Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Freelancer Help Tips- For Successful Freelance Career

Apply Fast:
One of the most important freelancer help tips is for you to apply as fast as you can. After reading the job description of a project if you think that you are the right person for the project then apply on the job immediately. Client would give priority to those who applied first. So if you can be stay in first four/five applicants your interview opportunity would be increase.

Rate or price is a big factor in freelance market place. We all freelancer working for making money. So price should not be the less. In some cases you can give low price as you new in this sector. But don’t try it always. Many clients want to work with experienced but new freelancer.  

Follow instructions:
Never ignore clients instructions. It will help to make a good relation with the client. Your duty is to deliver what the client required. So you have to follow all instructions to the client properly.

Always try to finish your work in time. You must inform to your client before the deadline if you think that you are unable to deliver the work in time.   

Ask question:
Try to ask question if you have any confusion. It will avoid any misunderstanding between you and client.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Fixed Price Jobs Vs Hourly jobs || Which profile is more appealing to clients?

Which profile is more appealing to clients? A profile with more than hundreds of hours worked but only few jobs?
Or a profile with only a few hours billed but has several jobs in the work history?
Suppose I have 22 jobs in my work history but only 93 hours billed because most of the jobs I got hired to were fixed-price projects. I have seen some contractors with only around 2 or 3 jobs but already accumulated more than 500 hours of work.
Contractors who don't have any jobs with decent hours for positions that have potential to be long term... hmmm makes a guy wonder why that may be. Maybe the contractor is a dine n' dash type. Talks the hype lands a gig, then is off with the money before the client knows he's been screwed or taken advantage of. oDesk is littered with that problem.
On the other hand, if I'm hiring for quick tasks I look for a similar pattern in the contractors profile.
If there are a lot of jobs with short hours, its probably because they are applying to one-time fixed-price projects. Just like me, I had more than 20 jobs and billed 110 hours in 2 months. I would be back to school very soon and would be unable to work on long-term projects. Maybe it depends on the clients' needs.
Most of the newbies are desperate to getting job even for minutes only (because of fixed price). It is very important to think about the accumulated hours to work on. It's a very important issue for getting hired. Typically when the contractor has a ton of hours with just 1-2 jobs, they are more of a full-time worker than a freelancer. Unless a client is expecting a long-term commitment & work full-time, there is no extra advantage in those profiles. Their variety of work and feedback might not give the true picture. On the other extreme, there might be people might have had 100 contracts with probably 1000 dollars billed in total. Not good as that indicates extreme diversion, less repeat-customers & very less average contract size ($10). Most good freelancers lie somewhere in-between.
The category is also important. In programming, customer support & data entry, there is a possibility of longer contracts while in writing & translation you will see a lot of comparatively smaller contracts. I have found that many of the good writing contracts tend to be in the range of $200-$500/contract while typical good programming contracts start at $1000/contract.
Anyway, more than the hours & contracts, I think total money earned is very important (roughly indicated by looking at the work history) as that indicates whether the contractor is running a successful business or not and would be the same for hourly & fixed contracts.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Freelancer Help Tips || Questions from newbie and my answer

I've been with oDesk for almost two weeks now, luckily I was invited for around 6 INTERVIEWS already, problem is I COULDN'T pass through interviews..either buyers do not log back in to oDesk anymore or they don't respond to my email or projects are given to other providers. I checked some of those jobs where I was interviewed and I saw that the Buyer paid higher compared to my bid. Also, I try to respond to buyers' emails as polite and as quickly as I could. So, I'm thinking, what else could be the problem? I know I'm getting there, but if you have more "secrets to success" or tips for new freelancer that you want to share, feel free to do so. 
Also HOW do you decide on your BID? On my profile, I placed there $2.22 (I think its good enough for a starter like me?), but when I apply for a specific job I check first the average bid from other providers and see if I can still lower my bid or stick to the average bid. In some situations where I bid higher than $2.22, will that have a negative effect to the buyer (seeing that I bid higher to what's written in my Profile)? 
My Answer:
Really, it depends on the other providers. Remember that buyer will never be bothered about the average. If buyer can find one, just one provider who is more experienced than you and has a better cover letter with the same or lower price than what you offer, in all probability, prefer the other person. It might make sense to go through the individual profiles to see how you can make your bid+cover letter more competitive.

Since you are just beginning out, it is unlikely that buyers will search for your profile through the search of oDesk. In such a case, I would personally suggest having a higher rate on your profile but bidding lower or equal accordingly, rather than having a lower rate on the profile and bidding higher. Just my personal opinion.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Why clients are not selecting you for interview?

Some freelancer asked me to help them. Because they are not getting jobs even not yet selected for interview but they are continuing to apply.

I can say from my experience that you must ask some important relevant questions to the client when you apply on a job.

One of the things that seem to frustrate a lot of providers is the inability to ask questions of the buyer before being selected for an interview or even before applying.
I have been on other freelance sites that do allow this message system.

There is a solution. When applying for a job or bidding on a fixed rate project, ask the questions your inquiring mind wants to know the answers to, in the application itself. Here is an example: 

Job Description
"Link Builder needed”: Need someone to build links outside of my website to increase my search engine ranking.

This gives the provider a small amount of information. From this posting we know:
1. The buyer needs someone to build links and
2. He wants to increase his ranking in the search engines.

Here are the questions that I would ask in the application stage.
- What type of website is it (e-commerce, information, non-profit, personal)?
 -What is your current search engine ranking?
- What have you tried already that has not worked?
- Do you have a method you wish to use to build these links?

Yes, as a link builder, you should already have a good idea of how to do this job, but that does not mean that your methodology is on the same course as the buyer's.

The point is you are allowed to ask questions in your application. If you do not get an answer to your questions and get a "Candidacy Ended", chances are, this buyer did not want to take the time to give you enough information about the job to assume that you would be a good candidate.

The application process is secure, meaning that other providers are not allowed to see what you write in your application. You will either be interviewed with responses to your questions in the interview message, will be interviewed without responses but opening the door to further one on one contact so that you can ask your questions then or the job will be given to another provider.

Asking well thought out questions relevant to the posting is NOT an indication that you do not know how to do the job. It is a sign that you are very interested and would like the opportunity to discuss this further. It can be a great indication to the buyer that you are concerned about his project and would be a good candidate with good communication skills.

Finally I can say that it is a very useful tips to get jobs easily in freelance marketplace.

Monday, June 18, 2012

How to get your very first job as a freelancer || Part-II

A lot of newbies’ asked me that they complete their profile 100%. But not getting any job. They become so frustrated.

So I want to give some helpful tips for freelancer who are not getting job.

Day by day competitions are increasing rapidly in freelance market place. So it is hard for newbie to get a job. But following tips will be helpful to get job in marketplace.

1. Have patience and what you need to have is constant moving apply for jobs if you are fit for the job. Don't get frustrated if you see no response from any of your applied jobs, you need to have your moral high and constant moving. (In freelancing this is must thing that a newbie must have.)

2. Try to reduce your hourly rate (as you are newbie) as you should give a reason to your employer to hire you and in case of newbie this is possible having your rate a bit low. Try to make a good relation first.
In addition, bidding with a lower rate does not always help.

3. Hide the scores that are below average and retake them and try to improve them. Try to pass couple of more tests with good average.

4. Try to write custom cover letter to every job you apply. This is most important thing which 80% contractors do not care for. Write in cover letter exactly that what your employer wants to see in. DO NOT copy and paste one sample cover letter to every job.

5. Don't ever show you are needy of money and you need a job, never beg for the job. Always try to give your expertise that what you can do actually for your employer. Show your employer your skills, your experiences and most important what you can do for him/her.

I hope these 5 points will help you out.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

How to get your very first job as a freelancer?

I got my first job in May 2009. Getting a new job in freelance marketplace was not easy for me. After sign up on February 2009 I've to wait four months to get the first job. During my first four months I was so disappointed of not getting any interviews for the numerous jobs that I applied for. It was very discouraging and thought of quitting at oDesk. I decided not to quit but did a lot of things that brought me to where I am now and these are the thing that I want to share with my fellow newbies to wit:

1.  Change the title of your profile:
 I started my profile with the title Graphic Artist/Logo-Banner-Stationey Designer/Flash Animator obviously it didn’t work for me since as mentioned I didn’t get a single interview for few that I have been applying. I changed the title to Topnotch Graphic & Animation Artist/Fast and Detail-oriented/Trustworthy. Why did I choose this title – if you may have noticed adjectives such as fast, detail-oriented, trustworthy/dependable are the most frequently mentioned qualities that any employers are looking for. If you were the employer would you not prefer a contractor with such qualities?

2.  Continue taking oDesk tests:
Being a newbie your job experience outside of oDesk is not attractive enough, prospective employers would want something more recent in your profile.
Likewise, being a newbie you got no feedback rating to speak of. Taking oDesk tests can spice up your profile. Even if you have already passed a particular test, retake it till you belong to at least top 20.

3.  Make an impressive cover letter:
Your cover letter is your forefront and very invaluable tool that will catch the attention of any prospective client. Address the posted specific job requirements of the employer in the first three lines of your cover letter – this will make him/her read through your entire cover letter. Never use a generic cover letter – smart employers are turned off when they see one and able to detect if it’s a generic cover letter.

4.  Narrow down your job applications to 2-3 job categories:
After signing up as oDesk contractor on February 2009 in my desire to get a job outright I applied to almost 8-10 job categories. I learned that it was not a good approach since I got declined most of the time. I guess you will agree with me that it’s not a good feeling that every time you sign in at oDesk what you see or get is a notification that your application was declined. Evaluate your skills, try to determine where you’re really good at and apply only to jobs where you honestly believe you are a good fit.

5. Give your best shot on your very first contract:
When I got my first contract I carefully read the job assignment and instructions, I read it several times and made sure that I understand it very well. I did not jump in and log in my hours right away at oDesk. I did some initial off-hours web research first to get an idea how to best approach the assignment. Only when I was confident enough that I can deliver the desired output of my employer only then that I started logging in my hours. I submitted a final report that included additional info which I believe is very relevant to the assignment which was probably missed out by my employer. The additional info made an impact to my employer. He gave me an outstanding rating of 5 and great commendations. Just two weeks after my first contract I got another one and also got a perfect feedback score of 5 and even received a bonus.

Finally I want to say try these tips and hope you will get your first job soon.
Best of luck.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

How to find a good client in freelance marketplace?

 I'm a working as a freelancer in and It is a great experience to work with a good client. I want to give you some tips here that help freelancer to find a good client in a freelance marketplace.

If any freelancer follows the tips that I described below it help them a lot to find a good client. I hope keeping these things in your mind will give you better experience.

1. Verified Payment Method:
The first and one of the most important things is to check if the client has a verified payment method. This will ensure his payments in hourly contracts, and increase surety in fixed price contracts.
If the client is new and doesn't have a verified payment method, you may ask politely about what he is thinking to get his payment method verified. I have found some clients who are actually under process of getting his payment method verified.

2. The Country he lives in:
I found this a vital point for choosing a client. Choosing a client from a HIGHER ECONOMY country may be good for a lot of contractors. 

3. Rating/ Feedback he received: 
It’s always better to work with someone who already has experience working with other contractors and has received good (4 and above) feedback and ratings. This makes things easier.

4. Rating/ Feedback he gave:
I know most people don't consider this. But for me, this is one of the most important things to consider when I choose a client.
You'll find a lot of clients who often provides bad rating/ feedback to the contractors and often criticizes them. When you read both comments of client and contractor, you'll see that the work was completed successfully without any problem and there was everything alright. But then also, client gave low rating just because he doesn't want to praise his team member. I think this is a BOSS type attitude, rather than a TEAM LEADER attitude. And I ignore these types of clients mostly. They will often try to keep you in mental pressure and take advantage of your work without proper valuation. 

5. Fees he pays to contractors:
This is another vital point I consider. When you try to apply for a new job, and see client's previous records, you'll see how much he pays to contractors. Some clients are there who pays $30 for a $300 job. I try to avoid them.

Finally, there is always exception. There are clients who are good but had some bad experiences with some bad contractors. You'll understand that from their comments in feedback. I think they will respect you more than the new comers, since they know the pain of the bad contractors. So, if you are a good contractor, they'll do everything to ensure you are happy with them.