Last updated on February 12th, 2014 at 03:18 pm
People are always looking for ways to earn an additional income and the economic turmoil the world has been in for the past couple of years has only encouraged this. Freelance websites are hence often seen as an easy solution to earning some extra cash. Unfortunately, this is the tip of the iceberg as it takes hard work and even luck to be able to actually earn money on a freelance website. Unfortunately, many people often fail to consider this and instead treat freelance websites as a quick and easy answer to all their financial woes.
Simply signing up on a freelance website and listing your skills and expertise is no longer sufficient to win projects and have the cash rolling in. The huge user base now typical of freelancing websites and the competition between users makes it casually impossible to win big projects as soon you sign up on one of these websites. You actually need to put time into building up your reputation and instead aim for smaller projects before you can before a well-known seller on the website, and hopefully one that will always attract the attention of buyers with money to spend.
The good thing is that there are actually various relatively straightforward ways of attracting attention on these freelance websites. The better news is that most freelancers are unaware of these and instead focusing on the wrong details in their freelancing careers. As such, following the advice in this article will ensure you do not make the same mistakes and ultimately help you find the huge freelance projects you have always coveted.
Learn to communicate
Your communication skills are by far the most important thing on freelance websites. This also explains why lesser qualified sellers are often winning projects at the expense of other insanely qualified bidders. Your communication skills will often make or break your freelancing career. As such, it is extremely important to communicate like a professional. Good communication skills show that you are committed to your work, which directly convinces any buyer that you value your work.
I of course understand that English may not be your first language and have seen many users complain about being ignored because their communication skills were not on par with freelancers from other countries where English is more common. However, I have also noticed that this is not entirely true. Even if English is not your first language and you thus struggle with spelling and grammar, buyers can recognize when you have put a lot of effort in your communications to them and will value it.
Bidding on projects
Many users are extremely good at including their skills and experience on their profile but ultimately fail at the bidding process. Unfortunately most buyers will often only read the bids without checking the bidders’ profiles, which means you must put as much (if not more!) care and thought into your bid as your profile.
As you scour freelance websites, you will no doubt come across several of these cringe-worthy bids that look automated: Hi, can do this for $10, thanks. Surprisingly enough, it often turns out that these bids are not automated. In these cases, the sellers are simply bidding on as many projects as they can and counting on the law of averages for a breakthrough (which obviously seldom comes).
Would you accept to hand over your project to such a bid? Neither would the buyer. Bidding is not about quoting a price and leaving the rest to sheer luck or a case of severe dementia on the buyer’s part. You should tailor your bid according to the project and give the buyer a reason to select you. In a project where around thirty users are bidding, just the act of properly bidding on that project will put you above 90% of your competitors. This is one of the reasons why you always see the same sellers constantly winning projects.
If you want buyers to notice you amidst the increasing number of users on these freelance websites, your bid is the first thing they will see about you. Therefore, you must take the time to make sure your bid is coherent and that it addresses the buyer’s questions. If possible, round up your bid with an estimate of how much time you think you will take to complete the project. This shows you have already considered the project and saves the buyer the effort of having to contact you to ask you for these details.
If you follow these tactics on each project you bid on, it will not take long before you start winning bigger projects. As you build your reputation, you will no doubt notice that you can also start charging higher rates. This is because buyers on freelancing websites are not actually only obsessed without paying as less as possible to get their project done. While they obviously want to stick to a certain budget, they will often be glad to spend more as long as they find a reliable seller.