Rising to the top in retail has never been a piece of cake, but getting noticed in an e-commerce market expected to approach $600B in sales by 2024? Bloody hell.

The (very) good news is, Shopify store owners are doing it every day. Freelance Shopify experts help entrepreneurs like you see their dreams become reality, build a devoted customer base, and stay in the black. How? By doing what they do best, setting you free to do the same.

Ah...sweet, profitable symbiosis.

Whether you're new to Shopify or you've been around awhile, you know the platform kills right out of the box. Its real power, though, is in its incredible adaptability to create a store as unique as your vision. Need a little extra help to make it happen? No shame in that, compadre.

Shopify freelance partners-1

It Takes Two (At Least) to Make a Thing Go Right

"If you really want to grow as an entrepreneur, you've got to learn to delegate." - Richard Branson

You're determined. Focused. A freaking visionary. With rivers of Redbull and Pho coursing through your sleep-deprived veins, you've made this business what it is today.

Tired yet?

Mere mortal that you are, you only have so many hours in the day, and (we're guessing) you probably aren't an expert in everything. We bet you'd love to hire help, but unless your rich aunt is bankrolling this thing, hiring staff is out of the question.

Shopify Freelancers: The Best Thing That Ever Happened to You

Ok, maybe not the best, but for an overworked entrepreneur and Shopify merchant, pretty close.

Freelance Shopify experts are a diverse and dedicated community of freelance design, development, SEO, and marketing professionals who specialize in helping Shopify stores like yours thrive without the expense of hiring permanent staff, whatever the scope of your project. Hire Shopify freelancers and get access to a wide range of anxiety-reducing services, like:

Development

Freelance Shopify developers are the number one most-demanded expert in the game. Great design is one thing, but it's only one-one millionth of the battle. A developer will work with you to determine how your site should work (that's called user experience, or UX, for short, and it includes everything from homepage navigation to checkout flow) and make sure that it works that way--all the time.

Hourly rates for Shopify developers can trigger a little sticker shock, but you will not want to skimp in this area. Good developers possess broad, comprehensive knowledge of the platform's API and coding languages, not to mention a deep well of experience with custom features. Even if you have only a general idea of what you want (and you should have at least that before you begin interviewing developers), these guys and gals will help turn that idea into a fully functional reality. You get what you pay for here, folks!

Here's a tip: when the site build is complete, maintain good relationships with your developers! Even the most beautiful, functionally sound sites experience bugs and require general maintenance you will not want to tackle on your own.

App Integration

You have enough to do. Shopify app integration allows all your apps--email and SMS marketing, CRM, inventory management, communication, and others--to interact seamlessly with one another and your store. A well-organized system means fewer errors, redundancies, and, most importantly, less wasted time. A freelance Shopify expert or agency can handle all the nitty-gritty of app integration for you, so all you have to do is sit back and watch it work.

Not a clue where to start? There's a Shopify expert for that.

Marketing

Skilled Shopify marketing experts have the experience and tools to help you better understand your target customers, develop creative, personalized, memorable messaging to reach them, and to sustain those relationships for the long haul. Freelance Shopify marketing pros specialize in working with entrepreneurs and small businesses and have the Shopify experience you need to leverage apps and native capabilities.

A survey of 1,200 marketers in 39 countries showed that 91% of respondents use content marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy. Let freelance content marketing pros engage, entertain, and educate your customers, developing brand awareness without overtly selling your products. Good content marketing means that customers are likely to hang around longer, making them also more likely to spring for the goods.

Design

Making your store look good is important, sure, but effective design is about far more than quality photos and attractive layout. Freelance Shopify designers combine in-depth knowledge of your brands and target customer with the know-how necessary to draw them in, keep them engaged all the way to checkout, and bring them back again and again.

Freelance designers for Shopify

But Wait, There's More

Looking for something else? Shopify experts have you covered with a bevy of Facebook Ads experts, SEO experts, copywriters and editors, marketing analytics and tracking pros, and more. You can check out the complete list of Shopify-endorsed experts here, and find even more on freelancing platforms like Upwork and Fiverr.

Speaking of freelancing platforms...

Shopify Experts Marketplace, Upwork, and Fiverr--What's the Best Platform for Me?

As you might expect, the answer depends on your needs and your budget. While there are other freelancing platforms out there, these three tend to be the most frequently utilized. 

Shopify Experts Marketplace

The Shopify Experts Marketplace is a library of top-notch freelancers who have been strenuously vetted and given the stamp of approval by Shopify itself, and must continue to meet those expectations or risk removal from the library.

Shopify Experts' model is similar to Upwork's: you log into your store and submit a Create a Job form, and you'll get emails when Experts respond. You can then sort and interview candidates until you find the one that's right for you.

If you don't already have a Shopify store and you need an Expert to help you build one, you'll start with the Hire a Shopify Expert form. The rest of the process looks just like the one described above.

Shopify Experts allows freelancers to bill hourly or by-the-project, and they make payment super easy.

Deciding if you need a Shopify Expert is pretty simple:

    • Do you need a best-of-the-best freelancer who specializes in all things Shopify? Do you have a reasonable budget to support this need? Shopify Experts is for you.

    • Do you have a general need that doesn't require in-depth Shopify knowledge? Shopify Experts may still be for you, but keep your options open.

Taking your search to a freelancer platform other than the Shopify Experts library doesn't mean compromising your expectations; it just means the extra leg work is on you. Some things you can do to separate the professionals from the cabbages:

    • Check portfolios, references, and reviews

    • Look at the way the freelancer communicates. Do they speak knowledgeably, professionally, and with good humor/friendliness?

    • If on Upwork, do they have a high job success score?

    • Are they able to follow special instructions? At Tako Agency, we include a line that asks the candidate to include their favorite taco filling in their proposal. If they don't include that information, we note their lack of attention to detail and inability to follow directions. (We don't even read the rest of the application, tbh. *shrug* We have our standards.)

Shopify freelancer platforms

Upwork

Upwork is a robust, popular, easy-to-use platform for clients looking to build long-term relationships with highly skilled freelancers. Some of Upwork's pros include:

    • Hourly or per-project billing. You can pay freelancers on an hourly basis or set up project milestones and pay when they're met.

    • Hassle-free communication. Upwork enables easy communication and file-sharing with their native Messaging feature. They even have an audio and video chat built right in!

    • Flexible account terms. Upwork's Basic (free) account type provides most features a small company will need, but they do offer upgraded subscriptions for clients who want more from their membership.

    • Fixed-price protection. Escrow allows clients to double-check freelancers' work and ask questions before releasing payment. 

    • Hourly protection. A freelancer's Upwork Work Diary ensures that an hour paid is an hour worked. The Work Diary allows you to see a description of the work being done, as well as screenshots of the freelancer's desktop, which are snapped by the Upwork app at random whenever the timer is running.

    • Mobile app. Interact with freelancers, hire, and review work on the go!

    • Vetted & verified freelancers. All freelancers submit to a 24-hour verification period. Upwork recently started enforcing their Identity Verified badges for all freelancers. In order to get the badge on their profiles, freelancers must provide a photo of a government-issued ID and complete a video call with an Upwork representative to confirm their identity.

There aren't many cons to using Upwork, but they do exist:

    • Fees. Upwork tacks on a 3% fee for every payment made to a freelancer.

    • You've gotta do a little work. Since Upwork's model is centered on freelancers submitting proposals, you'll need to take some time to create a job listing that gives them all the information they need to understand the scope of work.

Fiverr

Fiverr is a little more Wild West than Upwork, but it's fabulous if you know exactly what you want, and you want it fast and relatively cheap. Pros of Fiverr:

    • Lots of leg work is done for you. Unlike Upwork, Fiverr doesn't operate on proposals, so you don't need to worry about creating job listings. You tell the platform what you're looking for, and it provides a list of relevant freelancer profiles, which you can browse at your leisure.

    • Speed. Once you find a freelancer who suits your needs, you request their gig, they accept, and the work begins! The request process even walks you through exactly what the freelancer needs in order to accept your request, so you don't have to worry about ambiguous requirements holding things up.

    • It's (often) cheaper than other platforms*. Fiverr's founding principle was that you could get a freelancer to do any job, starting at $5. These days there aren't many gigs at that price point, but it is easy to find decent freelancers for less than elsewhere.

                         *Fees notwithstanding. More on that below.

    • Payment protection. Fiverr only allows lump-sum payments (as opposed to hourly), and clients are allowed to cancel the job and get their money back if they are not happy with the freelancer's work--even after it's complete. Although it's nice that you have this assurance, most freelancers will include 1 - 2 revisions to avoid losing the payment altogether. We encourage clients to always give freelancers the opportunity to do the job right.

    • Filters. You can refine search results by type of work, delivery time, price, language, location, and tons more.

Some cons of using Fiverr:

    • Limited Shopify-specific support. At time of publication, a Google search for Shopify freelancers on Upwork turns up 2,686 results. Fiverr offers just 24. If you need something general, such as copywriting or graphic design, this limitation may be irrelevant, but those seeking Shopify development or other Shopify-specific services may have a hard time.

    • Fees. For purchases up to and including $20, Fiverr charges a $1 processing fee. Anything beyond $20 incurs a 5% fee, based on the total of the order.

    • You have to know what you want. Fiverr can only give you the most relevant freelancers if you've entered very specific search terms, so you have to know what you're looking for. Otherwise, you'll spend a lot of time browsing "maybes" before finding your rockstar freelancer.

Freelancers to grow Shopify store

 

Let's Talk Bottom Line(s)

You want to stand out in the crowd--sure--but leveraging Shopify to its fullest potential means wading into waters that swarm with technical alligators and time-sucking minutiae. 

Luckily, there are thousands of freelance Shopify experts who are able to leverage the platform's adaptability and advanced features to create a store with a customized look, feel, and user experience you and your customers will love. You may be closer than you think to a fully optimized store, maximized profits, and minimized palpitations.

Want to take a more Jesus Take the Wheel approach to your Shopify needs? There are agencies for that.

Three cheers.

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