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5 Tips for Qualifying a Freelancer

Hi, I'm Matt Olpinski

I teach thousands of freelancers how to get more clients, raise their rates, and create a better life for themselves.

Updated: December 7, 2015

Finding a good freelancer who cares about your business in this saturated market is like finding a needle in a haystack. Where do you look for them and what criteria do you use to qualify the ones you find?

It’s a tricky process, but today I want to offer you a few tips that will make your search for the right freelancer much more successful.

Web Presence

Hire a freelancer with a good web presence. It shows that they care about their freelancing career by making it easy for you to find them. They should want to be hired and a good website will do that. That said, not every freelancer will maintain their own personal website, so try browsing platforms such as Dribbble and Behance to broaden your search.


The best freelancers should have testimonials from past clients prominently displayed. This is key to getting repeat work for them (and they know it), so it is in their best interest to get testimonials from clients. If these aren’t displayed publicly, feel free to ask for them.

A freelancer without any strong testimonials from past clients may not have a good reputation or enough experience, making them a less desirable candidate.

Try to find out if they’re in business for themselves. Do they have a full-time job and only freelance on nights and weekends? How easy was it to research them? Do they have a good web presence?

Work Samples / Case Studies

The freelancers portfolio of work is what most likely made you contact them in the first place, but pay attention to how their work is being displayed. Is it just a bunch of finished projects? Did they describe what their role was on the project? Did they show any process work on how they arrived at the solution?

The best freelancers should have case studies or descriptions that talk about the project in detail to help prospective clients like you want to hire them.


When you talk to this person, how long does it take them to respond? How appropriately do they respond? Do they ask questions about your business or your goals for the project? A good freelancer should always respond in a timely and professional manner.

How they communicate early on will be indicative of how they communicate throughout the rest of the project, how likely they are to meet deadlines, and how effectively they can solve your specific business problem.

Personal Projects

One of the best ways to qualify a freelancer is to see if they are working on any personal projects. This could be their own website, but any personal endeavors are indicative of someone who is highly motivated.

If they have a good web presence, communicate well, have excellent work, but also write helpful blog posts on the side, you can bet that person will work hard on your project.

Personal projects could even include games, hobbies, development work, apps, tools, or any other unpaid task they choose to spend free time on.

If you enjoyed this article, you’ll love my free email series on hiring freelancers.

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