Tips for Choosing an Elance Provider to Help You With Your Project – Outsourcing 101

When you’re in need of assistance with a project because you’ve either taken on too much or you simply can’t finish it, you should consider hiring another Elance provider to assist. This way, you’ll save face with the client and won’t succumb to negative feedback because you didn’t exceed your client’s expectations. In this article, I’ll teach you how to take on the role of the employer so that you can choose the best provider for you.

Check the Provider’s Feedback – As you know, a provider’s feedback covers the quality of the work, their timeliness, communication strategies and professionalism. By checking the provider’s past feedback, you can determine past project posters’ levels of satisfaction with that particular provider. If they have a high score – in the 90’s preferably – you can be fairly sure that you’re getting a great provider.

Check the Provider’s Samples – While involved in the selection process, providers are likely to send you samples of their past work so that you can see their style and ability. It’s important that you check the samples of the providers that you’re considering. You can determine whether their style is close to the style you need, what level of skill they have, and whether they meet your standards or not. By checking their samples, you can probably narrow down your choices a good bit.

Communicate with the Providers – For the providers you’ve shortlisted, it’s important to communicate with them via the site’s private message board. Let them know a little more about your project, what you need and what you’re trying to accomplish. Good providers will get back to you in a timely manner and will let you know what they can do to help you achieve your end goals.

Pay Attention to Price – You get what you pay for – that’s what they say, isn’t it? This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to choose the highest provider, but you have to wonder about the individuals who are offering to do the work for the absolute rock-bottom prices. Although you do want to make a profit on the outsourced work, you also want to make sure that the provider can get it done. So, ask yourself these questions: Will they truly deliver quality projects? Will you have to fix any errors? Will you have to spend additional time on the project. In most instances, you will likely get further choosing a mid-level price or even one that is a bit higher than the average. These are usually providers who know what they’re worth and who want to be paid fairly for quality projects.

As you probably know, there are many other aspects of choosing a great provider, but the ones above are the most common and should be looked at first. While there’s no guarantee that you’ll get precisely what you want, taking the steps above will help ensure that you choose the best provider for you!

Image: graur razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Elance Complaints – Are They Warranted?

If you’ve researched Elance at all, you’ve probably found blog posts or comments from individuals complaining about Elance. Some state that they’ve never received their money, etc. Are those complaints warranted, or is something else going on?

Elance vs. Project Posters – One thing you have to consider is that Elance makes regular, faithful payments to its freelancers (writers, programmers, designers, administrative assistants, etc). In fact, once you receive your money from the project poster, you can transfer it to PayPal, or you can utilize your Elance debit card, or even transfer the money to your personal bank account. If an individual hasn’t been paid, they’re more likely speaking of payment from the actual project poster, not Elance. This is an issue, but it’s not Elance’s fault if a project provider refuses to pay. They do have a conflict resolution system, but a company as large as Elance can’t force their clients to pay a freelancer if the project poster doesn’t put the money in the provider’s account. Using Elance escrow can help solve this problem. With Elance’s escrow system, clients put the contracted funds directly into their Escrow account and once the provider has successfully completed the project, they release the funds to the provider.

Angry Freelancers – If a freelancer turns in a project and the client isn’t happy with the project, he or she may refuse to pay. Of course, the freelancer is going to be very angry and upset, and maybe some of that anger will be directed at Elance, since the company can’t actually make the project poster pay. This may in turn lead to complaints against Elance that aren’t actually warranted.

If you come across complaints about Elance, it might naturally make you want to avoid the freelancing site, but in truth, it’s a great place to find honest work. As a matter of fact, most freelancers are quite happy with their accounts and the work they have. So, look rather closely at any complaints before making your decision about Elance. You may be passing up a great opportunity because of a simple misunderstanding.

Photo: Penywise

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

What to do When You’ve Taken On Too Much

As a freelancer, there are times when the projects may come in too quickly, or you’ve submitted too many proposals but didn’t expect to win so many – and now you’re stuck with a ton of work that you’re not sure you can do. Below you’ll find tips on what to do when you’ve taken on too much. Trust me, it happens to the best of us but if you take action now and don’t bury your head in the sand, you can get it all done and satisfy your clients’ needs too!

Learn to Prioritize – Which are the most important/urgent projects? Which ones pay the highest and are most likely to bring in more work? These are the ones you should focus on first. However, this doesn’t mean that you can simply leave your other clients hanging. If you want to keep a great reputation as a freelancer, it’s important that you care for all clients equally.

Get Help – If there’s simply too much for you to handle on your own, you may have to get help. Do you have other freelancer friends who could use a project or two? The cool thing about Elance is that they make it easy for you to collaborate with other freelancers and set up groups/teams so that they can assist you with your clients’ needs.

If this sound excited, contact some of your freelance buddies and ask them about handling a few of the projects you’re unable to take at the moment. Let them know they’d be working as a ghost freelancer, meaning that you would own the rights to the work so that you could turn it into the client as your own. It’s not dishonest, and people do it all the time. It should be about satisfying the client at this point. You can then use Elance’s tools to make the process easier.

Maintain Communication – Most clients won’t be upset if their work is a slight bit late. It’s important to maintain communication, though. Avoiding the clients because you don’t want to tell them that you’re going to be late is not an option and will only serve to agitate them, especially when they’re excited and expecting to receive a first draft of a project.

By using the tips above, you can manage when you’ve taken on too much work.

Image: Danilo Rizzuti / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine

Warning Signs that Project Poster is Bad News

As a freelancer, it’s important that you’re able to determine a potentially great client from a potentially bad one.  Using your instinct and common warning signs can help you avoid headaches in the future, as well as being scammed out of your work and pay.  Below are some common warning signs that a project poster is bad news.

  • Bad Feedback – If there is a consistent record of bad feedback, you should automatically feel wary of the individual.  One bad feedback may not mean much more than a disgruntled freelancer – but 3, 4 or more…that’s when you know there’s a problem with the project poster.  Be sure to look at the feedback in-depth.
  • Asks for Custom Samples – Project posters should be able to get all the information they need regarding the quality of your work and talents from past samples.  If they’re asking for custom samples from every freelancer, and state that the samples will be owned by them upon completion, you need to be wary.  This means that they’re getting free projects from every person who bids on their project, so why would they need to pay?  Never create a free custom sample for a potential client – give them excerpts from past projects.
  • Illegal Activity – The project poster asks you to engage in illegal activity of some sort, such as plagiarism, taking advantage of a system when it’s clearly against the rules or something similar.  This is a very bad warning sign and you should take it as such – and avoid the project poster.  This also goes for project posters that want you to write about unethical, cruel or illegal activity.  These guys and gals should all be avoided.

Using the warning signs above and your own instincts should help you weed out the bad project posters and stick to those that really want to do an honest business with you and pay you fairly for your work.

photo link: kevinrosseel

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to Yahoo BuzzAdd to Newsvine