Elance Affiliates Blog

Creating Successful Business Partnerships in a Multi-Cultural World

Working globally and virtually on Elance can be very rewarding on many levels. As a client you can tap into an almost unlimited pool of resources and skills, at competitive prices. As a contractor, you have access to clients far beyond the scope of your current location.

To be successful does however require a willingness to understand and learn about how culture impacts our working relationships. A ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach doesn’t work in multi-cultural business relationships. So, what are some of the keys to working effectively with people from other countries?

I was born and raised in France. In my early twenties I started traveling extensively for work as a Project Manager. In the past 21 years I’ve worked in Asia, Australia, North America and in various parts of both Eastern and Western Europe and through my travels, I’ve come to appreciate the importance of understanding how a country’s culture influences its way of working. And, perhaps more importantly, how to help projects thrive given the differences in style and approach.

You might say this is the same in any relationship or partnership, at home or abroad, and to a certain extent that’s true. To have a long lasting marriage, you must first seek to understand your spouse. However, if you are married to someone from the same culture and background, chances are there will be fundamental unspoken assumptions, which stand as the basis of your relationship. The same is true for work relationships, and these basic assumptions are often different when working with partners in other countries, even if you both speak the same language.

Infographic: Why the Cloud is a Big Deal for Small Businesses

We've stressed how cloud technology has eased the entry point for entrepreneurship and the way that companies are founded today. Cloud solutions, online applications and a paradigm shift in business practices has made the no/low overhead model easier to adopt and even more attractive for today’s entrepreneurs.

In the following infographic, Rackspace explores the advantages of leveraging the cloud for web, email and application hosting, data backup, and customer relationship management.

How do you think the cloud has changed the way in which businesses are created today? Head over to our Facebook page and discuss!

Click on the following image to see the full size infographic.

Elance Pledges $1 Million Commitment to the Startup America Partnership

We're thrilled to have announced this week a $1 million commitment to the Startup America Partnership in order to help young companies grow and create jobs throughout the United States.

As part of our sponsorship, Elance is pledging service credits on our platform to all verified Startup America Firms, with a total commitment of $1M to help revitalize the growth of new businesses and jobs across the country. This credit will help companies grow their businesses with a virtual team of workers that can help execute their vision. Whether businesses require IT, marketing, administrative or creative services, we want to help ensure that entrepreneurs have instant access to a contingent, global and online workforce.

Waht does this mean? Entrepreneurs are no longer limited by geography, expensive software or overhead to get a prototype or service out to market., so by equipping thems with access to resources and skilled talent, they'll be able to take their ideas to market more quickly and at a lower cost than ever before. For contractors, this means an even greater client pool looking for the best talent, which means more jobs for you!

If you're an entrepreneur seeking more information on the Startup America Partnership, or want to apply for a Startup America Partnership Growth Kit, please visit their website here.


Web 2.0: Internet Trends for 2011

Through the first three quarters of 2011, we've seen a wide range of Internet trends develop and others sustain momentum, from the adoption of social media around the world, growth of mobile and apps, evolution of ecommerce, to the rise of Android and the consistency from Apple.

These were among the key Internet trends presented earlier this week at the Web 2.0 Summit in San Francisco by Mary Meeker, a partner at KPCB, one of the largest investors in Elance. Mary, a respected American venture capitalist and former securities analyst, has been a leading expert on Internet trends due to her ability to analyze and communicate major technology and economic trends.

The insights she provides in the following slideshow should certainly be interesting to anyone who's turned on a computer, smartphone, tablet, or other internet-capable device this year.

I’m Not At My Computer: The Importance of Tablet and Mobile Friendly Websites

We all know that more often than not, you only get one chance to make an impression on a client or customer, and with more and more people browsing on mobile devices, your website needs to be mobile friendly. Freelance web designer and writer Scott Stanton talks about how you can save a poorly thought-out site from making or breaking your business.

Let’s face it, with Internet easier to find than a Starbucks and smartphones continually improving with new features, hardly anyone wants to be tied down in an office all day. That’s why it’s important that you adapt to the growing shift towards the mobile office and make sure your internet presence is mobile friendly, because you never know where your potential client may be. I’ve landed a large client via email from the golf course, conducted a teleconference from bed, developed a website on an airplane and have browsed jobs from such locations as a brew pub, someone’s driveway who had an unlocked Wi-Fi network, and my grandmother’s living room. Professional? Probably not. But the people on the other end had no idea, and so you never know where your potential clients or customers can be when they actually discover you.

Elance Spotlight: Your Summer Story

Elancers, don't forget there's still time to share with us one of your memorable summer experiences over the past few months! You could win a $50 Amazon gift card just by answering the following question:

Where has online work taken you this summer?

Did you work on an Elance project while on your travels? Tell us about how being an Elancer allowed you to get work done from anywhere in the world. Were you able to take a vacation this summer due to a better work/life balance? Send us a photo of one of your sightseeing stops with a caption. We want to hear (and see) your stories!

Ready to enter this month’s Elance Spotlight? Here are the details:

  • Send your photo, anecdote, YouTube link, etc. to with the subject line:
    Elance Spotlight - [your Elance username]
  • In the body of your email, include your:
    • Elance username
    • City and country
    • Short description of whatever you're sharing about your summer!
  • Feel like sharing? Use your Twitter, Facebook, Digg, or any other social channel of your choice! Post it on our Facebook Page or upload and tweet a link to @elance with hashtag #ElanceSpotlight.
  • We'll round up your submissions and share them in a future blog post.
  • We'll also select ten (10) winners at random to each receive a $50 Amazon Gift Card.
  • Submissions will be taken until Friday, September 30th at 5pm PT, and the winners will be announced the following week.
  • Limit one submission per unique Elance user.
  • Any submissions deemed offensive or inappropriate will be disqualified.


Keep sending in your summer stories!


May Elance Spotlight: The Winning Entry

As we wrap up our Elance Spotlight contest for May, we’ve seen elancers submit and share real stories about how online work has changed their lives and businesses. There's no greater proof to the advantages of working online than what you did--which was embrace the online work movement and then share your own personal experiences with the world.

It was all of your great stories that made our decision so difficult. But without further adieu, the winner of our May Elance Spotlight (and a new iPad 2) is...

Bill Meeks of Meeks Mixed Media!

Bill's video was an amazing representation of all the benefits of online work, as he shared his accomplishments working on Elance and even gave us a glimpse into his home life (and sense of humor!). Congratulations Bill!

Nielsen Update: What's the Most Wanted Smartphone OS?

New data was just released of The Nielsen Company’s monthly surveys of U.S. mobile consumers, showing that there has been an increasingly shifting change in the popularity of mobile operating systems. According to the latest figures, 31 percent of consumers who plan to get a new smartphone said Google's Android was now their preferred OS, while previous leader, Apple iOS, has slipped slightly to 30 percent. One-time leader RIM Blackberry OS  is down to 11 percent, while 20 percent are undecided about their next purchase.

iCrossing: Mobile Operating System Market Share

We recently gave you an update on the smartphone OS battle happening in the United States, but what about the rest of the world? Many of us who live in the States may find it surprising to know that Apple and Android have been relatively minor players in many parts of the world, though they are growing in popularity in developed nations.

The above graphic from iCrossing, a global digital marketing company, highlights the popularity of mobile devices in select countries around the world. Its data provides a stark contrast to that of the States, as companies like Nokia and Sony Ericsson, largely marginalized in the smartphone market here, are relevant or even leaders in India and China, among others.


Click here to see the map in full detail.

What 24 Hours in the World of Online Work Looks Like


In the world of online employment, the sheer amount of work that's getting done in a single day is incredible. With the help of two talented elancers, OLASON and Black Raven Media, we've put together a multimedia video as a part of our 2010 Year in Review creating a visual representation of new and real connections made in a typical day in the world of online employment on Elance.

Check out the video below and see what a single 24-hour period of work looks like, based on actual data from real people. There's one thing that is certain: The Elance community of providers and employers have together transformed work into a truly global experience.

Here's a little bit more context: Each line that is drawn begins at the employer's location and ends in the provider's location, and each individual line indicates a new, unique hire within the 24-hour period. Once the line has been drawn, the size of the rings surrounding the location represent the value of the job that was just hired for.

The amount of work getting done is truly impressive. Be sure to give the video a while and see all the work that's happening around the globe, right as you read this. So, what do you think? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.


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