After years of attracting top businesses and freelancers from every corner of the Earth, Elance is excited to announce that we’re now branching out beyond our home planet.
“We are absolutely thrilled to sign-up the industry’s very first client from the planet Mars,” said Elance Director of Interplanetary Development, Paul E. Wog. “We nearly registered a business from Pluto last year. But once Pluto lost its official status as a “planet,” the whole deal became a violation of our Terms of Service.”
Elance’s initial client from outside Earth is Zelphan Romedus IV, a Mars-based distributor of spare parts for space exploration vehicles.
“We have a dozen new rovers landing here daily,” said Narcom Qualizxt of Zelphan Romedus IV. “It’s getting busier than Area 51 around here, and these dune-buggies are breaking down faster than the Vulcan Starfleet. They need new wheels and cup holders and stuff, and our distribution channels are light years ahead of anything on Earth. We just need to toot our own cyber-horn.”
Zelphan Romedus IV has already hired a graphic designer on Elance to create a new company logo, choosing to collaborate through crop circles in an Iowa cornfield rather than our traditional shared Workroom. “Sort of odd fellows to work with,” noted Photoshop whiz and Elancer Gaymond Clopton of Earlham, Iowa. “But they paid me $3.4 million dollars US for one logo and left me a five-star rating, so I’m not going to complain about a little green slime here and there. The dry-cleaners got most of the stains out anyway.”
Headquartered in Athabasca Valles near the red planet’s Borealis Basin, Zelphan Romedus IV also plans to hire talented web programmers and mobile app developers on Elance. “The cloud is how earthlings are communicating with each other these days, so we need to be there,” said Narcom Qualizxt. “And Elance will transport us at light speed. Actually we love Elancers here on Mars, as the thought of overpaying for slow, second-class work is alien to us.”
With online work continuing to grow at an astronomical rate, it was only a matter of time before Elance moved into this untapped extraterrestrial market. “Our solar system is rife with talented individuals and businesses looking to Work Differently,” explained Elance’s Paul E. Wog. “Neptune alone has one of the largest communities of freelancers and businesses creating computer glasses and driverless vehicles. Both of these markets are just now taking shape here on this big blue marble we call home, and Elance can help drive success.”
Our man Paul E. Wog is also quick to explain that the rewarding lifestyle of online work is perfect for freelancers from all galaxies. “It doesn’t matter if you’re on a beach in the Bahamas or a Mothership in the Milky Way, all you need is a web connection to work these days. And boy do they have great Wi-Fi in deep space.”
Editor’s note: Yes, a quick peek at your wall calendar will confirm that today is April Fools’ Day, and that this blog post is in jest. Or at least it’s a few years premature? In case you’re not familiar with April Fools’ Day, it’s a kinda-sorta holiday in many countries, where folks celebrate by playing practical jokes and hoaxes on each other. We couldn’t resist.
Freelancers and clients alike are now happily throwing search parties, celebrating the newest Elance search tool: Portfolio Samples search (beta).
Portfolio Samples search is a handy new tool allowing businesses to pin-point the best candidates by searching for specific Portfolio samples. For example, if you’re in the market for a mobile app developer for your business, just click the Portfolio Samples tab and type in: Business mobile app for the iPhone
Our search engine will comb through Elance Portfolios and serve-up the most relevant results.
Clients will quickly find concrete examples of fitting work, making it easier than ever to choose among various people.
Freelancers love Portfolio Samples search too, as it gives everyone a way to showcase their talents to those looking for that exact work experience and expertise.
To get the ball rolling we’re starting Portfolio Samples search with two categories: IT & Programming and Design & Multimedia. We’ll also be adding more categories later, so be sure to check back.
Note: If you’re a freelancer and want to make sure your Portfolio is optimized for client searches, here are some words of wisdom from the sages of search:
• Be sure to upload your latest and greatest samples to your Portfolio.
• Edit all samples (new and old), giving each a unique tag, description and title (remember, these are the search terms clients will be searching for).
• In your description, describe your role in the project as well ... be specific about what part of the project you worked on how you tackled the assignment.
• Review samples to make sure they look great (we’ve automatically created thumbnails, but you can use the simple editing tool to adjust as needed).
Pretty cool, eh?
Our new Portfolio Samples search is just another way we’re helping you Work Differently and be more successful. So check it out, play with it, find things and enjoy. Also be sure to tell us what you think. On each Portfolio Samples search results page you'll find a link for feedback.
Here at Elance we realize how important your best ideas and copyrighted materials are to your business.
In a nutshell, to gain a competitive advantage, it’s critical that you protect your intellectual property from others in your space. And that’s why Elance is dead-set on making sure your great ideas remain right where they belong: Safely in your possession.
Whether it’s a game-changing product you’re creating, the logo for a new service you plan to unleash on the world, or whatever is going to distance you from the others, your Intellectual Property and copyrighted materials are what separate you from the masses. Here are some of the things we’re doing on our end to help ensure that your best ideas remain exclusively with you.
1. Our no-nonsense Terms of Service.
First, all Elancers agree to our Terms of Service when they register. These rules are the foundation for staying protected on the platform. Then, after your job is accepted, you’re further protected by Elance’s default Independent Contractor Services Agreement. This goes even deeper to stipulate your rights to ownership of intellectual property.
If you have supplementary terms you’d like to add to this agreement, you can upload an additional terms document to your projects Terms & Milestones page. Naturally, your freelancer will be required to agree to this as part of the project’s terms.
2. Our Non-Disclosure Agreement documents.
In situations when you need to disclose confidential information before your job can be accepted, you can request that your potential candidate accept a non-disclosure agreement.
In fact, as part of our service, Elance offers you a variety of binding contracts in our Help Center. Simply download a contract and personalize it with your specific information (each is a Word documents, making these sample contract easy to customize). You’ll find many sample contracts – from a variety of Non-Disclosure Agreements and Client/Freelancer Agreements to an Engagement Letter.
3. Our due diligence in screening freelancers.
Elance knows that transparency is key to building long-term, trusting relationships. With that in mind we work hard to make sure you know for sure who you’re hiring. We verify each freelancer’s email address, phone number and geographical location. For U.S.-based freelancers we also confirm W-9 and Tax ID information.
4. Our commitment to fostering online reputations.
Another way we protect your intellectual property is through Elance’s platform that’s based on reputation. Freelancers know that to earn jobs they’ll need to perform well. By looking at each freelancer’s Profile page you’ll see Ratings and Reviews from previous clients, as well as their job history. You’ll also see each freelancer’s Level. This is a ranking we apply, based on a number of factors (including size of jobs and number of repeat hirings). By reviewing all this material and speaking to the freelancer, you’ll get a good idea of their commitment to partnering with you.
From Fortune 500 companies to red-hot startups, businesses trust Elance.
Again, in the business world, ideas are king. Ditto for copyrights.
And perhaps the best testament to how we protect your private information and copyrighted materials is the list of companies who return to Elance again and again. Businesses of all sizes realize that our freelancers are here to support you with the same passion and commitment of your full-time staffers. Probably more so, because they know that every job is another test to earn more opportunities to work with you.
To learn other ways Elance works to keep you safe, check out or blog post on Elance Security. Read what we’re doing to safeguard everything from your Workrooms to your money.
If you create websites for Elance clients, we have great news for you. We’re now partnering with fast-growing web hosting service Arvixe to make your job easier and your clients happier.
Plus as a special perk for Elancers, you can now design your client’s website in Arvixe’s Hosting Sandbox Application free for 6 months. Their handy app is powerful, secure and easy-to-use (it’s ready to work with 260+ scripts – from WordPress and Drupal to Joomla and OpenCart), and it's available now in Elance's collection of applications. It's even been customized to work seamlessly with the Elance platform, including its look and feel.
Once your website development is finished, just hand off ownership of the hosting environment to your client. There are zero transfer issues. The client simply begins paying for Arvixe’s monthly hosting services. But with low rates and awesome features, your client will thank you for steering them in the right direction.
Check out the Arvixe Hosting Sandbox and enjoy your bonus offer for Elancers.
If you spot the Elance bus on the highways, byways or city streets of Texas between now and Saturday, March 9th you could earn $100 in Elance credits (good for hiring your next freelancer). Simply snap an original picture of the Elance bus and tweet the photo to us @elance – be sure to include your username.
There are a few rules for lassoing-in your $100 credit: All qualifying photos must feature the Elance bus pictured here, with the writing on the side (Elance Work Differently) clearly visible. All qualifying pictures must also be original, no duplicates accepted. And Elance reserves the right to disqualify any submissions.
Plus, don’t hesitate to flag down the Elance bus if you see it rolling in Austin (carefully, please). You might earn yourself some special treats from the ever-generous Elance team.
So get your camera ready and snap into action. Austin, the fun is headed your way.
Our Elance staffer Megan reports that a great time is being had by one and all on the still-rolling Startup Bus 2013.
In fact, at least on her bus (which pulled off out of New York City Sunday morning), total exhaustion hasn’t kicked in yet. Amazing, eh? Sounds like energy drinks are flowing free? Perhaps some other beverages too?
Just to get you all caught up, Elance is a sponsor of the Startup Bus competition and Megan is riding shotgun -- helping entrepreneurs use talented Elancers during the 72 hour journey. Here is the story, if you haven’t heard.
Megan’s team rolled into Knoxville at 3:00 am this morning, filled with smart, passionate “buspreneurs” from everyone (Tampa, Oklahoma, Finland, you name it). Megan reports that the biggest challenge so far is finding good Internet service and enough power outlets to charge their many devices. Pretty much the same issues we all face on a daily basis…
Oh, moving around is a problem too, given the space limitations on a bus. That makes sense.
The seven Startup Bus teams will be pitching their business ideas tomorrow, and the top four will continue. Check the Elance facebook page for blow-by-blow details as the completion progresses!
With South By Southwest (SXSX 2013) just around the corner, Elance is doing things up in a BIG way (yup, everything is bigger in Texas).
We’re co-sponsoring the exciting Startup Bus 2013 competition, which hits the road starting March 3.
During this fun competition several teams will motor from various cities, while furiously working to launch a product by the time they roll into SXSW. This means turning their entrepreneurial ideas into a reality in just 72 hours. On a cramped bus. With no sure guarantees of personal hygiene.
As an Elancer you have two ways to be a part of the festivities. You can even choose which specific Startup Bus to support and follow, as buses will be taking off from several different cities (including Mexico City).
1. Be on a Startup Bus remote support team.
Apply to be on a Startup Bus’ “parked” team, offering on-demand skills when needed. Each team will have a host of professionals online waiting to tackle specific jobs. You’ll get paid for your hard work as well, plus grow your reputation tremendously.
2. Follow the Startup Buses activities online.
Can’t participate? Browse the Elance Facebook page and follow our tweets, keeping track of each team’s progress. We’ll keep you posted on how the work is going and who drives away with the winning work. Check back often at the Elance blog too, as we’ll update activities throughout the week.
Hurry, buses are boarding soon.
If you want to be included on an Elance Startup Bus 2013 team, you’ll need to act fast. Really fast. We’ll be assigning remote seats in the next few days. So apply now – because that’s just how you roll.
Thanks to everyone who submitted a photo and inspiring story, sharing how you Work Differently on Elance. Thanks also to all who voted on our 16 motivating finalists. We were overwhelmed by both the quality and quantity of stories. It was truly inspiring to learn what a difference Elance is making in people’s lives and livelihood.
Finally, after counting the ballots, we now have our First Place winner: Mark Lloyd Binar
Congratulations Mark. He earned $500 and will be featured soon in Elance’s Inspiration Center.
We also want to congratulate our Second Place and Third Place winners: Sam Debey and Gillian Whyte-Roseway. They’ll each receive $250 and be featured on our Inspiration Center in the near-future as well. Well done.
We’re excited to be a sponsor of Cowork in the Park – a fun and invaluable day of mass-coworking at Wynyard Park (in the heart of Sydney), and it's coming up soon, so be sure to register now and attend.
Cowork in the Park is an enlightening (and free!) opportunity for freelancers and businesses alike to work in the fresh air (ahhh!), network with fellow entrepreneurs and learn all about coworking and online work. Hosted by HUB Sydney, here are the event details:
Cowork in the Park
Thursday, February 21
8 am to 3 pm
To help you comfortably work-away, mingle and collaborate there will be all sorts of amenities, including:
• Power charging stations
• Tables, chairs and umbrellas
• Networking areas
• Boardrooms for meetings
• Solar powered sound system
• Bean bag chairs for relaxing
Naturally, as well as satisfying your working needs, the Cowork in the Park sponsors will also tend to your personal needs with:
• Food and snacks
• Beverages (including coffee and chai tea)
• Roving massages
There will also be plenty of food trucks parked nearby, as well as hosted events throughout the day – like lunchtime “lightening talks” featuring experts from business, design, tech, wellness and other fields.
Elance will have a strong presence during Cowork in the Park, as Elance Mobilizer Jonathan Blackwell will be on hand to answer your questions. Be sure to RSVP and stop by and say, “G’day.”
As predicted, 2013 is shaping up to be The Year of the Freelance indeed. At least if figures from 2012 are any indication.
Last year the number of businesses hiring on Elance soared (up 54%). Ditto for total freelancer earnings (up 40%). These and other meaty findings are all part of the just-released Global Online Employment Report. See the report for more details, but here are some highlights from 2012:
• 345,000 new business joined Elance
• 80,000+ jobs are being posted each month
• 779,000 new freelancers joined Elance
• $200 million was earned by freelancers
High-skilled freelancers are increasingly in demand.
Businesses are increasingly realizing the need to Work Differently, going online for the talented freelancers they desperately need to grow the business. Here are some hiring trends on Elance in 2012:
• Mobile app developers (Android) up 146%
• Mobile app developers (iOS) up 132%
• HTML developers up 149%
• PHP experts up 108%
• CSS professionals up 103%
Surging demand for content creation too.
Needing fresh content for their web pages and mobile apps, in 2012 businesses also increased online hiring in these skill categories:
• Content writing up 151%
• Blog writing up 78%
• Web design up 205%
• Graphic design up 165%
• Photoshop experts up 165%
• Illustrator experts up 131%
• Digital marketing experts up 190%
• Social Media experts up 132%
Top global powers and struggling economic regions alike see increases.
In hard-hit areas of the US and Europe there was a natural spike of freelancer earnings in 2012, as online professionals took control of their own destiny and found jobs on Elance. This includes dramatically-increased earnings in US states from Rhode Island (+89%) and Mississippi (+67%) to New Jersey (+58%), Michigan (+54%) and California (+41). The same goes for Eastern Europe, where Poland, Bulgaria and the Ukraine levered their strong technical skills to significantly drive 2012 earnings.
Not limited to regions with financial woes, hiring in 2012 was also strong among global powers. A few countries setting hiring records include China (+204%), Japan (+109%), Italy (+70%), France (+66%), Germany (+50%) and the UK (+42%).
“Our results prove that our focus on connecting businesses with the highest quality talent is paying off. The number of businesses hiring on Elance increased dramatically, driving strong growth in freelancer earnings,” said Fabio Rosati, CEO of Elance. “We’re well on our way to reaching $1 billion in cumulative freelancer earnings in 2013.”