You wouldn’t hire someone you’ve never met, would you?
With so many professionals offering their services online this is a question well worth asking and the answer is not as obvious as you might think.
We all buy things online these days, whether it’s clothes and shoes or holidays. So why should professional services be any different?
Well it’s all about trust isn’t it? How do you work out if you can trust someone you’ve never met? Big brands have reputations to sustain but small operators might be a closed book.
Try asking yourself this. Have you ever booked a villa direct with the owner? Have you ever been on holiday to a destination that was totally new to you? I bet you have and that you researched it all thoroughly on the web before you went.
You can do this with professionals as well.
Online presence and the tone of someone’s communication on the web says an awful lot about them and by doing a little research you can get a good idea about what they’re like to work with. Apart from checking out their website here are some more ideas to get you going.
- Blogs. If they have a blog then read it, it will help you find out more about the person you want to hire and give you an idea about whether they know their stuff. Is it well written, useful and entertaining? Do you like what they have to say?
- Follow them on Twitter. Even using this short format you can get a flavour of someone’s personality. I’m always encouraged if someone has a sense of humour and a friendly demeanour. Are they helping others, giving generously of their time and expertise?
- Google their name. Are they mixing it out there? Are they involved in forums related to their field? Do they present themselves as knowledgeable? Do they inspire confidence?
- LinkedIn. This is the place to go for testimonials and hardcore career information.
If you are still unsure, get on the phone and have a chat, ask as many questions as you need to, nobody worth hiring will mind. If you find someone great then let others know.
Have you taken the plunge and hired someone you have never met? Do let us know how it went!