Freelancing full-time is a dream come true for me and so many other people. Taking the leap has given me the freedom to control when I work, where I work, and who I work with. Since I started freelance writing full-time, I've taken several guilt-free vacations (including my very first trip out of the country) and had more time to spend with family.
While I love the benefits freelancing offers, it does take a lot of effort. After all, most freelancers are a party of one. There are times when your workflow is slow and you're staring down a rapidly dwindling bank account. Other times you're so busy it can seem impossible to stay on top of all your work, including meeting deadlines. Add in creative ruts, general burnout, and bouts of imposter syndrome and you may find yourself in over your head.
When you're feeling overwhelmed, outsourcing your work can be the key to getting back on track. It may not be a magic fixer elixir, but outsourcing is a great way to free up time to focus on the areas that need your attention.
As a freelancer, your business is not only your baby, it's your livelihood. So, it may be difficult to let go of the day to day tasks at first. But, the sooner you do, the sooner you can start reaping the benefits outsourcing has to offer.
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When to Outsource Work
When people first start freelancing, it's easy to overlook the fact that it involves running an online business. They're mostly focusing on the benefits that come with freelancing. But, maintaining an online business takes work, even if it starts as a side hustle. There are administrative tasks to tackle, marketing strategies to implement, and meetings to attend; all on top of your project workload.
It's no surprise that you'd begin to feel overwhelmed or uninspired. The good news is, outsourcing the tasks that take up valuable time or you just hate doing frees you up to focus your energy elsewhere; Preferably on those tasks that are going to make you money.
As an added bonus, outsourcing also frees up more time for all those socializing events you've been missing out on!
Consider the Costs
One of the very first things you need to consider before outsourcing work as a freelancer is whether or not it fits your budget.
- Do you find yourself wasting too much time on the smaller, more tedious tasks?
- Is your income steady?
- Can you outsource a task without eating away at your profit margin?
If so, outsourcing work as a freelancer becomes valuable and cost-effective. You won't regret the time extra time you have to complete projects. Plus, the additional help means you can add more clients to your roster and increase your monthly income.
On the other hand, if your freelance business is still in the start-up stage or work is slow, outsourcing probably isn't necessary. However, if you truly hate completing a task for your business and you can afford to outsource it, go for it! Eliminating the tasks that drain your energy keeps you from getting burnt out down the road.
How to Decide What Tasks to Outsource
The beauty of outsourcing work as a freelancer is you can do it for pretty much anything. Some of the most popular tasks to outsource include:
- Accounts receivable/payable
- Social media management
- IT services (like those offered by USWired)
So, how do you decide what makes the most sense for your business?
Take a moment to analyze your strengths and weakness. With a clear idea of where you're struggling, you'll know what to get off your plate first.
Where to Start Outsourcing Work as a Freelancer
Now that you've made the decision to outsource work, you've got to find someone to outsource it to. There are many different ways to outsource work as a freelancer. I personally like to pay it forward and hire other freelancers, especially for one-off projects. In those cases, I typically head to Upwork or Fiverr.
Other options include:
- Placing an ad on social media
- Posting an ad on Craigslist
- Job boards like Indeed
- Getting referrals from Facebook groups you're part of
When hiring someone, always make sure to be clear on what the job entails and the corresponding expectations. If you've found someone on Upwork or Fiverr, the job often includes a contract. However, if you go a different route, it doesn't hurt to draw up a simple contract or agreement to ensure everyone is on the same page.
While this was a quick overview of why and how to outsourcing work as a freelancer, it's clear there are many benefits of doing so. Are there any tasks you like to outsource in your freelance business? Let me know down below!