These days there are tens of thousands of people who work online and many of them are freelancers who get their contracts from online job boards such as Odesk and Elance. If you are thinking about making the move into freelancing and working online then you should bear in mind two things. Firstly that it is a great way to work with jobs coming in from all over the world. And second, that there are hundreds of other people you will be competing with for every job, many of them no doubt willing to accept lower wages. So what do you need to do to win that job contract? Follow these basic steps:
Dazzle the client with your on-site profile: You won’t get any customers if the profile they look at is unimpressive and badly laid out. You’re going to have to spend some time and effort in writing a really impressive online profile and uploading all of your best work into the online portfolio. In that profile you should list all of your related qualifications, as well as more general qualifications and some kind of cv or resume of your career to date. In addition to this there should be a well crafted mission statement of what kind of approach you take to contracts and the type of service you offer clients. This should be about convincing them that you are trustworthy and will do a good job for them. Above all make certain there are no grammar or spelling errors and that everything looks good. This is your main opportunity to win over the client and is in effect your portfolio, resume, business card and business website all rolled into one package. Make certain it dazzles!
Build Up Positive Feedback: With online job boards such as Odesk and Elance, your reputation is all that you have and the jobs that you get online will only ever be given to you based on the quality of your last job review. It is for this reason that you are never, ever able to let your standards slip when fulfilling these contracts. One bad performance review, one below par report and the work will quickly dry up.
Only Ever Bid for Jobs You Know You Have A Good Chance of Winning: You’ll do yourself no favours if you adopt a scattergun approach to bidding for jobs – it will look unprofessional and also cost you money if you are paying for bids.
Get Your Bidding Strategy Sorted: A lot of freelancers prefer to make sure that their bid is the first one on the list, getting in their early so that the prospective client is guaranteed to read their proposal first. This strategy involves knowing how much you are prepared to be paid for the job and not being ready to wait around and adjust your price according to other bids. Consequently if the rest of the bids are a lot lower, you will not stand a chance of winning. However, on the flip side if you are confident of the job you are offering and your price for the work then getting in there first can work very well. Many freelancers however prefer to wait until a lot of bids are in so that they can pitch their proposal somewhere in the middle and remain competitive. Both techniques work well and both depend on how you want to approach each job. More important than your bidding technique is ensuring that your proposal is the most exciting and best written. Try to aim for a balance between reliability, price and examples of work you have done before. Provide a firm completion date and a clear timeline for the job.
Alex writes a blog about working as a freelancer online. He covers everything from freelancer taxes to where to look for work to how to set up your own umbrella company.