Elance Blog

Advice From An Elancer (Volume 18)

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:

When I've done work in the past I haven't asked clients whether I can use a portion of the work as a sample for potential new clients. I'm wondering how people go about getting/having writing/editing samples and how to ask clients whether I can use part of their job as a sample?

Advice from an Elancer:

Some projects require you sign a non-disclosure agreement, stating that you have no right to use the content in any context. In these cases, you cannot use it, period. There is no harm in asking a client whether you can use part of a job as a portfolio sample, but be prepared to hear “no”. Ghostwritten content is ghostwritten for a reason.

What you CAN do is use blog posts that you have written; any articles or content published online in your name; or create some samples of your own for your portfolio. There is nothing wrong with creating your own samples of various types of writing, just don’t provide free samples in response to job listings. These are a violation of the terms of service.

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Question #2:

My profile is suspended because I had more than one account. I have talked to Elance and they have deleted all of my accounts. What can I do?

Advice from an Elancer:

It is a violation of Elance terms of service to have more than one account. In one of the many legal files, it states that each user may register for one Client account and one Freelance account. I’m not sure why you would have multiple accounts, but by submitting an Elance support ticket, you may ask for details and an investigation. The policy regarding accounts is here.

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Question #3:

What should we think about the Elance/oDesk merger?

Advice from an Elancer:

I can’t tell you what to think, but I can tell you that the two platforms will remain separate for now. Hopefully the merger will benefit everyone, as that's the intention from the union.

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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.

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