41

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 ...


23

About Me: I used to work as a Operations Manager with a BPO 4 years ago but I realized that if I worked from home, I would earn triple the salary that I was getting as an OM. So one day, I finally decided to take the plunge and start my own freelancing venture. Now when I look back, I am happy that I took that plunge... Lot of books will tell you what ...


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 know my finances are sound, but how can I reassure the client that I am not going to disappear tomorrow You can't, because there is no guarantee. You could get hit by a bus tomorrow and you and the client need to be prepared for the possibility. How can I word contracts so it doesn't look like a single person but isn't being deceptive You shouldn't. ...


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 ...


17

You are not loosing clients because they are not your target group yet. The clients that are asking for portfolio are looking for experienced webmaster. Sad but true, but most of them are not interested in hiring someone that hasn't done at least a couple of projects. They want to be sure that you really can do the things and secondly, they also want to see ...


16

A few words of advice from someone who has been self-employed for a long time. First advertising is effective to the extent people knew about you before, unless you have very well-targeted advertising. When I started out, I spent a fair bit on advertising but the only thing that got me a return on investment was, believe, radio advertisement aimed at ...


16

The truly high-level freelancers you describe bring several things to the table. Excellent technical skills - both deep and wide Excellent communication skills An ability be forward thinking - see more than just the problem at hand but also where the custom will be in the future and how the freelancer can help to get them there A willingness to move away ...


14

The best advice I can give, as this is precisely the issue that I faced, is to build yourself a website that will act as your portfolio and let that website itself act as the showcase piece that shows off your talents. You can include a projects area in which you can add screenshots to those websites that you are comfortable showcasing and (very ...


12

Believe it or not, I often find if a client is overly prepared they might be difficult to deal with. I have to remind those clients that I do this for a living, and they are in a completely different industry which has nothing to do with building websites. This is pretty subjective but some other red flags I see often are: "I think this should take about X ...


12

Do you have a portfolio of previous projects? How are people going to know if you're any good without previous work being available? When I designed websites (back when I did), I had asked every client, before starting, if I could use it in my portfolio. Every one of them said to go ahead. That's the first thing. Until your name is well known, you may not ...


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, ...


11

You need to learn to market yourself, and evaluate their needs. When I did sales for an international copier company, we were taught about SPIN selling: S ituation, P roblem Analysis, I mplication, N eeds Payoff. See below: What does all this mean? The Situation is knowing that something needs to be done; but what? We need to find out what the Problem ...


11

The obvious answer: Quit your job and don't apply to other jobs. I was in the same boat as you [literally: 6 years, degree, co-op] and have only been freelancing for a short period of time. I quit my job and moved to a new location due to other circumstances. I was initially looking for remote jobs since it was possible that I could be moving again shortly. ...


11

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 ...


11

[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 ...


10

Rather than any of the notions you list, I would start by getting to know them. Because you want to get to know the owners, you want to think about where the owners might hang out. For example: Is there a local chamber of commerce or other general-purpose business group in the area? Or there might be a general trade organization many participate in, like a ...


10

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'...


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....


8

Directly acknowledge that you are a single individual, and provide a continuity plan for your client in case you become unavailable. This means asking the right questions: How can I reassure the client that I am not going to disappear tomorrow? You can't. You can't even reassure yourself, if you're honest. But you can provide your client a continuity plan ...


8

I have a technique that I have been using that involves cold calling, but it's slightly different than what has been said. It's working another angle. First you need to be up to date with building for mobile, tablets and overall Responsive Design. Here is what you do: every time you see a website advertised on a billboard, truck, commercial vehicle, etc, ...


8

As a freelancer and a client, I look for a 'genuine' person. Don't hide behind a silly company name Put your picture everywhere, doing all kinds of things. Whatever you link to or reference, make sure it's updated/still live/has no bugs. Most portfolios are complete junk, and there's no reason for it. If you have a Facebook/Twitter/Blog/etc, keep them up ...


8

When I first made the jump from permanent to contract, it was more by accident than by design. I had been made redundant (again) and the next role that I got was offered as a contract-to-perm gig. It had a good day rate with the option of going permanent at the end of the 3 months on an average senior developer salary. Having made the jump it was a no ...


8

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 ...


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

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 ...


7

I am a freelancer making a success with web design now, but I struggled originally. I released why after 6 months, and subsequently made it my new years resolution: Stop thinking. Start doing. I spent far too long think "I need to reply to that" or "I will do that tomorrow". In the end I had a big backlog and became frustrated. This lost me clients and ...


7

The most important thing is to find contacts, get to know them, and make sure they know you are around. Getting involved in the chamber of commerce and other organizations are good ways to help ensure that everyone knows you are around. Don't expect anything immediately. Just focus on building your professional network. Consider approaching these ...


7

An important tool to market yourself to potential clients is a professional website that showcases your talents, with a blog so that you can write about your chosen area of expertise and/or a portfolio that highlights current and previous projects of note. It also helps to make good use of social media sites - ensure that your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date ...


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