Being a freelancer simply mean you work for yourself and provide a service or talent which can be outsourced. There are a number of services which can be outsourced, such services include programming, writing, web design, search engine optimization, etc. Services such as these usually can be accomplished from a remote location without the need of a local onsite presence. This being the case makes freelancing very appealing as a provider and as a buyer.
It’s almost obvious how providers benefit from freelancing and opportunities of freelance jobs. Without having the need to arrive onsite this mean freelance providers can work from home or remote and save on travel expenses. It also means the freelance provider is not restricted to only local opportunities. With the ability to reach the globe through the Internet it would seem being a freelance provider is a wise career move. If a freelance provider is able to make a name for themselves then the opportunities can become endless. Making a name in your target market takes time and dedication. You should continue to grow your talent and skills as this will set the stage for your freelancing career path. When freelancing there are many ways to find freelance jobs. One of the best methods of finding and securing freelance opportunities is by being a member of freelance job boards, such as RemoteGurus.com, GetAFreelancer.com, and Elance.com. These freelance job boards are commonly frequented by those seeking outsourced talent, but the catch 22 is that these job boards are also frequented by competitors who are also competing for the same freelance jobs. These freelance job boards operate in a reverse auction style, buyers post jobs and projects while freelance providers bid on the jobs and projects in hopes to be selected as the winning bidder. Since its a competitive platform as a freelancer you must be competitive with your rates. Using these job boards you will most likely have to shortchange yourself in order to win bids, but the trade-off is you will most likely continue to find and get new work. The freelance job boards are great for building your brand and visibility as a freelance. As you continue to build a name for yourself and your popularity on the boards grow your reputation will begin to precede itself. The freelance job boards are designed with a rating system which allow buyers who you perform work for to rate your talent and services, the more ratings and the higher the rating the more likely you will land new projects consistently. Having high number of positive ratings also mean you will more likely be able to bid higher (without shortchanging yourself) on the projects with a good chance of winning the project. The key is keep a reputable name and your business will continue to grow in time.
Buyers benefit in a number of ways by outsourcing their jobs and projects to talented professionals. For a small business owner or home-based worker, outsourcing to remote freelancers is an ideal solution. Outsourcing to remote and telecommuting professionals mean you do not need to have an onsite physical address or rent additional office space, you immediately save on overhead expenses. Using reverse auction-styled job boards such RemoteGurus.com, GetAFreelancer.com, and Elance.com you will be able to evaluate your freelance provider before accepting them as the winning bidder. You will have access to view their rating history and user profile, you should use such information to your advantage — it’s called doing your homework. These type of job boards help you find freelance providers in a controlled environment and helps lower the risk of getting ripped off. These type of job boards allow the buyer to place money into escrow before releasing the funds to the freelance provider. Escrow simply allow you and the freelance provider to have a fair and positive experience without being taken for a ride. The buyer cannot cancel payment once in escrow, they can only send (approve) the payment to be released to the freelance provider. The provider has the option to cancel payment once in escrow (canceling payment will return the funds to the buyer — leaving the provider unpaid), but the freelance provider cannot send (approve) the payment. By both parties sharing this responsibility it puts control into each party hand. If the project is not completed to your satisfaction then as the buyer you simply do not release the funds to the provider out of escrow. This protects you from getting screwed out of money. In most cases if the provider did not complete the job to satisfaction they will cancel the payment and all funds return to you (the buyer). If for any reason there is a dispute then you can involve the project board owner to handle the dispute and return your funds to your account. It’s really a win-win situation.
In conclusion, as a freelance provider you will be well on your way to being a sought after freelancer if you use the freelance job boards as your springboard for growing your name and brand. My advice is to bid low and sell yourself short in the beginning just to get jobs, projects, and experience. Once you have built your name and rating then you can start increasing your bids and asking for the going rate. Work for reviews in the beginning and you will be on your way to working for money. As for buyers, as long as you do your homework and check provider reviews then use escrow for payments, you will increase buyer protection for yourself. Using freelance job boards you can find quality, professional, and affordable freelance providers who are competent and reliable. Best of luck to you.