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How I'm Making Money on Elance

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by ACBerg, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. ACBerg

    ACBerg Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I wanted to share how I make money on Elance to give back a little. I know a lot of people who have had bad experiences with Elance or Odesk, Freelancer, Guru..whatever. There are common complaints about these sites: client's want a lot for a little, there's too much competition undercutting the prices, there's no real money to be made.

    Sometimes these are true. More often you can use these conditions/perceptions to your advantage. The fact is you can generate leads, subcontract, outsource work and make serious money.

    Here's how:

    Establish Credibility

    Fill out your profile 100%. Add some nice infographics, screenshots, reports and articles to your portfolio. Take the Skills Tests and score well on them - you get a badge saying 1%, 5% etc. and these can make a difference. Join groups for the skills you passed, this will show up on your profile. Verify a credential like previous employment, education, etc. It's only $15 and it looks legit. Verify your picture on Skype - this gives a badge and extra credibility. Add your keywords to the 'keyword' section. Write a descriptive headline, and informative services description. Fill out payment terms and minimum hourly rate (shoot high, this could be a thread in itself but you'll increase perceived value, profit more and can always negotiate later).

    It can be difficult to get your first couple jobs without feedback. Social proof is everything on these sites. Fortunately, you can build momentum quickly. Get started having a friend or client contract you for a job. Get 5 star feedback and a positive comment. Now you've got a legit profile, well designed portfolio and stats showing client satisfaction. Time to work.

    Stand Out

    Search categories for a job you want. Find a niche where you can break into and provide value. Create a quality proposal. This is everything. It's your first contact, your sales pitch, your one shot to be different from the 50-100 people who also applied. I got a 21% conversion rate with my proposal. Given the amount of time I've put in, it could be better. Make a template that can be populated with unique information based on the job. Address project requirements in the first paragraph. Use formatting to make it stand out. Add bullet points. Add lists. Explain what you can do for them. Tell them why you're unique (better quality or better value). Show them similar work you've done. Include portfolio samples. Add attachments.

    Quote a price for your services. Don't sell yourself short. Create perceived value by differentiating from the cheap vendors. But, try to be a little less expensive than the most costly competitor, you can always upsell once you're hired. Ask questions about the job. Engage the client in a dialogue so you're talking to them first. Address their concerns. Talk on Skype or pick up a phone and you can almost always get the sale. Most people just send off a generic proposal and hope for the best. Optimize your conversions by paying more attention to your leads. Offer custom prices to fit their budget. Give them "discounts" and "bonuses." Instead of having a rigid service and strict packages/pricing, be more flexible. Make it about them. Cater to their needs. You'll get the sale.

    Ride the Momentum

    Do good work and get positive feedback. Build up a reputation. Let potential client's know about your previous successes. Tell them about your 100% satisfaction and your repeat customers. Establish more credibility. You'll start to get invites to submit job proposals. Always respond, even if just to decline. This will keep your invite response rate higher and increase your marketing stats/freelancer level. You'll start to be ranked higher in the search results. New clients will find you. Keep them happy. There will be others.

    Now you've got a reputation. You can get jobs more easily than competitors and charge higher prices.

    O
    utsource

    Focus on generating leads and making sales. Subcontract the work to the people trying to undercut your prices (or just find better freelancers here). The point is your reputation, profile, portfolio, feedback, recommendations, job stats are now making you money. They've become an asset. Leverage them to win more business and just focus on managing your outsourcing process.

    You can do the work yourself if you really want. Or you can break jobs into smaller tasks and parcel them off to other freelancers. You can pass them off intact to another contractor who will outsource the work. You can sell the leads to another agency or hire a sales rep to convert and manage them. Create a process so people can use your instructions to submit proposals, followup with clients, send reports, hire freelancers, etc. Turn it on autopilot.

    I'll leave it at that. This is my first thread; pretty standard stuff. I'll go into more detail later if people want.

    PM me if you have any questions :D
     
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  2. ACBerg

    ACBerg Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    *crickets*
     
  3. CoreClub

    CoreClub Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    What do people pay most on Elance nowadays?
     
  4. SkyrocketSEO

    SkyrocketSEO Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Crickets cause your articles is boring,. Crickets cause you're saying the same stuff everyone else is saying (don't sell yourself short, fill out your profile, verify previous employment...). That's a load of crap and you know it. You know what is much better? THIS
    That's what people wanna read, they wanna see step-by-step tutorial to getting major bucks on Elance.
     
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  5. extreme90

    extreme90 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Nice tips, well said!
     
  6. GoldenWarrior

    GoldenWarrior Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Elance is the best marketplace for getting bigger job.
     
  7. derik2

    derik2 Junior Member

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    +1 on Elance...
    and Odesk too.