OK, first things first. Elance is a wonderful opportunity for you to make money online…if you know what to do. Here are some tips I have learned along the way that will help you get your first job and potentially more after that:
1. Never bid on jobs that say “do not apply if experienced” unless it really doesn’t apply to you.
2. Avoid bidding on jobs that say “do not apply unless extremely experienced.” This will set you up for failure because 99% of the time, the client is expecting a professional level freelancer and if they get someone who doesn’t have enough experience, it reflects poorly on them.
3. Make good use of your bid. It is not wise to low ball the price because when you are accepted, it sets a bad precedent for future jobs. If you have nothing, but are eager to get started, state in the message section that you will be willing to work for less if all goes well.
4. For your bidding strategy, consider how reputable you are. If you have fewer reviews and a less than perfect score, it is best to be very aggressive in your bids because clients are already apprehensive about hiring someone with limited experience.
5. Put your best foot forward when applying for jobs by making it easy for the client to find out more info about you. State your name, the work you do, and your website.
6. The best profile picture to have is a professional headshot where you are wearing casual clothing such as a polo shirt and jeans. This will show clients that you take this seriously even if it’s just an online job opportunity for now.
7. When bidding on jobs, it’s best to keep an open line of communication with the project managers even if you aren’t selected for the job because there may be times when they are looking for somebody else. Just say, “thank you so much for meeting up with me today. I’m really sorry that I couldn’t win the bid but it was nice getting to know you and if anything else comes up, please do not hesitate to reach out.”
8. Don’t be afraid to meet with the project managers offline because this could lead to bigger and better things such as referrals or career opportunities. Just show that you are willing to go that extra mile for them, even though you never know who they may be working for. I have met with many clients, some of which were new jobs and others which turned out to be people about whom I am still in contact every now and again.
9. Be good at what you do because if you are not, it reflects poorly on you. You don’t have to be the best in the world but just show that you are competent enough to get the job done.
10. Stay away from users who have a history of giving poor feedback, especially when said feedback was given for negligible reasons. Trust me, they will spot talent very easily so always maintain your professionalism by doing things right the first time around .