Elance Blog

Advice From An Elancer (Volume 8)

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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In this entry, I would like to discuss realistic job postings. Yes, clients, this is about you. It’s about expectations and rates and posting details. Some clients post thorough job descriptions with reasonable budgets. These are not those clients.

Client #1:

Job post from a client with a 67% award rate and generally good feedback from contractors:

I need a native English speaker for a series of “how to” books for Kindle. Each book 15,000 words. I will provide topics, titles, basic research. You will provide outline before starting. You will write promotional summary. Book must be original and written in perfect English, free of errors. Must be formatted for Kindle.

Bid for one ebook. Budget less than $500.

Advice from an Elancer:

Sigh. Where do I begin? You want a 15,000 word book. That translates to approximately50 pages. The freelancer needs to research, write an outline for approval, a promo for you to use, AND format it for .mobi for Kindle. And you want it all for under $500.

Dear client, this is unreasonable. There are job postings just for formatting ebooks for various electronic readers with budgets of more than $50, so let’s subtract that. Then there’s the research – even if it only takes 2 hours that would be at least another $50. The promo is another page, $10 or less at your rate. An outline for approval is, of course, another page or two. And this doesn’t even take into account the actual writing. I may be a little off, but that is asking your freelancer to work for around $7 per page once they get writing.

Unbelievably, this job had 14 proposals from $27-542. It was not awarded.

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Client #2:

Job post from a client with skewed priorities:

I am passionate about making a difference. I want someone to find positive stories, reword them, and provide 2 articles per day of 500 words each. Please reply with a sample article that relates to what I am looking for. Our budget is $20-100 Welcome to our team!

Advice from an Elancer:

16 freelancers applied for this job. One was declined. The winner bid $4. It isn’t clear if that is per article or per day. This freelancer had a mostly blank profile with the quote: “I'm sure I can provide funnily inspirational quotes and stories about current affairs that are good humored and going on today.”

$4 per 500 word article is absurd. Whether you are rewording or not, it is too low. $2 per 500 words if this per day? Don’t get me started. AND THERE IS A CLEAR VIOLATION HERE! WHO SEES IT? If you guessed ‘please reply with sample article…’ you are correct. Freelancers NEVER provide a sample based on the client’s need. It is a violation of Elance Terms because you are asking for free work.

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Client #3:

Job listing that is just plain silly:

I'm reinstating this job I posted over a year ago. You agreed then to do it for $300. One this is completed I would also like to discuss or work with you.

Advice from an Elancer:

And really, this gets to the heart of the problem. Some clients don’t bother to read the manuals or help sections or even the actual job listing page while they are posting. This is obviously a job meant for a certain freelancer. There were no invitations and the listing was open. It should have been a listing that was only visible to the invited freelancer that the client wanted.

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Please note that these are only a few examples of job postings that are problematic. There are some very thorough job listings from clients who are willing to pay appropriately for the work they are requesting. All clients could take lessons from them.

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

I'm confused about how to create a milestone.

me too ! I m confused when i make invoice to my client...

You should both join the Elance Professional Network on Linkedin. But I'll be back to answer your questions shortly!

I am sure no serious professional would be interested in such ridiculous but still such jobs get proposal not only admin category but pretty much every where.

is elance planning to do something about it and will maintain its quality and preference over other? I am sure elance is not trying to complete with other freelancing based sites which claim average job under $30

willowgreen: This link should help you with milestones. http://help.elance.com/entries/34503-What-Milestones-should-I-specify-wi...

indriyana: When you mark your job status Complete on the timesheet, the client is automatically invoiced. Hourly job timesheets are automatically sent on the Monday of the following week. http://help.elance.com/entries/54255-How-do-I-invoice-for-an-hourly-job-...

v-2nas: I'm not sure what you are referring to. Can you clarify?

Maybe I am naive or ignorant, but about that payment issue... some of us can't get anything more than $5 for any jobs that we handle for clients. But then I guess the problem is that we are always dealing with brokers who take the largest share even without working.

Mahinge,

I'd like to know more. Are you using Escrow? Work View? Elance has a payment guarantee. If it is an Escrow job NEVER start working until the job or milestone is funded. Then you will get paid.

If payment is owed, you can always file a dispute.

Join the Linkedin Group: Elance Professional Network and contact me with a message there at
www.linkedin.com/in/dorothydistefano/

I do not get notifications of replies here, and I think I can help you out.

Dorothy