the course