43

I have never used any online freelance service to acquire work. Ever. Not even for one project. Without any direct experience as a worker, they all seemed like a less-than-ideal business venture for me to make market-level money. I have hired workers from guru.com and have ultimately never been impressed. The hoops one has to jump through make the entire ...


22

The best way to find work is to go where your best customers will be. You've described the kind of service you can provide, but you haven't focused at all (at least in your question) about the type of customer you want to work for. Consider the following: Is your best customer local or anywhere? (Local makes a lot of legal and payment things easier and ...


20

I have never gotten a single client from any web-based crowd source site. Ever. All my clients have come via word of mouth. Networking in real life is far more valuable than anything online in my opinion. If you network properly all it takes is one or two of the right contacts and you'll have all the work you need. Look at it this way.... you can float in ...


13

I disagree with your premise. Most people who would hire a pet sitter care about their pets. Unbelievably low prices sends the message you aren't that good, or may have nefarious intentions. People who care about their animals won't risk it. Price will be a factor in their decision, but it probably won't be the main one. So don't set your prices ...


13

[Bit of background, I've done contract work exclusively through oDesk since 2006.] As far as I see it, the single most important thing you can do in your cover letter is tell them how you'll solve their problem. That's really what (in most cases) they're looking for. They only care about your past work, your experience, or how well you're rated in terms of ...


12

Short answer Mail to the client and ask them what can be done to get things recovered. Mutually agree on scope and rate. Best if after all they change their feedback at oDesk, but even if they can't, it still worth trying. Improve the way how you communicate with the clients. The ultimate goal is to make them absolutely certain what are you currently doing, ...


10

When someone needs a website, in most of the cases, they have no idea that there is a designer and a developer, or someone who can do both things, they just look for "someone who builds my good looking and functional website", without making much difference between web design or web development. They are completely unaware of your skills, they don't even ...


10

I'd just be "busy" myself and be unavailable. This kind of interaction is a harbinger to how quickly he'll pay and how important he'll see any requests on your part to complete any projects. One cancelation is understandable. Two cancellations might be okay depending upon his/her reasoning. Three cancellations shows a clear lack of commitment or intention....


10

If your services as a freelancer are valuable, it makes sense for the client to prefer to hire you on a permanent basis - so you cannot really blame them for trying. All you can do is inform them that you are not available for permanent positions. This might get you fired or not hired - and only you can evaluate whether this works out financially for you. ...


9

Here's what I tell others in my industry - design - which may be related. In general, age never matters to any real degree. Most of my clients have no clue how old I may be - and they don't care. Experience matters. The more years of experience you have the better off you are in terms of marketing yourself. However, high-end, visible experience will ...


9

I see you have a ton of experience which is good, but it's not enough to convince a client. I have been working for almost 8 months now and I'm starting to get more work than I can handle. Here are some tips to get more jobs: Don't start with " I have a lot of experience...". It's good that you have, but keep that to the end. You must first catch the client'...


9

This answer is based upon my 20 years experience of having legal departments review testimonials and approve/refuse edits. I am not a lawyer though. Almost every piece I design has many, many testimonials and they almost always go through that company's legal department for review. So, while I'm not a lawyer myself, I've gotten familiar with what I can and ...


8

By definition an effective "cold calling" (cold emailing?) email should be tailor made and not from a template. Even more so if you are targeting local business. In my opinion, creating awareness and cold calling are two different things. You can start an awareness campaign and follow it up with cold calling (which would seem the logical order). If you ...


8

It is a grey area. If you do not have a non-compete, send out an email to the clients thanking them for the time working with them and let them know you have left to go on your own and appreciate everything the company did for you and tell them they are in good hands with your replacement. Have a detailed signature perhaps your linkedin account. You have ...


7

The key to finding clients is to understand where your best clients will be, and then go there. Thus the answer to your question depends largely on the kind of work you do, the kinds of customers you are interested in serving, and the types of projects that you want to do. For example: I am a freelance ASP.NET developer. I have decided my BEST clients are ...


7

The person requesting your services asked this: Hey, person X told me that you designed her website. I'm starting up a company, how much would you charge me for something similar to that site? Do not take that initial contact literally. Interpret it like this: Blah, blah, blah you did work for someone else & I would like to hire you blah, ...


7

Okay? That's 80-90% of my client communication. It's perfectly fine to communicate through email. But I do have a few suggestions: Spell properly - poor spelling in emails reflects poorly upon you Use proper grammar as much as possible. - No one is perfect, but at least make an effort. NEVER use "txt" abbreviations - U, R U, BRB, AFAIK, IMO, etc are all ...


7

Good clients are generally not the clients looking for the cheapest workers they can find. They are customarily more vested in abilities than actual price points. Good clients know that quality workers demand more than a bare minimum rate. Good clients customarily find good workers and continue to return to those workers in order to maintain a level of ...


7

If you have non-compete clause (NCC) in the contact, then it's illegal indeed. If not, then it's not morally right. And if I am the client, I would never break relations with my contractor, I am happy with working cheaper with his ex worker. On your side, it's a bit suspicious why a client would want to work with you. Is it only quality of your services, ...


6

I had similiar issues in my freelance Resume service back when i was running it. My answer would be to check out Guerrilla Marketing for free. My other suggestion would be, Pound The Pavement. If you can create software and webdesign, start hitting up small businesses. Restaurants? Create a "package deal" where you would create a small website that lists ...


6

Put it this way. If you're charging $5/day when the going rate is $25/day ( I don't know the rates ), somebody's gonna think you're stupid. If they've spent good money on a pet, why would they want to trust their investment with somebody stupid? I'm NOT calling you stupid. You have costs involved. Is the owner providing food? Other materials? You'll ...


6

I suspect it takes quite a bit of time and effort and many "lean" jobs to build a reputation on Elance etc especially when you are in Canada and competing for jobs with people in other countries who can work for a much lower hourly rate than you. What worked best for me was using the reputation I already had in the "real world" by finding work from friends, ...


6

I know this isn't the best answer, but you should essentially never "start" working for free. I know the saying goes "hardest part of freelance is the 'free'". Be professional, but also understand that this is business. When they ask for a "nugget" as you put it, simply state something professional. For example: "I will be happy to give you this ...


6

Absolutely! It's written communication, and does not require you to "speak" to the client with your voice. The greatest thing about written communication is that you have a paper trail of what was said, and there's no going back on someone's word. Hopefully, you are talking to local clients who will follow the same laws as you, making collecting payment ...


6

Assuming you're a programmer... It shows you have hobbies or interests you are willing to work on in your "down time". People with hobbies tend to be really excited when they get to also get paid for doing what they love. If you show you love programming for free (or to improve the world through software you love using...), then you'll love whatever project ...


5

As Scott said, in general you don't change your price or rules a lot. If you can get 5 clients with your rules, don't change them for the 6th client. Now, there are some situations that you WANT to get that job. It's either interesting or you see more work or you don't have much work currently etc. No matter what, if you really want that job, then soften ...


5

If your only edge vs other freelancers is price, you've already lost this battle. Why not offer some nominal service as a bonus, that won't tax you too heavily and keep the price consistent? Also - promote yourself on what you can accomplish, and not just price. Anybody can promote on being the cheapest, but the cheapest ain't always the best! Real, ...


5

Business networking and word-of-mouth are the primary ways I receive clients. My connections established in this manner have always resulted in clients with considerable repeat business and an overwhelming amount of referrals. I've never found any need to seek clients through online crowd sourcing sites. I find the impersonal connection to be more harmful ...


5

What I did was I offered to do something pro-bono for a community- or non-profit-organization that I believe in. Even if it's given to them, it fills up my portfolio, and I'm remembered. Great, you say, free work when I'm trying to get paid! How would that help? In my experience, about 80-90% of the adults involved in these type of organizations are nice ...


5

It's always safer to ask, right? But if you want our opinion, then: Yes, you can use it. Just be professional there as well. Do not give project names or project specifications, but rather only company name and technologies you used while working for them. If you have, however, created a cool thing and want to brag with it, then it's a must to ask your ...


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