This blog is more of a personal one since it’s something that almost all web developers and graphic designers commonly experience. Even though my costs are typically lower than most Toronto agencies I sometimes find myself in a situation where I’m being spoken to like some street merchant selling fruit.

We’ve all heard the famous saying “You get what you pay for” but surprisingly today this cliche still eludes many people. If you are one of the lucky people who find a developer who is willing to sacrifice their time or trying to build their portfolio – good for you. Unfortunately I am not someone who is looking to compete with students, overseas developers, people who undervalue themselves or your preconceived notions of what you should pay me.

After 10 years of developing I still come across the odd client who tries to get me to work for some absurd cost even though they have no idea the work involved. In fact it’s downright insulting when they try to compare my services to someone who just graduated who still hasn’t gone through the years of learning and challenges I’ve faced.

Choose-WiselyChances are if it’s too good to be true, it probably is.

If you think you can get a $20K website for $500 then think again. If you’re an agency or freelancer in this situation you’ll probably want to pass on these types of clients or you will likely be entering a bad dream. Last year I actually had a person meet me at a restaurant and tell me about their amazing idea of building a site the size of LinkedIn on a budget of only $1500. In that moment I fantasized I was Batman and I had just seen the bat signal.

Much like companies select carefully who they hire, it’s just as important that freelancers know when to accept projects. If someone is trying to haggle with you or has lofty expectations it’s probably best to just walk away like you’re Robert DeNiro in the movie Heat.

Remember, your time is valuable and there are plenty of opportunities out there if you are good at what you do.

BE CAREFUL WHO YOU HIRE

As a company, it’s your responsibility to due your due diligence when hiring freelancers or agencies. One big mistake companies make over and over is not asking the right questions or looking into their freelancers track record or portfolio.

I do feel bad for businesses who have been ripped off as they’ve hired agencies/freelancers who have made false claims and not provided a proper online solution that benefits the company.

In the past I’ve worked for different marketing companies who both relied heavily on outsourcing. One company was largely successful as it created websites that provided conversion metrics and a healthy ROI for it’s clients while the other created websites that received virtually no traffic because they were nowhere to found in the search engine results page for any keywords.

OUTSOURCING

I suggest if you don’t have a technical background don’t bother. Sites like Fiver, Upwork, Freelancer and Elance are some of the popular outsourcing sites that remind me a pool of hungry sharks looking for their next victim. What has allowed me to be successful at outsourcing is I can provide technical direction to the developers and choose.

Business relationships need to be beneficial for both parties. Freelancers deserve to be paid fairly for the work they provide and businesses deserve to see a positive ROI from their online investment.

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