Elance is closed for new clients and it was a significant source of new clients to me for the last 5 years.
As I started to have more regular clients from my blog, Elance slowly became a significantly small source of new clients to me but I used to get some work Elance almost regularly.
Those small work from Elance stopped but that did not impact me much but as I discussed Elance with my peers and other freelancers who have now been working on Upwork now from Elance, the general consensus is Upwork is not up to the mark to Elance.
On top of that when many platforms combine like in Upwork where it combines Elance and oDesk, there will be more projects and opportunities for sure but the flip side is there will be many more freelancers as well on a single platform increasing the competition for a job and that can prove to be tough on many freelancers.
There was a general consensus among those that I discussed that Upwork is not as good as Elance and is more like oDesk.
So I thought of giving it a try instead of just assuming it does not work like Elance.
My conclusion is completely opposite to what I was told. Yes, I agree the functional aspect of Upwork is a lot harder and time-consuming than Elance but for projects, it is quite the same or even better than Elance.
- New clients: I applied for some projects that I found I could get them done and managed to get quite a few new clients.
- High paying clients: I manage to grab high paying clients who were looking to get things done fast.
- Long term clients: I also managed to have a couple of long term clients where I am working for them currently.
- Clients looking for quality work: There were some clients where I could not start immediately and they were ready to wait for me to start a few days down the line.
So I started to discuss with peers again to find what they have been doing and how I could get things moving on Upwork quite faster whereas they could not just scratch the surface.
So here are a few things that I manage to list that I think you have to be doing when you are applying for any job which is independent of the platform and works almost always. Be it Elance or Upwork or any other platform of your choice.
1. Understand the requirement
The first and foremost thing when applying for any project is you need to understand what the client is looking for. At times, you may not take a very inner meaning of what the client is looking for and may underquote to have issues later and maintain the quality of work.
Let’s say client is looking for a search functionality and you can always quote it for a smaller price but then you have to understand if it is actually as simple as putting a like parameter in a search query or it also needs ordering of the search results based on the search term weightage on the content being searched.
If you have doubt ask before putting a price to it or if you are putting a price tag, make sure you make it absolutely clear what will be included and what may not be as per your understanding of the requirement.
2. Understand the schedule
I always check the delivery estimate of the project that client is expecting when I apply for it and if it is something that I cannot achieve well within the timeframe, I normally avoid it or if client insist for an estimate, I let them know the price but then let them know that it is not feasible for me to get things done in the stipulated time because of my other commitments.
This helps me build trust with clients as well as get the timeline that is suitable for me to work and maintain quality.
3. Understand the budget
At times you are not able to get things done at a price that the client is expecting and you have to respect that. If you ask me to design a website, I will never be able to deliver anything for $200 but then if I am looking to redesign my website, I may be able to get a decent design for less than $200 as well.
Clients can have a low budget and so it is ok to suggest to them an alternative solution where you cannot deliver within the expected budget.