Elance Blog

Advice From An Elancer (Volume 7)

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:

How can I write an eye catching proposal and portfolio? All of my currently saved works are freelance/for hire gigs that don't have my byline on them.

Advice from an Elancer:

Do all of your works have agreements that you cannot use them for other purposes? For example, I write for teachnology and they allow me to use my work for them in proposals. You may need to write some pieces that are not specifically for clients to use in your portfolio. I generally do not write as much fiction, and what I have written is ghostwritten and I do not have the rights to use it. I have written a few short pieces that I can use as examples in proposals. As I said before, I do not keep a portfolio because of the risk of plagiarism. I provide examples for clients based on the type of work they are looking for. This gives me peace of mind and the potential client receives samples that are more targeted to their job.

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Question #2:

A client posted a job, had a brief discussion and then was away for 2 - 3 months and did not reply. What should Elance do at this stage or what are the steps freelancer must take now that the client is back?

Advice from an Elancer:

That is something to discuss with the client. Elance has nothing to do with it. If escrow was funded, and you did the work and marked it complete, Elance will notify the client. If, after 30 days, the client has not responded, Elance will release the funds. This only applies if the job is complete. This is why Elancers should never work until escrow is funded.

If you were not informed that there would be an extended waiting period and you chose not to wait, you could have canceled the job. Next to the job, there is an Action dropdown menu, you could have clicked on Refund, Cancel, or Dispute, which will take you to the dispute process. You would have been able to cancel the job from there.

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Question #3:

What's the best way to target compatible projects without paying additional fees? I want to bid on a job in "Design and Multimedia, but, I'm "Writing/Translation"?

Advice from an Elancer:

Elance allows you to indicate what category you wish to work in. The Basic (free) plan does not allow the Elancer to add additional categories. Individual, Small Company, and Large Company memberships allow you to add categories for $5/month for each category.

If you consider it from a client perspective, searching through multiple provider categories can be a chore. For example, an Elancer who is feeling pressured to land a job may indicate that they belong in both Writing and Translation, as well as Design and Multimedia, and Admin Support even if they do not have the full complement of skills for all of those areas. This fee encourages the Elancer to consider what category or categories they are most skilled in prior to listing themselves in each area. This narrows down the proposals from unqualified or not fully qualified providers, so that clients can consider those who are best qualified for each job.

In my next entry, I will be doing another profile review.  Check back for some real-world advice!

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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

Effective solution for everyone..Thanks for this blog

Many good its clarification, Dorothy!
This helps all of us become better and stronger.
Congratulations for the great work.

Daniel/ Studio Domingos