Elance.com, anyone used it before? Id never heard of it but it came highly recommended and it seems very well organised and set up. anyone know anything about it? Have people got work from it? etc..
________ Wong Amat Tower Condo
I can swear by elance.com. I started my freelance business there and got my very first paying jobs on there. It is well organised and the complete transaction can be done via the site - Briefing, file exchange, communication and payment.
It is full to the brim with designers willing to do work for $50 and they charge a monthly subscription fee as well as a cut of all transactions. It may not seem like a lot of money but it does all add up once you start getting lots of work and so I have opted to move off of elance completely after using it for about 18 months.
Its still a great site for picking up the odd piece of work though....
Elance is how I formed a relationship with one of my current clients. Ironically, I bought a considerable amount of bidding credits and used them all but got zero jobs from it. However, literally a few months later, I was invited to bid on a project by a client wanting some gift vouchers designing. I decided to buy some credits and bid and won the job, even though I wasn't the cheapest.
Since then, my client and I have a good working relationship and I've done other things for them.
That's the positive side of things.
The negative aspect of Elance is that, as Peter says, there are designers on there willing to do grand-scale jobs for $50. And of course that doesn't necessarily mean they'll do it well, but the client doesn't know that. You also have many Eastern freelancers/studios pitching for the same jobs, which can affect things too. And of course you have the client themselves who may only be wanting to spend Â£2.50 on something instead of Â£2,500!
The other downside is that you have to pay out money for the right to bid on projects you may not even win. In fact, there's a good chance you won't win the majority of your bids so it will feel like a waste of money.
Also, again as Dave says, there is Elance's commission fee but you can easily get round this by choosing to deal with payment offsite if the client is comfortable with it. There's only a few clients who wouldn't be happy with it.
So, in conclusion, Elance is a great place to find opportunities to work, but a difficult place to win it. You need to be patient and you also have to accept that you may lose money to begin with. It's your choice!
I spent many many months bidding on every job I thought I could do and didnt win any work at all. One thing that elance does do is show how much you have earnt and how many jobs you have done etc so you work up a bit of a reputation if you do a lot of work and so this can also be a factor in you winning work as well. Of course...getting to that point isn't easy.
One great thing is that unused "connect" points do not expire and can roll over month to month...something which has only come into effect in the last few months. Pity that wasnt the case when I was just starting out.
Moving off elance is quite a sticky thing too and, although many of my clients were fine to move off with me, some would not and one even threatened to report me as it does violate the terms and conditions of service of the site....still we live in a time when there are multiple ways that we can communicate with our clients and elance should really just dry their eyes and be happy to take our subscription fees.