I’ve now been living like a full-time online entrepreneur for about a year, ever since I graduated. I understand that’s why my parents keep telling me that childhood is always better than growing up. Although I’ve been working in the Internet marketing industry for about six years, being a part-time Internet entrepreneur in university is easier than what I’m doing now. If I had a loss in paid traffic during my college life, I could wait for next month’s salary from my father to keep going. But now I’m concerned about my expenses, income and time.
OK, back to the present.
Currently there are many hats in my hands – I’m a traffic arbitrager, mobile game developer, graphic designer, web application developer, and writer. There are many things to do in just one day. Obviously, I can’t do everything alone because there are many skills required. I’m not good at art and quite lazy when it comes to learning new programming languages so I started learning how to outsource to get my jobs done. Anyway, I’ve made many mistakes when I’ve outsourced. The followings are my top three common mistakes.
Outsourcing is not as easy as I thought. There are many things I didn’t know before. For example, when I hired a freelancer to create a graphic for my mobile game, I just told him that the concept of the game was about ‘the cat in the city’. I let my designer draw anything from this concept without showing him an example of the graphic I was looking for. Then, the result was that I didn’t like any of the images he sent to me and we needed to start over.
If your project is very big and expensive, I recommend you do milestone payments. I didn’t do it for my first project and it caused many problems for both the freelancer and me. Milestone payment is about making a payment for each part of the project. You need to break down your project into many tasks and define the cost for each of them. When each part is done, you have to release the payment for your worker. For example, if you want your freelancer to create a graphic for your game, you should break the project down into many chunks, such as rough draft design, first version design, second version design, revision, and so on, and then set the cost for each step.
I think this is both good and bad for everyone in the project. The good thing is that you won’t need to pay the big money from the start and the worker can make sure that he or she doesn’t work for free in case the project is canceled earlier. In contrast, the bad thing is that if you cancel the project earlier, it’s quite difficult to find a new freelancer to do the remaining work, especially if that work is about the design.
Selecting the wrong worker can really waste your time, not only by getting low quality work or late delivery on just one project, but also on finding a new worker to do further projects. I chose a low quality worker in my first project because his cost was low compared to other freelancers. I saw his portfolio was ok, not good or bad, just ok. Anyway, he delivered his work very late and the quality was not as good as promised. So, I needed to look for a new worker to edit this project.
For this reason, I spent more time searching for a good worker. I got 4-5 candidates but could only hire two of them at most. So, I created an interview and a quick test in order to see the real performance of the candidates. Finally, I got two of them to design a game interface and characters for me. The project is much better than when I hired the first one. Since I’ve met the second and third freelancers, I’ve saved many hours otherwise spent on finding a worker, doing an interview, and creating a test. When I have new projects related to art, I just open Skype and leave a message for these two guys. No time wasted and no fee for the freelancing website.
These are the three common mistakes I’ve made during my entrepreneur’s life. I hope it’s useful for everyone.
Bank has been working in the affiliate marketing industry since he was an undergrad in 2008. His favorite traffic source is PPV (Pay-Per-View). In 2013, he started sharing his journey on this blog AlcheBank.com and developed AffLanders.com to help people create PPV landing pages.