A Freelancer or freelance worker is a person who is not committed to a full-time, particularly long-term employment and it would be more appropriate to say an independent self-employed contractor working on his own will. Usually, Freelancers are working on short-term or project bases which is temporary and as soon as they finish their task, the contract comes to its end. A short-term contract or work could be anything from working as a freelance labor or professional writers or website designers. Freelancing is the projects, contracts or jobs he is doing on regular basis.
We can divide freelancing into two categories i.e. online and offline freelancing and later on we are going to discuss sub-categories in these two major options.
Today’s topic is about online Freelancing and detailed discussion on career development in online freelancing.
In most common term, the freelancers providing services such as article writing, graphic designing, website designing and development, Remote IT solution providing and so on, are actually experts in their fields and providing such services right from their bed or in a coffee shop with their laptops. Online freelancing is can be summarized into two sub-categories as
Freelancing Through Portals
There are major portals and websites available to provide a platform to freelancers and contractors as well as employers to have opportunity to communicate and do online secure transactions. There are few benefits for both the freelancers and employers to go with such platforms:
- For Employers, they can easily find good and competitive price for their work. As there are many freelancers going to send proposals also known as bid, on their project. The more proposals employer gets, the better opportunity they have to choose best and most competitive freelancer. Contractors can follow my guide on hiring a freelancer.
- For Employers, they can not only find a competitive price but they can communicate with the freelancers very easily through the portals where they can discuss their project in detail. This gives them opportunity to further assist if their choice is the right person to go with or they need to continue their research.
- For Employers, their payment is secure. They don’t need to worry if the freelancer will take the money and will disappear. Because the payments are done via milestones and escrows which gives great satisfaction to the employers as well as the contractors. Once the employer is satisfied, they can simply
- For Contractors, they can find regular work. Yes there is competition but their are really good tricks, mentioned below to increase the maximum chances to win the job.
- For Contractors, their payment is secure and employers can’t refuse to make the payment after the work is done. There are two ways to secure the payment in freelancing via portals. One is to make the payment on milestones which means contractors and employer can agree on terms of payment, and they will create milestones for each stage. And that milestone payment will be released upon completion of stage. Second to escrow the full payment and release upon completion.
- For Employers and Contractors, they both have options to give non-modifiable feedback on the profile of opposite party. That feedback gives power to the employers to write their review or level of satisfaction on contractor’s profile, which will be treated as rating for the contractors. Having a good rating ensures the reliability of a contractor over the platform, and obviously they get more invites and projects.
- Projects History as well as Transaction History is maintained for future. Those projects, feedback rating and portfolio which is showcase, obviously act as a past experience for Freelancers or Contractors.
- Contractor gets limited number of connected / bids they can use to submit proposals. And that limitation keeps the spam away.
A freelancer only needs to attach his Bank Account or PayPal with the Freelancing portal or platform, and whenever they withdraw their payment. They will receive in their account. Many companies has started doing the same job. They have signed up with the platforms and has started working as freelance. They get the projects and have hired workers to perform the job or outsource the project by keeping their profit.
I, personally, recommend only two platforms which are performing best in the industry to provide best user-experience and ensures more security and more opportunities for both the employers and contractors, in various ways. Upwork and Freelancer.
Online Freelancing Career
If you are looking for work online. First you need to assist yourself. If you believe you are good in writing, then article writing and major other writing jobs could be your field. If you are more towards technical side of website development then you will surely find plenty of work in online freelancing career. If you are good at anything from submitting data entry work to graphic designing, internet marketing and website designing online freelancing career is for you. Let’s Signup with online portals!
Signup with Elance And Freelancer
It is quite easy to signup with these two platform. All you need is to know about yourself and your expertise. The good thing is you can use your social profiles to sign up for these two platforms as well, which makes it lot easier to login in the future. You can either sign up as a contractor or as Employer. In freelancer you can use the same account for getting the work and outsourcing your own work on freelancer. Once you’ve signed-up, now you need to complete your profile.
As freelancer.com has a special online program where it invites hackers and security researchers to find vulnerability and freelancer gives them rewards on it. That effort is just to make the platform more secure.
Complete your Profile
This is again very easy, though time taking part. You need to write down maximum details of yourself and your previous work and expertise in your profile. Because the more details you have mentioned the less you need to write later while submitting proposals. A good profile will speak everything about you in your freelancing career, from your appearance (your picture) to your work experience and feedback. However, when you are new the those platforms, you are not going to have feedback or rating at that moment. For that you need to find work first, but definitely a complete profile is 90% of your impression and later good rating and feedback makes your profile 100%.
This section is very important in Freelancing topic, for both the people looking to work as a freelancer or the one looking to outsource his project or looking for freelancers. Because on one side, people who wants to make freelancing as their work and want to earn some money out of it, really needs to know how they can win a bid. If there are 70+ other freelancers bidding or submitting proposals on the same project, what are the things which can make you to get higher chances to earn that project. While on the other side, employers are also trying to find the best person for their work. They don’t want to waste 1-2 weeks and after that they come to know that the person they hired is not able to do their work, or is not replying in time or delaying your work.
Here are some very important factors in online freelancing that an online freelancer needs to keep in mind while submitting their proposal for work or projects. These tricks and tips are helpful not only for the workers to earn the project, but also very helpful to make the online environment a more better place. Because if everyone is submitting a proposal according to these techniques, obviously they will look more professional and legitimate and it gives employers a better opportunity to choose from.
- A complete profile. Either you are working on Elance or Freelancer. First and most important thing even before you submit a single proposal, is to complete your profile.
- Introduce yourself or company in no more than 2 lines. Your complete profile should indicate everything about you or company in detail along with your portfolio and work history. So you don’t need to repeat those things again and waste time in submitting proposal.
- Read the Description very carefully. Know the skill set required by the client / employer. If you believe you can do it, only the submit the proposal. Otherwise you have surely got plenty of choice to go through.
- The employers are fed up of reading the same stories of ‘I am experienced’, ‘we are experts’ and blah blah with sample work link. Yes, I am talking about the copy/paste proposals. They need someone to only discuss what they need help with. So it very important point is discuss only the points mentioned by the employers in description, in start of your proposal after 2 lines introduction.
- Price and Time Estimate given in proposal should be completely your own estimation based on your expertise and freelancing experience. Your price shouldn’t be according to other’s price. Being an expert, if you really think you can do the job then you should know the price. And quote your own price which you think is reasonable. Don’t look at other’s prices while quoting your own price, so you can be fare with yourself and the client.
- Do not submit proposal unless you think you are eligible for the job. If you are working for a company, then you should first assist your designers and developers’ skills and expertise. Because not having a job is better than having a bad feedback on your profile history. So be very careful while choosing a project. As contractors have got a limited number of bids or connected that they can use to submit their proposal, so be very wise in using it.
- Don’t write up long stories. Be concise but complete with your solution and suggestions. Following ‘to the point’ approach is considered best approach. Employers or Clients really don’t have time to read every proposal, and most probably they are going to skip the lengthy one. Therefore, it is recommended to put most important and attractive sentence at the beginning of the proposal. If you have wasted that chance in telling never ending story of your company and experience with sample sites, believe me you are wasting your time and bid / connect.
- As freelancers or contractors are getting limited number of bids or connects as mentioned above. They have to be very wise with it. There are two approaches to use them. Use all in one and get a project and from the project invest some part to recharge your bids by upgrading the membership. Or use them wisely everyday on specific timing that you feel best for you and you will not be out of bids till the end of month. Every month those bids refill automatically based on your membership plan.
- I believe perfect timing for Asian Freelancers is when they have less competition. Yes, wake up one night and you will find only a few other freelancers working hard till late night. That’s the perfect time, because mostly employers are from US and Canada, Australia or UK which makes the time difference. Our night is working time for US and Canada. They need someone urgent to work on their project. And they have got a few options. If you have followed the above instructions, you are surely going to be their perfect choice at the time.
- Once you have got the project. Be very responsive to the messages and don’t delay the communications. Understanding the requirements is very important and you should keep the client updated with project with every stage of process.
I was confused to number them according to importance, because all are equally important in earning a project in freelancing career. Good thing about getting one project is, it’s like a peddle of a cycle. If you push one, pushing other becomes easier as the momentum has already been started from the first hard work. Same way you will keep getting more works. And it’s not the end of story, but just a beginning!
Freelancing Through Contacts
Once you have been successful in developing a good profile and maintaining good feedback and ratings. You will often be invited by your previous clients or their contacts as well as whoever visit the websites developed by you and they liked it. The opportunities are limitless then. It all depends upon your skills and expertise and the reputation you maintain in online freelancing career.
As friends of your friend or people who liked your previous work or who has worked for you, invited you to work for them on their project. Here you don’t really need a good profile but need to follow the techniques in your proposal or quote to them, that will make additional reputation as well as a good impression and healthy relationship with your client.
In freelancing through contacts, you need to be careful about payments and you don’t need to worry about ratings or feedback or taxes and charges by the platform providing such guarantees. Therefore it’s often suggested to drag them to the portals and pay the price for charges instead of losing full payment, unless you really trust them or agreed upon some reliable contract and agreement.
This is type of freelancing where freelancers are not using technical skills or being more appropriate, where freelancers are working other than anything related to IT. It includes labors, Movers, AC Fitters etc. In every country, there are some skilled labors, who are working on project basis and providing their services. These projects can be short-term or long-term but there is not legal contract or agreement as full time job.