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Freelancing stories


SpikeTheLobster
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I wasn't sure where to put this, since it's sort of a management, marketing, development, design and everything else issue... so I put it here. Admin go movey movey if not in goodum place.

 

I wondered how many people here have used freelancers for some part of their site and whether they've had a good or bad experience.

 

Personally, I've used a number of freelancers for very different tasks: writers, an editor, a book cover designer, two logo designers, a Drupal dev... and my experience has varied from excellent to execrable.

 

At the top end, I employed an editor for my book who was so good she got a 50% bonus on her pay. At the bottom end, I'm currently trying to manage two logo designers and it's making me SO tired: it's like dealing with children, leading them by the hand every step of the way. I wish I'd never hired them, to be honest.

 

What about you? How's your experience of freelancers been? Should we name names for the good ones? :)

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I have never hired a freelancer. I have always believed in doing things myself - learning the language and doing it myself. I have never encountered any need to hire freelancers however, I do know a few freelancers who are quite good at what they do and I help them out with testing things which they make. I would love to be a freelancer one day, however, I think I am not up to it.

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Yeah but when you have a time constraint it's nice to get one to speed things up.

 

Yes, I use them regularly. I guess now I wouldn't even call them freelancers, but actually part of my team and I work with them daily.

 

It took me about 1 year to get a good group of guys though. I've been screwed a few time and refunded a few times b/c their worked sucked ect....

 

But now the guys I work with do great work and do it quickly and correctly.

 

Sure name some good ones if you like or link to them or whatever you like.

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Yeah but when you have a time constraint it's nice to get one to speed things up.

 

Yes, I use them regularly. I guess now I wouldn't even call them freelancers, but actually part of my team and I work with them daily.

 

It took me about 1 year to get a good group of guys though. I've been screwed a few time and refunded a few times b/c their worked sucked ect....

 

But now the guys I work with do great work and do it quickly and correctly.

 

Sure name some good ones if you like or link to them or whatever you like.

 

I agree, when you need to do it quickly, its better to hire Freelancers. However, I never needed anything so I guess I didn't need to hire them. I know a freelancer called Mikey (http://www.mikeylicio.us/'>http://www.mikeylicio.us/) who is really good. I have known him for quite a while. I also know 2-3 others.

 

Here is my list of them:

Mikey - http://www.mikeylicio.us/

Andraz - http://www.rihtar.eu/

Nayan - I'm not sure of his website but If you PM me I could get him to contact you or vice versa.

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I have never hired a freelancer. I have always believed in doing things myself - learning the language and doing it myself. I have never encountered any need to hire freelancers however, I do know a few freelancers who are quite good at what they do and I help them out with testing things which they make. I would love to be a freelancer one day, however, I think I am not up to it.

 

You've never worked on anything big, then. Or you've never had to do it fast. :)

 

I'm a great believer in doing things myself, too, but if the choice is between spending two days learning something new from scratch - and having to drop everything else to do it - or paying someone a bit of cash and getting it done, well... no choice, really.

 

That said, the last two or three things I've wanted done I've ended up doing myself. I have some real roll-your-eyes stories about some people... like the woman in Italy who applied for a job setting up a phpBB forum and Coppermine gallery (on the same site). I wanted the two parts to look almost exactly the same: phpBB's pretty simple but I'd never used the gallery software. Sent this woman the details. She wanted $160 to do the work... and pointed out that she'd never done it and didn't know how but would be interested to see if it was possible. So... she wants $160 to learn to do something on my time. Why would she even BEGIN to imagine I'm going to pay a freelancer who doesn't know how to do the work?

 

I spent a day messing around with Coppermine and did it myself because I couldn't find a single person who knew it.

 

Then there was the guy who applied for the Wordpress job. I got caught off guard: my book got published before I was ready and I needed to get the blog sorted FAST. I had someone in mind who I know is awesome but she let me down at the last minute. Now I can do it myself but I had a LOT of other stuff on my plate - as you can imagine with a book release. So I posted a job for it and made the point that whoever applied had to know the theme really well (because it's a complex one). One applicant. $200. Had never seen the theme. Once again... why would this guy think I'm going to pay him for a day's work just because he doesn't know the theme? Go and learn it, then come back and charge me for 2 hours. Stupid arse. I ended up doing that myself, as well.

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You've never worked on anything big, then. Or you've never had to do it fast. :)

 

I'm a great believer in doing things myself, too, but if the choice is between spending two days learning something new from scratch - and having to drop everything else to do it - or paying someone a bit of cash and getting it done, well... no choice, really.

 

That said, the last two or three things I've wanted done I've ended up doing myself. I have some real roll-your-eyes stories about some people... like the woman in Italy who applied for a job setting up a phpBB forum and Coppermine gallery (on the same site). I wanted the two parts to look almost exactly the same: phpBB's pretty simple but I'd never used the gallery software. Sent this woman the details. She wanted $160 to do the work... and pointed out that she'd never done it and didn't know how but would be interested to see if it was possible. So... she wants $160 to learn to do something on my time. Why would she even BEGIN to imagine I'm going to pay a freelancer who doesn't know how to do the work?

 

I spent a day messing around with Coppermine and did it myself because I couldn't find a single person who knew it.

 

Then there was the guy who applied for the Wordpress job. I got caught off guard: my book got published before I was ready and I needed to get the blog sorted FAST. I had someone in mind who I know is awesome but she let me down at the last minute. Now I can do it myself but I had a LOT of other stuff on my plate - as you can imagine with a book release. So I posted a job for it and made the point that whoever applied had to know the theme really well (because it's a complex one). One applicant. $200. Had never seen the theme. Once again... why would this guy think I'm going to pay him for a day's work just because he doesn't know the theme? Go and learn it, then come back and charge me for 2 hours. Stupid arse. I ended up doing that myself, as well.

 

I agree and there are quite a few freelancers who learn while they do the work for you which is quite annoying sometimes and not worth the money you pay them. I would do the same as you did there. Do it yourself or hire someone who knows how to do it.

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For logo's and other graphic design i have found 99designs.com absolutely brilliant quality wise.

 

I have used 3 seperate developers for a custom map based database. The first one just took far too long, the second took half of my money, started the system then disappeared off the face of the earth (www.accade.com)

 

The third was Stuart Silvester from over at IPS who made the Member Map application. I decided that the database may as well be woven into the board software as he knew it inside out. He charged quite a bit more than the others but his work is pretty top notch. Took him a long time too if I'm honest but luckily the project was not urgent. He also went quite above the quoted price even with a discount for taking so long. But on the whole I was very happy.

 

The problem I find with most developers is timing. I gave a date 4 months in the future for a completion date and it took 6.. Sometimes you feel like you get put to the bottom of the pile while other people who splash lots of cash around get priority, even though you are paying what you were quoted. This is not specific to Stuart, but developers in general.

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The problem I find with most developers is timing. I gave a date 4 months in the future for a completion date and it took 6.. Sometimes you feel like you get put to the bottom of the pile while other people who splash lots of cash around get priority, even though you are paying what you were quoted. This is not specific to Stuart, but developers in general.

 

One of the best things about the guy doing the site development (apart from technical skills and so on) is that he has ONE rate and it's the same for everyone. Doesn't matter if you're a huge company or a one-man band: you pay the same price, you get the same service. I like that a lot.

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I should point out that I'm not against people learning on the job (I've done that myself, frequently) - I just expect a significant discount (if not free work) for the learning opportunity.

 

I agree. If I ever wanted to become a freelancer and then learn while doing a project for a client of mine, I would give them a discount for sure. Mainly because it may not be up to their standards as such and it will take longer for me to do it because it will be the first time I am doing it.

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Nicely put. :)

 

Arrangements like that can be excellent for future work, too - they get you good references and, quite often, the same client comes back because they know exactly how good you are... they were there while you were learning! One of the people who supplied a quote on the back of my book (Shen) is doing exactly this: I showed her the ropes a little bit, she got in with one of my best clients and he's paying her a basic wage while she learns... which could quadruple if she decides to specialise in his area. They both gain from the setup.

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Well just finished up trying a new Freelancer. Bad deal this time.

 

He started Feb 12th. I hadn't heard any updates since until I sent him a message yesterday, on the due date. He finally replied this morning. "Sorry will have done by end of weekend". I just told him to refund the $, if you could have completed this in 2 days then you should have already got it done for me. Seems quite a few of these guys have no clue what a schedule is.

 

Anyways that's what I get for trying to save some $. My normal team was busy on another project so figured I would give this new guy a try, but nope. Going back to the A Team with this project now :)

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Well just finished up trying a new Freelancer. Bad deal this time.

 

He started Feb 12th. I hadn't heard any updates since until I sent him a message yesterday, on the due date. He finally replied this morning. "Sorry will have done by end of weekend". I just told him to refund the $, if you could have completed this in 2 days then you should have already got it done for me. Seems quite a few of these guys have no clue what a schedule is.

 

Anyways that's what I get for trying to save some $. My normal team was busy on another project so figured I would give this new guy a try, but nope. Going back to the A Team with this project now :)

 

Ouch.. I think if he couldn't do it in 2 weeks and is doing it in 2 days, the quality you will be getting for it might be bad. Good thing you asked for a refund :P. What kind of a project was it? Design/Coding etc.?

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I have worked with various editors for my sites. Was overall pleased with their work, but had some who delivered sub-par jobs so were not getting paid. I don't pay for copy-paste jobs, I can do this on my own. Still most of them realized I won't settle for junk so they provided excellent content. I'm myself a freelancer (web design), so I know what and how to ask for stuff from the professionals I work with.

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