If you’re in search of a graphic designer, you may want to skip Elance and go directly to Twitter.  Finding recommended vendors and freelancers for your business may be as easy as asking the folks in your social media who they recommend. Here’s how:

LinkedIn. One of the most powerful elements of LinkedIn is the “recommendations” feature. You can write, read, and request recommendations from others in your network. It may take a little legwork, but you can use this feature to find a great copywriter and read what others have to say about them. Think of it as a Yelp for people.

Twitter. While you’re missing out on the depth of information available on LinkedIn, you can get instant responses on Twitter. For instance, tweet “Looking for a great online bookkeeper” and you may get responses within minutes. Give more weight to those that come from inside your network; oftentimes a request for referrals will generate automated responses from a spammer. It looks like as if it comes from one of your friends, but is actually an ad.

Facebook. You can post requests for referrals, just like on Twitter, and you can also search for people with those keywords in their profiles. Beware, though; just because someone is listed as “Penelope Bookkeeper” doesn’t mean they’re an expert. You could also post your request in groups that are associated with the topic (post a request for a logo designer on a graphic artists’ Facebook group wall, for example).

YouTube. It might seem a little strange to put out a call for resources via video, but why not? Especially if you have a significant following, you could get a tremendous response. Added benefit: If the project you have in mind has a visual aspect, you can demonstrate it right on the video (think office organization, website overhaul, bathroom remodel).

Even if eight people recommend the same web designer, remember to do your due diligence.

With these tips in mind, you’ll be able to find great resources with the click of a mouse.