What a client should know before posting a Freelance job offer (Elance, oDesk, twago)

What a client should know before posting a Freelance job offer (Elance, oDesk, twago)

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Are you a freelancer (graphic designer) who is looking to find that one perfect job on Elance or oDesk? Well, then take note of what I am going to say in the coming sections of this blog post…..err…do not worry as I just want to  throw some light on our so called ‘expert clients’ that offer contractors, the opportunity we  really need ! Yeah…..let us begin with this journey of enlightenment, my dear fellow freelancers!

Some useful tips for our experts out there!

Clients are employers who offer independent contractors jobs on Elance or oDesk, for which bidding is done and the best…oopsss….lowest bidder gets the heavyweight job. Such has been my experience that I thought of sharing it with all the fellow graphic designers, keen on getting their first job offer on oDesk.

The importance of specifying what you Want: EXPLAIN YOUR NEEDS

explain your needsThroughout my career as a graphic designer, I have received accolades and appreciation for my work, be it animation, logo or mascot designing; but with the exception of oDesk and Elance, where clients just think freelancers like me, are bona fide fools who can be taken for a ride. No, I am not complaining. It is just that I feel like my effort is not really appreciated when clients offer me jobs and I deliver something that was not included in their agenda.  Many times clients make job offers that are quite difficult to gauge. Example: Wanted travel writers to write original articles. What can you make out of it? To begin with, it seems very clear but as you get appointed and deliver your work, the client gives a feedback  stating that he wanted an SEO style article written instead. Da…….what is it supposed to mean? You employ us without uttering a single word that specifies your want and then you fire us? That is not fair my dear clients or should I call Demi gods of oDesk and Elance? It was here on Elance that I was officially declared a good for nothing fellow that ‘didn’t know his job’ but had no qualms about making money by selling my projects to others. Wow that’s smart.

Before making a job offer, plan what you need and then advertise for it. Clients need to know that graphic designing requires skill, talent and lots of time on hand. You just cannot deliver a logo or an animated character within span of a few minutes or hours! It is a creative pursuit and involves lot of technicality. Once sure about your needs, you can expect your freelancers to work accordingly. It would be suggested that you employ your senses to determine what you want from the job.

You are posting a job offer and not a contest: freelancers are here to Work, Not to compete with rivals or to win any prizes!

For many clients that employ freelancers on oDesk or Elance, it would be advised to post job offers as jobs only. There is absolutely no need to create hoopla around it mentioning how others are vying for it or how applications will be rejected, if not accompanied with samples. These are jobs; we are talking about and not some competition, where contenders have to fight each other off, for getting that dream job. Here are a few don’ts for clients when posting job offers:

  • Never ask for sample work free of cost: samples are actual work projects which have taken time, money and hard work to get completed. Why should we give you the samples when we know you can sell them off for higher prices? When asking for samples, clients should offer some nominal fee that would set the track for a better client –contractor relationship. Designers like me, have often given away free samples only to be rejected later. Ha ha….I feel like giving myself a small little knock on my nut for doing this!
  • Do not be rude: most often, clients seem to get rude when posting jobs. How unprofessional can it be to invite applications while acting like a tyrant? ODesk is ripe with such clients that seem to have ‘inherited rudeness’ from some biggest dictators of our times. Example: we are a graphic designing company that needs excellent and experienced designers to work in our team. Asians need not apply. Need only native speakers. When applying, enter the word ‘designer’ on your cover letter without which your application will be deleted outright. Another example of a rude job posting: ‘if your bid is higher than $1 forget this job or don’t bother to apply’. Isn’t it rude?

Why you should not be cheap paying for your business?

the cost of good design

Most clients who post job offers to employ freelance graphic designers are quite a miserly lot! oDesk and Elance were the typical choices for many independent contractors desirous of earning good money. However, this is history now and such high paying clients are an extinct species. Many free lancer designers have left bidding on oDesk and Elance simply because clients are not willing to pay appropriately. What can you do for $1 or 2? To visualize and create a logo or designing a cartoon character, takes long hours of hard work, not to forget the money that you spend on buying expensive software. How can you ever pay your bills if clients keep sending you such paltry amounts? There are a number of reasons why clients should not offer cheap pay or fees to independent contractors:

  • Do not compromise on quality for a Dollar or two: it is very important to pay a good fee as the better the pay; the better would be the quality of your work. There are freelancers who are just about average and will not think twice before accepting your offer.  These people know their capability and are sure that no one else will give them any chance to make their first break at oDesk or Elance.  These contractors accept any job that comes their way. So aren’t you the losing party in this cheap bargain? Think.
  • Low pay, low morale, low motivation: it is but a very obvious fact that we get motivated when there are good motivating factors. Unless paid well, how can we deliver quality work? Designing involves hard work and creativity. Who would want to work hard for a client who is a miser? For all the hard work that goes into graphic designing, we expect our clients to pay a respectable fee.
  • You will find that low paying clients are taken for a ride and might not be accorded the respect that they deserve: once the contactors know that you are a low paying client, be ready to face absentees. People have a tendency to respect those that come with hefty pay packages. Unless paid well, who would want to continue working? Why would anyone accord respect to you when you cannot respect their work? Hence, it is a wise thing to pay reasonably good amounts of money to your contractors.


business happy clientHaving said so many things, I am sure you all have become aware of what freelancing work can do to your career. It is a very lucrative preposition to work on oDesk and Elance, provided you know the type of clients you are dealing with. Have an open mind to verify and work with those who appreciate your work. Clients are experienced in their fields and are experts. They know what they are dealing in and are intelligent enough to give contractors a chance, provided they are qualified for it. While, there are some that may prove a bit difficult, oDesk and Elance are ripe with many brilliant and trustworthy clients.

There are many good and reputed clients that will make your freelancing career an enjoyable experience. Just keep up with the good work. Clients will definitely take notice and welcome you to join their esteemed teams, once they are sure of your true abilities.

Adieu my friends! Good luck bidding!

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