Freelancer Messenger for Android gets the James Bond makeover using Google Wear!

Freelancer Messenger for Android one of the first 50 apps extended to Android Wear allowing James Bond style voice-to-text communications from your watch in any language using the Google API!

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Freelancer.com today announced that it has launched an Android Wear compatible version of the Freelancer Messenger app in the Google Play store with a new messaging paradigm for wearable computing. Combining the mobility of wearable technology with the power of the Freelancer platform, this upgrade will allow people to collaborate no matter where they are, transforming the way the world works.

The Freelancer Messenger app, released in April 2014, has been a huge success, with a star rating of 4.2 and over 1,200 reviews. The Freelancer Messenger app allows users to communicate with their employers or freelancers while on the go and award and accept projects. The enhancements for Android Wear allows anyone with a compatible watch to speak like James Bond did into his watch. The app will transcribe into instant messages for forwarding on the Freelancer platform. The app has multilingual support, users can simply speak in any language that their phone is set to and the messages will get converted to text in that language using the Google Voice API.

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Matt O’Kane, Director of Products, said they’ll be creating a core Android Wear experience with a Wear app to add additional features in the coming months, such as bidding for projects directly from Android Wear devices, streamlining the user experience on Freelancer.com.

Freelancer joins a selection of leading developers including Evernote, Trello and Duolingo, who released updates adding support for Android Wear since its release last week.

Matt Barrie, Chief Executive of Freelancer.com said, “Wearable computing is the next frontier of mobile. We’re excited to be launching our Freelancer Messenger app as one of the first applications in the Google Play store optimized for Android Wear. This app is pioneering the use of wearable computing, you simply speak into your watch and we’ll turn this into a message for the person you’re working with!”

Freelancer Messenger Android app is available on Google Play today.

Check out our cool clip of the app in action here!

 

GiveMob: Giving Made Mobile

Advocate Hiraa Khan has always been involved in charitable causes since high school. She has volunteered for various local nonprofit organizations, homeless shelters and food banks. Some of the many names include American Civil Liberties Union, Acumen Fund (Pakistan), and UNICEF (India).

While looking for various means to help more people she “realized how little awareness there was in the industry about the use of mobile technology for engaging donors and supporters.” She wanted to reach more people through one of today’s fundamental means of communication, the smartphone.

“Organizations that have been featured on our app have indicated their enthusiasm for reaching new audiences.” She continues as she flips through a demo of GiveMob “other non-profits have been reaching out to us through our website to request features.” The app features a nonprofit organization everyday and that it contributes about $5-$10 per user via a text-to-donate model. “We hand-select non-profits and charities throughout America. Since we track our users’ cause preferences, we have the ability to tailor the non-profit campaigns on our app.

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Fourspan Tech (username Inzic Solutions), the tech team that was chosen by Hiraa through Freelancer.com’s recommendation via a quick filter of other bidders, were “instrumental and were extremely professional throughout the experience” that helped here through the rules and guidelines of mobile apps. “They were so committed to the project that they volunteered to help me implement two features that Apple asked to be implemented on the original budget” Hiraa continues.

“I am excited by the prospect of using Freelancer for other projects in the future.”

 

Using Freelancer’s platform, creating the mobile app from the ground up was made possible at the fraction of the cost as well as filter key specialists based on the technical requirements of her project. She goes on saying that “I had a fantastic experience using the platform. It’s efficient, effective, and secure. I am excited by the prospect of using Freelancer for other projects in the future.”

GiveMob is currently available on the App Store and Google Play Store to download for free.

If you want to read a more detailed information about Hiraa’s experiences click here.

App development is a popular job type on Freelancer.com, as business owners and entrepreneurs recognise how powerful a tool having an app can be for their business. Do you have a dream app? Why not create create one today! www.Freelancer.com

What can your small business learn from the World Cup in Brazil?

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With the World Cup in Brazil well and truly underway, crowds of people from all over the globe have transcended on the country famous for its beautiful beaches, vibrant nightlife and passion for football. It is expected that more than half a million tourists will visit the country over the course of the world cup, but Brazil will certainly reap the benefits of this global tourism marketing campaign for months and perhaps years to come!

Tourism is one of the biggest drivers of growth for small to medium businesses and we are seeing savvy entrepreneurs make the most of booms in tourism by catering to the changing whims of the discerning traveler.

The types of businesses that can reap the rewards of the tourism market are varied and can range from hotels, boat chartering, extreme adventure sports, tours, bars, restaurants, retail stores, specialty goods and the list goes on. What visitors are usually seeking is enjoyment, experiences, adventure, romance and/or relaxation. If your small business product fits the bill then you have the opportunity to tap into a multi-billion dollar industry today!

The challenge for businesses marketing to the tourism industry is their markets are very distant – your customers can be in another town, 100 miles away or on the other side of the world! Most of these customers will have to make a purchase or will have decided on certain products before they have even left their own home. Once you decide on your next holiday adventure what is the first thing you do? You probably jump on the internet and start planning by trawling through information and photos secretly wishing that you were leaving tomorrow.

This makes it absolutely paramount that your business has exciting and enticing information available online! This could include a beautiful business website, funky ads, links built into relevant tourism sites for your region or brilliant blogs explaining the MUST DO experiences. There is so much your business can be doing to make sure you get in front of your future customers before they have even left the couch!

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Things to think about:

Does your town or region have a big event coming up? Perhaps your area has beautiful beaches and has a rush of visitors over summer or your business is nestled in the snowy mountains and gets an influx over winter? It is important to understand why a tourist would visit your area and what they would want from your business. Once you have identified who your potential customers are, you can market more effectively to them.

Create a special offer for visitors to attract them to use your business when they come into town. Competition can be stiff for the tourism dollar so you need to think of something that makes a visitor want to go with you!

The marketing doesn’t stop when they go home! Some of the best marketing your business can get is through word of mouth from your happy customers. Make sure you stay in touch with occasional emails or send them a photo from their recent visit. Know their birthday? Why not send them a special offer each year and if they are not traveling at that time allow them to pass it on to a friend!

Need some help getting your tourism marketing underway? Hire specialized freelancers by posting a project on Freelancer.com to get the ball rolling and be ready for the next rush of tourists!

Freelancer.com is 100% HTTPS!

Is protecting your online information important to you? Yep! We thought so! Your security is incredibly important to us too, which is why we want to let you know about a recent change to the site.

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From now on rather than accessing Freelancer.com over a mostly HTTP connection you will now be accessing the site only over a secure HTTPS connection.

What does this mean for me?

When you connect to a website using plain HTTP, all of the information sent between you and the website is not encrypted and can be viewed or intercepted by intermediaries such as ISPs.

HTTPS solves this by encrypting connections between your computer and the web server, so that no one is able to view or intercept your information.

Freelancer has always ensured that sensitive information, such as passwords, were sent over secure HTTPS connections however now everything you do on Freelancer will be sent over HTTPS.

What should I look out for?

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Any time you view the Freelancer website, you should always see “https://www.freelancer…” with a lock symbol at the beginning of the URL, and never “http://www.freelancer…”. If you don’t see this or have any further questions, please contact Freelancer support!

We are always looking at the best ways to support and protect our community.

Happy Freelancing!

 

5 Ways to Survive the Changing Freelance Landscape

Just a decade ago, employers might have scoffed at the idea of hiring someone they’ve never met in person to complete and submit important tasks over the Internet. But in today’s world of rapidly changing technology, businesses of all sizes and industries are increasingly turning to freelance and contract workers as an affordable way to run operations — without ever meeting these partners face-to-face. “The online work environment is changing dramatically as it becomes more mainstream,” said Nikki Parker, North… Read more

Featured Freelancer Friday: Syed Saqlain

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Syed Saqlain, 1st from right.

Name: Syed Muhammad Saqlain
Freelancer Username: LogoTrak
Location: Karachi, Pakistan
Member Since: April 2007
Skills: Design (Logo, Web, Stationery, Brochures, Flyers, Posters, Product Packaging)

ON FREELANCING:

Why did you decide to be a freelancer?

Before joining Freelancer.com, I was working on a full-time job for ten (10) years in the hopes of being successful. But once I felt it was a dead end, I decided to resign and start my own company. That’s when I realized that Freelancer.com was the best way to achieve my goals.

What are the things that make you happy as a freelancer?

It makes me happy thinking that I am now able to hire up to 3 designers and build a development team. Our team has now expanded to 6 designers and 2 developers. We provide quality work and outstanding service to employers, and after each finished project, it makes me happy that employers are happy and that they continue to give us more projects through Freelancer.com.

ON WORK ETHICS:

What’s your strategy in winning a bid for a project?

We are very committed, honest, and reliable, and we try our best to provide customized designs and quick responses. Our best strategy in winnig a project is to show our portfolio, and respond quickly to inquiries.

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

I try to spend most of my time freelancing, but generally, our team works 9 to 10 hours a day. I work at night to bid and deliver projects on time too.

ON INSPIRATION:

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

Accomplishment!

What does it take to be a successful freelancer?

Be honest with your work and try to work hard.

Business Success Strategies: Make Your Logo Shine

Welcome to the first volume of Freelancer Business Success Strategies! Over the next few weeks, we’ll introduce you to a variety of ways to grow your business. We will discuss a variety topics such as: Long and short term approaches to gaining new customers and improving your business Online and offline marketing methods How Freelancer.com can help you achieve the business growth you want Our first topic is the importance of your logo. Your logo is more than just a… Read more

Featured Freelancer Friday: Gholam Maola

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Name: Gholam Maola
Freelancer Username: richard6212
Location: Rajshahi, Bangladesh.
Member Since: July 2007
Skills: Social Media Marketing, Internet Marketing, Data Entry, SEO & WordPress.

ON FREELANCING:

What are the things that make you happy as a freelancer?

The ability to work independently makes me happy!

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

I have three favorite employers. First is Mr. Brine, who I’m still working with until now. Next is Roger Wilkinson (cgomedia), and Mr. Szhang. I like working with Roger Wilkinson (cgomedia), for I feel like he takes care of me professionally, and I’ve come to look at him as a big brother and a friend.

ON WORK ETHICS:

What’s your strategy in winning a bid for a project?

To win a project, I read the project requirements completely, then prepare a proposal. I always try my best to adhere to an employer’s requirements, then finalize the work budget, and then ask for a 100% Milestone Payment.

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

I usually work for about 8 to 10 hours daily. I start working at 11:00 AM, and end at 2:00 in the afternoon. I rest for a while, and continue working from 7:00 PM to 2:00 AM.

ON INSPIRATION:

Where do you get inspiration?

My wife inspires me the most, for she is supportive and she inspires me to be at my best. My father, mother, and brother inspire me as well.

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

Amazing!

How Simple Acts of Kindness Lead to Success

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In today’s cut-throat, fast-paced rat race which we can also call a career, or work, or life, the way we imagine our journey to the top can look something like scoring a goal in the NFL – eyes on the prize and with a grunt, push all roadblocks out of our way. We sharpen our skills, work really hard, and tackle challenges head on, but who also thinks of climbing the ladder by being the epitome of a wizard from Hufflepuff or by giving away smiles, Coca-Colas and fruity jellies? Who also thinks of being kind to achieve success?

For those with online freelance careers where you don’t or seldom have face-to-face interactions, genuine kindness is still necessary to take you forward in your online career or help you accomplish successful transactions on the internet.

Here are 3 good ol’ sayings about kindness and how these can translate into action:

1. “Kindness goes a long way.”

Showing kindness by taking some time to help can cause a big impact to a person, community or society.

Helping an employer or freelancer can be as easy as doing a few clicks or it can require a bit more effort on your end. A good thing to remember is whenever we help, we take a step closer to accomplishing a goal or we make a positive contribution to somebody’s progress.

2. “Kindness does not equate to weakness.”

Being kind doesn’t mean being a pushover or just simply smiling and letting people get away with their mistakes. But instead of blowing off your steam and saying something offensive or derogatory, kind people act with tact – something which takes intelligence and a lot of self-control to do.

If there’s an issue to be resolved with a freelancer or employer, it doesn’t mean you can’t be honest or confronting. You just have to make sure that your choice of words don’t damage the other when getting to the bottom of things. This shows strong professionalism and keeps the focus on the issue at hand instead of taking the offense to a personal level. With kindness, things get resolved faster without developing grudges.

3. “Kindness is a leadership trait.”

Leaders are influencers and one way to gain influence is through kindness. Taking the time to listen, meet a need, or show that you care, wins people over better than dictatorship or tyranny ever can. As a leader, people will respond better to your kindness than if you are insensitively goal-driven, not caring about your team’s sacrifices or discomforts as long as you hit your target.

When working with a freelancer or employer online, showing kindness can actually settle things faster. Does the freelancer have some concerns about the project? Hear it out and try to help. Is the employer asking for a little favor? See what you can do about it. When we exhibit kindness in professional interactions, people respond positively toward us, allowing us to influence or effectively take the lead without the unnecessary resistance.

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Freelancer.com allows feedback, ratings and reviews to help employers and freelancers asses whom they’d like to work with. Showing kindness will produce a pleasant working experience – something which will be reflected in your feedback. Aside from that, what you want to cultivate is a good working relationship so that you can, at the very least, be on good terms with each professional contact. Having said all of this, kindness is evidently essential in effective work relationships and to your success as a freelancer or employer.

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Do an act of kindness today! Say hi or drop an encouraging word to your employer, freelancer, or to the kind people in the Freelancer support team who are always ready to assist you in whatever concern you may have. You can reach them at support@freelancer.com.

Get a New Lease on Life

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When the housing crisis in the United States hit its peak in 2009, AutoCAD civil drafter Stephen Stelly found himself in the same plight as millions of other Americans—unemployment. With no work to be had anywhere, he went online to find a means of getting out of this predicament. While Googling for freelance work, he discovered Freelancer.com, and broadened his horizons by discovering skills beyond AutoCAD drafting.

Enticed by the logo design contests, he learned the ins and outs of logo design and found a “lifesaver.” “The contests allowed me to stay busy and develop my skill. It kept my mind off the hardships I was facing after two years of unemployment. I entered several over a period of one month and a half, each time one of my drawings would be ranked higher and higher, encouraging me to keep going.” After six weeks, he finally won his first for US$490. In due time, he was able to pay off his car loan, phone bills, and credit card debts.

Fast-forward four years: Steve now heads the design team at RentReporters, the only company authorized to report rental payments directly to US credit bureaus. Through the company’s service, individuals can improve their credit profile. He came onboard in 2011 as a shareholder upon the invitation of his then employer at Freelancer.com, and helped establish the business from the ground up. The company, which had a net worth of only several thousand dollars when he joined, is now an US$8 million venture; the figure is expected to double within the next few years.

“By sheer chance, I bid on a project created by someone looking to build a web page,” he recalls with candor. “I worked on the three drawings he sent for about three hours, one hour per drawing and submitted them. After they were completed, I was asked to come over to his office to discuss the drawings. I came casually dressed and expected nothing but criticism, which is part of the design process. What happened on that day was the total opposite of what I expected.”

Challenged by an offer that would allow him to get into the thick of business, he accepted the proposition. He was put in charge of website design and given the freedom to find and hire designers he would supervise.

“I decided this would be the perfect opportunity for me to give back to the community at Freelancer.com that helped me survive the troubling times in my life. I had no doubt in my mind that I would find someone to help me accomplish what we set out to do.” Through a logo contest, he chose three freelancers from Serbia, Afghanistan, and the Philippines to redesign the website and build the infrastructure.

“Before our service, it was not possible for an individual to report his rent payments to any credit bureau,” he explains. “The idea was so new and so revolutionary that it caught the eye of the acquisition team of a major credit bureau. Soon after, we were approached by another with whom we entered a partnership. Now, RentReporters.com is the sole source of rental information for Trans Union.”

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Not only has Freelancer.com completely transformed Steve’s professional outlook, his desire to give back to other freelancers by hiring them on the same platform led him to find Miriam, his long-lost love. Never one to socialize online, he created a Skype account for the sole purpose of tracking down a freelancer he had hired initially on Freelancer®. That single account allowed Miriam to finally reconnect with him after years of online searching. In a matter of days, they were reunited.

“Without Freelancer.com, RentReporters.com would not exist,” he declares. “The website it gave birth to a new industry that today is helping over 10,000 individuals throughout the United States.” And on a personal note: “I would not have become a part of and a witness to this event nor would I have had the opportunity to meet my wife. I came across Freelancer.com at a time when it would have been easy for me to just give up. If not for the opportunities afforded by the site, I would be living on the streets right now.”