At this very moment, business owners (including, potentially, your competitors) are finding and hiring qualified freelance professionals online to get work done and grow their business. They are hiring IT or sales and marketing professionals to build their Web sites, create e-mail marketing campaigns, and vet and qualify sales leads. They’re getting blog posts written, translating media releases into foreign languages, integrating PayPal checkout, researching competitors, and more. So how can you make this new way to work work for you? There are a variety of online resources to connect you with independent professionals who have subject-matter expertise ranging from programming to graphic design to copywriting to animation to telesales. With people becoming so much more comfortable and familiar with online profiles in general, it has become simple and easy to browse portfolios of prior work, read comments left from previous clients, check up on credentials, and even discover if they happen to know anyone you know. Once you find someone with all the right experience, you need to set things up so that you get the result you’re looking for. Communication is key, and setting up a work engagement with proper expectations, deliverables, and corresponding timeframes will ensure you get great results. Tap into online workrooms and project management tools to manage the entire process. In the end, it is all about getting results. With payment services and escrow available on more and more sites, you never have to worry about losing deposits or paying for work that doesn’t meet requirements. With the right research, communication and systems in place, online work can help you meet your business goals.
Fabio Rosati President and CEO Elance Mountain View, Calif.