I recently went on an online hunting trip.
You may know the type: researching things for the sake of wheedling out ideas, tips and inspiration. My game of choice was companies – I wanted to find best-practice (“We should totally do that too!”) and worst practice (“How could you misspell your name in the title?”) examples.
Boy oh boy, did I find them.
You see, I had some criteria. I wanted to look at companies like mine, so I concentrated on outsourcing companies with an agency profile, a price range similar to ours and a middling-to-high rating. My hunting ground was Upwork, a platform for freelance work that offers an agency (2 members or more) or individual freelancing profile.
A quick explanation: to have an agency profile on Upwork and be applicable for perks like features on the Top 10 list, you need to have a minimum of 2 members. You also need to have a success rate of at least 90%, which is, for some individuals, a reasonable request. After all, those that do not believe they can successfully finish a task tend to opt out of doing it, increasing their success rate without really trying.
But what about the number of members?
Well, I saw a marvellous example of freelancing ingenuity. An agency with 2 members, a success rate of 96%... I was eager to browse their profile and figure out the cogs that made them run so well. And then, the kicker.
Those two members? Same guy, same picture, same name. Twice.
Now, imagine you were a company looking to outsource some work. You want to find an agency, because it is too much for an individual. You find our (double) man on a VERY reputable outsourcing platform. You don’t do your due diligence, and you get stuck with an overworked individual that cannot handle what you’re giving him. This would be a very rude awakening to the pitfalls of online trust.
Many companies encounter this lack of reliability when looking for a place to outsource their work. There’s always that niggling feeling that these people, somewhere in the world, are really a band of Bond villains, about to steal your secrets or work on destroying you.Source: filmonic.com
Sites like Upwork try to eliminate some of these fears. The process of getting registered is so complex, it’s just not worth it to try and do so for nefarious reasons. I mean, even Bond villains have some standards. Frankly, our double-man deserves a healthy dose of respect, considering the amount of bureaucracy he had to wade through for his little ploy. Wasn’t it easier to just sign up his mother as the second agency member?
Trusting a company and their service or product is a long-term process. Depending on your needs, you are either looking for a cheap, low-quality solution to “plug a hole”, or you’re willing to spend a few extra bucks and get something more durable. Maybe you’re cash crazy and want personalized monograms on every detail.
Nobody can stop you from throwing caution to the wind and choosing the first or cheapest option that comes along. What we can do, however, is offer an alternative: give your trust to WaySeven. Experienced, reliable and definitely NOT a single person - not a lot of companies can claim the same.
In any case, no matter whom you chose, be aware that there are nefarious deals going around. Some are even going around twice.