Elance Blog

To Feature Or Not To Feature … Is There A Question?

Raise your hand if you’ve ever hesitated when listing your job on Elance when you’re confronted with the decision to pay the $15 bucks to list your job as “Featured”?

You’ve no doubt seen Featured posts on the site (note the shading with the snappy corresponding purple label), as they certainly do stand out from the rest of the listings, but have you ever wondered what other benefits those job listings have?

Wonder no more. Here are a few tidbits as to what makes these posts a favorite for some of Elance’s most successful job posters.

1. Featured jobs get more proposals.
In fact, on average, Featured jobs receive twice as many proposals as Standard job postings. Providers have learned that whenever businesses pay up to feature their job, it means that they mean business, and are serious about finding the right person and awarding their job.

2. Featured jobs get higher quality proposals.
As you may know, providers have to allocate “Connects” to submit proposals for jobs on Elance, and Featured jobs cost more Connects compared to Standard jobs.  As a result, more time, consideration and effort tends to go into the proposal process, often yielding a tighter match to the job requirements.

Twice as many, twice as good. Not convinced yet?

3. Select providers are able to submit proposals on Featured jobs more freely.
Elance has a program that recognizes providers who verify their credentials and have consistently good track records on Elance called the Premier Program. These providers can submit proposals on Featured jobs using fewer Connects – a reward and benefit to them for their high performance.  As a result, these providers are drawn to Featured jobs at a higher rate than non-Premier providers.

4. Featured jobs tend to be bigger in scope (and dollar size) than Standard jobs.
As it turns out, the average size of a Featured job is double that of Standard jobs. Admittedly, there is something of a selection bias here, as job posters are generally more willing to spend $15 to promote a higher budget job than a lower budget one. Nonetheless, healthy budgets also attract great proposals, and ultimately help job posters find the right fit.

So, next time you’re racing through the form to post your job, slow down for a second and consider the benefits above. Let me know how it goes!

Comments

While paying more connects a provider needs to consider very carefully if a job is worth bidding on. This is particularly true around the end of the month, when many providers are running out of connects. A basic level provider gets 20 connects a month. Jobs with unknown budgets, or budgets under $500 cost 1 connect to bid. This isn't too bad, as a featured project then only costs two connects. The problem comes up when a project has a high budget and is featured. For example, a project with a budget of $1000-5000 costs 4 connects to providers who bid. Let's make that project into a featured project. The same project now costs the provider 8 connects, or nearly half of their monthly allotment of connects. Of course, providers can purchase more connects to use. This works well enough, but many providers do not feel that the purchase is worth the cost, particularly if it is at the end of the month and the left-over connects will be lost if not used up quickly enough. Many excellent providers with the skills to complete high budget projects will pass over featured projects due to the increased cost. So, if you have a job, and want to market it to the best providers, there are several things that you need to consider. Have you written a quality job posting that covers all of the information that a provider needs to know before bidding? Many providers will simply skip over a project that is not adequately outlined. Are you certain of your budget? If you are looking for a low cost provider, don't post your job with a high budget range. If you are willing to pay a bit more for quality, don't post your job with a budget under $500. Instead, consider using the "unsure" budget range. This gives providers the chance to bid according to the job scope, and will not shut out quality providers who may be unwilling to bid if your budget it too high or too low. If you have some idea of your budget, you can mention an amount in the job posting itself. If you are looking for an inexpensive provider, mention it in your job posting. If you are looking for quality and are willing to pay for it, tell the providers so that they will take your job more seriously. A featured project with an "unsure" budget only costs providers 2 connects. Features projects have their place. They do attract the eye of providers, and show that a buyer is more serious about the project. But, be careful not to scare away providers by making the connect cost too high for their consideration.

As an Elance freelancer, I've found that featured jobs are more likely to follow through with an award. It's a signal of quality that can help freelancers avoid wasting effort bidding on orphan jobs.

Featured posts tell us, the providers, that the buyer is keen with the project posted and we take more interest in posting proposals. We usually send detailed proposals only once we receive a reply from a buyer after an initial draft but in case the project is marked featured, we try to send a detailed proposal right away if proper specifications are listed. As a lead bidder with WebTechies, I can confirm there is a definite psychological effect while seeing projects marked featured.

We are Service Provider
Today i tried to bid on a "Featured Project" the budget was $1000 to $1500 , the connect required to bid on this project was 6!! and when i made the proposal as Sponsored it was costing me 12!!
I finally decided not to bid on this project. I guess more good, simple to understand, quality requirement document is more important for getting good bids on the project.
Regards
Amit
BrainoFast Technologies

Actually after seeing zero activity on my job advert for something that should be the simplest of simple jobs I considered to upgrade the job to featured, but saw no way of doing that. Does one have to cancel the job in order for that to happen or am I missing anything.

I have yet to find anything about upgrading the job to a featured listing.

I assume that means I have to post a new job, which kinda sucks because I have already posted this job twice, because ( I never saw an "unsure" option for cost, so I posted in the lowest and next highest categories.

By having to post yet again it makes me look like i have only hired one of 4 jobs posted (counting the new listing) which in truth, i have hired every job done I have listed so far.

You guys could go a long ways if you'd just note SOMEWHERE that is titled as "featured", whether we have to post a new job or if there is a way to upgrade?