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  1. #1
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    Your views on eLance? Worthwhile to suscribe?

    Does anyone here frequently use eLance and has a premium membership? I was wondering if the small investment is worth it, and if there's a good chance of finding and being accepted in projects?

    If not, what do you use? And why?

    I'm on a quest to find the right freelance marketplace website. Sitepoint is only effective for me when selling prepaid designs. I haven't had much luck finding freelance projects to bid or propose on, and the LTH forum always seems to be so dead with inactivity.
    eFlair Design | Premium Design Services and Web Consultation

  2. #2
    phpLD Fanatic bronze trophy dvduval's Avatar
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    I like Rentacoder beter myself, but I know others prefer eLance.

  3. #3
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    I am giving elance a good 30 days to see how it goes. I'm about a week into it and haven't even gotten any bites. I've looked at and tried other freelance sites and the system elance uses to keep "price checks" and the "design my ecommerce site for $250" are pretty decent.

    There are some very talented individuals and companies to compete with, seems like a decent atmosphere.

  4. #4
    phpLD Fanatic bronze trophy dvduval's Avatar
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    I agree the quality of individuals is among the highest possible for a freelance site.

  5. #5
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    Isn't rentacoder mostly for software programming? Seems like a good site but I don't like the interface to be honest.
    eFlair Design | Premium Design Services and Web Consultation

  6. #6
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    The main problem I have with job sites is that we're essentially bottom fishing. I've gotten a couple bites but they were so small or low paying that I didn't take any of them. We're little fish in a big pond on those sites. Supply and demand works against us.

    I prefer to be a big fish in a little pond and dominate a narrow but lucrative market. It's so much more fun and profitable. GL
    I study speed waiting. I can wait an entire hour in 10 minutes.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PHPCamp.com View Post
    The main problem I have with job sites is that we're essentially bottom fishing. I've gotten a couple bites but they were so small or low paying that I didn't take any of them. We're little fish in a big pond on those sites. Supply and demand works against us.

    I prefer to be a big fish in a little pond and dominate a narrow but lucrative market. It's so much more fun and profitable. GL
    Can you name a place/website where this is the case?
    eFlair Design | Premium Design Services and Web Consultation

  8. #8
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    Back in 2004 our entire business was mainly based out of Elance. Since I am from "this side of the game" let me tell you why it does not work:

    1. The concept of bidding ultimately boils down to price. The new entrants are willing to accept losses so that they can earn a portfolio. Vendors who are themselves in loss cannot make you profitable.

    2. Most bids are mainly "a*s-timates". I sometimes wonder if they just look at the title and submit whatever number comes to their mind. I once interviewed a guy for BDM position, he was from a reputed organization and I was amazed when he told me he had a target of submitting 50 bids a day. Right now, each BDM in our organization does 2-3 quotes a day only.

    3. Even the portfolio is not guaranteed to be genuine. In our organization we have a few developers who secretly went on to create an account for themselves in Elance or RAC and create a portfolio of projects which they have never worked on. A funnier incident is that, last month a guy from our organization left and joined a start-up, whatever project this guy was involved with in our organization, later came up in the Elance portfolio of this organization. We had to get in touch with them and ask for it to be removed.

    That being said, Elance and RAC have a strong rating and arbitration system. The fear of receiving a poor rating is a HUGE deterrent for providers but hey, if you mess up, you can always create a new account and start all over again.

    I think if it's a small, one-time job that is time sensitive then it makes sense to go to Elance or RAC because you can get a lot of bids very fast but, if you are thinking of outsourcing jobs on regular basis then you need a different strategy.
    Mukul Gupta
    Indus Net Technologies
    _______________________________________
    Design | Development | Internet Marketing

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mukulgupta View Post
    Back in 2004 our entire business was mainly based out of Elance. Since I am from "this side of the game" let me tell you why it does not work:

    1. The concept of bidding ultimately boils down to price. The new entrants are willing to accept losses so that they can earn a portfolio. Vendors who are themselves in loss cannot make you profitable.

    2. Most bids are mainly "a*s-timates". I sometimes wonder if they just look at the title and submit whatever number comes to their mind. I once interviewed a guy for BDM position, he was from a reputed organization and I was amazed when he told me he had a target of submitting 50 bids a day. Right now, each BDM in our organization does 2-3 quotes a day only.

    3. Even the portfolio is not guaranteed to be genuine. In our organization we have a few developers who secretly went on to create an account for themselves in Elance or RAC and create a portfolio of projects which they have never worked on. A funnier incident is that, last month a guy from our organization left and joined a start-up, whatever project this guy was involved with in our organization, later came up in the Elance portfolio of this organization. We had to get in touch with them and ask for it to be removed.

    That being said, Elance and RAC have a strong rating and arbitration system. The fear of receiving a poor rating is a HUGE deterrent for providers but hey, if you mess up, you can always create a new account and start all over again.

    I think if it's a small, one-time job that is time sensitive then it makes sense to go to Elance or RAC because you can get a lot of bids very fast but, if you are thinking of outsourcing jobs on regular basis then you need a different strategy.
    Thanks for your comments. So what would you say is the best method in reeling in potential clients to work with?
    eFlair Design | Premium Design Services and Web Consultation

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by emkay View Post
    Can you name a place/website where this is the case?
    I prefer direct contact with organizations or professionals who need what I have. Direct mail/e-mail with potential customers or phone/visit with potential employers. Might sound simple but it's a huge shift from my old thinking of "Put it on the Internet and the whole world is my market." That's just crazy talk. First, even if that were true, how the heck would I deliver my product or services to the whole world? How would I even contact the whole world? I live in California so do I really want a job in North Carolina (no offense intended)?

    So, how can we reach businesses or professionals that need what we have to offer? Here's what I'd suggest:

    1. Write down everything you'd do in your ideal job or business. Be honest and exclude those tasks, technologies or environments that you don't want to use.

    2. Define the type of customer (aka target market) or employer that would pay a lot of money for that. In the customer profile include what media they use. Is it elance or something else?

    3. Use the media they frequent to get the word out and hammer them until they tell you to stop contacting them or the advertising proves ineffective.

    Each niche is different so there's no one way to reach every market. My experience has shown that any market can be reached given enough time or money or both. The best and most efficient markets are those that are begging you to exchange value with you be that working at their business, developing a web site or consulting with them to increase their profits.

    I believe it comes down to marketing and marketing is a science. Not hard just usually not in the average person's thought processes. I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions or would like help targeting a market.
    Last edited by PHPCamp.com; Apr 24, 2008 at 22:09.
    I study speed waiting. I can wait an entire hour in 10 minutes.

  11. #11
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    For us the three important things are:

    1. Repeat Business - More business from same client. For this you got to stay in touch with your existing clients regularly.

    2. SEM - For getting new clients. For this you really need to take into account the whole gamut of internet promotion including SEO, PPC and Blogging.

    3. Referral - Asking clients to refer new business to us. You got to ask your clients to refer right after the jon is finished because at that time they are most keen to return the favor.
    Mukul Gupta
    Indus Net Technologies
    _______________________________________
    Design | Development | Internet Marketing

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by PHPCamp.com View Post
    I prefer direct contact with organizations or professionals who need what I have. Direct mail/e-mail with potential customers or phone/visit with potential employers. Might sound simple but it's a huge shift from my old thinking of "Put it on the Internet and the whole world is my market." That's just crazy talk. First, even if that were true, how the heck would I deliver my product or services to the whole world? How would I even contact the whole world? I live in California so do I really want a job in North Carolina (no offense intended)?

    So, how can we reach businesses or professionals that need what we have to offer? Here's what I'd suggest:

    1. Write down everything you'd do in your ideal job or business. Be honest and exclude those tasks, technologies or environments that you don't want to use.

    2. Define the type of customer (aka target market) or employer that would pay a lot of money for that. In the customer profile include what media they use. Is it elance or something else?

    3. Use the media they frequent to get the word out and hammer them until they tell you to stop contacting them or the advertising proves ineffective.

    Each niche is different so there's no one way to reach every market. My experience has shown that any market can be reached given enough time or money or both. The best and most efficient markets are those that are begging you to exchange value with you be that working at their business, developing a web site or consulting with them to increase their profits.

    I believe it comes down to marketing and marketing is a science. Not hard just usually not in the average person's thought processes. I hope that helps. Let me know if you have any other questions or would like help targeting a market.
    After roaming around Elance I fullly agree. Elance seems to be ridiculed with endless feels and I feel very intimidated with all these complex fee systems. I've decided not to sign up, I've found just SO MANY wrong aspects of their service, I don't think it's worth my time to be honest. I think I'll conduct my business mainly through here and through my own website/local community, atleast the fees aren't so ridiculously high and complicated.

    About targeting a market, I haven't set up my business yet, but yes, I will contact you when I need some marketing advice, thanks!
    eFlair Design | Premium Design Services and Web Consultation

  13. #13
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    I thought I would post my review of elance after paying for a membership for just under a month. I thought I would give it a shot and see how it goes so I did the whole thing, filled out a detailed profile, even took some of the tests.

    I started out with small projects thinking I could get my foot in the door with piecework and then move up to bigger projects. Eventually I spent the extra bucks for more of the "connect points" and placed some bids on larger projects.

    I did cancel my account today. I found that I either could not compete with the prices and in some cases with some of the larger entities that bid on that site. I noticed that even the US providers openly resell overseas. Good for them, looks like they are making it work.

    What pretty much drove the nail in the coffin was the call I got to work for $5 bucks an hour and a good portion of the bids were declined as "overpriced".

    I would say overall there is a slightly higher technical knowledge as far as the buyers than other freelance sites. However there is still a good portion of buyers that want it all for less but still don't know what that is. Which is true everywhere I suppose.

    I was a little surprised that once I started looking at projects above $1000 the volume was very low.

    Overall it wasn't an unpleasant experience but turns out its just not worth the effort for me. My two cents for $5/hour.

  14. #14
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    binarysys. Thanks for reporting back. I haven't dealt with those sites in a year so it's good insight. In the years past I tried a lot of the more technical sites like guru.com, itmoonlighter.com before guru bought them, dice.com and others. They all have the same problem. Organizations don't go to those sites looking for average or the best people. They go there to get a ridiculously low deal. It's what I call bottom-fishing. Chasing the smallest deals requiring the most work because buyers usually have no idea what they want, who they're working with and the first thing out of their mouths is usually how great doing their site for free would be for you to "showcase". Gotta love em. Cheers.
    I study speed waiting. I can wait an entire hour in 10 minutes.


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