One of the hurdles facing newcomers to freelancing is the fierce competition. Getting your first Elance gig often boils down to whomever offers the shortest turnaround for the lowest price, but contractors don’t simply want to hire cheap labor that rushes through the work only to produce poor quality content.
While this seemingly high barrier-to-entry can be daunting, it’s really not that bad. The online job market is relatively untapped by the masses and will continue this way for a number of years. So while you will face competition for the most desirable gigs, it’s nowhere near as bad as the job market in the corporate world.
The Slow-and-Steady Approach to Elance Success
Getting started with Elance was slow-going for me, at first, but I was taking a deliberately careful pace, bidding on only those jobs which appealed to me which could easily fit into my busy schedule. Once I landed the first job, steady work started rolling in. So much so that I was able to retire from my corporate career just a few months after joining Elance. While attaining your first Elance gig might seem difficult, it absolutely doesn’t have to be, especially if you listen to experienced advice.
Easy as 1, 2, 3
- Add a personal note – Don’t just bid on a gig and leave it at that, let the client know that you’re actually interested in the sort of work they’re offering. Offer yourself as a backup incase their current contractee doesn’t work out, and frame your proposal to highlight your professional qualifications and strengths.
- Bid what you think you’re worth – Most people advise you to sell yourself short until you have a few reviews, but it’s really a matter of personal preference. Bid around a couple dollars lower than the max, or average, bid, and use the $1.99 method of offering reasonable prices for the work requested.
- Put yourself out there – Your profile is viewed by hundreds of contractors who are interested in what you have to offer, so give them the best detail possible. Be reasonable and don’t embellish on anything you aren’t prepared to back up with details. Definitely highlight personal bits about yourself that demonstrate your approachability and expertise. For instance, I may not have any children of my own, but I am the middle child in a very large family, with nieces and nephews numbering well into the twenties, making me qualified to discuss diapers and baby wipes.
The Path to a Fulfilling Career Begins With Just One Step
It’s not that difficult getting into Elance as long as you’re willing to strategize and adapt. One of the most important things to remember is that your potential clients are people too, so strong communication skills and persuasive language is encouraged when making your bids. After all, if you can sell yourself to your potential clients, you should have no trouble providing quality content for them. If you would like to harness the power of the internet you have a wealth of options available to you in the form of distance learning and freelance opportunities.
When she’s not sipping freshly brewed Kona coffee or watching the dolphins frolic off of Kealakekua bay, freelance writer Rachel Cook can be found working on her next article somewhere serene and inspiring. She enjoys being a freelance writer because it allows her ample time to volunteer, explore, and take advantage of the information available at www.ecourseclassroom.com.