If you are working more than 10 hours, working even on weekends, holidays then you have to think again why you work as a freelancer. Is it not because you wanted to be free? To break from the bondage of your desk? Stop being a superman!
I know there are instances when workloads seem to be at the peak and working alone is not practical. You need to duplicate yourself. And subcontracting is one way to do it.
One good thing about having a network of fellow freelancer is the opportunity to be a blessing to them by handing a few blocks of your work and at the same helping yourself rid of the unnecessary exhaustion from too much labor.
The truth is, subcontracting some of the work is not as easy as it may seem. It can make or break your relationship with your client and it can also build or ruin the partnership you have with a fellow freelancer if you don't plan and execute it properly.
If you ask, should my client know that I also work with other freelancers? I say yes. It is essential that your client knows or has a prior knowledge that you work with other people or can recommend other freelancers if the need arises and that you will ultimately still be the one responsible for the quality of the final output. There is definitely a risk involved so be careful in your decisions.
Now to start with your search for a collaborator, here are a few things you should consider before pursuing this area.
Subcontract a work with someone you have known for reliability. If the person is in oDesk or Elance, try to search for his profile and see how he's been rated. Although this is not conclusive, it will at least give you a bit of a background of his previous dealings.
If you subcontract, you have to consider how much you will receive from your client and how much you are willing to pay your subcontractor that will still be beneficial for both parties.
Try to check on their personal commitments with their existing clients and if it will fit in your timeframe to accomplish the job.
As the main person responsible for the outcome of the collaboration, you have to put yourself in the shoes of a recruiter. Don't let your emotion decide. Let the person's experience and work credential help you in your decision. Don't get the service of another freelancer if you know that in the end you will still be the doing the job because you have to edit or revise his work. Make sure that the person you will subcontract meets or exceeds your standards of quality.
When you collaborate with other people, communication is the main ingredient to success. Without it, your project is bound to delays and ultimately, to failure. Be very stern about this. The very hint of alibis and unreasonable reasons should ring a bell that the person is not fit.
These are just five tips that I have shared with you. I know there are many other areas to consider. So feel free to share your thoughts.
Have you subcontracted a project before? Tell us your experience.