Freelance

Topic: How To Do Freelancing? 

Freelancing

With one computer, an internet connection and some spare time, everyone can start their own small business at home. There are number of websites, called Freelance Agent Websites (FAWs), operate as go-between for buyers and freelance solution providers.

Various companies/individuals now outsource some of their big, and small projects through these websites. The most common reason for this is a lower project cost in comparison to the cost of hiring full-time solution providers.

Most FAWs operate several major categories of projects. Data entry, writing graphic design, audio/video, multimedia, marketing, engineering and research are very common. There are also subcategories which define the tasks more specifically.

Become a Freelancer


The first step to becoming a freelancer is to find a Freelance Agent Website to work through.

Try top rated FAWs like
  • www.getacoder.com
  • www.rentacoder.com
  • www.scriptlance.com
  • www.getafreelancer.com
Opt for renowned FAWs only, for the following reasons.
  1. More open projects per day mean more chances of winning a project
  2. More categories of projects to work on.
  3. Increased reliability in transactions of both project and money.
Now find out the FAW’s service charges and weigh them against the number of open projects that seem interesting. This will give you a preliminary idea of the average earning you ca make through a particular FAW.

Most FAW offer free sign up and usually allow freelancers to bid on only 15 to 20 projects a month and charge a higher commission. Such packages are recommended when you are testing s FAW’s services.

When you become an experienced freelancer and have several projects in hand, then it is feasible to upgrade your account. Almost all FAWs offer packages where you pay constant monthly charges and are permitted to bid on 100 to an unlimited number of projects per month. These packages may have reduced or no commission charges attached. Such contracts are usually termed a Gold membership or Premier Package.

It is imperative to find out about details such as what a FAW will do when a dispute occurs between a buyer and a provider. Such information may be quite hard to find, but the FAQs and about us pages on their website might be of help.

The FAW you choose should offer payment services available in your country or region. Western Union Money Transfer, Wire Transfer, Pay Pal etc. Money cannot be easily transferred to personal accounts so the FAW might bill high transfer charges.

Most popular FAWs offer a daily newsletter service through which short details about newly opened projects are provided. If available, use this service.


Make a Profile


During the registration process, provide accurate information, specifically your name, email and phone number.

When the FAW asks you to enter a description of yourself and your services, type out a neat introduction and a brief description of what you can offer. Try to use simple English and convey your interests, related qualifications, awards, certifications, professional experience including a list of your previous and latest projects. Also provide a rough daily work schedule for doing projects and your average bidding amount per hour. Buyers will go through your resume before making a selection, so be comprehensive but honest.

Select the appropriate skill set related to your area of expertise. While selecting, check every category which links to your expertise and interests. Some buyers prefer to search for an appropriate service provider that meets their criteria rather than begin a long bidding session.


Search and Bid


The next step is to start searching for projects and bidding on those which meet your skill set and interest. While bidding, do not try to bypass the site’s rules as it is unethical and the buyer may start distrusting you. Reply promptly to a buyer’s queries with clear answers. Keep in mind that your bid will be weighed against hundreds of other bids. Winning a bid is never easy and you need to work hard and develop new approaches for different projects. Don’t worry about losing some bids. If you can develop proper strategies and be professional, projects will eventually start flowing in. Here are few guidelines for this step.

1.     Just before bidding

Before bidding, read the project description very carefully. Ask yourself two questions:

  1. Does this project completely match my skills?
  2. Do I know and have everything to do this project?

If your answer to any of the above question is “NO”, then don’t bid. Moreover, if you do win the project, you might fail to provide a solution because of a lack of skill. This will lead to bad feedback and negative ratings from the buyer and can damage your reputation.

2.     Calculating lead time

Always estimate the time you will take to complete a project. The best way is to make a comparison with previous similar projects. Buyers usually mention the maximum time-period for the completion of a project. Try and match your estimate to their constraints.

3.     Evaluating a bid amount

When you have an estimate of the magnitude of the work, you can easily estimate the bid amount. If you are new, try to bid a little lower than you would to attract buyers and on top of that, provide good service. Once you have a portfolio with positive comments and feedback, you can start cashing in. Before bidding, take a look at other bidders, their descriptions, lead times etc, to get an idea of where you stand on the list. Your bid amount must be reasonable, not so high that buyers reject them without even reading your service description. It is advisable to bid close to average bidding amounts, but leave some room for negotiation.

4.     Writing a service description

Providing a good service description is the key to success. Keep the following rules of thumb under consideration: 

Don’t try to attract buyers with informal language.

Don’t copy your whole profile again.

Don’t use overly-sophisticated long sentences and difficult vocabulary.

Don’t post irrelevant things that have nothing to do with a buyer’s requirement.

Don’t provide personal contact information.

Let the buyer know about your experiences and skills in relation t the project’s requirements.

Make sure the buyer is satisfied with your specified delivery time and assure him that you will meet deadlines.

Come across as approachable and encourage the buyer to ask you question.


Bidding Session

This step requires patience. Wait for the bidding period to complete. It is, however, a good sign if the buyer contacts you during the bidding period. Here are a few guidelines:

Don’t send bulk messages to the buyer inquiring whether you will be selected or not.

Be flexible. If the buyer requests to negotiate the price, lower your bid amount if possible.

Respond with same attitude that is portrayed in your service description.

Discuss the payment structure in this stage.

Never start working on a project until the buyer formally select you through the FAW.
Discuss everything about the project. Don’t hesitate to back off if a problem comes up or if you are not comfortable about the project after learning the details.

Don’t be disappointed if the buyer rejects you at this stage. Try to identify the reason


Winning a Project

After you successfully win the bid on a project, it is essential to complete it on time. Remember these guidelines:

Buyers love to communicate, so try sending daily updates of the project status.

If there are delays, inform the buyer and explain the reason.

After completing each stage of project, send the draft work or demo version.

For graphics work, send a blurred image or a watermarked, low resolution image.

For article writing work, send headlines with incomplete paragraphs.

For website design or script writing work, upload the updated version to your own website server.

For software development work, send stand-alone, locked versions. Never share source code.

For database related work, send a small percent of records. Just mention the total records for the buyer’s satisfaction.

After completing the project, request the buyer to provide feedback about your work


Okay! You are the Freelancer now. All the Best!


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