How does one break into the freelancer market?

17 replies
Since money is clearly an obstacle currently, I need something to bring in a few dollars. I figure I can at least do some work for someone else and get paid... right?

But when I look at Fiverr or eLance or the others all I see are tons of folks already providing the services I could provide.

So how does one actually get noticed on one of these sites? Or am I better off shopping my efforts on a forum like WF?

I would love any advice... thanks!
#break #freelancer #market
  • Profile picture of the author mhegedus17
    Getting yourself established is hard, especially on fiverr. I suggest you try freelancer.com or something like that and offer extremely cheap services just until you get a good reputation from employers.

    After that, you can start demanding higher prices and get paid better.

    Good luck!
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  • Profile picture of the author Mark Tandan
    Could be useful to know a bit more about what specific services you can offer. There are always people looking for outsourcing, and some skill sets are in higher demand than others.
    Would encourage you to post in the Warriors for Hire section as you may find people wanting the types of work you can get done.
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  • Profile picture of the author angel43110
    Bid a little less that everyone else and dedicate yourself when you get hired.
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  • Profile picture of the author KayaIsmail
    Hi Alan,

    What kind of freelancing are you looking to get stuck in to? If it's writing, I'd recommend you start at the Pro Blogger Job Boards.

    I have a complete guide on how to find and land freelance blogging jobs on my blog.
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  • Profile picture of the author phpg
    I don't know about fiverr, but for sites such as freelancer.com, i'd say bidding less is not that important.

    Of course when you are just starting you shouldn't bid high, however more important is to show that you are actual human person who is genuinely interested in this particular project, and you are personally capable to do it and will do the best you can.

    You see, many bids there are placed by some companies who employ many workers and bid on every project with the same or similar messages, which are (or look like) automated. Those bids are clearly visible, and when you accept them, you then have to deal with some bureaucracy within that company, not just the person who do the job. Their bids are usually low, but risk of poor service is high despite of their high ratings. Differentiating youself from them can be very beneficial.
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    • Profile picture of the author Shadowflux
      The answer to what you're basically asking is the fundamental purpose of marketing. How do you get people to take notice of you? How do you get them to choose you over the competition?

      This is what marketing does.

      I'm not a big fan of those freelancing sites for the reasons you described. I've done very well for myself over the years and I've never bothered using them. Fiverr is a bit different, I've used that and had good luck with it but I never saw it as a source of serious freelance work.

      To set yourself apart, I would suggest a couple of things:

      Brand your service
      A brand can be your name or it can be a brand name you create. Doing this sets you apart from the legions of people who are only promoting themselves personally. A brand creates more perceived value because it won't seem like someone is hiring a freelancer as much as they're hiring a brand.

      Brands are also good for positioning.

      Build a website for it
      You should build a website with your brand name as a .com URL. A lot of people rely on freelancing sites, others rely on free hosting. Both of these are far from the best option

      It's important to have your own .com website. It's also important to make it look nice. Just use WordPress and a nice theme.

      Promote it directly in the right market
      Figure out who your target customer would be and then figure out what markets they can be found in. Don't fall into the trap of only marketing to other IMers. No matter what service you offer, there are probably a number of different markets that will be interested.

      Promote your services directly. Paid ads can work but, as a service provider, you're going to want to build a relationship with your clients. The goal isn't to get a huge payout for one job. The trick is to build client loyalty to encourage repeat business. Many of my clients didn't pay much for one job but over the course of our relationship they have given me many thousands of dollars.


      If you can do these three things, you'll be pretty well armed. There are tons of services out there so you need to be unique. There has to be something special about you that your competitors don't have.

      To get any deeper into this I'd have to start a dissertation on marketing so I hope that helps!
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  • Profile picture of the author Sean DeSilva
    I wrote a very long and detailed post on how I got my start as a freelancer. You may find it useful, here it is: How to make your first $1,000 online in 60 days | Build Startups
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    • Profile picture of the author christophercuna
      Freelance Writing is hard to break into. Everyone has already covered it above but Tutorials will only get you far. As A Freelance Writer, I can tell you that you'll learn after some months.

      If you have any questions, feel free to PM me.
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  • Profile picture of the author nicolasmd2112
    I'd say to try freelancer, and other service sites like odesk, but add a kick to your service, something that can distinguish you from the rest...
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Here are a few suggestions:

    1) Start your own website promoting your services and charge what you want

    2) Compete against others on the freelance sites

    3) Demonstrate credibility with free ebooks/products, and of course pitch your services at the end of the product

    4) Don't give up
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  • Profile picture of the author brutecky
    I have been very successful as a freelancer. Working on RAC, vWorker, Elance, and oDesk. There is a very simple process. Though it is dependent on you providing excellent work.

    Step 1: Underbid on a few jobs. You will have to do this several times at first. But place some really low bids. Make sure your bid is well written and way under value. Eventually someone will 'give you a chance' because of your low price.

    Step 2: Provide awesome work to the guy who 'gave you a chance'. Answer all his emails and questions super fast. Dont be late on the deadline (be early) make any changes he needs etc. Basically really go out of your way for him.

    Step 3: Repeat step 1 and 2 several times, build up great feedback for how fast you are, how great your work is, how you are basically an awesome provider.

    Step 4: Raise your prices! Now that you have the work history to show your a top notch provider you can justify charging a higher price.

    This has worked for me on every freelance platform I used. Most recently (I stopped freelancing full time about a year ago) I was using Elance. I started begging for jobs at $10 an hour. When I stopped I was up to $75 per hour and I didnt even have to look for jobs anymore. I was getting several invites per week.
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  • Profile picture of the author Lena Williams
    Originally Posted by AlanDHarris View Post

    Since money is clearly an obstacle currently, I need something to bring in a few dollars. I figure I can at least do some work for someone else and get paid... right?

    But when I look at Fiverr or eLance or the others all I see are tons of folks already providing the services I could provide.

    So how does one actually get noticed on one of these sites? Or am I better off shopping my efforts on a forum like WF?

    I would love any advice... thanks!
    It is always hard to get started in anywhere. No exception with freelancing. Experienced and years old freelancers have faced this obstacle too. But it is important to get started and having faith. Post the gigs you want to offer at fiverr. Use those links here in your signature. Some of warriors may like to have your services. It will add some precious feedback in your gigs which is really important.

    Start bidding in projects where you would like to work at freelancer.com, elance or oDesk.

    The bottom line is, you have to start and you will understand what you need to do as time goes.
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    • Profile picture of the author AffiliateWaves
      Hi,
      I am a full time freelancer and worked on top 4 freelancing website

      Elance

      Odesk

      Guru

      Freelancer.com

      Here is my easy tip to start your freelance career

      (1)Bid only on projects which you can really do .

      (2)Bid according to client's budget and promise a good timeframe

      (3) Cost - It is general conception that lower bids get projects easily .But it is not always true .Quality is king always and same rule follows here , provide quality work to get good price of your work.

      (4) Communication is vital part , so please maintain proper communication with your clients .Understanding their exact requirement can do real magic.

      (5) Project Management is also necessary part so please keep track of project and respect timeframe .

      (6) Do not blindly bid on projects , work with good clients and generate life time work.


      Enough advice ,i need a coffee for it
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  • Profile picture of the author iguaranteeincome
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    • Profile picture of the author AffiliateWaves
      Originally Posted by iguaranteeincome View Post

      Tip: You could use Scarebox to reach out to a bunch of people. I know many use it to spam blogs, but you can use it to get potential clients.
      What is Scarebox, never heard of it ?
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    • Profile picture of the author belegeuseman
      I agree with all of the comments. I would add that when becoming a freelancer in any market you must learn how to create value. That is what it comes down to always. Why would someone do business with you than the next guy?

      I have learned that is so so important that most people just want to get in and starting cracking away to make a little money.

      The funny thing is: you must stand out period. Yes, offer your service, but we are all as marketers, as business executives selling dreams. That is what people want. Service is assumed always these days.

      Best,
      Gary
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    You can advertise in Warriors for Hire as well. It doesn't matter if other people are offering services. Make your offer noticeable and give your customers great quality and they will return for more. In freelancing, repeat customers are key.
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