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  1. #1
    SitePoint Addict JerXs's Avatar
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    Freelance Web Design

    Ive been looking for a site to pick up a few design jobs to supplement my income.
    What I have found so far is very discouraging. Most of these freelance websites are packed to the gills with under-bidders and clients that just donít want to pay.

    Take a look at the average bids on a few of these jobs from a site named "GetAFreelancer.com"

    http://www.getafreelancer.com/projec...RT-URGENT.html

    http://www.getafreelancer.com/projec...ace-Xianz.html

    http://www.getafreelancer.com/projec...r-website.html

    How do people work so cheep? The only thing I can think of is that allot of these bids are coming from third world countries, or these bidders are very young and have no concept of the value of the all mighty dollar.

    Do you know of any good freelance sites?

    Id like to start talking to local business owners, though im not the most social of people and really would not know where to start.

    This is really my first attempt to find freelance work and would appreciate any and all wisdom that youíd like to share with me.

  2. #2
    I see geek people adris72's Avatar
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    For me what worked was word of mouth, it goes viral.

    My first non-personal website was for a church (for free of course since I had no experience) the pastor gave my info to a MD doctor friend of him, that was my first $ x.xxx.oo (4 digits) work.
    Right now I can say that every single client of mine pass my info at least to one or two more persons... it seems that always someone wants a website.

    You could try doing a couple of small websites for free (choose wisely: a non profit organization, school or some friend professional).

    I'm sure also you'll receive more useful advice here. Good luck.

  3. #3
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    Here are some other sites that you may want to check out:
    Web Developers Index
    Guru
    Scriptlance
    Elance

    Can't gurantee that there won't be crazy low bids, but you might find something. Other than that a possbile solution might be to make up some type of mailer to send to local businesses that showcases your work. Or just bite the bullet and go in and talk to them. Good luck!

    Oh, there is also Craigslist which is more of a community for everything but there is a design section where people are looking to have work done. You can also post there offering your services.

  4. #4
    I see geek people adris72's Avatar
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    Other than that a possbile solution might be to make up some type of mailer to send to local businesses that showcases your work.
    I tried that when I was starting too... my advise is don't waste time with emails, go talk face to face o make a phone call. I guess they took my emails as spam, although I was very polite and clearly said that wasn't spam and I wouldn't contact them again... I never got a reply.

  5. #5
    SitePoint Addict JerXs's Avatar
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    Thank you, I think i am going to try Guru.com. It seems like a good site, although you have to pay a membership fee to get in on most of the jobs. That could be a good thing though.

    Im also going to try to motivate myself to get out and do some face to face.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by JerXs
    How do people work so cheep? The only thing I can think of is that allot of these bids are coming from third world countries, or these bidders are very young and have no concept of the value of the all mighty dollar.

    Do you know of any good freelance sites?
    First of all, let me tell that these prices are not real. The people who bid these real low prices do it for 2 reasons:

    1) to avoid the fees from getafreelancer, which charges them 10% of the value of any project that get awarded to them. In the Private Message Board, however, they will discuss with a client a price that is much higher than that which they bid.

    2) to trick the client into choosing them. Once the client decides to go with them, they will pretend not to have known the full scope of the project and would ask for more. It happened to me a couple of times. I posted some projects and selected the freelancers whose bids were ridiciously low. But then, they asked me to give them more details about the projects. WHen I gave them the details, they asked me that they needed $100s more because they did not know that I wanted all these features (even though I had cleared stated that in my project listing).

  7. #7
    SitePoint Addict JerXs's Avatar
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    That stinks! I new there was somthing going on there, no one develops a fully functional e-commerace site for $250. LOL

    Have you worked with any, sort of say, legit sites?

  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard TheRedDevil's Avatar
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    You could try scriptlance.com, I used that when I started up several years ago.

    The key is to do a few "cheap" jobs, obviously tasks that you can finish fast as then you will need a few good reviews (2-3) before you can start placing higher bids.

    Secondly always act professionally, ask the same questions as you would in a regular meeting with a client etc. Usally most of the bids on those sites has generic text, so a professionally reply which takes the "clients" project/problem in mind, makes you stand out.

    After a while you should be able to charge much higher than the "norm", and still be selected.

    Even though I dont use freelance webpages now, I am still doing work for several clients Ive met there and I charge several times more now compared what I did then.

  9. #9
    Word Painter silver trophy Shyflower's Avatar
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    I started freelance design by entering contests, however that isn't my strong point!

    From there I went to RentACoder to build my portfolio, and yes I did do some cheap work in the beginning. However, instead of looking at it as cheap work, I looked at it as an investment in building a portfolio of sold work as opposed to a portfolio of spec work. I still work through RAC occassionally when I have the time, but usually only on invitation and then only when I can get the price I want.

    I also have several repeat customers from there who also often send referrals my way.

    Believe me, if you can build a good reputation at a freelance site, you'll get the price you want, but it does take time. Of course, it takes time to build any business. You can't start at the top.
    Linda Jenkinson
    "Say what you mean. Mean what you say. But don't say it mean." ~Unknown

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    Quote Originally Posted by JerXs
    Thank you, I think i am going to try Guru.com. It seems like a good site, although you have to pay a membership fee to get in on most of the jobs.
    You pay to get possibility to get some job (i.e. - subscription fee). You pay and say "buy, buy" to your money. Because it very hard to win a project.
    I know what I say - I have 600+ completed projects. Without paying "membership fee". Because I use RentACoder.com

  11. #11
    Non-Member Egor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shyflower
    Of course, it takes time to build any business. You can't start at the top.
    Read these words over a few times, JerXs. Becoming a successful freelancer (now I really hate that title) is not a quick process. You need to develop some form of a business plan and then you need to build strong, solid relationships.

    If you ask 80% of the self-employed designer/developer gurus around here, they'll tell you the majority of the work comes from repeat clients - clients they have developed a good relationship with, over a period of time.

    Maintaining a good, long relationship with a client is no easy task. You need to be a decent communicator, know exactly what it is you wish to do and have mutual respect for one another.

    All this takes time, practice and experimentation, so I'd be lying if I told you there was some quick do-this-do-that way to get work (and by work, I mean the work you're happy to do at the right price).

    In short words, "freelancing", in the real world, isn't quite cut-and-dried as it may sound and initially appear. If you're up for all this, I wish you the best of luck. Otherwise, join the queue over at one of those freelancer sites.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Addict JerXs's Avatar
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    Thank you all, for all of your great feedback and suggestions.

    Id like to ultimately become financially stable with my own sites, but that is going to take some more time, so I am in a situation where I must start looking into different sources of income (Freelance Web Design). Im going to look into the websites that you all have suggested and then focus on picking up one job for the time being, just to test the waters a bit.

    I donít plan on rushing into anything, iíve done that in to many other situations and the results were never good.

    Again thank you, this thread has been very helpful

  13. #13
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    Craigslist is quite useful for picking up small jobs to keep things ticking over while you look for other work.

    There's a lot of people posting jobs for students etc - but if you can wade through that you can pick up $100-$300 quite easily for a small graphic, logo or 3 page website. Check the "gigs" section in major cities.

    The best way to win new work is networking - if you meet local businesspeople at a function they'll be more than happy to swap cards and may decide they need a new website even when they'd not been considering it.


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