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.

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Is Elance a Scam?

If you’ve never tried Elance, you may wonder whether it’s legitimate or not. In fact, there are certain reports sitting here and there on the web that accuse Elance of being a scam.  Whether those individuals that have lodged those complaints were scammed by a project creator or not is unknown, but you can rest assured that Elance is completely legitimate.  They’re a great freelancing site that welcomes freelancers of all types, as well as those needing projects of all types completed.

Elance tries hard to ensure the quality of both freelancers and project creators, although there are no guarantees.  For this reason, they recommend that freelancers and project creators use the escrow system. This system allows project creators to place the payment for the project in an account and keep it there until the freelancer has turned in the work.  When the project creator is satisfied, he or she can release the payment to the freelance writer. This system helps prevent conflicts or problems from arising.

Elance has a feedback system that also helps to protect honest freelancers and project creators.  They have the ability to check the past feedback of individuals they’re interested in working with – to determine how past clients or project creators were satisfied with that individual.  The feedback system takes into account the professionalism, speed, expertise, and communication.  Individuals can also leave comments when they leave their ratings, so that others can read exactly how they felt about how the project turned out.

Elance has several methods for allowing individuals to remove their money – including transfers to a personal bank account or a PayPal account, so it’s easy to access your money.  With the new debit card, individuals can access their money instantly.  Elance is not a scam and is a great site for individuals to find work and to find experts to handle their projects.

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What is Elance?

If you’ve heard of Elance but you’re just not sure what it is – allow me to explain.  Elance is an online marketplace where freelancers can find jobs to do and those in need of projects can find freelancers to handle those jobs.  Elance welcomes freelance writers, website designers, programmers, legal professionals, proofreaders, researchers and more.

It works like this – businessmen or women, or website owners who need projects completed will login to the site and post their project details as well as the amount they hope to pay for the work.  Freelancers will then have the opportunity to submit competitive proposals on that project.  They’ll submit their proposals based on their experience and what they feel needs to be done in order to complete the project to the project creator’s specifications.  The project creator will then look over the proposals and select one that he or she feels would serve their needs best.

The project creators can pay the freelancer before the project begins, or place their money in escrow.  Escrow is sort of like an account that holds the freelancer’s money until the project creator is happy with the work that has been done.  If he or she wants changes to be made, they can ask for them before the payment is released, and then when they’re happy with the work they can release the escrow payment.  It will be transferred into the freelance writer’s account.  The freelancer can then withdraw it to their personal bank account, PayPal account or utilize the Elance debit card to access their money.

There is a feedback system in place on Elance that allows project creators and freelancers to rate each other on the transaction that took place – based on professionalism, quality of work, speed of work, and communication.  This allows future clients or freelancers to see how satisfied the past clients were before agreeing to work together. Elance is a great place to work and can really help freelancers find the jobs they need.

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Tips for Getting Freelance Jobs on Elance

If you want to find great work on Elance, there are several things you can do to make that happen.  For starters, make sure your profile is filled out completely and that you’ve included your best samples in the portfolio.  Potential clients looking for a certain kind of freelancer will most likely browse your portfolio before they make the decision to invite you to submit a proposal on a project or before they hire you.  You want that portfolio to be quite impressive, so taking the time to set it all up is an investment in your success.

The next thing you need to do to be successful at Elance is to submit numerous proposals. Many individuals only bid sporadically, but by scheduling a certain amount of time each day and bidding often, you can increase your chances of getting the great jobs.  I personally spend an hour a day looking for projects and submitting proposals. Simply log in, check out the recently added projects, and create specific proposals for the projects you’re interested in.  Make sure your proposals aren’t the generic kind and that you actually address the problem the buyer is having and explain how you may be able to fix that problem for him or her.

Keep your price competitive so that the project poster is more likely to hire you.  Even if you want to submit a proposal that is slightly higher than the other providers, keep the price within a close distance of the prices they submitting.  Sometimes, you’re unable to see what the other providers have listed, but you can always use the average proposal and the high/low proposals to guide you.  This will help ensure that you’re staying competitive.

Lastly, it’s important to turn in your best work.  This will help ensure that you receive good feedback from the individuals that you’re working with, and in turn, will help you get gigs in the future.

Image: Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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