Elance is one of the most popular websites for freelancers working online. I have used the website myself for two years. My experience with the website was very good; I got some clients that I loved working with. Those clients didn’t only work with me, they referred other clients to me.
I always hear from my friends that it’s very hard to get your first job on Elance or other freelance websites in general. This is actually true, because, let’s face it, if you are a client and you want your job done with good quality in a short time, would you be willing to take the risk and give the job to a freelancer with no reviews or rating? I don’t think so.
Here are some points which I hope will help freelancers to secure more jobs on Elance or similar websites. These points are not only for new freelancers, but may also benefit experienced freelancers.
Be an early bird.
It’s very important to be one of the first freelancers who bid on the job. You’ll get the client’s attention first. When there are several freelancers already bidding on the job, the client will be more likely to read the first bids. Other than that, when there are already 50 bids on the job, the client might be overwhelmed with the number of bids that he has to read.
Don’t brag about your experience; they don’t care about it.
Seriously, clients do not care about how many years you spent writing PHP codes or how many full-time jobs you took in the past, they posted the job because they want it done. Instead of annoying the client with details of your past experience, try to attract him by giving him some ideas on how you’ll solve his specific problem.
The client will be very glad when he read how much details you provided him about his job, not anything else. I know some guys have a ready written template for the bids, and the only thing they do is copy and paste this template and send it to the client. This is a so awful thing to do. Clients always tend to avoid generalized bids, don’t do that, please.
Complete your profile
Make sure that you complete your profile, especially the identity verification. Also, try to list all your skills in order, and take the skills tests seriously. I took the WordPress test and got a high score in it (Top 5%). This score helped me to get new jobs, I didn’t only put it in my profile, but actually told the clients in the bids that I’m from the top 5% WordPress developers in Elance.
Furthermore, make sure that you add your previous work in your portfolio. Later on, you can attach these works with your bid when you submit it to the clients.
Professional Profile Picture
When you upload your picture, make sure to choose the right one. There is no harm in looking like a professional in the picture. You want the clients to take you seriously, don’t you? Once you’ve uploaded a picture, you can change it later but the problem is when you change it, Elance will remove the verification badge from your profile, and you have to verify yourself once again. That’s why you should pay attention to your profile picture.
Specialize in a specific niche
I bet you’ve already noticed how huge the amount of bids on jobs like “PHP website” or “WordPress website” or even “PSD to HTML”. The number of freelancers doing these kinds of jobs is crazy. My advice is to take a small niche and specialize in it. It will be your brand and with time, no one can compete with you in it. For example, there is a Russian company which specializes in optimizing the speed of the websites. They even named themselves “Speed optimization“. I bet that they secure speed optimization jobs very easily.
Moreover, I myself have specialized in WordPress plugins development, not just that, but I focused on WooCommerce plugins, which worked very well for me. There is a fewer competition in micro-niches, therefore you can ask a higher prices and get much more attention in that specific field.
Be sure that you get five stars.
It’s very important to get five stars rating, especially for new freelancers. The second you finish the job, send the client a message and make it crystal clear that you want 5 stars rating. Explain to him that his rating is very important to you to secure more jobs in the future. But before that, you must make sure that you delivered a high-quality work.
If you thought the client are going to give you a low rating, send him a polite message to explain to him how much his low rating would harm you in the future. and if he won’t give you 5 stars rating, ask him to at least leave the job without rating.
I hope this short list would help you in your freelancing journey, I will write more posts in the future about freelancing. Please, make sure that you get back to my blog or subscribe in my mailing list to get all the new content immediately.
Finally, freelancers without any rating, I always advise them to bid on low budget jobs (20-30$), These jobs do not have high-risk according to the client, You can explain to him in the bid that you’re bidding to get a good rating, and you’ll be very glad if he helps you with this. Good luck!