As freelancers and entrepreneurs, we find ourselves in situations where there is a need to subcontract work due to growing demand. It’s not that we lack the skills to do the work, but its because we have a lot at hand and need help from other Freelancers.

So, in what occasions should you sub-contract and not to sub-contract a project?

Well, in this blogpost, I will cover when to sub-contract work and when not sub-contract work.

What’s Subcontracting?

crop businessman giving contract to woman to sign
Subcontracting Work. Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Subcontracting in the online marketplace or any other marketplace means bringing in an outside company or a contractor, to help you complete certain work or a project that you are unable to do. To help you understand this better, I will use Videography as an example. Let’s say, I get invited to shoot video by 3 clients on the same day.

Based on our work history together, each of the clients individually insists that I take the job. As an entrepreneur or freelancer, I have to find a solution. The solution will be recruiting other professionals with good skills in videography to help me out. I will then give them instructions on what to shoot.

This in a nutshell, is subcontracting. I am the one who is assigned the contract and I have other guys or agencies doing the actual job.

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When To Subcontract

When You Have More Than You Can Handle

As detailed above, when you have a lot of work at hand, its wise and healthy to subcontract. It will seem a bit difficult when subcontracting for the first time. When you have done it once, repeating the same will be easy. Take advantage of such subcontracting opportunities to make more money and build a network of like minded professionals.

When You Don’t Have the Skills Needed

woman typing on laptop
Online Copywriter at work. Photo by Startup Stock Photos on

In the online marketplace, sometimes the skills you have can’t help you. For example, if you are a direct response copywriter and a client wants you to write a copy on a new Cryptocurrency Token- a product you are not familiar with; what will you do if the job needs to be completed urgently?

In order for you to deliver the best copy, you will need take time and learn about the cryptocurrency token in question by comparing it with other related services.

With the abundance of freelance direct response copy writers in very specific niches online, it will be worth your time to hire a professional cryptocurrency copywriter to help you out.

When You Are Ill

young man in sleepwear suffering from headache in morning
Sick Freelancer. Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on

Good health is the key to success. If you are not feeling well at the time you are awarded the contract, the only you can make that money is by getting someone else to do the work for you as you recover. In other words, you need to subcontract.

When You are Away on Vacation

Even when on vacation, freelancers and entrepreneurs still get excited when they are awarded contracts or asked to send a proposal. If the job is coming from a client you have worked with in the past, you will not want to lose that contract owing to the relationship you have with them.

By subcontracting, you will still be able to enjoy your vacation while the job is getting done.

When Not To Subcontract

When In The Middle of Contract

Any contract that you have initiated work on is not worth subcontracting. There are many reasons to this. One is the cost that comes with sub-contracting. You may lose time and money in the process. Its therefore important to factor in time and cost when planning to subcontract.

If there is a need to sub-contract, do your evaluation first and see if its possible to complete the work internally without seeking services of an external contractor. Secondly, the training that you have to give to the new contractor is time consuming and exhausting. You have to show them how far you are, your workflow process, the iterations made already so there is no repeat e.t.c.

At the end you will realize that you would have rather assigned them the project as a new contract rather than let them pick from where you left.

When Your Past Experience With a Client Wasn’t Good

photo of woman writing on tablet computer while using laptop
Freelancer working at home. Photo by Anthony Shkraba on

If you have worked with a difficult client in the past, you know what I mean. If the same client returns and you previously had a difficult time working on their project, you might tempted to accept the work, and sub-contract. This might be prompted by the fact you will be able transfer the stress to the immediate contractor. While this might be a witty idea, you may end up making losses in process.

The best thing to do is not to accept the contract all together. Tell them you are fully occupied. This way, you will be able to take on work with people you enjoy working with.

If The Client is Nosey

Some clients are nosey. After you are done interviewing and they have awarded you the contract, they still follow you around to find out if it’s you who is really doing the job. This in my opinion is disgusting. A normal clients’ concern should be to get the work completed on time. Otherwise, why would someone waste their time making unscrupulous investigations on whether I am the person actually doing the job?

This is unless subcontracting conditions was stated clearly on the contract that there is no subcontracting. Otherwise, taking work from nosey clients is not worth.

If the prospect sounds nosey at the verge of hiring, reconsider accepting the contract. They will keep asking you things that are not in anyway related to the contract at hand.


Success comes with vigilance. I know you need money, and good money comes from making the right decisions when it comes to subcontracting. If you don’t take for granted any of the above instances, you are sure to reap most from subcontracting work.

I hope the information I have shared here on subcontracting was helpful to you.

In what instances do you reconsider subcontracting a job or a contract?

Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

And if you need help with screen-cast video production or videography, you can request a free quote here.

Until next time, bye bye and take care.

Follow me on twitter @cheptiony.

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