Elance Blog

Advice From An Elancer (Volume 12)

Welcome to Advice From An Elancer – a place to ask your Elance questions (through Elance’s LinkedIn page) and get them answered as thoroughly and personally as possible. My name is Dorothy D. and I have worked with Elance as a freelancer since April 2009. I have always tried to help other Elancers understand how things work and how to accomplish more. In Advice From An Elancer I will address as many questions as I can each week. In some cases, questions have been edited for clarity.

Question #1:

Are freelancers allowed to communicate via Skype before a job is awarded?

Advice from an Elancer:

As long as the client has opened up communication through Elance by starting a conversation in the workroom, Skype is allowed. Remember, all communication must be documented in the workroom in case of later disputes and/or for reference. In other words, no matter how you communicate, summarize the communication in the workroom. (Thanks Jo Murphy for clarifying this at a webinar.)

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Question #2:

How do you bid on a job listing like this (9 people bid on it!): I want you to write 3 books for me they will probably be on different topics the eBooks are going to go through a plagiarism checker after the work is complete to see if the content is original.

Advice from an Elancer:

Well, you don’t bid on a job like that. There are definite problems with the listing. First of all, without knowing the topics, you don’t know if there will be research involved or if you will be completely out of your league with a legal, medical, or technical topic you have NO background for. Secondly, there is no information regarding the expected length of the eBooks. How can you bid without knowing how much content you will be providing? Thirdly, will you be expected to provide a cover, a table of contents, royalty free images?

For a job like this, you either have to pay a connect to ask for clarification or just move on. You don’t know what you are getting into.

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Question #3:

I noticed a huge drop in my points and rankings and levels with the new Elance algorithm. What is going on?

Advice from an Elancer:

I’m hearing this a lot. I’m feeling it as well. I dropped more than 60 points and my rank sank like a stone in a well – more than 2,500 spaces down. I don’t even want to talk level. The funniest thing is that all of my statistics percentages appear to have gone up.

Apparently we are now being benchmarked with freelancers in similar levels and categories. We are also being evaluated on “repeat clients” and “earnings percentage”. Quite honestly, the secret equation that calculates this is above my pay grade.

Do I like the new ratings system? Well, I’m keeping my head down and working as hard as I can. And no, I don’t like the way it makes me look. I still think individuals and companies should be separate because a company can certainly out-earn an individual and all of that figures into the metric.

What do you think? Check out the Water Cooler for info and comments: https://www.elance.com/q/forum/conference-room/my-stats-levels-and-recommend-score-updates-faqs

or go to the Suggestion box and voice your suggestions there http://elance.uservoice.com/forums/31229-general

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That’s enough for today. If you have questions or want to follow the conversation of other Elancers, visit the Discussion page of our LinkedIn page.