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How To Get Freelance Work On Elance.com... A few Tips

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Getting Work On Elance… 10 Tips

 

As there is a bit of conversation around this I thought I would put up some tips.

 

As most here are va’s (of course), what you can charge on Elance to start will be lower than probably what you really want and will depend on your specialty… That being said Elance will bring in paid work, build your companies reputation and you can put your prices up once you start to build your reputation and client relationships.

 

I have only done maybe 10 or 12 jobs on Elance however I have now gained two major clients from that who will be long term and will bring in a minimum of 17k per annum.

 

So don’t write off Elance as not good business. If you have spent any time online you will know how hard it is to get clients unless you are getting mainly referrals. Work from rankings and links on other sites just doesn’t cut it especially if you are in a service industry.

 

So a sites that have dozens of clients crying out for work to be done is a god send, way much easier to get a biz off the ground than before the internet was here.

 

Onto the tips…

 

 

1. Before bidding on anything, write up a really great profile with as much information as you can about your credentials.

 

Don’t do the tests unless you are confident as I don’t think you can remove them once done (although you can retake them).

 

2. To get at least one rating your first bid will need to bid next to nothing. Do the job 110% to get really great feedback.

 

3. Your next few bids, bid low and emphasize…

 

a) your experience.

B) English as first language (where appropriate)

 

This second one is a strength as most of your competition will come from developing countries. Buyers like clear and easy communication.

 

4. Once you have a few good ratings under your belt, you can start to increase your bids.

 

5. What jobs to pick…

 

These are basically, “if I could choose the perfect job and client myself” tips. Therefore do not pick…

 

a) One sentence job descriptions as the buyer has no idea (usually) about how to communicate what is needed.

B) Jobs where they want a million things done for nothing.

c) That you are unsure about doing or do not have at least one of your own employees or outsourcers that can do easily.

d) where there are 40 other bids unless you have something the other providers do not that is the job description.

e) Jobs that require lengthy written proposals and plans before the job is given.

 

Do pick jobs…

 

a) Where the buyer has some experience around what has to be done to get the job completed. These people are usually more understanding and don’t ask so many questions.

B) Who see you as the expert and is open to all your suggestions and work.

c) B2b clients. In general, clients who have a personal site can be a pain and won’t bring a lot or any return work. People who own businesses may come back and give you ongoing work.

 

6. Even when proposals are short, I usually use the “ask a question” section before I bid as this achieves two things.

 

a) If the client is happy with your profile and business they will answer.

B) Saves a lot of time (writing proposal) if they are not.

 

7. Check and reply to jobs on Elance based on a schedule. i.e. I will look and apply for jobs on Elance at the end of each Friday for 3 hours.

 

8. Find partners if required.

 

Depending on your field there may be many jobs which you can do 80% of easily but need someone else with different expertise to do the rest.

 

In doing so can significantly increase the amount of work you cab bid on.

 

To finish off and give a good example of this, I apply for a lot of coding jobs or where coding and applications can be a reasonable part of a job.

 

My expertise is in marketing, sales, SEO although I do know some html, CSS, etc. My main ability is really in visualizing business and marketing plans/ideas, bigger picture stuff.

 

So what I do is get experts in the coding to do these jobs as you can’t be all things in your business, a lesson which took me quite a while to learn.

 

 

I hope this gives a few of the new people building there business some good ideas.

 

Cheers,

Chris.

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Chris,

Just wanted to thank you for posting this, very nice thing to do. I find it helpful, being a newbie. I never looked to Elance for work, thinking it would be like working for nothing. Now I see the advantages since you pointed them out so clearly. :blush:

 

Regards

Jo-Carole

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Thanks, Chris.

 

I have looked at a couple of freelance sites but wasn't sure about signing up.

 

Have you tried any other sites? I was looking at ifreelance.com and I think in another post someone else mentioned guru.com.

 

Just wondering if you chose elance over the others and why?

 

Thanks, again...Denise

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Thanks Chris. I've always avoided elance and other freelance sites because they always seem to be looking for writers who are willing to work for almost nothing. But you've made some good points about why I should consider them. I'll take a another look!

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Elance is probably the best in terms of amount of money you will get for projects.

 

Odesk.com is the next best. Although there are low priced competitors on there some VA type services are charging $20 to $28 per hour and getting work.

 

ifreelance.com looks decent although I haven't put up any bids there as yet.

 

Guru.com - dont bother, full of tyre kickers and scammers.

 

Rentacoder.com & Getafreelancer.com are good sites to get work done if you require it. Hard to bid on projects here as the comp is fierce and there are many very good providers who bid very low and charge low hourly rates.

 

 

Cheers,

Chris.

 

 

 

 

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Chris

 

Great advice. Thanks for posting it here.

 

I am one of those who would tell people - don't bother, not worth it - but you have given some very sound reasons and and tactics for doing exactly the opposite. Good for you!

 

 

 

 

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Chris

 

Great advice. Thanks for posting it here.

 

I am one of those who would tell people - don't bother, not worth it - but you have given some very sound reasons and and tactics for doing exactly the opposite. Good for you!

 

Thank you for looking deeper and telling us about this, Chris.

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Chris,

 

This is indeed very helpful. I am a newbie in the virtual assistance business and your tips are really great. Ive been using eLance since last year but I am very excited to apply what I've learned from you.

 

Thanks! :thumbup:

 

-= eLLa =-

epVirtual Assistants

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Great advice, Chris. I am with Yvonne when it comes to "don't bother-not worth it" but I guess this economy is forcing me to look at other options.

 

Just out of curiosity, Chris, what kinds of tests are there on elance.com? Typing, grammar? I've never heard of any tests on elance.

 

Thanks.

 

Leisa

 

www.GemstoneBusinessSolutions.com

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Thank-you Chris for this posting. I have been somewhat of a closet Elancer until now due to the large bias against freelance sites that I have picked up from other posts. I've only been a member of Elance since February 09, but have already made $500, mainly in the last two weeks. For me, it's a method to develop my online portfolio and market myself until I am ready to officially launch my business locally. If I gain some long term clients during that time, then it's an added bonus.

 

I only wish I had read this before wasting half my Connects while I was learning the ins and outs - would have saved me some time!

 

As for other freelance sites, I personally haven't found another one that I trust or like as well as Elance. Some of the sites charge very high fees and I'm not willing to risk those fees at this point. I'd prefer to become an insider here at VANA, and subscribe to other communities with RFP's.

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Thanks a lot for this information.

 

You're right, if you are a newbie this is a great way to get your feet wet. I'm sure some of us (including me are working hard just to get our first client.

 

Thanks again :)

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1. Before bidding on anything, write up a really great profile with as much information as you can about your credentials.

 

Don’t do the tests unless you are confident as I don’t think you can remove them once done (although you can retake them).

 

I just wanted to clarify this - you can re-take the tests every 14 days - and you can indeed remove them. The best option though is to choose not to show by "hiding" them, and re-taking the test again at a later date. You can only show 10 test results at a time. If you aren't comfortable with taking the test, you can self-rate. Even if you score poorly on a test (there are admitted problem with some of them) then you can choose to show the sel-rate option instead.

 

There are about 150 skills tests offered - from programming to office management skills.

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