In this article I explain how to get started earning money outsourcing your skills including tips and tricks from one of my writers who went from 30.000th to 1st on a major site in just 6 months, so it can be done IF you have a plan & positive attitude.
Perhaps you have always wanted to work for yourself or even better work from home with few or no overheads?
The old, conventional way was to have some business cards made and advertise locally to try and find some new customers. Perhaps you live in an area that is suffering badly from the recession? The beauty of the Internet means that you are no longer restricted to your local area. Suddenly you have the opportunity to offer your services to the whole world.
This will not of course work if you are offering your services as a plumber, but administrators, book keepers, customer services & support staff, graphic designers, writers, website designers, programmers, ANYTHING that can be done remotely is now available and is in demand right now.
I will show you in the next few articles how these sites work and how great it can be for those wishing to hire talented people. What if you are interested in offering your services and would like the opportunity to approach a wider market?
Below is an article written by Kai, he is based in Scotland. I live 2000 miles away and we have never met, but using Skype for free phone calls and elance to contract and pay him, I have found a writer who I like and who is very reasonably priced. Here is Kai’s story:
The Freedom of Freelancing
So you’ve learned your trade and mastered your art.
You’ve studied hard, refined your skills, sought constructive criticism and endeavoured to be as good as you can be.
You’re not an apprentice any more – you’re a professional, and one who’s ready to start earning a professional wage that is commensurate with your talents.
You’ve even got the business cards and the website in your name set up to advertise your services. When industry needs an adroit freelancer in a hurry, who are they gonna turn to? Who’ll be their knight in shining armour to ride to the rescue in their hour of need? Why you of course. You, you and you. Forget all the other freelancers – they’re just there to make up the numbers: it’s you they need. That much is plain to see. All you gotta do now is sit back and wait for the job offers to come your way; it’s only a matter of time.
So you wait and you wait, and you tinker with the SEO for your site in the meantime in the hope of making it onto the hallowed first page of Google. You even send out a few speculative emails, but nothing happens. It’s not that you’re not good enough – you’re better than good, you’re great – but it seems that no one’s willing to give you a chance. What are you gonna do about it?
This is the dilemma that every aspiring freelancer faces. You’ve got the skills but you don’t have the experience, yet without the experience, why should anyone risk their time and money by hiring you? I faced a similar issue five months ago, upon impulsively deciding to become a freelance writer.
It is a predicament that thousands of freelancers around the world face right now; graphic designers and copywriters and programmers, all hoping that a client will take a punt and award them a project that could lead to lucrative ongoing work. When I initiated my fledgling career, I knew nothing about the industry I was joining. I knew I could write, but beyond that, I was blissfully ignorant of the professional world I was stepping into. My first thoughts were to create a website to promote my services. That seemed a sensible place to start.
I contacted an acquaintance who agreed to build me a site, and I prepared to craft some compelling copy that would make anyone reading it feel compelled to hire me on the spot. That was my simplistic master plan in a nutshell. Five months on and my website’s yet to materialise.
It’s nothing to do with procrastination or technical issues; it’s just that I’ve been rushed off my feet ever since. What happened in such a short space of time to change my status from self-appointed copywriter to actual bona fide copywriter? How did I go from having zero jobs to having a dozen jobs for a dozen different clients all needing delivered by yesterday? (Including this one, I should add.) Simple: I stumbled across the inspired concept of the freelancing jobs site.
Jobs Site as Saviour
Jobs sites? Like recruitment websites? No, not really. They’re more like online portals that directly link clients with freelancers.
Sites like Elance and People Per Hour. The concept is simple: if you need a job done, you post an ad outlining the service you require. Then sit back and wait to be deluged with submissions from freelancers willing to do your bidding.
It could be a designer to create you a logo. It could be a man with a van to help you move house. I’ve even seen ads for boat-painting and babysitting services. For the most part though, such sites are intended to facilitate services that can be performed over the web: images; data; words – that sort of stuff. For a novice writer like myself, trying to earn a break, this discovery was great news.
Not only were there dozens of jobs that I could do, but the open application process created a level playing field. If my portfolio and accompanying submission were more compelling than those of my fellow writers, the job was mine, surely? In theory, yes. In reality, the playing field was not quite as level as I’d anticipated.
Feed Yourself Some Feedback?
Jobs sites are based around the concept of feedback.
Every time you win a job and complete it to the client’s satisfaction, you receive glowing feedback. It is this reciprocal trust-building arrangement that underpins numerous online portals, from eBay to Elance.
From the client’s perspective, it means they can check the freelancer’s previous feedback to ensure that they’re not a cowboy who’s prone to leaving jobs half-finished or poorly rendered. For the freelancer, it’s a chance to prove that you’re every bit as good as you claim to be.
Great as the feedback system is, it presents something of a catch 22 situation for anyone starting out. To be awarded jobs, you need feedback, but to obtain feedback you need jobs. So what do you do? Well you have a couple of options. There’s the hard way and there’s the easy way to go about it.
I did things the hard way: put in bids for as many jobs as possible, often as cheaply as possible, and refused to give up until I’d finally bagged a few. In hindsight, I probably could have done it the easier, sneakier way, which works something like this: get a couple of mates to sign up for your preferred jobs site and post a few ads. You then apply for the jobs and, by a curious twist of fate, are awarded them.
Your mates – sorry, clients – then pay for the work via the jobs website and award you glowing feedback. You return their money to them (or keep it, if they’re really understanding mates) and there you go: you’ve got your first points on the board and are now ready to bid for ‘proper’ jobs with confidence.
Don’t Just be Good – Be Awesome
While feedback can assist you in securing work via Elance et al, the only way to turn one-off jobs into ongoing work is by being damn good at what you do. Design your client some business cards that Patrick Bateman would be proud of and they’ll use you for all their graphic design work in future. Build your client a Word Press site in record time to their satisfaction, and who are they gonna turn to when they decide to launch a new micro-site? It all sounds so easy, doesn’t it, but is it genuinely that simple to earn regular money as a freelancer?
The sort of money that not only pays the rent but leaves you with a few $’s at the end of the week to spend in your local restaurant?
There is a complete set of articles on this subject, how to make money as a contractor, customer & middleman & even how to create a “virtual company” without any fixed overheads or staff costs. In the make money online module there is also a mini course explaining how to become a writer using sites like Elance to find work. The main thing is do NOT rush in. I explain exactly how to approach this type of site and how best to display your talents. If you do these steps badly it will seriously restrict your future success. Having said that have a look around one of the biggest, best sites here:
Looking for Work? Sign up on Elance.Get Started Today.