Because the online digital market has grown so unbelievably large over the last few years, it is now possible to get work online in almost all areas of employment. For home based workers, freelancers and contractors there are now hundreds of different sites to choose from when it comes to looking for work in their particular field. Everything from Elance to Odesk to more specialist sites all offer work contracts, both short and long term, in every niche you can think of. If you take a look on Elance, for example, you will find categories as diverse as translation, engineering, finance, management, design, writing, legal and programming. In the services for hire section you will see everyone from voice over specialists to paralegal secretaries, copywriters to web designers, civil engineers to physicists. As a freelancer it would seem like there is a never-ending supply of work, and the days of having to deal with bosses and agencies are over. However, as with all things, there is a catch. At the same time as there being a massive rise in the number of available online jobs, there has also been a massive rise in the number of people chasing those jobs. So how do you make sure that you are the one who gets the job? How do you ensure your proposal appeals to the client? This article will outline some essential steps to make sure you stand head and shoulders above your competitors:
Firstly, it is paramount that you establish an impressive profile in the site. Your profile should be well presented, well written and well-designed and should include a portfolio of your finest work. That means the work you are most proud of as well as work that highlights your specialty and work that shows your abilities when it comes to more general tasks. In addition your profile should list all of your important industry accreditations and qualifications and some kind of mission statement relating how you would approach any projects you are awarded. It is important to stress just how crucial it is to get this profile exactly right. Clients will form their opinion of you from this one reference point.
Secondly, you need to build up your reputation. Nearly all of the job sites work on a review system similar to that used by Ebay. Every job you complete will get feedback from the client and that feedback is your lifeblood when working online. Always keep in mind that this feedback will either get you more work on the website or stop people from hiring you and that you are only ever as good as the last review you were given. That’s why you can never hand in a half-hearted piece of work when using online job boards as it will lead to bad feedback. Also, when you first start out on a new job site you will most likely need to set your rates lower than usual. You will not be hired without feedback and you cant get feedback without being hired. So how do you get hired without feedback? By offering clients a much lower price than other freelancers – low enough that they are willing to take a risk on you. Do an incredible job on this first piece of work, get some feedback and hey presto, you’re up and running.
Finally, work out your bidding tactics. Firstly, be selective in the jobs you bid on. That means only going for ones that match your skillset. This is because if you bid on too many jobs you will seem like you are desperate for work and you will end up being turned down a lot for jobs that you don’t fit. Additionally it will use up all your credits and end up costing you money. Secondly, decide what bidding strategy you want to go for. A lot of contractors like to bid first and get their bid to the top of the pile, so that it is seen first. These are normally contractors who have a price they want for the job and aren’t willing to go below that price. Then there are other contractors who prefer to wait until a lot of bids are in so that they can pitch their proposal at somewhere between the highest and lowest price proposals. Work out which tactic suits you and then stick to it.
Esther is a financial blogger and writer. She covers everything from mortgages and unsecured loans to taxes, stocks and shares. She also blogs for www.accountsreceivablefinancing.com.