How to Hire Freelancers on Elance, oDesk, etc. (Part 1)

How to Hire Freelancers on Elance, oDesk, etc.

A question I’ve been asked quite a few times is, “Does The Geek Guidebook show me how to find geeks on sites like Elance, oDesk, and the like?”

And I somberly say no.

But that ends today!

Freelancer sites like Elance or oDesk can be great, or super-frustrating, depending on what you’re looking for.

Advantages of this approach:
  • Access to a huge pool of extremely talented geeks
  • Built-in escrow payment system to ensure satisfaction (with Elance, at least — don’t know about oDesk.)
  • Side-by-side comparison of pricing, experience, etc. vs. other applicants
  • Quick results: get lots of replies shortly after posting a job


  • Hard to find someone local to you
  • There will often be a language barrier between you and your geek
  • More expensive than hiring a young local geek

How to know if this approach is right for you…

Answer the following questions:

  • Are you looking for a “tech assistant” who will be there at the drop of a hat to help you out, or are you looking to simply get a project completed?
    • If you’re looking to just have a project completed, Elance or oDesk can be great. If you’re really looking for an ongoing tech assistant, I might suggest one of the other geek-finding approaches.
  • How good are you at communicating what you want in a painfully clear tone?
    • If you use this approach, it’s likely you’ll end up choosing someone overseas. Because of the language barrier, it’s important that you be painfully clear about what you want with your Elance/oDesk geek, versus being able to quickly go back-and-forth with a local geek in person.
  • How much patience do you have for people that don’t understand the point you’re trying to make?
    • This is kinda like the one above; if you’re impatient with people that don’t quickly understand what you’re trying to say, Elance/oDesk might not be a good fit for you.

Check back soon for part 2!

P.S. Have you purchased The Geek Guidebook yet? You’ll need it if you want to know how to interview the geeks you’ll find on Elance/oDesk. Click here to purchase it securely through ClickBank.

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