Elance Blog

How Elance Uses Elance

96,000 experts. $200 million earned. 25,000 jobs just this past month.

All of you providers, employers, entrepreneurs, IT managers, marketers, business owners, and Cloud Commuters know that there is literally a ton of quality work that is consistently getting done around the world and around the clock.

And don’t think for one second that the team at Elance HQ doesn’t notice all of the great work going on right now – after all, it would be absolutely silly not to tap in to the awesome resources that skilled elancers provide. We here at Elance use Elance in a number of ways to grow our business and help keep our operation running smooth. For example:

Engineering: Some of the best developers around are elancers. We work with engineers from all over the world to augment our internal engineering team on multiple development projects. Elance software architects assign specific jobs to remote developers who then write code, and as pieces of code are checked-in, our engineering team at headquarters reviews, tests, and then integrates.

Customer Support: We currently contract 100% of our tier one customer support to experienced customer service professionals on Elance throughout the U.S. Using elancers allows us to ramp hours up and down as quickly as needed to match changing volumes of support cases. This not only gives us a flexible way to optimize our capacity but also helps us control costs.

Quality Assurance: Since Quality Assurance testing ramps up and down according to our release cycles, we leverage the same elancers as we do in Customer Support to do in depth quality assurance testing for two out of every five weeks. External elancers use the same QA tools (TestLink and Bugzilla) used by the internal QA team.

Drupal Programming: Our community forums and this very blog are powered by the open source software package Drupal, and 100% of our Drupal customization work is done by elancers. They have the ability to modify and test Drupal pages on a “staging system”, thus allowing both the internal team and the elancer to quickly view their contribution and provide feedback in a real-time fashion.

Marketing Collateral: Videos, banner ads, and radio ads are all produced with talent found on Elance. And it doesn’t stop there – you can have an elancer help you design logos, brochures, pamphlets, newsletters, shirts, buttons, pins – you name it, you can get it designed on Elance. 

Product Design:
Since we release an update to our product about every five weeks, it's important to move fast on designs for brand new features. Much of the product polishing work is done by skilled elancers, and new, corresponding icons and graphics are often created by Elance designers as well.

Usability Testing:
Before launching new features, we always like to get a few extra sets of eyes and hands on them for a thorough test drive. Elancers contribute by testing design and functionality elements and provide critical feedback that improves our site.

Voice Talent:
Voice work is an important aspect of any business as it is one of the first and possibly only voices your customers or clients may hear. We hired elancers to create all of our phone greetings, Customer Service voicemails, and all other voicework assets for our site and company to use.

Online Help And Educational Content Development:
Technical writers ensure there is a consistent message and tone throughout the hundreds of online Help pages on our site. They ensure it stays up-to-date and relevant as our site continuously evolves. This also includes recording new video content in Camtasia for product tutorials.

Content development, data entry, product design, usability testing, public relations, voice talent – these are just a few of the ways we here use Elance. There are hundreds of other great ways to reap the benefits of having 95,000 skilled providers working with you. See the Top 100 Jobs You Can Elance to jumpstart that mind with a few more ideas. And yes, it too was produced with the help of elancers.

Links:
Elance - Top 100 Jobs You Can Elance
Elance Blog - How To Review A Provider Profile
Elance Blog - How To Find And Invite The Best Providers