AskPat 609 Episode Transcript
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up everybody? Pat Flynn here, and welcome to Episode 609 of AskPat. Thank you so much for joining me today. As always, I'm here to help you by answering your online business questions five days a week. We have a great question today from Alex, and no sponsors in this particular episode, so I just want to thank you all for your awesomeness and your time and your support for everything I do here on AskPat, on Smart Passive Income, and all my other projects as well. I appreciate you.
All right, now let's get to today's question from Alex. Here we go.
Alex: Hey, Pat. Quick question. When you're looking for people to help you out with your projects and your websites typically programmers or graphic designers, where do you find these people? Or where do you look to see these people? I heard in one of your podcasts you said something about Elance. The thing with Elance is that, you pay someone to help you based on the amount of time that they help you with. What if you're looking for someone that you want to work with in the long term as a business partner? Since you have more experience with Elance, do you find people on Elance that could be potential partners, or would I have to look somewhere else? Will Elance be a viable solution? Where would I look if I want to find someone to be a business partner?
When you look at people on Elance, how do you know you want to work with them? What goes through your mind when you're looking for someone, a good programmer, a good graphic designer? How do you determine that they are the best at what they do? Thank you.
Pat Flynn: Hey, what's up, Alex? Thank you so much for the question today. This is a really important question because here's the gist: when you're looking for business partners, you don't just want to find them randomly on the internet. What Elance is great for, which Elance and oDesk merged into what is now called Upwork, Upwork.com, so if you're looking to find people to work on certain projects, everybody from developers to programmers to legal advice and everything in between, you could check out Upwork.com. It's a great site I've used back when it was Elance and oDesk, I've used both of those services dozens and dozens of times, very successfully, actually. My very first experience was back in 2008 when I hired a voiceover talent to read
It's a great site I've used back when it was Elance and oDesk, I've used both of those services dozens and dozens of times, very successfully, actually. My very first experience was back in 2008 when I hired a voice over talent to read off my e-book that I then sold on top of the e-book that I had, so I had an audiobook and an e-book to sell at GreenExamAcademy.com, and that totally changed my business and it was a great experience.
I've worked with several other people in the past as well. I've hired developers on there too, and so I will say, even before we get into the business partner stuff, I'm going to answer your last question here which is, “How do you know someone is great on one of those sites where you're finding developers?”
There's a number of different things that you should be doing. One, definitely do your due diligence. I've made the mistake of hiring the one person who is the cheapest bidder or the first bidder because I wanted to get started, but please be patient, a little bit at least, and make sure you see all of the candidates who come in. Do your due diligence, just to make sure you're going to be hiring the right people. I had a project that was supposed to take three weeks take three months, and 3x the amount of dollars, and it just was not a good experience because I rushed into it, so please just be patient.
Now, when you're finding people and people come to you saying they want to work on your stuff, obviously price is a factor, and don't go with the lowest price. That's kind of my number one rule, but you also want to look at each of their profiles for one, and just to get an idea and a feel for their vibe and what they have going on, what their experience is of course going to be really important. Then you can start to shop around and compare. One thing I like to look at is their portfolio, an account of their existing work that they have, and actually if it's possible to actually use it, so if it's a developer who has developed a website, I want to go and use that thing.
What I typically do is I get a whole bunch of people who are interesting in working with me on a particular project on one of these types of sites, and I weed out the ones that don't make sense or I just don't want to work with. Then I'm left with Phase Two, or a group of people who I may consider working with and I do some more due diligence from there. One of those things is, I actually reach out to companies or people who these developers or whoever say they work with, because sometimes they say they might be responsible for that particular design or whatever, and oftentimes they're not. Not oftentimes, but sometimes. I've had people email me and say, “Hey, Pat, this person said they did your website. Is that true,” and I say, “No.” Then we go report that person and throw them in jail for 40 years. Not actually do that, but we do report them to those websites and their accounts get taken down or they get warnings and things like that.
Just make sure that the stuff you see in their portfolio is legit, especially the most interesting ones that might relate to whatever it is that you're doing. Then I also have conversations with those people again, just sort of like referrals, just being like, “Hey, what did you think of working with this person? Was it a good experience?” That's one thing I always ask those people.
Then I always look at, and some of these websites will tell you, how many times they've been picked up again by somebody who has hired them once, and that's really important because if somebody hires these people more than once, then you know that they're great. I look at that number too, and then the last thing I do typically is I message them individually so I can gauge, A, response time, and B, communication style, and if there's some good vibe there, if this person seems interested even. That's kind of what I look at. That's how I can tell how I stack the situation in my favor to make sure I am working with somebody who seems like they're going to be knowledgeable about whatever it is that I'm having them do. That's the first thing, or your last thing.
Your first question was about finding business partners. I'm guessing that you have an idea for something and you're looking for a developer that you want to partner with, as opposed to just paying them money. I think that's a smart way to go about it, especially when it's a project like a piece of software for example. If you hire a company to build that piece of software for you, software in particular is something that continually needs to be updating, especially if it's something like a WordPress theme or a WordPress plug-in because there's so many different themes that are out there. A lot of things break, there's a lot of bugs, and we know WordPress comes out with new editions and new updates which affect existing plug-ins.
If it's like that, you definitely want to make sure you hire a business partner, but it's also better because you can work with that person, come up with a deal of revenue shared, and it makes it a lot easier in terms of keeping that person on board to continue to provide support and continue to build out new versions of the plug-in or software or whatever it is that you're having them do, the app. That's something that comes to mind.
I will say however that when you work with a business partner, there's a lot more legal stuff that has to be done ahead of time. You want to make sure you have attorneys on both sides look at a contract and maybe even creating a separate entity or a partnership so that everything is in working order, so that your personal assets are protected, and so there's just agreements all around. It's a difficult process. It takes a lot of work. There's a lot of scenarios that you and your attorneys will have to figure out. For example, what happens if one person just doesn't want to work with that company anymore? Can the other person be bought out, and what does that look like? If there's a disagreement, how are they resolved? Would you want to get a third party involved? All these sorts of things, so that's another thing that you have to think about.
In terms of where you would find them, I would try to meet people in person if possible. Conferences are a fantastic place because you know that the people who are there, they wouldn't just spend their money just for no reason. They're there because they're looking to make connections as well. They're there because they're looking to improve, and that's the kind of person that you might want to hang out with and work with.
When it really comes down to it, partnerships are like marriages. You don't just marry the first person you date, or maybe you do, maybe you got lucky, but typically you date around and you just discover what it is you like and dislike about your partner so that you can find somebody who meets the bill. Even then, marriages and partnerships aren't perfect and there could be miscommunications here and there, and you might have to wake up in the middle of the night because she's pregnant and she wants a Snickers bar and you don't want to make them upset. Anyway, no, never mind, but you know what I mean.
You've got to realize that this is a big thing you're getting into. It's a big commitment, so you want to make sure that both parties know what they're getting themselves into, and that this is not just something that you can set up once and forget about, that this is something that's more long-term there.
Alex, thank you so much for the question, best of luck to you. Thank you so much everybody for your questions. Please head on over to AskPat.com. You can ask questions right there on that page, if you have a question that you'd like potentially featured here on the show, and Alex, I want to send you an AskPat t-shirt because you're awesome, and because everybody who gets featured here on the show gets a t-shirt, so you're going to hear from my assistant Jessica in the next couple of weeks and we'll collect your information so we can send that to you.
Thank you all so much for your time and attention, and your reviews on iTunes. I'm so thankful for the relationship that we have. You're here listening to this show, you've spent eight minutes with me, 10 minutes with me today already, to listen to this show, and I just want to say I appreciate you.
Thank you so much, and here's a quote to finish out the day by Bryan Eisenberg. He says, “Our jobs as marketers are to understand how the customer wants to buy and help them do so.”
Cheers, take care, and I'll see you guys in the next episode of AskPat. Thanks, guys. Bye.