Hello again! My recent posts have been focused on making money online via freelancing. So far I have discussed a general overview of freelancing and then I have also taken out time to discuss some of the top paying freelance platforms. Now I would like to talk about the largest community of freelancers actually called “freelancer”. Now because of the name, not many persons talk about freelancer as a platform on its own but it might interest you to know that they just celebrated over 25 million users just recently which should clearly tell you that if you are not among these 25 million then you are actually lagging behind. Not to worry, this post is actually meant to help you find your footing as a newbie in the midst of over 25 million people. Now let’s get started!
Freelancer is actually more open and user-friendly than most other platforms like upwork. Well, that’s my opinion from personal experience anyway. Now, this is because it is actually open to all with no restrictions on the number of persons that register. Everyone gets a chance to compete, there is room for improvement to give you an edge and stand out in the crowd so the choice is basically yours. As usual, you have to sign up.
Opening an account on freelancer
This is quite simple. All you have to do is fill in your details but unlike Fiverr and upwork, a lot of verification needs to be done especially if you are registering as a freelancer. If you are coming to buy services then you don’t have to worry about all that but then there won’t be any need for this write-up. As a freelancer, you will be required to verify your email, phone number, payment verification, and 100% profile completion. Now this is very important as clients will see these on your profile and the confidence level is actually higher when all these criteria have been met. Once your account is ready, the next step is to complete your profile.
Completing your profile:
Observe the same sequence in these entire freelancing platforms? Now that’s because some things are very important and one of such is your profile. Now I would like to mention that your profile on freelancer can actually get you a job offer without you even having to send a proposal for any project. How amazing! Your profile starts with a professional picture, followed by a good title. Now the title is actually the service you intend to offer for example “SEO Specialist” “Pro Academic writer” “web programmer’ and so on. It should be such that it sends a clear message as regards what you do. Afterwards, you have a few characters to actually give a description of your skills and experience. You have to make it brief and straight to the point ensuring that you include your strengths. Now once this is ready you are almost ready to start the earning. Like I said, Freelancer is quite flexible than most other platforms. The only limitation is the competition which can be quite discouraging especially for a newbie. But don’t worry, I got you covered.
Having mentioned that freelancer already has over 25 million users, it becomes imperative to try as much as you can to stand out in the crowd. Now, this is cool but actually, comes with a price. One of such is in selecting your membership plan. Membership plans start from intro which is charged at $0.99 per month to premier which is valued at $49.95 per month. Now the choice of your plan will determine the quality of services that you have access to like the number of bids, skills, followers and much more. As a matter of fact, there are jobs that you cannot bid for if you have low membership plan. Also, clients have more confidence in freelancers with higher membership plans but for a newbie, you will be given a 1-month free professional plan. Now I actually did take advantage of the opportunity to get some jobs done and earn some good reviews. Eventually, with a steady stream of income, you might decide to continue in that plan or opt for a higher or lower plan as the case may be. Freelancer also requires freelancers to take certain exams related to their choosen skills and area of specialization. Now, this will go a very long way to help you win projects, for example, some clients require that any freelancer working on their project must have at least level 1 English certification. Other skills are available for a fee depending on your area of specialization.
Writing the perfect proposal
Upon completion of your profile, you can immediately start browsing for projects and start placing your bids. Like I have mentioned before, your proposal is like your cover letter which actually arouses the interest of the client to pause and take a look at your profile. This means it has to be captivating enough to catch the interest of anyone reading it as most clients do not even have the time to go through the bids from the numerous freelancers sending their offers. Your proposal should give a brief acknowledgement of the fact that you have read the project description and that you can do the job. Then go on to clearly state your skills and experience as well as detailed and brief steps on how you intend to achieve this goal. The originality of content, grammatical errors and promptness are some of the things you need to factor in your proposal. Clients need assurance that they will be getting the very best within the agreed time frame and you need to give them that assurance in your proposal. Notice that I have actually mentioned a whole lot of things that need to be included in the proposal so it is left for you to actually skip the pleasantries and organize these key strengths in such a way that it will be brief and concise.
Selecting the price:
Working on a platform that has over 25 million users can be quite competitive such that price will actually be determined by the forces of demand and supply. I remember when I started as a new freelancer I would always request very high prices. Now imagine a newbie with no freelancer experience actually charging very high? Most clients will not even look at your proposal because the price is actually the first thing they see. Now the good thing is that price can always be adjusted so why bid high? Most experienced freelancers actually place the starting cost price of the client as their price but eventually during the course of further interactions, they renegotiate with the client who will definitely see reasons to adjust. In most cases, the price paves way for the proposal while the proposal paves way for you to actually get a chance to get the job.
Very important things to note
Upon reaching an agreement with a client, the client will then award you the project for you to start working on it. Now pay attention to these insights that I am about to share because I did pay the price for not having prior information about this. Freelancer charges 10% of the total cost of a project or $5 if the % is less than $5. Now this cost will be incurred by both the client and the freelancer and this is charged when a project is awarded and accepted. When you are awarded a project, always request that the client creates a milestone for you. A milestone is just like an initial payment that should cover some initial expenses like the freelancer fee. If the client does not create a milestone payment, you will be charged. Many times some users just create projects and award it and eventually they disappear. Imagine that you were awarded a project of $1000 without any milestone, you will be charged $100 and that is definitely a total loss. Also, during the process of sending your proposal, there are some additional services like “highlight my bid” among others. Initially, I would always select this without understanding that I will be charged so be careful not to select any unless you are sure you want to.
Once your proposal has been sent, it is imperative that you are almost always online. As a matter of fact, being online is key. On a personal note, I have learnt that the first few bids after a project is posted actually gets the attention of the client. Most projects are time-based so no client will wait for you to come back online and as such, they will award it to someone else.
Now I will be concluding my post on how to make money online via freelancing by reiterating the need for commitment and focus in order to succeed as a freelancer, especially for a newbie. With all these information, I believe you should be able to get into any of these or all three platforms and start making some money for yourself.