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One of the very first jobs I got was through this wonderful freelancing site called Elance. It’s wonderful that I came across it. Here are a few tips that I believe will help you make the most of this online platform and help you start your work online in Kenya.
1. – This is the first thing I did and that all Elancers do. When a client takes a look at your profile they get to understand who they are dealing with so take some time with it and make sure it is professional. Write about what you can do because that is what the client is most interested in finding out. Your profile name is displayed at the top of your profile. Ensure it sounds professional.
2. Take Skill Test: After you have built your profile, its a good idea to take some skill tests and its free of charge on Elance. Demonstrate your skill by taking the tests. If you are looking for writing or transcription jobs, take some English tests. If you are interested in email marketing, take some email etiquette tests. Let the client see that you take your online business seriously. Doing this gives a positive signal to the client that you care about building a professional profile.
3. Put Up A Portfolio: My experience is mainly in transcription and of course when I first started out, I had absolutely no presence online in this area. Still, I needed to put up a portfolio. What did I do? I transcribed a YouTube video, actually looked for one that was a bit difficult, put a link to it and put up the transcript. I put up two of this and there was my portfolio! Believe you me, that helped much. If you are in writing, you can write one or two articles and submit them to Ezinearticles.com and wait for their acceptance. If they accept you, you can use this in your portfolio.
4. Your Proposal: This is your cover or application letter in simple terms. It is very important to spend some time on this so that you put in adequate information on it. Show the client why he/she needs to hire you. Make the most of this opportunity by getting straight to the point and talk about your skills and experience. Prove to the client that you care about his/her needs. What are the clients needs? They may range from cost, to delivering work on time or quality. Address those needs appropriately. And don’t beg. “Please,please hire me” is not professional.
4. Charging Your Fee: Initially, when you are new to working online, you may want to start of by bidding a bit low just to gain experience. Then as you receive good feedback from clients, you can up your fee gradually. However, do not bid too low as some clients may doubt your proficiency because of this. Remember the quote “Cheap is expensive?”
5. Client History: Clients also have a profile. First of all, check whether their payment method is verified. If it is not, do not send your proposal for any job. Checking out the client’s profile will give you an idea as to whether the client leaves good feedback for contractors and most importantly, whether they pay up. This is research that will save you time and money as it may help you avoid clients who do not pay.
6. Be Consistent and Persistent: When you first start out bidding for jobs on Elance, you may not like the response that you receive. Dont give up when your applications keep on being rejected. You may go to your My Jobs page and see that five of the jobs you sent proposals for have all been awarded to others. Keep at it. Eventually you will receive a positive response. Set goals. Goals such as you will be sending proposals one or twice a day or three times a week. Whatever suits you. However, be consistent.
7. Skype Account: Last but not least, have a Skype account. It comes in handy for interviews. I have dealt with clients who insist on this. They probably feel more comfortable when they see the contractor face to face. Therefore its a good idea to invest in a webcam. However, a cyber cafe will do as well. Just schedule an appropriate time with the client.
Do you work online via Elance in Kenya already? If so, share some extra tips. If you are a newbie, hope my post helped you out.
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