Freelancing and Entrepreneurship: Start Small, Start Now!

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How the internet connects the whole world is absolutely amazing, especially because of what we can do with it: kickstart a business with little capital or turn our lives around with a freelance career!

Freelancer.com, an outsourcing and freelancing platform, expands your network to over 10 million skilled professionals, businesses and entrepreneurs from all over the world – The Vatican, Denmark, South Africa, Singapore, Jamaica, and the list goes on!

For entrepreneurs who’ve been wanting to kick start a business, here’s why you should start now and how you can start small but achieve big success with Freelancer.com:

1. You can think big with minimum risks.

Starting small allows you to set your vision into motion without putting your life on the line. Let’s say you’ve always dreamed of having your own website. You can start little by little without quitting your day job yet. This way, you still get a steady income while taking steps towards building your goal. Another way to minimize risks is to have a low capital, which leads to the next point.

2. Get started with minimum capital.

You can get things done without worrying about the expenses and tedious process of hiring regular employees by finding freelancers who can do the job for you. When you post a project on Freelancer.com, professionals from different countries will be bidding to work with you, on your project. This gives you a variety of talents to choose from and a more flexible rate.

Draft your business strategy today and consider how you can make the most out of hiring freelancers online.

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On the other hand, for professionals who are thinking of freelancing, you don’t always have to risk taking a big leap. Here’s how you can take small steps for a smooth transition into freelancing:

1. Freelance online to test the waters.

Keep your day job and open an account on Freelancer.com. This way, you can bid on projects posted online and initially freelance part-time. This is like a test run to see how this works for you. With thousands of job posted on the site on a daily basis, you will definitely find some projects in your area of expertise that you’d love to work on. This can be your start point to jump into freelancing and building your client network

2. Access opportunities around the world.

One of the best things about Freelancer.com is it opens up opportunities for freelancers, not just from your local community but from across the globe! With a chance to work with entrepreneurs and businesses from different places, who can tell what the possibilities in store for you as a freelancer are? Some of our users were able to start their businesses from freelancing and others get to frequently travel because of their work flexibility. Some even have awesome opportunities to work on groundbreaking projects!

Having an account on Freelancer.com is absolutely free of charge. That means all you need is your laptop, internet connection and a comfy chair and you can be on your way to a new lifestyle with your freelance career online!

With today’s online resources, you can now take small steps toward a big future!

Featured Freelancer Friday: Rony Jahid

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Name: Janidul Hasan
Freelancer Username: Rony47
Location: Comilla, Bangladesh
Member Since: January 2010
Skills: Facebook Marketing, Social Networking, Internet Marketing, Twitter, Advertising

ON FREELANCING:

What are the most challenging things in freelancing?

Being awarded a project is the most challenging aspect. Since Freelancer.com is the world’s #1 online marketplace, there are a lot of international employers and a lot international freelancers. Once an employer posts a project, you would immediately see more than 30+ freelancers bid within the minute! But I think that good freelancers get the bid through showing employers their portfolio.

Do you have any favorite employer to work for at Freelancer.com and why?

There are a number of employers I like working with, but MCZ and Nativepro are particular favorites. MCZ was my first employer in Freelancer.com. When he gave his first feedback of the finished project, I was overwhelmed with happiness. Employer Nativepro helped me build my career in Freelancer.com! I have completed more than 600 projects with him. I am still working for him, and will do for as long as possible. Thanks to Freelancer.com for the opportunity to work with these awesome employers!

ON WORK ETHICS:

Do you prefer working individually, or with a team? Why?

I prefer working individually, because I think that working solo makes you work harder.

How many hours a day do you spend working? How do you break up your day?

I work during the hours that I’m not asleep!

ON INSPIRATION:

If you could describe your freelancing experience in one word, what would it be?

Life-changing.

What does it take to be a successful freelancer?

Honesty and commitment to every project. Complete your projects on time, and keep communication lines open with your employer.

Welcome to the Family, Warrior Forum!

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Freelancer.com today announced that it has acquired Warrior Forum, the world’s largest Internet marketing marketplace and community with over 732,000 members and ranked 225 in Alexa globally.

Founded in 1997 by Allen Says, Warrior Forum is the pre-eminent marketplace and community for Internet marketing professionals globally. Ranked by Alexa as the 225th most visited website in the world, the site also ranks in the top 150 websites in the United States and United Kingdom, and top 100 in Australia by traffic1.

With over 732,000 members, Warrior Forum is the largest Internet marketing forum in the world. The community comprises of the world’s best Internet marketers, online entrepreneurs, growth hackers and technology specialists. Warrior Forum’s user base includes Vice Presidents, Chief Marketing and Chief Growth Officers from some of the top Internet companies in the world.

 Warrior Forum is world renowned for the War Room and Warrior Special Offers (WSOs). The War Room is an elite private discussion group  where the world’s best marketers share their experiences and learnings. WSOs are offers posted in the online marketplace exclusively by War  Room members that are special deals unavailable anywhere else on the Internet. This marketplace is the largest online marketing marketplace  globally, and includes marketplaces for buying and selling products & services, websites, domain names, hiring freelancers and advertising  freelance services. It also includes classified advertising and an affiliate program database.

Warrior Forum areas include Internet Marketing, Social Media, eCommerce, Offline Marketing, Dropshipping, Mobile Marketing, Ad Networks (CPA, CPM, CPL), Adsense, PPC, Search Engine Optimisation, Product Reviews, Articles, Copywriting, Viral Networks, Programming, Website Design, Blogs and Joint Ventures.

Warrior Forum Founder Allen Says said, “I started Warrior Forum back in 1997 with the goal of creating a community of like minded internet marketers to share ideas, learn from each other and build their online empires. In seventeen years our community has grown to over 732,000 members strong making us the world’s largest Internet marketing forum.”

“Today I am happy to announce that Warrior Forum will become part of the Freelancer.com family. I’ve spent a long time thinking about this and feel that Freelancer.com will be able to provide Warrior Forum with the talent, resources, energy and time to take the site to the next level. I’m pretty excited about what’s in store- and look forward to seeing Warrior Forum grow.”

Freelancer Chief Executive Matt Barrie said, “We are looking forward to working with the Warrior Forum community to take it to the next phase. Allen has done a tremendous job over the last 17 years to build the business to where it is today. Warrior Forum will remain independent, and we’re committed to listening to the community and we’ll be providing a dedicated team and resources to make the marketplace and forums even better”.

Over 7.2 million postings have been made on Warrior Forum to date.

Has Your Job Hunt Hit a Dead End?

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Why not try freelancing online instead?

It’s been more than two weeks and you’re still waiting for a phone call. You keep refreshing your email inbox every hour just to see if any of the companies you reached out to finally decided to get you in for an interview, only to find nothing. The seeming lack of results often takes its toll on even the most enthusiastic of people and makes you question if you’re worth it.

This is it, you think. This is career limbo.

If your job search has hit a seemingly dead end, don’t give up! The best course of measure we can give is to wait a little longer… or change your game plan, and try freelancing instead!

It’s not you, it’s just the way the system works. Know how to widen the scope of your job search, and increase the possibilities of getting out of unemployment.

Research

Devote time to searching! Know what other skills you have that you can use for a potential career shift, if this one’s just not working out for you. Ask yourself what types of jobs you can look at and which ones would need your skills, and preferably, share your interests as well!

Think about your hobbies or your passions, and take it from there. Even better if you think outside the box! Don’t know how to get started? Check out Freelancer.com’s Jobs and Projects page for a list of skills and potential projects for you.

Create a Game Plan

Choose a goal and achieve it! Have you decided that you want to focus on a certain career or line of work? Make a mental note or write it down, so that you stay focused on your goal. At the same time, set a number of options for yourself. Many roads can take you there!

Does your goal require new or additional skills? Accept the challenge, and be better at it! Evaluate your skills and where you stand, and find ways of how you can improve yourself. Take online courses, join online webinars, or take exams as additional credentials to increase your chances of bagging a project!

Use Social Media

Social media is everything these days. If you can (and we highly recommend it), create an online profile that would showcase your previous projects and experiences. Rejuvenate your resume. Include a portfolio for greater chances of getting that project! Include your Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn (as long as you think it will be to your professional advantage). If you already have an account at Freelancer.com, we suggest completing your profile, filling out your skill set, and uploading a portfolio!

Be Patient

Success is a waiting game. But if it’s for you, it will happen. Keep bidding, and keep trying!

In The Nick of Time

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Time was running out. Electronic repair shop owner Andrew Jason had taken on more than he could chew when he agreed to fashion a temperature regulator and timer device for a Florida company operating large high temperature kilns. To drive the interactive function of the device, he needed to integrate circuitry of his own design with an Arduino Uno motherboard, which needed to be programmed to provide the user interface. The circuitry was no problem but the Arduino programming eluded him.

“I needed help right away,” he recalls. “I remembered getting excellent help through Freelancer.com about two years ago on a website design. So I logged in and posted my project, with the job specs laid out precisely. I also indicated that I needed live help within 24 hours.”

Two-hundred forty (240) freelancers viewed his project, and two responded. And between those two, Sam (known as yhaat on Freelancer.com) from Nepal was the more qualified: The skills pie chart on his profile page showed that Arduino made up nearly 50% of his skill set. Moreover, through the site’s chat system, Andrew could tell Sam knew his stuff. He paid US$110 (including bonus) for five hours work.

“Sam was willing to work on the project immediately. We worked together through my night (his day) and he explained every detail in a very patient and clear manner,” he shares. “He also asked all the right questions to fine-tune the program. In five hours of continuous work we finished the job and the program works perfectly!”

Andrew had hooked up the Arduino to the computer. Sam wrote and executed the code as Andrew watched and told him what the Arduino was doing as Sam couldn’t see the actual motherboard.

His client is very pleased with his prototype. The temperature controller/timer works really well in actual use. “They are happy that a manual procedure is now automatic and they have ordered more units to be built.”

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Initially, Andrew wanted to learn Arduino programming and do the project himself. He even bought Arduino programming books as guides, but realized when the deadline was approaching that live help was what he needed. He joined the Arduino forum to hire someone (on an hourly basis) who could go online and write the program with him. “I wanted someone to show me what they were doing and why. Only one person responded and told me he would get back to me later, but never did.”

Andrew has been servicing, selling, and supporting hardware and software in the prepress industry for over 30 years under the name “Technoloco, Inc.” He has been servicing and selling imagesetter machines, film/plate processors, Raster Image Processors (RIPs) and related equipment. Now he has shifted his focus to troubleshooting, repair, and design of electronic devices of almost any kind and has changed his business name to Jason Technical (www.jasontech.com). Although 61 years old he says he feels like he’s in his twenties.

So, what’s next for Andrew?

“Right now I know I need to learn C++ (for the Arduino) and Python (for the Arduino’s competing product Raspberry Pi). My intention is to make a living at least partially by writing programs. Wherever I may be or go to, I can always get a programming job. One way, of course, is through Freelancer.com!” he beams.

Featured Freelancer Friday: Md. Ali Asgar

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Ali Asgar, second from left.

Name: Md. Ali Asgar
Freelancer Username: lancerboy1206
Location: Dhaka, Bangladesh
Member Since: July 2009
Skills: Social Media Marketing, Graphic Design, Website design

ON FREELANCING:

What are the things that make you happy as a freelancer?
I like it that I manage myself. From a single location, I am able to work with employers from different countries, which means I can work with multiple clients at a time, and a very diverse set of projects. I don’t need to work on a fixed schedule every day, and I work according to the workload I set in a day. Lastly, I can give more time to my family, and contribute to the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services (BASIS).

What are the most challenging things in freelancing?
It’s difficult and challenging when people don’t respect what you do, or when someone takes advantage of you. Also, I get worried due to fake employers, unrealistic expectations from clients, and sometimes, I also do tend to think if this will give me job security in the long run.

ON WORK ETHICS:

Do you prefer working individually, or with a team? Why?
I love to work as a team so that I can grab multiple projects to distribute to my team members.

How many hours a day do you spend working? How do you break up your day?
My team and I work 24/7, shifting schedules during the morning and at night. Due to our employers’ requirements, we have to adjust our schedules every now and then. I monitor our tasks using project management tools and communication tools.

Every morning, I start working a take a midday break to have lunch with the family, so that I can come back to work refreshed and with a new way to approach a project in progress.

ON INSPIRATION:

If you could describe your freelancing experience in one word, what would it be?
Freedom!

What does it take to be a successful freelancer?
Honesty, dedication, patience, quality of work, and commitment.

Achieving Success in a Crowdsourcing and Freelancing Economy

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Crowdsourcing and freelancing has quickly become a norm in business processes, which is why more and more entrepreneurs, businesses, and professionals are taking it up. As thousands upon thousands of skilled professionals enter into this type of work, it is important to know the difference between crowdsourcing and freelancing, as each practice has qualities that make it unique.

Crowdsourcing obtains services, ideas or solutions through contests or other online interactions. This allows project holders to gather a pool of ideas and award the best entry or entries.

Freelancing, on the other hand, is along the lines of self-employment or contractual work. Companies or businesses will work with a professional on a per-project basis or in whatever casual capacity, without permanently hiring the freelancer as part of their company.

Despite the different natures of crowdsourcing and freelancing, there are still little things you can do to make sure your experiences with both are a great success!

Here are 5 tips for winning contests and bids:

1. Carefully read the contest brief or project details.

It’s absolutely fine to be excited about getting started, but to be sure you’re hitting the bull’s-eye, take some time to read through the contest brief or project details. It’s important to understand the requirements so that you can produce something that will grab the contest holder or employer’s attention.

2. Clarify objectives with the contest holder or employer.

Use the messaging system to find out more information about the contest or project. Clarify the questions you have in mind – but make sure these are relevant questions and you’re not just bugging the contest holder or employer.

3. Copyright infringement is a big NO-NO.

Especially for design-related contests or projects, only use images which you own and have copyright over. Once the site has confirmed copyright infringement, this may result in immediate disqualification of the user from contests or being banned from the site all together.

4. Competence and professionalism is key.

Do some research so that you are well informed about what the contest holder or employer is looking for. The more you understand and know about the project, the higher your chance of nailing it. Have nothing substandard about your submissions; instead, be creative and original. Make sure you send the correct files to avoid hassle, delays or bad feedback.

5. Complete all requests on time.

When a project holder asks for revisions even before declaring a contest winner and you’ve agreed to submitting it on a certain date, meet that deadline submissions or you might lose your chance of winning the contest.

The same goes for projects. Fulfilling agreed submission dates for samples or demos is one way to impress an employer and show them that they can trust you with their project.

Now that you have read this blog, you can apply these techniques in your next contest or project!

Carry Freelancer right in the palm of your hand – on Android!

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It’s here!

After weeks of testing, we’re thrilled to announce that Freelancer Messenger the App for Android is now available! Download the app, and get in touch with employers or freelancers while on the go.

Work made easier

Freelancer Messenger is perfect for discussing projects and receiving instant notifications.

Send or reply to messages via inbox, or add attachments across all your projects, straight from your phone!

Swiping right takes you to the Contacts List – view all the employers or freelancers you’ve worked with or are currently working with! Those that you are currently working with will be displayed prominently on the top of your list.

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What’s a Freelancer app without the ability to award or accept projects? To view project details, simply swipe down – and from here, awarding or accepting a project is just a tap away!

Now, you don’t have to worry about touching base with your employer or freelancer when you’re away from the workplace – carry Freelancer.com right in the palm of your hand!

Get it on Google Play now.*

*iOS users, stay tuned – we will soon be releasing the Freelancer Messaging App on the App Store!

Freelancer.com Services – Get More Work – Even while you’re sleeping!

 

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Freelancer.com Services is quickly emerging as the most exciting place for freelancers to promote themselves in their speciality field.

Rather than having to bid on projects, employers buy your service, even when you’re asleep.

What’s the best way to design and promote a killer service? There are seven simple rules.

Tip 1 – Be a Service

What’s something you’re good at? Here’s some ideas that we’ve seen succeed to get you started:

  • A two colour business logo

  • A 30 second voice over

  • A 10 second video

  • Translate 200 words from English to Japanese

Tip 2: Be Specific

Now its time to get specific about what you’re going to do.

Some examples of specifics you need to figure out include:

  • What’s your price?- (eg I will make you a logo for $20)

  • What’s your deliverable? – (eg one business logo, a 30 second voiceover, 10 slides of a Powerpoint presentation)

  • How long will you need?- ETA is super-important to employers, shorter is better. Be as specific here as you can. (eg – I’ll deliver the first draft in three days, and revisions in 24 hours.)

  • Special features? – (eg I’ll allow up to 2 minor design revisions, I’ll provide 4 variations on logos, I’ll deliver a 200 word script).

  • Upgrades!- eg – I can add 15 seconds to your voiceover for just $10 extra, Get your order in 24 hours for just $20 extra).

Tip 3: Have a clear Start and End

To get great work, think carefully about your service’s ‘start’ and ‘end’.

An example of a service with a good ‘start’ and ‘end’ is:

I will deliver you a logo for your business for $20

- Within 7 days

- $20 extra for 24 hour service

… if you provide me with your business name and some examples of logos you like.

It’s ‘start’ is defined (name, examples, etc), and the end is clear (the customer gets a ‘logo’).

In contrast, this listing does not have a start and end – “I will deliver you logos, brochures, business cards.”

This is too broad, and the potential employer cannot easily work out the price and delivery timeframe.

Tip 4: Be Scalable

Every freelancer dreams of growing their business. If your service is easily repeatable, it makes it easier for you to hire other freelancers to help you deliver. Also, it makes selling your service easier.

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Tip 5: Show it off

Don’t forget, your customers are spoilt for choice on the Internet, show them how good your work is. For example, if you’re offering a writing service, ensure your entry is free from grammatical errors. If you’re offering a video service, upload some beautiful screen shots of your work!

Tip 6: Be Special

Think about how you can stand out in a crowded market. Can you offer a service that’s hard to find elsewhere?

Written by Matt O’Kane, Senior Product Manager @ Freelancer.com!

Accounts Payable: Beyond the numbers

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Finance is the lifeblood of any organization. A company’s strength is not only determined by its reputation and products, after all, but also by how well they manage their resources. To make it easy for managers to assess how well they are faring, Sarah Ghosh, director of Lean Finance Consultancy Ltd., developed an app that provides graphical representations of emerging trends in operational performance. The first in a series of financial management tools, called “Accounts Payable KPIs”, is set to be launched.

Freelancer® recently spoke to Sarah to learn more about the latest app to hit the market and Freelancer.com’s participation in its development.

F: How does your financial app add value to your client companies?

S: I wanted to help finance directors and heads of finance monitor the efficiency and effectiveness of four key areas in finance: accounts payable, accounts receivable, budgeting and forecasting, and monthly close. I started with the app that monitors accounts payable through the use of 10 key performance indicators (KPIs). The KPI trends may highlight potential issues with a company’s current processes, and may also indicate that corrective action is needed to address underlying problems. Users can compare period trends and look for patterns over various intervals.

F: Why did you choose the accounts payable app as your first venture?

S: A key priority for Finance Directors is to manage cash flow, and as part of that, paying suppliers in line with agreed payment terms, and ensuring that the organization does not find itself in a situation where it is charged interest on overdue invoices.

F: Did you have a particular market in mind when you developed the app?

S: My target market is SMEs that do not necessarily have the budget to develop more complex software tools to monitor their finances. The app can be applied across multiple industries.

F: Typically, finance applications are desktop programs. What made you choose a mobile platform?

S: I initially developed an Excel tool to monitor KPIs but found that the backend of maintaining such a database and the administrative impact of multiple users was prohibitively expensive; therefore, I looked for other ways to make this tool accessible and easier to use. The mobile platform suits my intention.

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F: Do you think that Freelancer® is the best venue for finding highly-skilled mobile developers?

S: Our overall experience was very positive and we would recommend Freelancer® as a medium to engage developers. We were fortunate enough to choose sincosten and Sophie Rom as our contact, who have provided us with a workable app, within budget.

F: What benefits do you see in using Freelancer® for this type of projects?

S: The benefits of going through the platform are that we are able to review the feedback to evaluate which bidder to go with, and we are confident that our intellectual property rights are protected by the non-disclosure agreement.

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