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.”
Want to hear inspiring success stories straight from the mouths of fellow Elancers? Want to also glean insightful real-world tips from them – many sure to boost your own success?
We’ve got just the ticket for you: Join Elance us the week of February 19 for our first ever Work Differently Summit. No ticket required, just register and join us online.
The summit is a mid-week series of online sessions spotlighting freelancers and clients as they discuss life and work on Elance. Each webinar will feature a different Elancer as they discuss topics including:
• Life before Elance and how they discovered us
• How Elance is changing their lives and how they work
• Tips and insights they’ve garnered along the road to success
There will also be time for Q&A, giving you a chance to dig deeper about anything on your mind. Here’s a list of topics and speakers:
As you can see, there’s something for everybody at our Work Differently Summit. And each is certain to bring valuable information for clients and freelancers alike. So drop by our Feb. 19-21 video sessions and enjoy the show.
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).