Announcements

Announcing Winners of our Freedom Through Freelance Photo Contest.

Smile and say “Elance!”

After hundreds of photos were submitted, and thousands of votes were cast, we’re excited to announce the winners of our “Freedom Through Freelance” Photo Contest. The top 3 entries were selected by popular vote, after our esteemed panel of judges narrowed the field to our top 25 Finalists.

Elancers from around the globe entered inspiring photos showing the sense of liberation they feel from online work at Elance. It was an amazing outpouring of emotion, and we want to personally thank everyone who participated by entering a photo, voting, “Like”ing photos or just spreading the word. You’re the reason the Elance community is so vibrant and invigorating.

Now … to the winners.

Our congratulations (and a $1,000 prize) goes to First Place winner Munzur Morshed Romel of Bangladesh. Titled “Ultimate Option,” his photo with a warm and inviting smile struck a chord with many a voter. We couldn’t agree more that Munzur’s confidence and cheerfulness is the epitome of working on Elance. Well done, Munzur.

Our Second Place winner (who earned a $500 prize) is Philippines-based Maricel Taguilaso. Her entry “Freedom is the ultimate luxury” expresses the relaxed and tranquil world of working for yourself, at your own pace. Our Third Place winner (earning $250) is Hiroshi San Lorenzo of the Philippines. His “Freedom is the oxygen of the soul” entry communicates the sense of liberation and endless possibilities from freelancing.

Our remaining 22 Finalists will each receive $25 gift certificates from Amazon.com. See all the winning photographs and get inspired by the freedom through freelancing.

Missed your chance to participate? No worries, tell us your story now.

Even though the photo contest has ended and the prizes have been awarded, you can still share your story with the world. Whether you’re a freelancer or client, the Elance community loves hearing why you love working online. To share your experiences (and possible earn valuable exposure on our site), visit Elance’s Inspiration Center and submit your story.

Vote Early! Vote Often! Help Elance Pick Our $1,000 Photo Contest Winner.

After a tremendous response (including nearly 1,500 amazing photos submitted by Elancers across the globe), we’ve narrowed the list to our top 25 Finalists in the Freedom Through Work Photo Contest.

Needless to say it was a tough task whittling down the field, given so many inspirational photos.

But we think these 25 Finalists truly reflect the heartfelt sentiments of Elancers everywhere. Now we need your help in picking who wins the $1,000 First Place prize (all other Finalists receive a $25 Amazon gift card).

Cast your vote for the winner now, and help decide who best exemplifies that spirit of freedom you get from working on Elance. Hurry though, as voting ends on September 10. You can vote once per day, so return again tomorrow and vote again.

Also, a HUGE thank you to everyone who entered the contest and shared your stories and photographs. It’s awesome to see so many people who Work Differently™ and embrace a more liberating lifestyle. You’re the absolute best, and you take a great photo too.

Say Hello In San Francisco, Or Be Part of TechCrunch’s Disrupt Hackathon From Where You Are.

Given our love for startups and entrepreneurs, we’re naturally thrilled to be a sponsor of the TechCrunch Disrupt SF Hackathon (September 7-8 in San Francisco).

Stop by Saturday or Sunday in San Francisco and introduce yourself.

Elance will have a booth at the Disrupt, as well as a table at the Hackathon. If you’re heading to the festivities stop by and say “Hey.” We love meeting Elancers and swapping stories, and needless to say there’s sure to be lots of fun stuff happening.

Or participate this weekend remotely, by joining the Elance Hackathon Group.

If you can’t attend, you can still participate and earn some money by joining the Elance Hackathon Group. Fellow hackers will be reaching out to Elancers all weekend long, and this new Elance group is where many teams will look first. The Hackathon will start Saturday at 12:30 pm (PST) and wrap-up the following day at 2:00 pm (PST), so make sure you keep those hours free for hacking.

FYI, this new Elance group is for all future hackathons too, not just TechCrunch Disrupt SF, so be sure to get on the list. Because once you’re on it, you’re “in” with the best hackers in the world.

Also join us Monday for a post-disrupt discussion with Elance CEO Fabio Rosati.

And on Monday join Elance CEO Fabio Rosati Monday for a conversation with NextSpace Co-Founder Jeremy Neuner, speaking on the future of online work (6:00 – 7:30 at NextSpace Union Square). All Elancers in attendance get a free copy of The Rise of the Naked Economy, signed by co-author Jeremy Neuner. Oh, and we’ll bring beer and snacks to share too (not that you’re motivated by that sort of thing).

So join us for the fun and festivities of TechCrunch Disrupt. Whether you’re in San Francisco or San Paulo, Brazil you’re sure to have a great time.

Simplified Connects and New Member Features.

As you probably know, we’re working to make Elance the world’s most trusted online workplace. Our goal is to help freelancers get the best work, and clients the best online teams for the job. A recent blog post touched on the advances we’re making, and you’ll continue to see more.

Today we continue the progress, as we’re excited to announce that we’ve now simplified and improved how you use Connects. Plus we’ve also added new features and enhanced the benefits you get for paid membership, rewarding freelancers who are committed to being successful on our platform.

Your Connects model is now simplified.

We recently increased the number of Connects freelancers receive each month. Today’s new Connects model is designed to help you be even more successful when you’re working online. This change applies to all freelancers, making it easier to calculate the number of Connects you’ll need.

Check out the chart to the right to see how you can apply your connects, beginning today (August 26, 2013).

Click here to see our new Connects model in more detail, including examples.

We’re also adding new premium membership features for freelancers.

As mentioned, beginning today there are even more benefits of becoming a premium member. This includes increasing your visibility to clients, and exclusive insights into pricing when submitting your job proposals. Check out this updated features chart:

Specific changes include:

1. Add work samples directly within proposals – Now you can include portfolio samples directly into job proposals, allowing clients to view your samples without leaving your proposal. This feature is only available to freelancers on premium membership plans, giving you a competitive advantage.

2. Gain competitive visibility - Previously, all freelancers could see the minimum, average and highest proposal price to help determine their own rate. Starting August 26, 2013 these amounts will only be visible to freelancers with a paid membership plan.  With this change you’ll now have extra insight over much of your competition.

3. Large Company monthly membership cost of $60 – The monthly fee for Large Company Membership is increasing to $60. This increase will help us to continue to develop new features to make these members even more successful on Elance, while improving the service we provide.

4. More updates to follow – These are just some of the feature changes we’re working on, exclusively for premium members.

We hope you’re as excited about these changes as we are. As we continue to make Elance the most trusted online workplace, thanks again for being an important part of our growing community.

 

Startups, Enter The Million Pound Startup Competition.

Heard about the latest contest to take your startup to the next level? The Million Pound Startup is your chance to win a £1,000,000 investment, as well as business support from formidable companies. Plus a move to one of the world’s top business centers – London!Million Pound Startup

Over 500 startups from 60 countries (and all types of industries) have entered to date. So throw your hat in the ring now. The deadline is August 31 though – what are you waiting for?!

Here is some more information from the organizers:

The Million Pound Startup is a global contest looking for “the next big thing” to move their HQ to London. If you’re a company who has big aspirations and has high growth potential, are less than 10 years old, are turning over less than £1 million per year, are open to receiving £1 million investment in exchange for 10-40% equity, and want to move your HQ to London – you should enter now!

The winner of the Million Pound Startup will receive an incredible package that includes:

£1,000,000 Investment raised and managed by Seedrs

£10,000 in free advisory services from KPMG

£10,000 in free legal services from Taylor Wessing

£20,000 in free PR from Ketchum

Visa and expatriation support from UKTI

And more!

If you think your startup is up to the challenge, check out millionpoundstartup.com now!

Win $1,000 In Our “Freedom Through Freelance” Photo Contest.

If there’s one word Elancers use to describe the feeling of online work, it’s “freedom.”

To celebrate this liberating sensation we’re holding a fun photo contest that brings your freedom to life. So enter our “Freedom Through Freelance” Photo Contest and show us how Elance makes you feel freer.Freedom Through Freelancing Photo Contest

Here’s what you could win:

First Place: $1,000 (plus your photo will be featured front-and-center on the Elance Facebook page for two months … and who knows, it may end up in other places that give you great exposure).

Second Place: $500

Third Place: $250

Remaining Top 25 Finalists: $25 Amazon gift cards

It’s simple to enter. Just submit a photo of yourself basking in freedom (please, no photos with computers or work shots – we want to see you loving life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness). The entry also needs to be in a horizontal format without added graphics. See complete contest details.

The entry deadline is Monday, September 2, so don’t dilly-dally. Our esteemed panel of judges will narrow the list to the top 25 (remember, if there’s a computer in the photo it won’t make the finals, promise). The top 3 winners will then be chosen by public voting September 3 -10. We’ll announce the contest winners on September 11.

What are you waiting for? Send us your photo now and enter to win $1,000 plus the admiration of the entire Elance community. Share the freedom you feel from working online.

No purchase necessary. See Official Rules for details. Void where prohibited. Contest ends September 11, 2013.

Elance CEO Fabio Rosati Pens Foreword To Best-Seller, Rise Of The Naked Economy.

We’re excited to see that Ryan Coonerty and Jeremy Neuner’s new book The Rise of the Naked Economy is swiftly moving up the charts. It’s a wonderful take on today online work revolution, detailing why so many of today’s changes have come about what folks can expect in the weeks and months to come. Written in a fresh and inspirational style (as well as being quite hilarious at times), the book is a great read for anyone who wants to benefit from our quickly-changing workplace. Grab your copy hereElance CEO Fabio Rosati

Introductory pages to The Rise of the Naked Economy include endorsements from dozens of thought leaders ranging from Walter Isaacson (author of the biography Steve Jobs) to Tony Hsieh (Founder/CEO of Zappos), Sara Horowitz (Founder of Freelancer’s Union and author of The Freelancer’s Bible) and Carl Guardino (President of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group).

As the leading voice in online work, Elance CEO Fabio Rosati was asked to write the foreword to The Rise of the Naked Economy. Fabio’s foreword reflects his intimate knowledge of what freelancers and businesses can look forward to as work moves online at a record pace. Here’s a short excerpt:

The Rise of the Naked Economy is about all aspects of this transformation of work and the emerging new workforce. Brimming with humor and insights, the book explores what makes the twenty-first-century worker tick. If you believe yesterday’s way of matching available jobs with qualified talent is riddled with inefficiencies, or if you’re a manager, marketer, educator, or a parent with a child destined for the workforce this book will make you smarter and more prepared for the inevitable changes. It will make you take a good hard look at the most profound transformation in our workforce in the last 100 years.Rise of the Naked Economy Book Cover

I thank the authors for beginning this important dialogue. This book allows all of us—from workers to employers to government policy makers—to begin discussing these enormous, once-in-a-century changes in our workforce, our economy, and our society. More importantly, this book provides insights on how to smooth the transition. Throughout the book the authors introduce you to a range of brave, talented people like Alexandra who are at the forefront of this shift. Make no mistake: They are writing about true pioneers, those who work differently today and are the future of work tomorrow. 

It’s amazing to see so many highly respected and knowledgeable people embracing online work. Elance applauds Rise of the Naked Economy authors Ryan Coonerty and Jeremy Neuner for crafting such a poignant book on a deserving topic. As co-founders of the popular co-working space chain NextSpace, Ryan and Jeremy are certainly attuned to the exciting changes ahead for us all.

Elance Hosts Series Of Events In New York City and Chicago.

Elance was excited to roll into Manhattan recently for a handful of fun and informative events.

The activities began on Wednesday of last week when our own Alex Yoon flew out from our Silicon Valley headquarters to present at the Elance-sponsored WeWork Demo Days. The festivities were held at the WeWork co-working space in New York, and included a “championship” pitchfest where five winners of previous pitch competitions battled for the top prize.WeWork presentation

The storming of Manhattan continued on Friday evening with some serious (OK, seriously fun) networking at NYC’s famed watering hole, The Brooklyneer. The Elance team hosted a Meet & Greet with New York-based Elancers. It was great fun rubbing elbows with old friends and new acquaintances alike. Rest assured quite a few stories were shared and even more beers were hoisted.

On Saturday the Elance team was at the day-long StrategyHack event, where startups and local marketing experts teamed up to hack away together on growth strategies. Our local Elance Mobilizer Libby also spoke to the group. Needless to say a good time was had by one and all, and lots of great progress was made.

Because the road to meeting up with Elancers never ends, tonight the team is in Chicago hosting a Work Differently Ignition Pitch Night at 1871. It’s where entrepreneurs can pitch their startup ideas to a crowd of spirited onlookers and our StrategyHackesteemed panel of judges. We’ll be giving away $3,000 in Elance credits and other prizes to contestants (as well as a free beer when you register and attend). Come on my. And if you can’t attend you can always follow along as we livetweet using #workdifferentlychi – it promises to be entertaining!

Hey Business Owners, Got A Great Story To Tell? We’re All Ears.

As we travel around this big ol’ world of ours attending various events, businesses invariably tap us on the shoulder to say “hello” and to share their stories of using Elance.

Their chronicles are often inspiring and heartfelt, filled with tales of overcoming obstacles to triumph and succeed. Well, we thought it would be great to share some of these stories with other businesses too (let’s be honest, who doesn’t like an inspiring story?).

Tell us your story. We’ll share it with others in our Inspiration Center.

Just shoot us an email at testimonials@elance.com (in the subject line, please include “My Story: (your name or brief description)” so we’ll be sure to prioritize it).

We would love to hear your anecdotes as a business using Elance, bringing to life how online work has helped you achieve more. Regardless of where you live, or your line of work, we want others to read what’s possible with a little perseverance and a good team behind you.

So inspire us!

P.S. - Oh, and if you’re a freelancer and have a great story, share it too. We’ll also be highlighting how you’re able to find work and enjoy a more rewarding life.

Surge in Online Work Brings Elance Leadership Team to the Middle East.

Elance was excited to visit Dubai recently, helping to further support the tremendous growth of online work in the United Arab Emirates.

It’s inspiring to see that people across the Middle East now choose to Work Differently in record numbers.

And nowhere is the online work revolution having a greater impact than in the United Arab Emirates. Businesses registering on Elance from the UAE have risen over 100% in the past year, showing the country’s strong interest in online work. To put the region’s vast adoption in perspective, the UAE is now the seventh largest country in terms of hiring Elancers. Last year alone UAE businesses paid freelancers over $22 million through Elance.

Record numbers of freelancers from the UAE are also now joining Elance, providing great opportunity for workers to expand their careers and improve their personal lives. This is particularly important for the region’s youth, as unemployment among young workers in the Middle East is the highest in the world.

“Here in Dubai the status quo is changing quickly and businesses are open to new ideas,” noted Elance Vice President of Category Development Ved Sinha. “This includes hiring online workers, which allows companies to be more successful.”

Ved recently returned from Dubai after taking part in several events, each centered on continuing the momentum of economic development and online work in the Middle East. One highlight included speaking at the ArabNet Digital Summit in Dubai, where Ved sat on a panel titled, “Disrupting Recruitment,

Elance was excited to visit Dubai recently, helping to further support the tremendous growth of online work in the United Arab Emirates.

It’s inspiring to see that people across the Middle East now choose to Work Differently in record numbers.

And nowhere is the online work revolution having a greater impact than in the United Arab Emirates. Businesses registering on Elance from the UAE have risen over 100% in the past year, showing the country’s strong interest in online work. To put the region’s vast adoption in perspective, the UAE is now the seventh largest country in terms of hiring Elancers. Last year alone UAE businesses paid freelancers over $22 million through Elance.

Record numbers of freelancers from the UAE are also now joining Elance, providing great opportunity for workers to expand their careers and improve their personal lives. This is particularly important for the region’s youth, as unemployment among young workers in the Middle East is the highest in the world.

“Here in Dubai the status quo is changing quickly and businesses are open to new ideas,” noted Elance Vice President of Category Development Ved Sinha. “This includes hiring online workers, which allows companies to be more successful.”

Ved recently returned from Dubai after taking part in several events, each centered on continuing the momentum of economic development and online work in the Middle East. One highlight included speaking at the ArabNet Digital Summit in Dubai, where Ved sat on a panel titled, “Disrupting Recruitment, Transforming Work.” Also on the panel were top executives from LinkedIn and other companies on the forefront of employment, discussing how online work is revolutionizing hiring in the region.

While in Dubai Ved also spoke to local entrepreneurs at an event titled, “Smarter Hiring for Your Startups.” Meeting with entrepreneurs who are now leading the way in the surge of startup activity throughout the Middle East, the focus of the night was helping businesses thrive on a global scale. Watch the presentation by Ved Sinha, Vice President at Elance.

The trip to Dubai was a wonderful opportunity for our leadership team to meet some of the many people who are helping transform the Middle East into a flourishing region for businesses of all sizes – including the large number of companies from the area now making their mark in the ecommerce and social media spaces.

Elance is thrilled to be part of the emerging opportunities in the region, and we’re proud to help businesses and freelancers in the Middle East as they Work Differently.

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