Elancers at Work

Against The Odds, Elancer Builds Not One, But Two Businesses.

For most people, building one successful business would be plenty.Elancer Colette Barry

Not true for Colette Barry, who launched her business Yoga Trends a few years ago (working with many Elancers to get up-and-running and maintain her site). Plus she has now seen the opportunity for working as a freelancer/business and has opened her other company Creative Website Pro, helping businesses build their websites.

And what makes Colette’s story even more inspirational is that she is unable to hear. “Being deaf since birth, I realized the only way I could succeed in life was to avoid serving a boss,” she says. “Not being able to hear, I knew I could only answer to myself. LOL!”

“After many years of teaming up with such great Elancers, I eventually set up my own web designing company and hired the best writers, designers, IT managers I could find.” Colette notes. “I know what exceptional service is and this is how I run my online website business.”

But back up a few years, and the story begins with the Ohio-based Colette working with Elancers to bring her vision of Yoga Trends to life. Yoga Trends is a successful fitness and rehab center offering classes locally, as well as web-based classes across the country.Yoga Trends

“Elance has been an instrumental solution in helping me materialize my visions both locally in my studio and also virtually,” Colette explains. “When I first started building my company years ago on Elance I hired everyone from video editors, writers and even business advisers to lawyers. Having access to such amazing talents and personalities around the world, made me feel that I am able to connect to the top talents in the freelance industries.”

Colette loves the freedom and opportunity Elance gives her: “I have this relentless desire to create, share and grow. Elance gives me this opportunity to express these desires without boundaries or limitations. When do you have a career where the world is at your finger tips?”

While building her two businesses, Colette has discovered what many Elancers know as well. The platform allows you to test several Elancers to find the perfect freelancer for your specific job. In her own words: “The beauty of Elance is that that it allows clients to interview candidates and post small "experimental" jobs, in order to explore which freelance is the perfect fit for their online goals and visions.”

A big thank you to Colette for sharing her story with us all. It’s amazing what you can accomplish when you have the talent and drive to succeed. Nice job (two actually).

5 + 1 Questions With Elance Staffer, Katrin Hippler.

1. What’s your job here at Elance?


Being a part of our European Elance team I am based in Oslo, Norway. As Talent Marketing Manager, Europe, I am managing our worldwide team of Mobilizers who conduct trainings for freelancers in how to build a career online and show entrepreneurs how to find the right freelancers for their projects.

Besides that I also get to travel quite a bit, mainly within Europe, speaking at events, conferences and meetups to spread the word about Elance.

2. What do you like most about working at Elance?


At Elance our whole team is passionate about what we are doing and it is very rewarding to see that we have the opportunity to change individual’s lives. It’s also nice to broaden my mind, and working together with people who share my passion and vision about how to Work Differently would not have been possible if it wasn’t for Elance. All in all, I love being part of a great team and pioneering the new way of working.

3. How do you Work Differently?


I enjoy the variety: Most of the time I work from our new office in Oslo. However the best ideas and new inspirations I usually get when I’m away from my desk (on the train to work, the lounge area of our office or during travels to events or conferences). I also like my to-do-lists on paper – they keep me structured and help with prioritizing the things I am working on.

4. What songs are now on heavy rotation as you’re working-away?


I enjoy music in all forms, however, while working I am more of the “I-like-it-calm-and-quiet” type as this is when I concentrate best.

5. When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing?


I love traveling, especially exploring my new home Norway (I am originally from Germany). Now that summer is slowly approaching, I like spending as much time outdoors as I can, enjoying bright summer nights by the fjord, hiking tours in the Norwegian woods, weekend trips with the motorcycle and a tent, finding the best swimming spot at the Oslo fjord, laughing with friends or sometimes just reading a good book.

6. (Bonus question!) OK, ask yourself anything. No subject is off the table.

My question and answer:

Katrin, I’d like to learn more about the Elance Mobilizer Program you’ve mentioned. How can I join your team?

Great question! Yes, we are continuously looking for Mobilizers to join our team in all parts of the world. If you are passionate about the new way of working, enjoy hosting workshops and organizing events, check out our Mobilizer info page.


Elance Is On Cloud 9, Sponsoring AngelHack Events.

Update: Here are photos from the recent AngelHack in Kiev.

If you’re a serious hacker, AngelHack is heaven on earth.AngelHack attendees

And we should know, as Elance had a fantastic time sponsoring a recent AngelHack in San Francisco. Plus we’re also looking forward to sponsoring several upcoming AngelHack events in cities around the world.

To fill you in, AngelHack organizes hackathon competitions for web developers, web designers and other entrepreneurs. Called AngelHacks, these events give budding startups a chance to bounce their ideas off others, crystalize their thinking, learn new development tools and receive funding and mentorship. They also have access to great freelancers from Elance, who can help bring their ideas to life during the weekend competition.

Oh, they also meet new friends and have a blast all weekend long.

This year AngelHack is organizing even more hackathons than ever, bringing together over 15,000 developers in 50+ cities. Each is a competition (with noted judges), with winners of each city’s AngelHack entering a 12 week AngelHack Accelerator Program to prepare them for a trip to the Silicon Valley to meet investors.

If you want to be a part of an AngelHack Elance is sponsoring, here are some upcoming dates:

Austin, June 1-2 RSVPJamHive logo

NYC, June 1-2 RSVP

Singapore, June 1-2 RSVP

Kiev, June 15-16 RSVP

For those who attending the even in San Francisco last weekend, you know how fun AngelHacks are. And congratulations to overall S.F. winner Livabetes (a positive take on DIEabities). They’re plan is to make an iPhone app that can monitor your blood glucose level with an add-on device, as well as track your insulin shots and other diabetes-related treatments.

Also a big nod to JamHive, which earned a special prize from Elance. They’re developing an online music collaboration tool for musicians, and they’re one of the many teams who used Elancer during the S.F. event. This includes hiring Irish graphic designer Alan, who worked through the night (Irish time) to iterate and create a rockin’ logo for JamHive.

Good work to all, and we look forward to more great work in the weeks to come.

5 + 1 Questions With Elance Staffer, Nenad Molerovich.

1. What’s your job here at Elance?

Answer: As Director of Online Marketing, I lead all efforts to make sure clients and freelancers find us when searching the web. Another huge part of the job is to really understand who our users are and how to serve them better.

2. What do you like most about working at Elance?

Answer: I have to tell you a story first, and I'll try to keep it short. Before working at Elance I was a freelancer making a living through Elance.

I still remember the day when my fiancée quit her job at Microsoft in Seattle, sold everything she owned, and moved to Macedonia to start a family with me. On that same day, the Macedonian company I was doing online marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for suddenly stopped paying everyone’s salary without any explanation. I had to do something and fast. A friend mentioned there was a site where you could work online jobs and make a decent living. I decided to not just try Elance, but to make it work for me. I figured if it can work for others then it can work for me as well.

Long story short, I got my first job and made just $50. Three months later I made the equivalent of 9 months of salary.

I still have that feeling of freedom whenever I see the word "Elance". I know that no matter where I am, I can still survive. For the first time in human history you don't have to live in a prosperous and developed country to have access to great jobs. Now you can grow your expertise and make a decent living from anywhere in the world. That's pretty powerful.

So, to answer the question, helping people and companies understand this opportunity is what I like most about working at Elance.

3. How do you Work Differently?

Answer: I work from home when I feel it's more productive, but I like being dynamic and changing my scenery every day. One good habit I’ve developed is to stay focused on what I'm doing in the moment no matter what is happening around me. In addition to that, I'm not afraid to fail and I love to learn, so I am always trying new things. 

4. What songs are now on heavy rotation as you’re working-away?

Answer: Oh man this is a bit embarrassing to admit, but I find Pink Floyd drowns out any distractions at work. (Editor’s note: Nothing wrong with rockin’ The Floyd)

For This Elancer, SEO Stands For Sheer Excitement Optimization.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) experts are among the most-demanded on Elance.

For Yahia Khan this spells exciting opportunities he couldn’t have imagined just a few short years ago. Especially since Yahia is both an SEO freelancer and a client who hires other Elancers for his company, G.I.T. Expert.Yahia Khan

Born and raised in Bangladesh, Yahia moved to the U.K. a while back to study computing. After graduating he took a full-time 9-to-5 job in the U.K., working for a U.S.-based tech company.

But Yahia’s heart was still in his homeland of Bangladesh. So he returned to his hometown of Sylhet and soon found Elance (and the many benefits of working online freelance jobs). “I love freedom and I love being my own boss,” he says. “And I hope to continue making my business bigger and bigger.”

Today Yahia’s business is growing fast, as he and his team of SEO and link building professionals help companies get more traffic and more leads from their websites. He even hires Elancers himself, working with a stable of 15 freelance content writers and SEO experts to create articles, blogs and other online properties to make his client’s websites more successful.

Yahia’s clients, mostly based in the U.S., love that G.I.T. Expert is able to deliver great results quickly and at a reasonable price. “My Elance writers are at the heart of my business,” he notes. “Finding people with great English writing skills in my country is difficult, and keeping them is expensive. With Elance I get quality freelancers on a pay-as-you-go basis and pass the savings on to my clients.”

Yahia has one great tip for Elance clients searching for quality work: Test runs. “I hire multiple freelancers on the same project, sending them a small amount of work first as a test,” he explains. “Then I measure the quality of the work and move forward with the top performers. It’s the perfect way to work with a variety of the very best people in a very cost-efficient way.”

He also has an astute tip for fellow freelancers: “Deliver exceptional work on every project and earn great feedback.” As an Elance client who also hires, Yahia is quick to add: “Terrific feedback is certainly something I look for when searching for the best people to work with.”

Needless to say, Yahia’s clients (and freelancers) appreciate his insightful approach to optimization. And it’s why they keep coming back to G.I.T. Expert again and again for more awesome SEO work.



5 + 1 Questions With Elance Staffer, Megan Gebhart.

1. What’s your job here at Elance?

Answer:  I’m on the marketing team here at Elance. I head up the social media channels, which means I get to tweet, post, pin and link to great stories for and about the vibrant Elance community. Other fun tasks include helping with the Elance Online Work Differently Summit and the Work Differently Photo Contest. 

2. What do you like most about working at Elance?Megan Gebhard Works Differently in San Francisco.

Answer:  Elance is a truly global company. I’ve learned so much about so many different cultures, from both my colleagues here at the HQ and from people from around the world who I get to interact with on a daily basis.

3. How do you Work Differently?

Answer:  I Work Differently by skipping the commute twice a week, working remotely from San Francisco. Sometimes when I need a change of scenery, I take my laptop and mobile hotsport to a great outdoor location like the top of SF's Corona Heights.

4. What songs are now on heavy rotation as you’re working-away?

Answer:  On Top of the World by Imagine Dragons: It’s happy, upbeat and makes me smile!

5. When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing?

Answer: My two favorite pastimes are traveling and meeting new people. After graduating from college in 2011, I spent 14 months roaming around Europe and the United States having coffee with strangers along the way. Fortunately the Bay Area has great places to explore and people to meet!

6. (Bonus question!) OK, ask yourself anything. No subject is off thMeghan Gebhard in Antarcticae table.

My question and answer:

Megan, have you ever been to Antarctica?

Why yes I have! In November, my friend I and I took a ten-day cruise to Antarctica. It was unlike every place I’ve been before: No inhabitants, electricity, or buildings -- just ice, water and snow for as far as the eyes can see.

Oh, well I suppose there were inhabitants. We saw plenty of adorably awkward penguins, sea lions and a handful of humpback whales.

(Can you spot Megan in this picture? Look carefully.)

Love? Some Days You Just Gotta Work At It.

Happy Valentine’s Day from Elance.

We’re always tickled pink to hear stories about Elancers who not only love their work, but also find true love while working on Elance. Check-out some pillow talk from our Facebook page.

But for every passionate story of someone falling madly-deeply in love through Elance, there are a thousand (million?) stories that are equally heart-warming. We’re speaking about how Elance helps families spend more time together. Here are a few of the many Elancers who Work Differently and are sharing the love on our Facebook page.

Thanks to everyone who shared their sentiments. You really make us feel loved.

















Well said, one and all, well said.

Although the holiday itself isn’t celebrated universally, the sentiment certainly is. And it’s wonderful to hear so many stories of Elance, and the true definition of a labor of love. Enjoy your day.

Elancer Makes Great Mobile Apps And A Great Living.

Today you can use a smart phone for just about anything. Including to make a healthy living.Esteban Tolosa Mobile App Desinger for Elance

Just ask Esteban Tolosa of Cuidad de Cordoba, Argentina.

Esteban is a User Interface Designer for mobile applications. He is also a dedicated “full-time” Elancer.

Originally a pure graphic artist by trade (a career he toiled in for some time, dutifully working the corporate 9-to-5 grind), Esteban wisely saw a bright future in mobile apps and steered his career in that direction. It was a great choice.

“I love my life and I’m living the dream,” he says.

Now that every company worth its salt is creating a mobile app for their business (and justifiably so, as customers are using mobile apps at record pace), Esteban is enjoying the financial and life-style benefits of creating mobile apps for Elance clients around the globe. In the past two years he’s worked on over 150 Elance projects for 80+ clients, including mobile apps for iPhone and Android projects.

With Argentina facing severe economic difficulties much like most countries, Elance has been a breath of fresh air for Esteban and his family. A father of five young children, he can now earn money to support his family while also organizing his work schedule around family commitments.

“I prefer this way of working,” he notes. “I can enjoy time with my family, control my life and remove stress.”

Esteban’s clients are less stressed too, as he’s helping companies create that awesome mobile app to drive growth and increase revenue. It’s skilled professionals like Esteban who are helping make mobile app development among the most-demanded projects on Elance.

With his talent and wonderful story, Esteban has also earned a coveted spot in the Elance Inspiration Center. Bravo, Esteban, bravo.

Elance: Tailor-Made For Buffalo Jackson Trading Co.

If you’re looking to meet a rugged man with a pioneering spirit and commitment to old-world quality, look no further than Xan Hood.

Founder of the popular clothing outfitter Buffalo Jackson Trading Co., Xan is cut from the same cloth as Teddy Roosevelt, Ernest Hemingway and John Muir. He’s also a devoted and long-time Elance client – which helps greatly to explain his passion for high-end work and superior craftsmanship at every step of the way. It’s the same rough-and-tumble excellence you’ll find in his collection of dress shirts, outdoor jackets, leather goods, shoes and other fashionable sundries.Xan fishing

As Xan shares, “One of the greatest success stories of our business is working with contractors on Elance. Our business couldn’t have grown without them.”

When Xan originally set out to build his clothing company three short years ago, he knew he couldn’t settle for a handful of so-so employees with general skills. That’s not the way Teddy would have manned an army, or Pappa crewed a deep sea fishing expedition. Xan wanted the best of the best, and that’s why he turned to the highly-specialized professionals available at Elance. To build Buffalo Jackson Trading Co. and to get his business up and running quickly, Xan hired-on an entire team of top-notch experts – from product developers and accountants to graphic designers, artists, website developers and customer service reps.

“I literally bootstrapped my company using Elance teams,” said Xan. “I started with $300 and a dream.” He is quick to point out that he looks only for the finest and most passionate workers, rewarding them fairly for an honest day’s work. “I love my team,” Xan notes. “They’re like employees to me, or even family. I had the opportunity to send some extra money to a trusted programmer in India when he went down with Dengue Fever and was in bed a few days.”

The physical location of Buffalo Jackson’s Elancers spans from across the globe in the Ukraine to around the corner from his North Carolina home. Xan currently works with 10 freelancers, but that number can rise at the drop of a hat. When the demand is there, Xan simply invites more Elancers to help him tackle the job. “I was recently talking with a much larger company on some collaboration and they estimated I had 15 or more employees working around the clock,” Xan explains. “But nope, it’s just me and Elance right now.”

But when you’re one tough field general committed to honor and integrity like you’ll find in Xan Hood, nothing is going to stop you from blazing new trails and realizing your dream. Especially when you have an army of Elancers there to support your every move. Giddy-up.

True Story: One Writer’s Climb To The Top (Literally).

Mark Leary of Soulsplash Writers is among the top freelance writers on Elance. But more than simply scaling the pinnacle of his literary profession, he has also reached his lifelong dream of living in the clouds. In fact you’ll find him most days happily working and playing at his home/office – 3,600 feet up the Cascade Mountains at the base of Bend, Oregon’s Mt. Bachelor.Mark of SoulSplash

“Thanks to Elance I can work in the sunshine on my back deck, go for a morning ski or afternoon mountain bike ride, and still get in a full-day’s work – all on my own clock,” Mark says. “I have freedom and flexibility that none of my corporate friends enjoy.” He’s also quick to point out that with very few writing jobs in Bend, without Elance he would never have been able to trade in the cubicle for a ski lift.

To date Mark has completed over 150 writing jobs and counting on Elance, from sales and marketing projects to ghostwriting articles and eBooks. This includes a wide-variety of topics that keep him fresh and energized. “The range and diversity of projects is a blast,” he notes. “Everything from writing How To Surf and How To Throw A Baby Shower books to ghostwriting for best-selling New York authors.”

There’s an international flavor to Mark’s portfolio too, thanks to Elance. He’s able to write for a diverse list of clientele from around the world – from the United States and Canada to South Africa, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Choosing Elance was an easy choice for Mark. “It’s a trusted company where people feel safe working, especially with the escrow. Elance is also well-publicized, which gives me a bigger reach and eliminates the need for additional marketing.” He also gives a thumbs up to Elance’s sensible rating and ranking system that rewards people fairly.

While his career continues going uphill and his mountain bike downhill, we have to salute someone able to achieve an ideal work/life balance. It must be heavenly.


Subscribe to RSS - Elancers at Work