It’s a relief to know freelancers, independent contractors (ICs), and other contingent workers are available to help you get more done. But if you’re new to working with remote contractors, you may have questions about how to get started. A good way to start is by picking a small project that has very little risk if miscommunication occurs or the results aren’t what you expected.

Small projects also give you an opportunity to fine-tune engagement processes and practice collaborating with remote contractors—an important skill in today’s business.

Here are five small project ideas you may want to try with sample job posts to get you started. Note that rates for all services will range depending on the amount negotiated between the freelancer and the client.

1. Polish a presentation
Impress your business partners by engaging a PowerPoint professional to create a well-designed presentation. Their expertise can help deliver your message more clearly and make your visuals more impactful.

freelance PowerPoint project post

2. Transcribe a webinar
Give your audience a value-add by creating a transcription of a recent webinar or event so they can use it as a reference or browse the content at their pace.

freelance transcriptionist project post

3. Get more from Excel
Save time and get more done with Excel by automating frequent tasks with a custom-built macro.

freelance Excel specialist project post

4. Create custom swag
Kickstart a special team event or thank your team for reaching a major milestone by hiring a graphic designer to create custom swag like T-shirts and mugs.

freelance graphic designer job post

5. Optimize online content
Engage an SEO specialist to identify the best keywords and keyword phrases to attract your target audience and optimize your website, blog posts, and other online content.

freelance SEO project post


Your job post works like an ad, so if you want quality submissions, make sure your job post is targeted to the right talent, and that it gives them enough information to submit an accurate proposal.

For more tips, check out 3 Easy Steps to Writing Great Job Posts. Or do a quick check by running your post against the checklist below:

checklist for freelancer job posts

That’s it, you’re ready to engage your first remote contractor. As in most things, this gets easier with practice. Before long, you’ll move onto larger projects with ease.

For more tips on working with ICs, check out Upwork’s Hiring Guides. You can use it as your online go-to resource for sample interview questions, tips for identifying the best talent, help with writing job posts, and more.