Why are so many freelancers jumping onto the Elance bandwagon, and buckling themselves in for a long and prosperous ride?
There is no one easy answer to that question. I could wax poetic about how Elance is by far the best site for freelance jobs on the net, but that tells you less than nothing about what truly makes Elance stand out from the crowd.
Since there is no simple way to sum up what Elance can do for freelancers, we’ll take the long route, I’ll give you the million-dollar tour, and I let the site features speak for themselves.
Elance’s main page sums it up with: Find work. Deliver results. Get paid. What they can’t tell you in a short catchy tagline are the large number of site features that go along with these three steps designed specifically to ensure that the freelancer thrives. So the first stop on our Elance tour is the Sign Up.
Elance offers four plans to suit every freelancer’s needs: the free basic plan, the professional plan, the small business plan, and the large business plan. For individuals, starting out with the basic plan is a great way to test the water, but you’ll soon want to upgrade to the professional plan in order to bid on more jobs and get priority in search rankings. The small business plan is designed for companies with five employees or less, and the large business plan is for companies of unlimited size.
The first step, once you’ve chosen your plan level, is to select a work category to be listed in from the following: Admin Support, Design and Multimedia, Engineering and Manufacturing, Finance and Management, Legal, Sales and Marketing, Web Programming, Writing and Translation. Choosing a work category allows you to submit bids for jobs that are listed in that category, and allow buyers to find you in searches for experts in those particular fields. But what if your skills span two or more categories? Not a problem. All of the Elance paid plans allow the option of choosing additional work categories for a small monthly price.
Next stop on our tour is Connects. Each plan gives users a monthly allotment of connects, which are used to bid on jobs. Lower budgeted jobs require less connects than bigger budget projects, and extra connects can be purchased at any time.
The connect system is a great way to weed out the riff-raff found on other freelancing sites, like the ones who spam every job post with useless bids. Connects ensure that the bids come from serious bidders who have read the job description and are really interested in the project. A nice change from those other sites. But what good are connects if buyers don’t know who you are and why they should hire you? That leads us to our next stop:
This is where you get to strut your stuff, show off your skills, experience, and credentials, and make yourself stand out from …