I have been to regular employment for quite sometime, and I just joined the freelance community to earn an extra income. However, working as a freelancer has been rewarding to me, so I bid my boss goodbye and concentrated to freelancing.
But, becoming a freelancer isn’t always as easy as 1, 2, 3. Nor it would be befitting for anyone. It requires not just skills, but also attitude. Yes, you read it right. Attitude.
Here are some important matters I remember considering before I started as a freelancer.
Let’s start with “What it’s like at the beginning?”. Of course, the very first thing that you have to consider is your financial affairs. It’s pretty normal to first time freelancers to get agitated when it comes to not having paycheck by the end of the month. So, before you make a move on becoming a freelancer, make sure that you will have enough money to cover expenses while you’re looking for a job or at least enough up until the next couple of months.
Next stop, building your profile. Make a very good introduction of yourself, your previous jobs, your qualifications, and your expertise. Give an emphasis on what you can do. Site an example of your previous jobs if necessary. You really have to boast once in a while as there are lots of other fish in the ocean or so to speak. Employers has lots of other choices to choose from. So, make sure that your profile stand out.
Now, we’re done with building an impressive profile, so what’s next?
Get started as a freelancer by searching for a job. There are lots of different websites that provide legitimate jobs for freelancers. You may apply to those sites or you may tell your friends or to everyone else that you work as a freelancer and is available for work. Who knows, your friend has a friend who happens to have a friend who works as a freelancer too, and may recommend you. However you do it, you have to make sure anyone knows that you are looking for a freelance job – because no one will ever know about it if you won’t tell.
Lastly, but most important to remember I guess is the attitude. A job will not hurriedly coming to your doorsteps few hours after you posted your application (unless of course you we’re referred by some CEO). Patience is a virtue. Patiently wait for the job offer. In the mean time, try to learn new things that you may add to your expertise. This will improve your profile and will attract possible employers. Don’t get discouraged if it’s been awhile and you haven’t landed a job yet. There are lots of freelance jobs out there for everyone and yours will come before you know it. Don’t ever be afraid that no one will notice you. It is just giving you an ample time to prepare if a job comes along.
Just as much as there’s a reason why oDesk is the best Freelancing Site for us here at Freelance Jobs Guru, and that there’s also a reason why we started this site for Freelancers, you may also have asked yourself at one point or the other, “Why is it that I don’t have a Freelance Job yet?”. Well personally and based from first hand experience, here’s the top 4 reasons WHY.
Students have Books, Technicians have Manuals, and Tourists do have Maps to utilize too. But what about those starting out their career as oDesk Freelancers, the so called Newbie Freelancer, what guide can they use?
We don’t want to keep you waiting for long so here’s the second part of the oDesk Guide. But if haven’t read the first part, oDesk Guide: Getting Started Part 1,you should definitely read it since you’ll be missing half of the guide if you don’t.
Plus, what’s the use of a guide if you skip steps and jump to the later part, right? You’ll save time, YES, but to be able to maximize what you’ll get from this guide, take time to read the first part too!
With that out of the way, Let’s get Movin’!
7. Make Sure Your Résumé is Always Updated
The oDesk Résumé is divided into several parts namely the Skills, Certifications, Employment History, Other Experience, and Education. Each by itself is a different factor for you to be considered for a job, so it’s highly suggested that you always keep your oDesk Résumé updated.
You’ve learned a new skill through watching online Tutorials, reading ebooks, skimming through Blogs and finally testing it out for yourself. Be sure to always add that into your Skill portion of the oDesk profile for your prospective(or current) Employers to see. Not only that though, always make sure you fill up the necessarily fields for the other parts of the oDesk Résumé for the sake, and benefit of course,of having a complete oDesk Profile.
It’s interesting to know that oDesk already has a feature that allows you to select from the pre-define and related Skills, not unlike before where you’ll have to specify it yourself. With that feature, selecting the skill you have have become much easier and less of a hassle.
8. Be Reachable!
Just because you only have Skype installed on your workstation doesn’t mean you have to force your Employer to download Skype and have him sign up for an account too. As the oDesk Contractor, it is your responsibility to adjust and be reachable!
Ask your Employer beforehand what kind of communication platform he prefers. Be it through E-Mail, Google Talk, Skype, or Y! Messenger, always make sure that you can be reached easily by all means. Communication is one, if not the most, important aspect of successful Online Working Relationships between Contractors and Employers so always make sure you communicate with your Employers at least once per day, with the platform he prefers of course.
9. Research the Project’s Price
As we’ve mentioned in the post How To Freelance: oDesk, oDesk is indeed the best Freelance-friendly Platform. Their features certainly back that claim of ours up in the form of The oConomy.
This is related to this specific oDesk Tip in a way that it allows us, the Freelancer, to gauge the competition, along with the price, for a certain Field or Project. This way, you need not blindly guess when bidding, which leads to losing the Job Opportunity if you overbid and under-compensation if you underbid.
Ignorance is certainly not and excuse so it is extremely important that you research and utilize The oConomy when bidding on Projects or Contracts that you’re interested in. When all else fails, ask a fellow Freelancer on his thoughts regarding the project! Never be afraid to ask, always have that in mind.
10. Set a Competent Yet Realistic Rate
If you already have an oDesk account and have manage to browse for jobs, you’d certainly be shocked as to how low the bids you’ll see on some oDesk Job Postings, particularly in the Data Entry Field. Ridiculous at it may seem, still the issue is there that some oDesk contractors are under-compensated for their skills and hardwork.
But certainly not for you though! Since you were able to read this guide, you’re lucky to be informed beforehand of that issue. With that, we highly suggest not having the “Mob Mentality” when talking about rate. So it doesn’t mean that if other oDesk Contractors are lowering their hourly rate just go get a job, you need to do so too.
Your work attitude and skills should dictate the rate you should set on your profile and consequently, the rate you bid on the oDesk Job Postings you plan to apply to. If you set your hourly rate to be $5.00/hr, that should be your standard and you should not let your Employer talk your way into a Spec Job or to lowering your rate just to get the job.
11. Grow Professionally as a Freelancer
Like Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, you should always keep growing professionally. Being a College drop-out didn’t stop him from being successful, in fact that actually was for the better, just look at where he stands now. It doesn’t mean that if you started out small, like taking small-scale oDesk Contracts or Data Entry Jobs, that you should stick to that for the rest of your career as a Freelancer.
Always remember that you should always aim to learn something new, and consequently grow professionally with new skills, experiences, and knowledge. You never know, you might even be the next Steve Jobs in the making! As an added bonus, you’ll benefit financially too since you’ll be able to take on larger and more complicated oDesk Contracts and Projects.
The internet is a wonderful source of information and you can easily find a tutorial for a topic on a certain skill just by a simple Google Search. All you need is dedication and willingness to learn, if you have that then you are set to grow!
12. Never Raise the White Flag
If you’re reading the guide up to now, I congratulate you since you’ve manage to do the last but definitely not the least tip from the oDesk guide itself, which is to never raise the white flag or if you’ve probably known by now, NEVER GIVE UP!
There certainly will come a time when you’re just starting out in your Freelancing career that you’d feel that you’re losing hope and that you will never land a job. If you let that get the better of you, you’d simply quit. But if you’re like us, like those who’ve made a name of themselves in the Freelancing world already, like those who found a stable job online, and like those whose Financial problems were taken care of because of their Freelancing career, you would never give up!
Just like how we experience problems in our lives, being a Freelancer isn’t no different. You just have to be resilient and stay positive, always remember that “Hardwork always pays off”.
There you have it, an oDesk guide both for those starting out their Freelancing career and for those oDesk veterans out there. I hope you had as much fun as I did when I was writing the guide and I’d be expecting to see you on our next edition of the Freelance Jobs Guru! Now off to find, or do, your oDesk Job you go!
To wrap things up, it’s my pleasure to introduce the man behind the original guide, Mr. Leo Joseph Gajitos, who is a PHP-MySQL-jQuery Progammer / Project Manager / Internet Marketer from the Philippines. He specializes in building websites from scratch like Nutritionix, facebook apps like Quotezilla and manages blogs like SlackerMommy.
Find out more about Leejay from his wife’s blog SlackerMommy. You can contact him via the contact form on the said blog as he is very much available for new opportunities!
A guide is not necessarily for only those who are lost, sometimes those that are on the right track are the actual ones that needs it. So whether if you are a seasoned Freelancer or just someone just starting their careers as a Freelancer, you will surely find this oDesk guide invaluable for landing your first ever oDesk Job, or signing more Contracts for that matter!
But before moving along, I highly suggest reading our previous post on How To Freelance: oDesk since that’ll give you your basic foundation on Freelancing with oDesk.
If you’re done with that, let’s move forward to the actual guide then?
Being a Freelancer Online is a big challenge. Firstly because it is a very competitive field. A job posting may have at least 10 applicants or maybe up to hundreds of them!
BUT, being first on the list is one of the factor that you can be noticed by the clients or employers, whom are searching freelancers.
Now, I will be sharing you one of the tips on how to be the first to apply on a latest job posting from oDesk or Elance. We will use RSS Feeds to get the latest job posting on different online job listing websites. You may ask – “what is an RSS Feeds?”
RSS (Rich Site Summary or Really Simple Syndication) is a format for delivering regularly changing web content. Many news-related sites, weblogs and other online publishers syndicate their content as an RSS Feed to whoever wants it.
3. In this tutorial, we will be using FeedSquare. Any RSS reader is OK. They basically works the same. So, select FeedSquares and install it in your Google Chrome browser.
4. Now, go to oDeskand browse for the specific category that you will be monitoring and look for the RSS icon on the upper right side corner, right click on the RSS button or the “Subscribe” link and copy the link address.
5. Then go to Google Reader, and then click Add to Subscription. Paste the link from oDesk or Elance into the text box then press Add button.
6. Wait for a few seconds for the site to reload and then click on the Subscribe button.
7. Now, on the right-side of the address bar on your Google Chrome, click on FeedSquares pink button and configure the settings (it’s very east and straight-forward) and then “Save” your settings.
8. You will then notice the numbers in FeedSquares. That is the number of unread job postings from oDesk or Elance! Every subscription has a specific square. Click on it to view the job listings.
9. Once you open a square, it will look like this:
Grey Square/s means it has already been read. Green/Colored Squares means it’s an unread job postings. That’s all for Google Chrome’s FeedSquares RSS Reader. Next stop – Mozilla Firefox’s RSS Ticker!
1. Install the RSS Ticker Add-on on your Firefox browser.
2. Once installed, the add-ons dialog box will open. Click on the RSS Ticker Options.
3. Put checks on the following options under the General tab.
4. On the “Advanced” tab, change the time to 5 minutes, this is to make sure that the RSS Ticker will check for new job postings every 5 minutes.
5. [Optional] On the Feeds tab, highlight “Latest Headlines” and the press Remove Button.
6. Go to oDesk or Elance and search for the job you are targeting. Once you have the search result, just above the “Filter Results By:” click on the “RSS ATOM” or “Subscribe Link“.
7. Make sure to select “LIVE BOOKMARKS“, put check on “Always use Live Bookmarks to subscribe to feeds.” and press “Subscribe Now” button.
8. The dialog box below will show. Under the Folder, create a new folder and name it oDesk or Elance. All your RSS for oDesk/Elance must be placed on this folder. Then click Subscribe.
9. You should be able to see the tickers on the lower part of your Firefox browser.
I hope that with this tip, you can be able to land on your dream job being a Freelancer online! Should you need help, feel free to leave a comment.
I always hear the line “You should save the best for last..”, but this time that won’t be the case since I’d like to start you off in your Freelancing career with what I think is the best Freelance site out there today.
As we’ve mentioned from our perfectly inappropriate yet awesome Introduction of ourselves from the last blog post ( The Freelance Jobs Guru is Alive and Kickin’! ), the Freelance Jobs Guru is dedicated to helping you Make Money Online, specifically through Freelance Jobs. Let’s get started then?