Getting started with Freelancer.com
I am writing this article post after being a freelancer.com member for the past two years. I still get contacted today by people who are new to the platform and are looking for advice on how to get started and make serious money on freelancer.
I am now a full-time freelancer and I cannot imagine what my life would be life if I hadn't found freelancer.com. It would have been all to easy to give-up at the start, especially when I was working with little in return.
In this post I share a few tips on getting started with freelancer.com, things I wish that someone would have told me at the start!
Can You Actually Earn a Living on This Site?
This is one of the most common questions that gets thrown at me, to which my answer is always a resounding yes. There is an old saying that goes something like this.. nothing worth having is easy. Otherwise, everyone would have it!
The same can be said about a career as a freelancer. It takes persistence, it takes hard work, and above all else, you need to be committed.
It is possible to be a part-time freelancer and work around your main job. However, if you are serious about working with freelancer.com, you have to be prepared to put the effort in at the beginning while you create your profile and build up your reviews.
Getting Awarded Your First Project
I remember back in May of 2015 when I was awarded my first project. I was just about to go on my honeymoon, and it was a data entry job that was going to take me over a week to complete. I went on a Mediterranean cruise, and the WiFi was not only overpriced, but it was also really patchy too.
However, I worked when we docked in Cafe's and then again when I was onboard. It took me so many more hours than I imagined it would, but I completed the project on time and within budget. Hooray!
After that, I had to build up reviews in the different areas of skills that I was listing myself for. It took time, a lot of time.
I still see new freelancers today bidding top-whack on projects, and that is one of the reasons I felt compelled to write this post. At the start, I pretty much worked for little or no compensation. The money I earned just about covered my fees and the cost of getting certified - which by the way, YOU NEED TO DO! It is a small investment. If you don't carry the right certifications, for example in English, then you will lose out to others who do and put yourself at a disadvantage from the start.
So that is my first piece of real advice - get certified.
Second to this, have a low expectation at the start in terms of compensation. You need to remember that you are bidding against others on the site who have more reviews in more skills areas. The only way you are going to stand out is by bidding low and giving an employer with a low budget the chance of getting great work for a low cost. It's ok to mention this fact in your bids too. Hey, you are getting a great price because I am new to freelancer and trying to build up my reviews!
Honesty is ALWAYS the best policy. Don't over promise, and don't under deliver.
Although it's great to say you will complete your project quicker than others, BE REALISTIC with what you can do, in what timeframe.
Communication is king. Thank your clients for the opportunity to work with them on their project. Keep in touch throughout. And always ensure you are both clear as to when any deadlines or Milestones are expected to be reached.
On the subject of Milestones. And I learned this the hard way. Do not accept a project before the employer creates a Milestone. And DO NOT WORK without a Milestone in place. You are charged a fee upon acceptance of fixed priced projects, so you need to make sure your employers have the means to pay you. Don't expect payment upfront and do not ask them to release payment before the work is complete. If there are any disputes, freelancer.com are super-efficient at helping you resolve them amicably.
So there you have it. A quick overview, based on my two years of experience on how to get started on freelancer.com