For those that would prefer a step-by-step walk-through (tested and good at the time of writing!)

Step-by-step on Elance

  1. Register as an employer (;
  2. Post Your Job (;
    • Name Your Job – be nice and explicit here;
    • Describe It – Sum up your app in 200-400 words max if you can (I would not put the whole project plan so far in here). Also include all relevant attachments (unless you have a great confidentiality concern) as it will enable people to get back to you with much more informed answers (and anyone who doesn’t even glance at them probably isn’t worth going on with anyway!). Also take the opportunity to ask any questions you might have here too – I would definitely ask for the five most recent / five best iPhone or iPad projects they have worked on that are currently live;
    • Job Type – Hourly or Fixed Price – I think most people should go for fixed price here (actual price to be agreed later after reaching an agreement);
      • Budget – If you’re not sure of your budget or what you think you should pay, then just pick an approximate figure you’d be happy with for now (you’re going to have to work all this out in more detail with your supplier later on anyway). The only thing I would say is do not pick a ridiculously low budget when you know it will likely be a complex project or people may not take you seriously. I talk more about costs later in this chapter;
    • Select the category of work – Here I would go for Web & Programming > Mobile Applications
    • Skills – My suggestions: iPhone / iPad / Mobile / XML (if XML is required, though depending on the project this may be handled at your end);
    • Advanced Options (optional):
      • Escrow – I would recommend using this;
      • Job Location – Unless you physically need to meet the supplier you are working with I would put ‘No preference’ to get the widest range of quotes;
      • Post this job for – Depends on how urgent your turnaround is. Any more than 14 days is silly, seven days though should get a reasonable range of quotes. If time is a factor though don’t be afraid to decrease the number of days and state the urgency in your description text if you need quotes quickly (I have done this before for an urgent project and managed to get a good range of quotes in just a couple of days);
      • Proposed Start Date – Immediately is probably fine, this is something you will agree anyway in discussion with your supplier;
      • Job Posting Visibility – For the vast majority of people you should choose ‘Public’ and check the ‘Get more proposals’ box too. If you have some a project you would rather keep low key and only want to share the job with suppliers that you personally have chosen then go for ‘Private’;
      • Seal Proposals – I would keep this checked;
      • 1099 Tax Filing – applicable to US businesses only;
  3. Choose Your Posting Type – I have tried the $15 ‘Featured’ service and anecdotely I did seem to get more offers but the Standard service has always been good at getting a good range of quotes for me;
  4. Preview Your Posting – your last chance to check before going live or select ‘Save & Post Later’ if there are some details you want to tweak further.

Step-by-step on Guru.

  1. Register as an employer (;
  2. Post Your Job- Click the ‘Post a Project’ button on the top-right of the page;
    • Project Skill Categories – Recommend Skill Category: Technology > Programming & Databases Recommended Skill Subcategories: Mobile Applications;
    • Complete Project Details:
      1. Part A: Title of Project (you can use same title as Elance if you are using both websites);
      2. Describe your Project needs in full detail – I would keep this to around 200-400 words if possible (you can use the same text as Elance);
      3. Attached files – Again, unless you have any great confidentiality needs (in which case attach your confidentiality agreement here instead) then attach some relevant files (your sitemap or other sketches you may have done);
      4. Estimated Project Budget – As with Elance, just take an approximate estimate based on the guidelines I give (later in this chapter) and your own research;
      5. Part B: Skill Category – Mobile Applications > iPhone/iPod/XML (if required);
      6. Industry Experience – I would only select something here if you are looking for someone with programming experience and a background in a particular industry;
      7. Part C: Project Location – Unless you need to meet in person or have a particular requirement to work with a supplier from a certain country then select ‘No Location Requirements’;
      8. Project’s Contact Information – If you are managing the project then this will probably be you. Be prepared to get a few emails but that’s what you want!
      9. Part D: Project Bidding Type – Public: Open to All should be your default choice unless you have a need for more privacy and you want to contact suppliers yourself;
      10. Part E: Additional Information – ‘Offsite’ should be the default pick for most;
      11. Freelancers can bid on this project for – 7 or 15 days should be more than enough time.
      12. Rate per hour in US dollars – I would select ‘Not relevant’ and agree a Fixed Price later;
      13. Part F: Questions for Freelancers: Ask for examples of recent work / their best work that is currently on the App Store, you can also ask for a portfolio. Finally this a good place to ask more specific questions (‘have you ever developed an app specifically for iPad?’).