Elancers at Work

What’s your Elance Brand?

What's in a brand?

Your Elance brand is comprised of a lot of things: Your credentials, your client's satisfaction and endorsement, your expertise and work samples, your professionalism and ability to communicate, your marketing message and more.  To build this kind of presence, trust, and reputation in the offline world costs significant marketing dollars and requires years of customer endorsement. On Elance, your personal brand is created almost instantly, all in one place. So, how can you take advantage of that?

These are some practical tips to make your Elance brand stand up for you:

What Comes After Web 2.0?

I recently attended an event at the headquarters of LinkedIn where Dan Nye, CEO, and Allen Blue, VP and Co-Founder, spoke about their company.

One of the most interesting parts of the event was when Allen Blue shared his thoughts on Web 2.0.  He defined Web 2.0 as a set of learnings from Web 1.0:

  1. Distribution – Web products should distribute themselves
  2. Content creation – Websites are valuable when they have content, especially content created by users
  3. Monetization – Monetize from the beginning

These comments got me thinking about Web 1.0, 2.0, and beyond.  What do you think is next?

New York Times article about Tim Ferriss

In case you missed it, check out “Too Much Information? Ignore It”, an article in the New York Times last weekend by Alex Williams. 

It’s a profile about Elance customer Tim Ferriss, and how the lessons in his book, “The 4-Hour Workweek” - which are all about cutting out useless information in your life and personal productivity - are being received in Silicon Valley.

Tim Ferris - New York Times - "Too Much Information? Ignore It"

Elance CEO, Fabio Rosati, is also quoted in the article. One reason he believes Tim’s ideas resonate with ambitious Silicon Valley is because Tim practices what he preaches, by running a successful company and finding a way to live the lifestyle he enjoys.

Have you outsourced your life? Take a look!

Becoming an Elancer

Karen Swim, an Elance provider in the Writing & Translation and Sales & Marketing categories, has built her freelance business with the help of Elance buyers and the Elance platform.  A marketer with 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry, Karen joined Elance because she wanted to be in business for herself.   

"When I first visited Elance, I saw that there was this whole secret underground of people making a living outside of corporate America, and that's when I knew corporate America was part of my journey, but not the end," said Karen.

And that's when Karen decided to start her freelancing business.  "I just signed up for Elance and started bidding on jobs," Karen said.  "Elance really started my business."

Get What You Give

Mark Archer has been an Elance buyer since 2005, having posted dozens of projects and managed many different providers as a virtual boss.  Mark is also a former Navy fighter pilot, real estate investor, and now a serial entrepreneur.

I met Mark by accident during my first week at Elance when I called buyers to learn about their experiences on Elance.  During our conversation, I discovered that Mark really believes in the 'pay it forward' philosophy - something he calls, 'get what you give'.

From Freelancer to 'Teamlancer'

When you think of the word freelancer, you may think of someone working alone.  That can be true … but only some of the time. 

What's also true is that freelancers team up with each other to get more work, hone their skills, and add value to their clients.  Elance calls this kind of teamwork, 'teamlancing', and it's not uncommon on Elance.


A Work Revolution

A few years before Elance came to life, Daniel Pink wrote a book about the rising relevance of independent workers and wrote an article with the same title which appeared in Fast Company at the end of 1997:

Free Agent Nation   "There's a new movement in the land. From coast to coast, in communities large and small, citizens are declaring their independence and drafting a new bill of rights. Meet some of the 25 million residents of Free Agent, USA".  

Today, the free agent movement is global and uses the Internet as its workplace.

Be A Video Star

We all know the importance of first impressions - especially when trying to win jobs.  Now, you can take advantage of the new profile video feature to make your provider profile more personal, sell your services better online and let buyers know who you are.  Similar to the experience of providers who have already taken advantage of this feature, you might even have fun doing it!

But why bother putting together a video?

Q&A with Ryan Norbauer of Lovetastic.com

Ryan Norbauer calls himself an entrepreneurial dilettante.  Read his bio and you'll quickly find he's quite a bit more, and all at 26 years old.  We're big on supporting entrepreneurs, and meeting Ryan, even over email, was a refreshing experience in a world where "entrepreneur" can sometimes be a loose term.

Among Mr. Norbauer's many accomplishments, he's a writer, and guests writes on a few blogs including 43folders - a family of websites about personal productivity and simple ways to make your life a little better.  I highly recommend checking it out for some handy advice.  Ryan recently wrote about Enlightened Outsourcing on 43folders (see parts 1 and 2) after reading "The 4-Hour Workweek" by best selling author, Tim Ferriss, and we wanted to ask him a few more questions about his personal outsourcing experience and entrepreneurship.

Going Mobile

Last week, I attended an “Innovator’s Dinner” hosted by the customer experience consulting firm Creative Good.  The presenters from Creative Good mentioned that often times, the most interesting takeaway from an event comes from an unplanned, random meeting. And while I caught up with a few friends and colleagues, I did hear something quite novel from someone I met randomly.

This was a serial entrepreneur who has sold a few companies and, as it turned out, started using Elance in 2000.  He has periodically used Elance ever since then, most recently hiring a full-time researcher to gather competitive information every week.  Today, he is working on a mobile phone startup.


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