Have a great idea for an app? But haven’t a clue on how to bring it to life?
No problem. Now there’s an easy-to-use guide that gives you step-by-step instructions on how to create your own mobile app, including how to use Elancers to make it happen.
And if that isn’t good enough news on its own, we’re also excited to bring you limited-time savings on this popular guide. It’s possible because Elance has partnered with app savant Brandon Cowan of Crazy Dog Apps for limited-time pricing on his recently-released App Making Guide. It’s now available through February 15 at Apple’s App Store for the special price of just $.99 US (you’ll find similar savings in other region’s App Stores too).
So download the app that’s all about making apps (seems oddly appropriate, eh?) to your iPhone or iPad to discover how easy and affordable it is to place your app squarely in today’s booming world of mobile.
The “App”tly-titled App Making Guide is a step-by-step handbook on how to make your app without doing any programming yourself (whew!). Written in plain-English for people who don’t know a thing about coding (read: most of us), it details the best path to take and helps keep you organized and on track. Here are some things covered in the guide:
The App Making Guide even helps you calculate how profitable your app will be. Whether you’re building an app to support your business or to offer-up to the general public, this guide helps gets you there swiftly.
As mentioned, the App Making Guide is written by the wonderfully-talented Brandon Cowan – Co-Founder of Crazy Dog Apps. Just 19 years-old and based in Australia, Brandon is a big fan of Elance and uses many of our freelancers to develop his company’s wildly-popular apps.
A case in point is his App Making Guide, which was made using Elance talent for under $700 (US). It reached #7 on Apple’s Australian App Store (even surpassing Angry Birds!). Again, this proves that you don’t have to be a millionaire or Fortune 500 company to get a super-successful app into the market.
Download the guide and get your app built ASAP. And “Cheers” Brandon, for making your app available at a special limited-time price for Elancers (through February 15).
Originally a pure graphic artist by trade (a career he toiled in for some time, dutifully working the corporate 9-to-5 grind), Esteban wisely saw a bright future in mobile apps and steered his career in that direction. It was a great choice.
“I love my life and I’m living the dream,” he says.
Now that every company worth its salt is creating a mobile app for their business (and justifiably so, as customers are using mobile apps at record pace), Esteban is enjoying the financial and life-style benefits of creating mobile apps for Elance clients around the globe. In the past two years he’s worked on over 150 Elance projects for 80+ clients, including mobile apps for iPhone and Android projects.
With Argentina facing severe economic difficulties much like most countries, Elance has been a breath of fresh air for Esteban and his family. A father of five young children, he can now earn money to support his family while also organizing his work schedule around family commitments.
“I prefer this way of working,” he notes. “I can enjoy time with my family, control my life and remove stress.”
Esteban’s clients are less stressed too, as he’s helping companies create that awesome mobile app to drive growth and increase revenue. It’s skilled professionals like Esteban who are helping make mobile app development among the most-demanded projects on Elance.
With his talent and wonderful story, Esteban has also earned a coveted spot in the Elance Inspiration Center. Bravo, Esteban, bravo.
To design custom vacations for discriminating tourists around the globe, Costa Rican Adventures needs smart and practical solutions, pronto. That’s why they turn to Elance for contractors able to jump on projects and move at lightning speed.
Although he still works full-time for an established company, Ted Hartnell also manages to find time for his other passion: Decision Ready, LLC – the business he runs on the side. Based out of his home, the expanding company offers simulation software and strategy services to companies near and far.
With a pioneering spirit and love for the great outdoors, Xan Hood always dreamed of creating his own line of high-quality clothing & sundries. However, he knew he could settle for nothing less than creating a top-notch outfitter – one that would make Ernest Hemingway proud. Unfortunately light on cash (and weighed down by so much work needed), Xan instinctively turned to Elance.
Note: As freelancing becomes an increasingly-important force within the world’s workplace, the issues of online worker’s rights is taking center stage. While full-time employees often have access to employee benefits and rights, this is not always the case for freelancers. Below is an article discussing this critical issue in Europe, penned by Joel Dullroy of Deskwanted, with an invitation to voice your opinion in a study they’re conducting. Naturally these matters need to be studied and resolved in all regions of the world.
The situation of freelancers is undoubtedly an important one; and includes the political, economic, and social circumstances of independent workers. Currently, however, there is proportionately little discussion and reform surrounding these issues need to be addressed and rewritten to reflect their economic clout, especially as this demographic swells to account for the majority of the international workforce.
As it stands, the situation of freelancers as a subgroup of the international workforce is still fairly unexplored, and we know comparatively little about this growing demographic which some studies suggest will make up a major part of the European workforce by 2020.
Without information, little can be done to assess the political and social needs of independent workers. This, however, is soon to change.
A study into freelancers is underway.
A group of academics, commissioned by the European Forum of Independent Professionals (EFIP) is currently conducting a European-wide study of freelancers (also referred to as independent professionals or I-pros in the UK), with the aim of better understanding the situation of freelance workers. The outcome of the report will be used by the EFIP to start an EU-level political campaign to fight for better conditions for freelance workers – and much needed workplace reforms.
Why do freelancers’ work protections need to be revised?
We know that work conditions for freelancers need to be improved. The workers’ protections that employees everywhere take for granted – fair taxation, payment protection and affordable healthcare schemes – aren’t extended to independent workers, which has created an environment in which freelancers are too-often exploited for their work.
One recent campaign conducted by the Freelancer’s Union in New York highlighted this all-to-frequent occurrence, when a cumulative invoice of almost $16 million in unpaid freelancer invoices was delivered to the New York senate. Here is a link to their site:
Without appropriate protection laws, these instances of payment infringements are bound to continue; and will become a much larger issue as the freelancer demographic grows.
With some statistics suggesting that 55% of businesses already outsource part of their work to contractors, and multinational companies like IMB introducing strategies to reduce their core workforce to a minimum – aiming to cut 14,000 of 20,000 permanent jobs in Germany alone – the independent workforce is set to become a majority of the European workforce within a decade.
There are some precautions that freelancers can take.
There are of course several ways that freelancers can safeguard their livelihoods. Joining an agency like Elance (which includes their Elance Hourly Work Guarantee), offers a buffer between clients and contractual workers, is one way to reduce the risk of working independently. Elance can hold clients accountable by pinning responsibility back on the client, and ensuring timely payment.
Aside from joining a virtual network of freelancers, another way is to join a physical community of freelancers, like in a coworking space. By surrounding themselves with other independent professionals, freelancers can ask advice on administrative and legal issues, as well as finding trusted clients. There are coworking spaces in hundreds of cities worldwide, which are acting as hubs of freelance talent, supporting independent workers in their work and social life. Deskwanted is a useful tool to find and book coworking spaces in all corners of the globe.
Despite these safeguards, the situation of this growing demographic should be improved on the whole, ensuring they are properly protected by national and regional law.
Anyone working in the EU as a freelancer is happily welcomed to participate by taking part in a brief interview with a member of the research team. If you would like to add your voice, please be in touch with Joel Dullroy firstname.lastname@example.org, International Representative of the Association of Founders and Freelancers – Germany (www.vgsd.de and co-founder of Deskwanted.com).
We’re excited to roll into 2013 with a full head of steam. Now more than ever Elance is helping freelancers Work Differently and be more successful.
A case in point: More Connects.
We’re now increasing the number of Connects you’ll automatically receive each month. This means starting January 29, 2013, without a second thought, you’ll have more opportunities to submit job proposals and boost your career.
The chart below shows how many more Connects you’ll receive each month (depending on the membership plan you have). Read more to learn about all changes to Connects. Also feel free to upgrade your account if you’re feeling inspired and want even more Connects for more job prospects.
Mark your calendar for a weeklong Work Differently Summit, February 18-21.
To get you motivated and deliver real-world tips, Elance will also be hosting a Work Differently Summit in mid-February.
The summit will include a series of online events throughout the week. These 20-30 minute sessions (including a chance for Q&A) will feature different Elancers discussing their experiences and offering first-hand advice. We’ll mix in successful freelancers and clients, giving you a perspective from every angle. You’ll get astute advice from Elancers like yourself, hearing stories and discovering new ways to get more from our workplace. Tune in for insights ranging from how freelancers have turned Elance into a way of life, to how clients are using the platform to build bigger and better companies.
While the exact times of the sessions aren’t etched in stone, check back soon and we’ll let you know when to plop-down in front of your screen for some really, really interesting discussions.
Whether you’re a newbie or seasoned Elancer, you’re sure to learn from these live video sessions (we’ll make them available to watch later too, if you miss a favorite).
Oh, don’t forget to enter our Work Differently Photo Contest.
You can still win $500 or $250 and be spotlighted on Elance. It’s a fun and simple contest, just submit an inspiring photo of you as you Work Differently, and write a brief note explaining your unique story. Learn more about the contest, or cut to the chase and enter to win.
Today we kick-off a fun and informative new feature here on the Elance blog. It’s called Advice From An Elancer, and it’s your opportunity to get timely answers to those all-important freelancer or client questions -- all from a seasoned Elance professional who has walked a mile in your shoes. Feel free to peruse the answers to other people’s questions (or ask your own question on the discussion page of Elance’s LinkedIn Group). Enjoy! Hopefully it will help greatly as you Work Differently in 2013.
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.
Elance is new to me. I need to understand. How do I get my first job when I don't have anything to showcase. All I need to understand is "How do I approach the client or post a proposal which will not only attract the Client or Hiring Manager, I would rather he initiate the PMB, which should result in a Project Award!!!
Advice from an Elancer:
Part of the answer depends upon what area you are working in. If you are in IT or Design, you may provide links to work that you have done online. For writing, you may want to write a few pieces to use for examples of your skills. You can use this technique in several areas. Make some examples simply to use in your portfolio or to share with clients in proposals. You could also use recommendations in your portfolio from previous clients.
You cannot approach a client without making a proposal or asking a question. There is no way to contact a potential client without using a Connect and filling out at least something in the proposal screen. This may be questions for clarification or a bid without an exact amount, but it opens the door to communication.
While it is nice to communicate via PMB, your main impression on the client will from your profile and your proposal. This is the place to show who you are and what you can do. Don’t worry about initiating private conversations. Focus on your public profile and high quality proposals.
I have been on Elance for over a year now but unfortunately I've not even won a bid. Is the problem about my proposals? Or where I come from? (international provider). An employer that was interested in me recently declined my bid because I do not have a feedback. How do I get one when I'm not offered a job? I'm in the Finance and Management section.
Advice from an Elancer:
This was posted within a thread selling an e-book with tips for writing winning proposals. Honestly, to give a precise answer, I would need to see the freelancer’s profile as well as a sample proposal that they have written. Elance is a global business, so it is doubtful that location is the culprit. More likely, your profile is not complete or is not attractive to clients or your proposals are not written in a way that stands out above the others.
Remember, each proposal must be different. You cannot use a “cookie cutter” proposal with small changes and expect to win jobs. There is no secret for writing that magic proposal that will win a job. There are, however, ways that you can write your proposal that will show the client that you are the best candidate for the job. Let your experience and personality shine through. Be confident and explain why you are the best person for their particular job. Realistically, you may have to bid lower for a few jobs to establish a reputation on Elance. Once you have the reputation, you may raise your rates to a more reasonable level.
Another way to gain a reputation is to add some references or some jobs to your portfolio. This will help clients feel comforted that you do, in fact, have experience.
Sometimes it is very tough to get a project on Elance. Do clients get a lot of proposals and get confused and move for the cheapest bid?
Advice from an Elancer:
Some clients are simply looking for the lowest bid to get their job done. Some even say this in the description! Often, the client is looking for good work for an unreasonably low price. This can be frustrating for both the client and bidding freelancers. I have had situations where the client chose a very low bid, did not receive the work they needed, and came back and hired me to fix the work so that it met their needs.
The best case is the client who realizes that you get what you pay for. In other words, the client realizes that to get high quality work, they may have to pay more to get a freelancer who can provide what they need.
There are all types of clients out there. Before you bid, look at their profile. Do they usually hire the lowest bidder? Have they spent very little money on Elance? If so, you may want to save your Connects and look for another client.
Whew, 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.
UPDATE:The Polls are now open! Vote for your favorite photo/story through Febraury 10. Return often, you can cast up to 3 votes daily!
OK, the cat’s out of the bag. Here at Elance we’re thrilled beyond words to officially introduce our new tagline: Work Differently. It’s the rallying cry of our new marketing campaign – as well as the mantra for everything we embody at Elance.
To celebrate we’re hosting a fun contest with cash prizes. It’s also your chance to be featured on the Elance website (read: great exposure to a world of potential clients, not to mention earning the envy of other freelancers).
Ten finalists will be chosen by the Elance team (based on how submissions express the Work Differently mindset – a combination of how compelling the written story is and how aesthetic and creative the photo is). So be original and inspirational!
Fellow Elancers will then vote on the winners (polls are open February 7-10, so be sure to return and vote for your favorite story). We’ll award $500 for the top pick, and two runner-ups will receive $250 each. See contest details.
As mentioned, we’ll also feature the top three prize winners on the pages of Elance’s brand new Inspiration Center. It’s our testimonial section where freelancers and businesses alike tell the world what it means to Work Differently on Elance. You’ll be professionally photographed and filmed as you tell your story, and then added to the Inspiration Center. Check out some stories currently there, and get inspired yourself!
Also get ready for more great additions to the Elance website and your workplace in the days, weeks and months ahead. We’ll be introducing more features, more services and more surprises sure to delight you and help make you even more successful on Elance. You see, the Work Differently tagline is merely the jumping-off point to celebrate everything we’re now able to accomplish together. This includes allowing freelancers to find great work while enjoying a fulfilling lifestyle, plus giving businesses the freedom to accomplish quality work quickly and affordably. Well done, Elancers. Well done. Tell us your story.
Some consider information technology to be a science. For Artem Khojoyan of Kiev, Ukraine, it’s also an art. And to best practice his art of developing Liferay Portal intranet solutions for companies across the globe, he desperately needs the freedom that only a life of freelancing affords.