Meet Another $100,000 Freelancer On Elance.e_darrellj | May 16, 2013
Nobody loves a well-deserved success story more than Elancers.
And this particular success story centers on a wonderful wordsmith in her own right: Writer and Editor Kristine M. Smith of Tacoma, Washington (located up in the picturesque Pacific Northwest of the USA, for those unfamiliar with that neck of the woods).
What makes Kristine’s story so enlightening is not only how successful she is working on Elance (her earnings just topped the $100,000 mark!), but how much she loves her work and the passion she brings to every project.
Long story short: Each morning Kristine wakes up, looks out her window at Mt. Rainer, and puts her fingers happily to the keyboard. Or as Kristine so eloquently explains, “I’m dancing with words on the topic at hand, engaging my heart and soul.” (Yes, she is a truly creative person).
Kristine has been self-employed and working on Elance since 2008, but was hesitant to make the jump at first. Although she had worked for an on-hold company as a copywriter (earning Employee of the Quarter the last two quarters she worked there), she didn’t feel confident she could strike out on her own as she had only written on-hold copy—short 10-12 second sales and marketing pieces that were professionally put to music and voiceover artists to complete the puzzle. Almost a year after she left the company Kristine took the leap to a full-time career on Elance. Now she’s enjoying life more than ever and earning great money.
“If you’re just barely making ends meet,” Kristine stresses, “you’re either not charging enough or you’re not working enough. Step it up!” (Yes, she is a truly driven person too).
Kristine also loves advising other Elancers about how to be more successful as an online freelancer. Here are some insights she has passed on to other freelancers:
1. Charge what you’re worth. “Don’t low-ball your rates; you’ll lose access to the clients you need most – the folks who know what great service and results are worth,” she notes. In fact, it wasn’t until she raised her rates substantially that she began to attract Elance clients who, as she says, “know the rock-solid, evergreen value of a wise wordsmith.” Kristine also recommends factoring into your quoted price your health insurance costs, the time you spend clarifying the project, and other the other career-related expenses you need to re-coup.
2. Always strive for great Feedback. “You live and die by your client Feedback,” Kristine notes. “Only submit job proposals you know you can ace, so your Feedback is always top-notch.” She suggests researching clients first, and avoiding clients who say “Great Job!” in their written feedback but then leave low ratings. “This is a red flag,” Kristine advises. “Don’t risk your reputation on clients who leave anemic ratings for exemplary work.”
3. Love your work. “Fortunately, I get to choose the projects I work on, so I’m always passionate about the projects,” Kristine reveals. She does a wide variety of writing, from web pages and eBooks to brochures, social media and video scripts. She especially loves working on “cause” projects, and recently completed two crowd-funding campaigns to help deserving entrepreneurs raise money; on relating to early child education, the other to help homeowners, campers and disaster recovery first responders take care of one of their common challenges: precisely getting a rope high into a tree or across a creek to gain a reliable set point.
When we asked Kristine what allows her to be so successful on Elance, here’s what she had to say: “Lots of great projects to choose from, dogged determination, a compelling Profile page, certified Skill Tests results and – of paramount importance – terrific client Feedback. “
The Elance team couldn’t agree more. When they coined the phrase wordsmith, they must have had Kristine M.Smith in mind. We’re excited to be part of her success in her life and livelihood because, as she’s quick to point out: “With Elance, Home Sweet Home and Work Sweet Work can be one in the same.”