Steps for Successfully Using a Freelance Jobs Site

By: Ant Onaf

Using a freelance jobs site can be somewhat overwhelming and daunting at first, but it becomes easier as time presses on. I will attempt to provide you with the steps for being successful when buying or providing services at freelance job sites.

First, let’s define freelance job sites. These are websites which provide freelancers (i.e. web designers, system admins, programmers, artist, authors, etc.) a marketplace to buy and provide their services which can be completed from a remote location by a company or an individual. Live examples of these type of sites are RemoteGurus.com, GetAFreelancer.com, and Elance.com. The way it works is buyers post a project (or job) and providers bid on the project (or jobs). The buyer will communicate with the providers and award a bidder the project. The bidder will either accept or deny the project. The buyer and the provider are joined for further communication. The thing to know about freelance job sites is that it can be a very positive experience or it can be a very negative experience. What you will learn in this article is the best practices as a buyer or seller to get the most rewarding experience. Now that we know the definition of freelance job sites, let’s begin.?

  • Never bite at the first bid. You should allow at least 24 hours to past before awarding a bid. Before awarding a bid you should communicate with the potential winning bidder. You should make sure you and the bidder have a clear understanding of the project.

  • Make Payment Terms Clear. You should make your payment terms clear to the potential winning bidder. I suggest only doing Escrow Payments. Escrow Payments are payments made via the freelance jobs site, but the payment is put on hold in what is a called an escrow account. Once the payment is in escrow the buyer only has the ability to transfer money to the provider and the provider only has the ability to cancel the payment. This gives both parties 50% control over the payment process without cheating one another. As a buyer you should only release payment to the provider when the project is completed in full. Never pay up front for any level of service. If a provider cannot provide you services without wanting money upfront then most likely they are not serious about doing business. Any true company, business, or provider knows that to be a service provider you must take chances. The way I see it any true service provider who can stand behind their work can afford to take chances because it is a bigger lost for the buyer to lose a great service provider. Escrow payments are the best option.

  • Know When and How to Renegotiate. Things are not always going to be cookie-cutter perfect, many times you will need to budge on your terms to meet the service provider terms. Legitimate service providers are commonly concerned with illegitimate buyers who will leave them holding the bill. Therefore, service providers sometimes have terms of their own, such terms sometimes include an upfront portion of money, just to be certain the buyer is serious about retaining their services. In cases such as this, I suggest not transferring any amount of money, I suggest sticking with a escrow payment, but in rare occasions when it is absolutely necessary you retain the service provider services and transferring money upfront is an absolute requirement, then I suggest not transferring any money until the service provider can satisfy you with a live demo (example) of the service which they will provide you (i.e.

    website demo) as well you should ask for any referrals who can verify their work and make sure you check their reviews/ratings on the freelance job site, if applicable. Whenever you renegotiate your terms make sure you get it in writing (email) and the terms benefits you as well as the service provider.

  • Be Professional and Courteous. You should reply and respond to every bid. A simple “thank you" would suffice. This let providers know you are serious about retaining service and that you have noticed their gesture. In communications always end with a warm departure.

  • Pay Providers Timely When Project is Completed. Being honest and trustworthy will get you far on the web. You should always pay providers the agreed upon amount if they complete the project in full.

  • Provide Feedback for Provider. Always leave feedback for providers who have completed projects for you. Give your honest opinion and make recommendations for other members who plan to use the provider services.

PROVIDERS

  • Understand the client needs. Understanding the client needs is extremely important and essential to potentially becoming a winning bidder. When bidding on a project you should express your interest while also explaining how you will complete the project. Have a project plan for any project you bid on. If you are unclear about anything concerning the project then you should contact the buyer via the freelance job site (private message board) and ask the buyer for further clarification.

  • Never Bid on a Project Which You Don’t Plan to Complete. If you do not have the plan on completing a project, you don’t have the skills to complete the project, or you have a booked schedule then you should never bid. Make sure you have the skills, experience, and time to complete any project you bid on.

  • Go the Extra Mile and Build a Professional Relationship. Your clients are the most important aspects to your business. If you go the extra mile to assist the client then you are doing something different than others. Be an honest and trustworthy service provider, make sure every transaction ends positive. Do the above and beyond for the client. Do not ever do so much that you feel uncomfortable or you are losing lots of money, but do enough that the service you provided is considered high quality and the client is happy with your service. If you are a master at what you do then you should not want any project to be tagged completed (hands off) until you are certain the project is completed perfectly.

  • Be Personal and Professional. You should always personalize your message when bidding on a project. Address the buyer by their name or username. Talk about the project details and provide details of your background and experience. You should never send a generic templated message to bid on projects. I suggest always bidding on projects with “Please check the private message board", then in the PMB you should be personal and professional. Always conduct business with a professional attitude, even when buyers act irate or non-courteous.

  • Accept the Buyer Payment Terms But Know Your Worth. You should never have payment terms which are outside of the scope of the freelance job site or the buyer terms. You should always be willing to do escrow payments or on-site transfers. The fact is this is a buyers market and you as a service provider are just trying to retain clients. The best way to show clients you are confident in your work and serious about doing business is to accept the payment terms which the buyer suggests. You can even ask the buyer to add the full amount or partial of the money into escrow until the job is completed. Additionally, you should know your worth and bid an amount which you feel is reasonable, fair, and comfortable. Most of the time you must not only evaluate your skill level, but you need to evaluate your feedback and rating, to know your worth online. Your feedback and rating plays an important role in the amount you bid. Sometimes you must low ball your rate to get the job. If you have no feedback or low feedback, then you should be working for feedback and ratings, not concerned with the money (yet), the money will come in time, but you need to build yourself up first. I am definitely not suggesting you cheat yourself or bid an extremely low amount which you are not comfortable with. Only bid what you are comfortable with (or the absolute minimum you are willing to accept), otherwise it may lead to you doing a poor job or having less interest in the project. Take into account the number of hours you will spend on the project as well as the number of hours you are willing to provide for debugging or troubleshooting after the project is completed.

  • Leave a Buyers Rating and Request a Providers Rating. Ratings are commonly important for being rewarded a project. Buyers typically turn to the feedback of others who have used your services in the past. This is an effective way for buyers to evaluate you and aid in making a final decision. You should always leave honest feedback of buyers and request that the buyer leave a feedback rating for you as well. If you completed a project then I would suggest giving the buyer at least 72 hours after successfully completing the project to leave any feedback rating. After the 72 hours have passed I would follow up with the buyer and make sure all is well. If all is well, then you should request the buyer to leave you a feedback rating on the freelance job site. If you have successfully completed the project and followed the steps above then most likely the buyer will leave you positive feedback with an excellent rating.?

The steps above will surely make your experience with finding talented professionals and finding freelance jobs a much more rewarding experience. In time you will have a keen sense of who can be trusted and who is not serious about doing business. AlsoArticle Search, you will have a new network of contacts that can expand your business by providing you services or providing you referrals.

Careers and Job Hunting
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Careers and Job Hunting