Within just ten minutes of posting my job, I started to receive proposals(1) and messages from many different providers all over the world, and so my homework begins…
This step is extremely crucial in the process of getting your job completed. It can sometimes mean the difference between just getting it done and getting it done right, so do your research and fully qualify your provider before moving forward.
Since every project is different and has different requirements, what you want to look for in your provider may be a little different than what I may looking for, but there are a few common areas that you should look through. Here are some of the key things I look for in my provider. (For more tips on reviewing provider profiles, check out this blog post - How To Review A Provider Profile.)
Ahhhh, the life of a skilled contractor or freelance professional is a great one, but before you know it, things can heat up quick. Soon, you're getting awarded job after job from a crowd of clients ready and waiting to pay you for your skills. Sound hectic? Sometimes, it can be. Christopher Null, a freelance writer that contributes to Yahoo! Tech, Filmcritic.com, Drinkhacker.com, Wired, PCWorld, and more, gives us his tips on how he stays sharp and on top of his hectic work life.
In a perfect world, you'd take a single assignment, work on it for a month, collect your fee when you turn it in, and move on to the next job. But realistically that kind of stability is rare – and largely unheard-of – in the freelance world.
Jobs come in at unpredictable intervals, deadlines change, projects are abruptly postponed or canceled, and you're stuck in the middle of it, trying to figure out how to manage it all.
Managing multiple and complex projects can overwhelm some people, but it doesn't have to. With careful attention to organization, you can keep your assignments on track, hit your deadlines, make your clients happy, and still have time for the occasional cup of coffee.
Different techniques will work better for different types of workers, so I can't offer a one-size-fits-all solution to keeping multiple projects on track. Still, here are some strategies and technologies that have worked for me and which I hope will also help you.
We’ve been hard at work making improvements to our blog both in the features and content department, but for some reason, we here at Elance have a feeling in our gut that we’re still missing something.
Starting now and happening once a month, we’ll be publishing a blog article written by you, the true experts of getting online work done. Not only do you get a little time in the limelight (and some promotion in the monthly Elancer and links back to your profile page), but we’ll also be paying you for your hard work by giving you $200 per article in cold hard cash.
Now before you fire up your trusty word processor and start crafting words together, there are a few things you should know before you get started.
Now that I've got my job posted on Elance and ready to go, I'm feeling pretty good, but at this point, I have two options. The first is to sit back and take a breather – proposals to take on my job should start rolling in within hours (and sometimes minutes.) The proposals are coming from providers surfing the site 24 hours a day from all over the world. However, if you want to take full advantage of what Elance has to offer, you should spend some time searching for that perfect provider for your job. This step isn’t necessary as you will receive plenty of high-quality proposals on your job post, but finding and inviting people to submit proposals is definitely time well spent.
Now, there are many different ways to go about searching for providers, so learn about all of your options, play around with all of the tools, and do what feels best for you.
Elance, where companies find, hire, manage and pay contractors online, today released its August edition of the “Elance Work Index”, ranking the Top 100 skills in today’s online labor market. Derived from data from more than 100,000 jobs posted on Elance in recent months, the Elance Work Index is a leading market indicator for online work tracking the hiring trends of the 60,000-plus companies that actively hire contractors on Elance to get work done.
This month’s Elance Work Index reinforces the insatiable need for IT and marketing expertise with graphic design, open source technologies, and online marketing skills topping the charts. Notable trends from this month’s Index include:
Design of the Times:Graphic Design (#1) has regained the top spot in the Index trumping PHP (#2) which had held the pole position the past four consecutive months.
Tech Still Trumps: Technology hiring trends continue to reaffirm the open-source movement with PHP (#2), MySQL (#3), Joomla! (#8) firmly entrenched in the Top 10.
Currently sitting on the outside, the big M is looking in with hungry eyes, and its intentions are clear. In addition to developing an upcoming mobile application store, the software development giant recently published a new case study on the Microsoft Developer Network website that details the process of porting a complex iPhone app onto the Windows Mobile platform.
The application detailed in the project, “Amplitude”, is an iPhone app that takes any sound in the phone’s surroundings, quiet or loud, and amplifies it while displaying a graphical waveform of said sound. According to PCWorld, Amplitude can pick up sounds not normally audible to the ear and amplify them, such as heartbeats. Inspector Gadget, eat your heart out.
Hi. I'm Matt Katsaros and I've been using Elance to get work done online for quite some time. Today, however, I'll be doing something a little bit different. You and I both know how Elance works to some extent, thanks to documentation and word of mouth testimony. Post a job, find a provider, complete the job, pay for the work, leave feedback... you know, the whole nine yards. In reality though, it's one thing to know how something works, and it's a another thing to see the beast in action.
This is where I conveniently come in.
I'll be taking you through my personal experience getting a job done on Elance, step-by-step in a multi-part blog series. You'll see everything I encounter from day one to day end, whenever the job wraps up. Now, a little background about myself.
I founded and currently run a company helping small-to-mid sized businesses gain exposure online mainly through the development of websites. I found Elance and quickly realized I could tap into a huge force of people when needed; Elance has thousands of web developers that I could hire at any time that could help me build the sites my clients need.
Recently, one of my long time clients, Jim Willenborg, founder and chairman of Cloud Telecomputers, called me for a new project. He explained that they were preparing to publicly announce their new product, The Glass, a new Google Android-based IP phone for the office. Their current website was in need of a major a face lift as well as some fresh new content to mark the event of this product launch. Business has been busy for myself and my company, and unfortunately, all of our programmers are occupied with other jobs. However, I didn’t want to turn Jim away since he’s been a long running client of mine, so I decided that this was the perfect job that I could source out to Elance and manage the progress of it to make sure we provided Jim with a great site.
When I took a peek at the old site, it reminded me of prehistoric cave drawings meets the Internet. Loading up the homepage brings up some basic Arial text, a logo, and a snooze-worthy picture of a cloud-filled sky. For a company launching what could be the next big technological innovation, a site that looks like it’s from the ‘90s isn’t going to cut it.
When you see colleagues walking around with bags under their eyes, it's a safe bet one of two worries is keeping them awake at night: "How am I going to get everything done within my budget?" or "How can I bring in more customers?"
For anyone thinking about both at the same time, well, there's always Ambien.
It's been said necessity is the mother of invention, so it may come as no surprise savvy business leaders are embracing the hiring of online freelancers and contractors on Elance as a way to grow their customer base while minimizing fixed costs.
The fact is online work has come of age. When companies need expertise nowadays, they simply get on Elance, post their requirements, and start fielding proposals from far and wide from skilled and tested independent professionals who are ready to work.
This real-time access to a vast pool of over 96,000 qualified skilled technical, marketing, and administrative experts is giving companies a real advantage—it enables them to stay flexible while getting real work done on-demand. Think about it: Ramp up when you need to, scale back when you don't. As business leaders know, it sure beats the ups and downs of recruiting, hiring, training, and then severance.
The notion of paying for talent and resources only when you need will certainly make the finance department happy. But what about driving the top line?
At this very moment, marketing and sales executives (including, potentially, your competitors) are finding and hiring freelance and contract professionals to help attract new customers while servicing existing ones. Every hour of every day, businesses are hiring sales and marketing mercenaries to optimize their Websites for search engines, to freshen up their e-mail marketing, to vet and qualify sales leads.
They're writing blog posts, translating media releases into foreign languages, integrating PayPal checkout, surveying their high-value customers, researching competitors, and so on. Getting the idea yet?
Elance offers online directories of sales and marketing freelancers who specialize in subject matter expertise ranging from graphic design to copywriting to Flash animation to telesales. Accessing these experts is generally as easy as posting a simple job description (describe what you need), and allowing the marketplace to compete for your attention.
Some job postings can attract a large number of proposals from qualified providers. Receiving a lot of proposals is a great "problem" to have, but it can still feel overwhelming – so here are some tips to help you efficiently review, manage, and decide which provider is right for you.
Perform a first pass review. If you can, try not to wait until the acceptance period is over to take a look at all the proposals you receive. Go to the workroom, check them out every day or so, and use your first look as a quick screening tool.
When you read each proposal, check to see if it is:
Call a medic! I’ve been bitten by a bug, and now I've got a nasty case of Twitter fever. At Elance, we’ve been embracing (and experimenting with) Twitter in a couple of interesting ways: One, our standard Twitter account at @elance, and our 3 main Twitter job feeds located at @elance_jobs, @elance_web, and @elance_design.
But yelling out into the Twitter world what you fed your cat this morning isn’t the only way to reap its immense benefits. There’s a huge amount of information and data out there in the Twitter world waiting for you to receive – or in Twitter terms, “follow”. Here are my five favorite feeds that feature tips:
Vertex42: With only 178 followers as of now, Vertex42 is the least popular of any of the feeds on this list, but don't judge a book by its cover. Jon Wittwer, aka Vertex42, posts a new Microsoft Office Excel tip or trick every single day, making it a worthwhile, low-impact feed to follow.
HashDesigns: HashDesigns is one of many, many “HashXXXX” type of Twitter feeds. It covers anything from Photoshop tricks to blog posts with design inspiration and anything in between. With multiple (read: a lot) updates a day, there’s no shortage of design-related goodness for you to keep up with.