Funny Story: What It's Like To Meet Elance Clients In "Real Life.”e_darrellj | Dec 18, 2012
Note: One thing we hear often from freelancers and clients alike is how great it is getting to know people while working on Elance, and building personal relationships on the platform. The line between “colleagues” and “friends” is often blurred as one project turns into two, and two turns into ten. Here is a fresh perspective on this topic, from Elancer Ben Gran.
One of my favorite things about being an Elance contractor is that I get to work with a variety of clients all over the U.S. and all over the world. I’ve written for companies in locations ranging from New York to Los Angeles, Seattle to Miami, and overseas (London, Germany, Belgium, Tokyo and Australia).
But even though I’ve worked with more than 100 different clients on Elance, I usually don’t get to meet face-to-face with the people I work with. So it was a lot of fun earlier this year when I traveled to New York City (on unrelated business) and while I was in town, I got to meet up with a few of my favorite Elance clients.
<a data-cke-saved-href="https://twitter.com/share" href="https://twitter.com/share" class="twitter-share-button" data-url="https://www.elance.com/q/blog/ funny-story-what-its-meet-elance-clients-real-life”" data-text=" Funny Story: What It's Like To Meet Elance Clients In " real="" life.”="" ”="" -="" @elance="" blog="" "="" data-via="Elance">My Elance clients that I got to meet in New York were Vincent Fabrico and Jason Stephens. I’ve worked with all of these guys on various web content and blog writing projects for their companies during the past 2 years. We had talked on the phone and had Skype chats and collaborated on big projects over many months, but we had never actually met in person.
<a data-cke-saved-href="https://twitter.com/share" href="https://twitter.com/share" class="twitter-share-button" data-url="https://www.elance.com/q/blog/ funny-story-what-its-meet-elance-clients-real-life”" data-text=" Funny Story: What It's Like To Meet Elance Clients In " real="" life.”="" ”="" -="" @elance="" blog="" "="" data-via="Elance">We were able to find a night on everyone’s schedule where my Elance clients came to watch me perform stand-up comedy at a comedy showcase in the East Village. (I’m not just a freelance writer; I also do stand-up comedy – although my comedy thing is more of an “expensive hobby” at this point than a “career”). At first I was afraid that after my Elance clients saw my stand-up routine, they wouldn’t want to work with me anymore – but they all had a great time and complimented me on my performance.
Pictured here (from left to right) are Ben Gran, Vincent Fabrico and Jason Stephens.
It was really great to meet in person and have a few drinks with these people who I had “known” for awhile, but never gotten to spend time with in “real life.” It was reassuring and energizing to get to see the real people behind all those e-mails – it made my work feel that much more real, and made me feel better connected to my clients.
The experience made me reflect on how Elance has changed my whole idea of job security. I started working on Elance back in January 2009. At the time, I had a full-time job at a Fortune 500 company. My sense of financial security was based on a single company, a single industry, and a single paycheck.
But over time, working on Elance, I discovered a new way of working where “work” isn’t a place you go or a cubicle you sit in, it’s something you do – by capitalizing on your own skills and ambition and brain power. And thanks to Elance, you can work with people all over the world and expand your personal “job security” safety net to a global level.
Now, instead of having one paycheck from one employer, I have lots of projects and paychecks from employers all over the world in all kinds of industries. I'm not depending on the success of one company, the health of one local economy, or the ups and downs of one industry. And I've met amazing people who I consider to be friends as well as business partners.
If I could offer one piece of advice to my fellow Elance contractors, it is this: Put your heart into your work. Bring the personal touch to every project. Try to be generous in the effort you put forth on every job, and share something of yourself with your clients so that they will want to get to know you better and meet you in person, given the chance.
Just because we’re working remotely and working online doesn’t mean we have to give up building strong working relationships and creating real human connections. I’ve been amazed at what great people there are to meet on Elance – talented, hard-working people who are doing exciting, innovative things. I hope I get to meet many more of my Elance clients in “real life” in the future.