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.
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.
We’re constantly looking for ways to help great-performing freelancers stand out. Today we’re pleased to announce two upcoming additions to freelancer’s My Stats: New metrics for rewarding consistent delivery of great services, and changes to the existing benchmarking group for freelancers.
The two new metrics are intended to help differentiate freelancers who consistently deliver high-quality jobs and build long-term, lasting relationships.
Similarly, the enhanced benchmarking will provide more-relevant information to help freelancers understand what other freelancers are doing differently, and how to improve your own rankings. However, My Stats will continue to be visible only to you – although these changes will allow you to grow your Levels rating (and reap the benefits associated with achieving higher Levels).
Here are more details on the up-coming changes:
New “Repeat Clients” metric.
This metric awards more points in their Level calculation to those freelancers who have been able to partner with clients for long periods of time. It’s a great indicator of your ability to build relationships and to successfully meet your clients’ changing needs.
New “Earnings Percentage” metric.
This metric rewards freelancers who consistently complete awarded jobs. A successfully completed job is defined by two factors: 1. Did you complete the job and get your expected payments (or more)? and 2. Has the job gone well? When these conditions are successfully met, it lays the foundation for the type of consistent job delivery that differentiates high-performing accounts. Freelancers who achieve higher than average Earnings Percentage rates will accelerate growth in their Level.
To provide freelancers with more visibility, we’re changing the benchmarking group you’re in to include only the freelancers with similar Levels and Categories. This will give you an opportunity to review what some of your peers are focused on as you grow your own reputation on Elance.
When is this all happening?
Changes to your benchmarking group are already happening for Elancers. As mentioned, only you will be able to see this information since it will only be in your My Stats page.
The two new metrics, and some other smaller changes to My Stats, will be rolled out soon. Don’t worry, we’ll come back here to update you when this change goes live. In the meantime we want you to be aware of what’s coming, so you can begin thinking about how best to take advantage of these new ways to grow your reputation on Elance.
After meticulously poring over a year’s worth of impressive freelancer profit figures (and other industry statistics and trends – from the skyrocketing rise of companies posting jobs online to the public policy advocated by President Obama), Elance has pulled out its crystal ball.
What follows are five highly-educated predictions for the year 2013.
1. “Services” hiring will double online in 2013.
Although technology jobs continue to surge, the single-largest percent increase will be in the service industries – as the traditional “creative agency” model moves to online workers. We first got wind of this as the demand for creative talent skyrocketed 58% from last year. Ditto for other service jobs, such as legal (up 176%) and accounting (up 88%).
2. 1 in 4 university students will work online in 2013.
Freelancing is the new normal for students as they discover how online jobs are more lucrative and rewarding than flipping burgers. While building experience, many continue freelancing after graduation as they earn a stable living while traveling and enjoying life. The Elance Freelance Talent Report shows that millennial freelancers on the site jumped from 26% to 47% in the past year.
3. The number of full-time employees who quit and turn to freelance will triple in 2013.
Lack of healthcare is a concern for freelancers. If ObamaCare happens, more U.S. workers will grab their affordable healthcare and run-not-walk to full-time freelance work. ObamaCare will also be a boon for companies, as they reduce the burden of rising healthcare costs for employees.
4. Unemployment figures will be overstated by 5% in 2013.
The economy isn’t as bad as it appears. Those unemployed (and underemployed) are increasingly going online to earn money – and many of those jobs won’t be reported in 2013 employment figures. This new online work will be fueled by the business world’s growing trend to hire “on demand” (this “on demand” trend is echoed in the consumer world too, exemplified by ZipCar and Airbnb).
5. Companies of all sizes will hire twice as many online workers in 2013.
With cost savings, faster time-to-hire, access to top talent not locally available, and a better product delivered, 85% of small business report in the Elance Global Business Survey that hiring online offers a competitive advantage. In 2013 enterprise companies will increasingly realize these benefits, and in turn they’ll hire more and more virtual teams as an extension of their onsite staff.
Not a bad outlook for the year ahead, eh? In the words of Elance CEO Fabio Rosati, “When you pair the online freelance category’s fundamentals with recent trends on Elance, it’s clear that online work is primed for explosive growth in 2013.”
If you’re an Elancer, it’s a pretty picture. And if you want an even prettier picture (literally), view this eye-catching infographic we created, outlining even more details of these “prophesies.” So get ready to turn your calendar to 2013 and enjoy a fantastic year. And yes, if you go by the Elance Calendar as most of us do, you’ll notice that 2013 is officially the “Year of the Freelancer.”
We’re tickled-pink to be selected as a finalist for the prestigious 2012 SMB Innovator Award. But to earn the esteemed honor (and to also win the accompanying “People’s Choice Award”), we need your support.
Vote for Elance daily and confirm what all Elancers already know – together we’re leading the way in today’s workforce revolution, allowing small businesses and freelancers alike to work differently and achieve things never before possible.
In a nutshell, voting for Elance is a vote for yourself – as you’re the reason we’re able to make this sort of innovation possible. Without you the vision would be empty, so thank you.
The SMB Innovation Award is presented by Phonebooth, a division of Bandwidth. The award recognizes “game-changing” companies now making a difference in the small business space. After reviewing thousands of potential candidates the Top 10 Finalists were selected by a distinguished panel, representing experts from government, media and the small business community. It really is an honor to be included.
Along with the Award (if we’re fortunate enough to win) comes generous cash prizes ranging from $2,500 (for the People’s Choice Award) to $20,000 (the overall SMB Innovator Award – determined by a combination of your votes and the panel’s recommendations). If we win, we’ll be investing the prize money in worthy events to reward Elancers such as yourself for supporting us. Details to follow, should the win present itself.
So thanks in advance for your participation in the voting process. Remember, the balloting only runs through Friday, December 14, so be sure to cast your vote early and often (yes, you can vote daily).
Thanks a million. Thanks two million actually, and counting. That’s the number of registered freelancers we’ve now reached here at Elance. Woo-hoo, two million!
Two million is a historic milestone we couldn’t have achieved without your support and the support of our entire community. To thank you we’ve arranged for a celebratory gift: Free online skills training at Lynda.com for all registered Elancers. It’s our small way of giving back, by helping you further reach your career goals.
If you’re unfamiliar, Lynda is the shining star of video training with 1500+ courses and 84,000+ tutorials. You’re sure to find some awesome materials to help you brush up on current skills or explore new areas. Lynda has tutorials on every skill from web design and development (like PHP and HTML 5) to audio/video, graphic design, accounting and photography.
With the way spin doctors can bend statistics these days, we’re all getting a little numb to facts & figures. But when Elance’s Q3 Global Online Employment Report came out this week, our jaws literally dropped. More than a few coffee cups were dropped too.
Fact is, the online work sector is now growing at a mind-boggling clip. The bottom line is that Elance saw tremendous growth on both the freelancer and client side in Q3 2012. Specifically we saw a 41% growth in new jobs posted by businesses (over 213,000), and 42% growth in freelancer earnings (topping nearly $50 million).
The numbers were particularly astonishing in U.S. cities where unemployment rates are above 10% (the national average is hovering around 8%). This can be attributed to workers looking to escape the restraints of local economies. For living proof, see Detroit, Michigan which saw a whopping 745% increase in freelancer earnings over Q2. There was similarly huge freelancer earning growth across the rest of the country too. And ditto for areas of Europe with economic challenges, where freelancers in Greece saw 167% growth, Portugal 101% and Spain 48%.
If there’s one word to describe the Elance team, it’s “competitive.”
We’re constantly competing hard to find great new ways to make our platform even more awesome. We’re always competing to find and hire top people to come work at Elance. Heck, we’re even competing with each other to grab that last parmesan bagel from Elance’s daily breakfast bar.
Hence it’s no wonder many on the Elance team carried that competitive spirit over to the weekend, where a few days back several Elancers competed in the Warrior Dash 5K race in Hollister, California. It’s a mud-crawling, fire-leaping, obstacle-climbing extreme “run from hell.” It’s also a great cause, with money being raised to help St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
If you’re a programmer with an iron-grip on the latest development skills, you’ll love being part of our Titanium Certified Developers Group. It’s the new gold standard for businesses looking to hire online freelancers to help build cool apps on the popular Appcelerator Titanium Platform.
Officially-sponsored by Appcelerator, join the group to catch the eye of companies who are going places (and hiring as we speak … uh, blog). It’s also where businesses should go to pinpoint great workers with nerves of steel and Titanium expertise.
As background information for anyone not up-to-speed, Appcelerator's platform leverages over 5,000 mobile device and operating system APIs – allowing teams to create native iOS and Android apps (and HTML5 mobile web apps). Businesses who use the Titanium Platform report getting to market a whopping 70% faster. Titanium is also open source, making it easy to integrate data, content and services from a variety of sources into mobile applications.
As expected, Elance’s annual Spooktacular Costume Contest was a frightfully fun time. Many from our California team joined in the afternoon’s festivities, dressing up in their favorite Halloween get-ups. Costumes ranged from sports and film stars to music icons, YouTube sensations and yes, even Elance Executives (gulp). There was also a large contingent of gruesome things, domestic and wild animals, and at least one farm fresh vegetable. Some of the costumes were a little difficult to identify their exact intent, and to avoid embarrassment we’ll just leave it at that.
During the revelries help upstairs at our Mountain View headquarters, dance moves were busted, a wide variety of skits were performed, and a scary number of mini-cupcakes were consumed. And of course, each and every Elancer was left howling with laughter (particularly those garbed in dog or werewolf outfits).