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Outsourcing social media & web development - is it right for you?

Should you outsource social media management or development?
Looking for overseas developer - Aditya where are you?

If you want to build a twitter tool, facebook or mobile app.  If you're looking for a new webmaster to handle site maintenance or your newsletter; but can't afford the $100, $150, $200+ dollars per hour to hire the local software company.

If the above describes you, then consider finding assistance from an online job board.

Here's some I've used:

Odesk.com

Elance.com

WorkingwithRails.org

My personal favorite is Odesk.  I like the way the system is set up to provide reciprocal feedback for both contractors & employers.  Plus you have some measures of control regarding payments to contractors for service provided.

I don't really like Elance; can't remember exactly what the issue is but it's something to do with the contractor payment process.

The fear of computer viruses and financial or identity theft is very real but there are some things you can do to help minimize your risk when hiring freelancers online.

Choose contractors who:

  1. Have a great rating & positive feedback.
  2. Have logged many hours in the system
  3. Can communicate with you.

Talking with contractors via Skype works very well for me.

Tips:

  1. Change your passwords often.
  2. Do banking on a computer which you never use to accept contractor files.
  3. Keep software updates current.
  4. Have a solid plan for the new site thought out in advance & documented before you hire someone.
  5. Have a lot of patience.

Obstacles like language barriers, cultural differences, time zones, unavailable contractors tend to make for a long and frustrating experience. But if you're willing to stick it out for the sake of your project, it can be worth the pains with the pay off of a working web business.

This photo of myself & daughter makes me laugh.  It was taken 2.5 years ago when I was trying to reach a long lost developer. I've come so far from where I was and this photo reminds me tenacity pays off.

Aditya, whom I'm addressing in this photograph never did reappear, though he taught me about couch surfing (a common practice in India) after he ran off with $500 of my money.  I watched him on Twitter as he traveled tweeting his adventures.  He had a great time! :) Plus he's given me some great material to write about.

If you think this photo is funny please share it on Facebook and Twitter or just share you comments with me.

Follow me on Twitter.

 

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