Elance Blog

Advice From An Elancer (Volume 13)

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.
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Question #1:

A “personnel manager” recently posted in the Elance Professional Network on LinkedIn that there is a “secret cover letter recipe” for amazing results.  It says it is free.

Advice from an Elancer:

I looked at the site indicated in this spam post. There is no secret. The video is 20 minutes long and is a hard sell. It keeps watchers engaged with the promise of revealing a “secret sentence” at the end. I left the video running as I checked out www.ripoffreport.com ‘s report as well as other reviews. The software costs somewhere between $20-50 depending on what you read. I gave up on the video drivel after 8 minutes. The bottom line is that there is no secret. You need your cover letter, in Elance’s case a proposal, and a résumé, in this case a profile, to get jobs. Period. No magic. No secret formula.

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Question #2:

What’s with the changes in the basic Elance plan? I don’t get it.

Advice from an Elancer:

Elance has made several changes recently. Honestly, I’m surprised there wasn’t more of a differentiator between (free) Basic and ($10) Individual before now. Those willing to pay will get more for their membership, just like any site offering a service.

The big changes include appearing higher in search rank, the ability to view the range of bids from other freelancers, and being able to feature samples in proposals. Are these features worth paying for a plan? This is a decision every freelancer should make for themselves. A ten dollar investment to use extra features and have more Connect opportunities is worth it for me. It’s a tax write-off. Is it worth it to you?

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Question #3:

Why do some clients list jobs that exclude freelancers from certain parts of the world?

Advice from an Elancer:

Often, jobs are posted with the need for specific geographic knowledge and the client wants to find someone who knows the area. Some clients have had less than ideal job performance from freelancers from an area, so they are unfairly biased towards it based on a limited sample. If the client is keeping you from bidding because of your location, do you really want to work for that person? Look for the clients who are interested in your skills, not where you live.

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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.

Comments

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