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Top 5 Ways to Turbo Charge Your Freelancing Career

This guest post is by Ian Ippolito, CEO and founder of vWorker.com

As the CEO of vWorker.com, I have close contact with many of the 300,000+ freelancers who use the site to earn a living. I’ve seen virtual workers of all temperaments, nationalities and ages. But the thing that always strikes me is how there seem to be two distinct types of freelancers.

The first seems to enjoy a charmed life. It’s not unusual for such a freelancer to be brand new to the site and yet win not just one, but several jobs in the first few weeks. They enjoy great success, build up repeat business and enjoy an easy and constant stream of projects and income.

The second struggles for weeks just to win their first job, and don’t understand what they are doing wrong. Then when they finally do wine one, they don’t manage the project properly and have numerous problems with it and their employers. They usually end up with a dissatisfied client and no chance of getting repeat business, and have to start all over again at square one.

I’m writing this article to help you be the former type of freelancer, and avoid the fate of the latter.

1. Successful Bidding

Put yourself in the employer’s shoes for a minute. You’ve just posted a job on vWorker.com to create your asp.NET company website and are evaluating bidders. Which one of these bids would make you want to correspond with the bidder further?

Bid #1:

Description:
Hi, I’m Andre Jones and I’m an expert in the following:
a) Web site design
b) PHP
c) ASP.NET
d) Java/Javascript
I also am a fantastic photojournalist and marketer.
Here are example of my work:
http://example1.com
http://example2.com
http://example3.com
Please see my resume for more details. I’m looking forward to working with you!
Bid amount: $2,000

Bid #2:

Description:
Hi, I’m Andre Jones and I have 5 years of experience in ASP.NET.
I read through your description and think this is going to be an excellent way for you to attract new clients.
What kind of security did you have in mind for this project? The reason I ask is that, I can build whatever you want. But I don’t want to quote you the price of the equivalent of a “limosine” if you are really looking for an economy car. For instance, are you expecting a special admin section that only you can access, or will it all be public?
Bid Amount: None

Who will the employer prefer? It’s not even a close competition. 99% of employers will respond back to bid #2, while deleting bid #1. Why is there such a difference? The main problem with bid #1 is that it gives off the foul stench of a copy-and-paste spam bid from an amateur. Bid #2, on the other hand, comes across as engaging, interested, enthusiastic and competent. Look at the differences:

  1. Bid #1 has listed every skill he has, including most that are not asked for in this project. Why would the employer care about this? He’s making the classic mistake of talking about what’s interesting to himself (his skills) rather than what’s interesting to the client (how he can help the client solve his problem). Bid #2 on the other hand shows respect for the employer’s time by only talking about the relevant skills.
  2. Bidder #2 showed the employer that they actually read the description by asking specific questions about it. Pertinent questions compel a person to answer them. Bid #1 on the other hand has no questions and is not compelling. Incidentally, it is so generic that it gives the impression it was probably spammed to everyone on the site with similar projects (and it probably was).
  3. Bid #2 expressed enthusiasm for the project itself. When an employer has to choose between two equal candidates: the more enthusiastic has a huge edge. Note that he did this in a sincere, honest and specific way. He didn’t throw out platitudes (which can be even worse than not saying anything at all). So if you can do this sincerely, then it’s a powerful tool. If you’re not sure about this, then don’t take a chance of doing it incorrectly.
  4. Bid #1 put in a $ amount on their first bid. This is usually a huge red flag to any knowledgeable employer. 99.999% of the time, there’s no way someone can make an accurate bid without getting additional information. This reeks of a freelancer who is too inexperienced to realize how bad this is. Bid #2 didn’t make this rookie mistake.

(Insider scoop: Speaking of bids, I’ll give the readers of this blog who use vWorker an exclusive “œscoop” on an upcoming feature that will be of interest to you. Currently when you make a bid (say $1000), the vWorker fee is deducted from that. But in a few weeks, that will change and instead we’ll raise the amount the employer escrows to cover the fee. So if you bid $1000, you’ll get $1000 and you no longer have to worry about the fee during you bid. See vWorker updates for info on this when it becomes available.)

Alright! You’ve followed the above tips and you’ve now won the bid! Working properly during the project is the key between a client who comes back to you over and over again for a long time, and one who can’t wait to get rid of you. The key is to remember to think long term.

See also:

2. Managing client expectation

Even on a very well laid out project, you can expect 10-15% of a contract to be unclear. This means you will have to work out the details during the project. Go through the project at the beginning to find these areas and get them hammered out.

Don’t make the mistake of ignoring things, or worse: getting no input from the client and instead implementing them in the easiest way possible and hoping the client won’t notice. Communication is key to working out these issues and avoiding an unhappy client later.

3. Managing deadlines

Deadlines are real and should be treated as such. But every human being misses at least one deadline in their lives. If you can’t make a deadline, don’t wait until the day before and say “œOh, by the way I won’t make it. Sorry, dude!”. The last-minute surprise (when you’re expected to be finished) can cause your employer a premature heart-attack, and cause you to lose all credibility.

Instead, you should be communicating with them constantly during the project. As soon as you notice you are behind schedule (weeks before), let them know and let them know why (i.e. “œwe ran into xyz because it was more complicated than expected”). With advanced notice your employer can often make other arrangements.

And never just say “œOh it’s going to be late,” and not say when you think it *will* be done. Just like you don’t like to be left in limbo…neither does the employer.

These are all small but important things that make the difference between keeping your client’s trust or losing it completely and never working for them again.

See also:

4. Uploading deliverables

Disputes happen… even to the best of freelancers. They key is to be prepared so you can avoid problems when they do occur.

For some reason, many freelancers hate uploading their work to the vWorker site. Yes it does take a little more time to do this. But ask yourself this: would you rather do that, or would you rather lose the funds for the project you worked so hard on, simply because you didn’t take the time to do this simple task?

On a site like vWorker we guarantee that you will be paid if you complete the project to the contract, on time and in the industry expected manner. However, without the upload, you have no proof of what and when you delivered. And without that, we cannot enforce that guarantee and you can end up not getting paid. So you can easily avoid the entire situation by just uploading the deliverables. Then you are fully protected in a dispute and can get paid for the work you did.

5. Repeat business

You finished the job and have a happy client! Congratulations! Now that you’ve earned their trust, you can look forward to a recurring revenue stream from future projects. However, many people don’t think about how to save money by structuring that repeat business properly.

For example, if you won your first project from the employer via an open-auction pay-for-deliverables project, we charge a 15% vWorker fee. On repeat projects, the employer skips bidding, which saves us money (bandwidth costs, advertising to bring in bidders and employers, etc.) and we pass that savings on to you. The key is to make sure the employer posts the project to you as a “œone-on-one” project. This cuts the cost to 12.5%. On a large project this can be a significant savings. If you both trust each other so much that you can forgo escrowing, you can set it up as a bonus and only pay 10%! And there are other ways to save as well.

Once you’ve established trust with the employer, you can have the switch from pay-for-deliverables to pay-for-time (PFT). In PFT, you clock into a timecard and are guaranteed payment for every hour you work. This is a really good deal compared with PFD, where any cost overruns (or bad estimates on your part) are your responsibility. On top of that, the fee drops to just 9%! So this is a fantastic way to give you more flexibility AND save money at the same time.

And on all the above options, you can drop the cost by another 2.5% by asking the employer to use a preferred payment method (snail mail check or wire). These are cheaper for us to process, so we pass it on to you. Note: Once the bidding change I talked about earlier is in place (in a few weeks) we expect employers will be much more likely to use a preferred payment method, because they will actually see the difference (will not have to escrow as much).

Using the above tips, you can have a very successful freelance career. I hope these tips were helpful!

Looking for your first paid client? I’ll show how

  • Aly

    This XXX has sold the business ditching over 400,000 coders around the world!

    FXXX you Ian!

    • Control your language man. If you think someone does not have right to sale his business then you are wrong and on top of that this deal can mean lot more for the coders as well.

  • This may be the case! But I have bid heaps on all work from all different places and never seem to win a bid, I am either too Expensive or apparently not what they are looking for. For many of the Potential clients out there want work done for very little for my country, it is not worth it. As we are very expensive. I have over 11 years expereince in my industry of work and don’t seem to get any where in O’desk, People Per hour, Elance, Guru and Vworker. So I might need a bit more help I suppose to get work, I am also willing to go down for the work I am couple of doing for at least $25 per hour. I feel some of the work that is advertise in these sites a riduclius priced from Employers, one asks for $1.00 that is not very good priced for some work to be done. I am sick of getting disappointed and some how I can not get work in my Own country as well, I am one of these AUSSIES that do want to work and get no where!

    • Kylee, my minimum hourly rate is $30 ( http://imtips.co/go/elance-profile ) and still I have too much work to handle from clients from one site only and so I would not agree on the fact that you are too expensive for the task for sure. It could be that you are not able to convince the buyer that you are the best resource for the task at a value for money price.

      I just visited the site in your link and found few issues like you have a missing logo and you have page protected by copy scape where as your page has not content at all for copying. I am not reviewing your site but this is something that may be the case with your bids and proposal as well.

    • hi Kylee, why are you getting frustrated? Its obvious that when you start your own work you 1st have to build reputation, trust & loyal clients even if you have to work at low rate. So be confident & bid a bit low, also revise your Bid and make it more attractive, buyers want there work done no matter you live in South or North!! they are not much interested in your experience while you bid for small projects so you have to carefully revise your Bid/initial offerings and try in a better manner. Also when ever you Bid on projects you feel you are the best fit to the project you should follow up with the buyer in a day or 2 to show your willingness to work on the project & once you have a few projects in your portfolio you can always raise your rates and enjoy a healthy income 🙂

      Best of luck

  • It’s a great blog and tips for me. Though I am new at this site and I want to be a successful Vworker, it will help me my next step.

    Thank’s a lot

    • Alam, I’m glad it’s helpful for you. And welcome!
      Ian

  • Hi Ian,

    I have come up with a suggestion that why dont worker have a built in module contact system through which they can email their previous client they have worked for within vWorker premises?

    1. To show their presense.
    2. To keep contact.

    Regards

    • Well in my opinion this may lead to Spam by workers who are desperate to get more projects & hence irritate buyers.

  • RAZA

    Dear Sir,
    i m glad to see your new policy about payment.
    i am a new user and haven’t got any project still please help me in this respect i m expert in excel,word.access.powerpoint.

    • Raza,
      I would rather suggest you to kindly rework on your proposal you submit against projects that suits your skills set & also revise your cost for each Bid in order to start off. Moreover just a kind advise, you need to increase your skill set to compete & grab more projects as Microsoft Office is a generic skill set which many people have.

      • Raza, Nabeell is beating me to the punch and already given you some good tips. Make sure to also check out the “worker help” for lots more tips and techniques to help you in the bidding.

        Ian

        • Ian,
          Glad to hear that 😉

  • Nabeell,
    I’m doing great.
    Thank you for your concern, your points are really interesting, I’ll try them.
    Sometimes I try to search the employer work history to check wither he prefer the highest bid or the lowest one, he communicate a lot or just pick one. it sometime help and other in just confuse and doesn’t really help.
    But we have to try and keep learning.

    I appreciate your feedback.
    Sameh

  • How are you Ian,
    Thank you so much for your helpful post. Even the responds for comments were amazing too.
    I have been here for 2 years. I keep trying and I never give up but still have so much to learn..
    I got only 5 job during this long time. I’m not sad, I know I have to learn a lot.
    When I got bored from bidding, I enjoy myself doing “ExperRAting tests” hoping it might help me build a powerful profile.
    I hope that you check my profile and bids and guide me for what I’m doing wrong, and how to do it right.
    http://www.vworker.com/RentACoder/DotNet/SoftwareCoders/ShowBioInfo.aspx?lngAuthorId=7339148&intTabSelectedId=2&Tab=1
    Thanks in advance,
    I Hope best of luck for you and to all freelancing community.
    Sameh Alaraby

    • Sameh,
      Hope you are doing good, let me take the opportunity to help you.
      The 1st thing i am gonna suggest you is check your proposal, have a closer look & see if it has all the basics a buyer may look at? Moreover for every bid you make, prepare your proposal accordingly, be specific and check if your proposal contains all the relevant information related to the project you are bidding on.
      Also review your pricing & try to reduce it a bit for some time, see if it helps.
      Also you can go back to your existing buyers with whom you have worked with & post them a message asking if they have any similar task for you. Please do not beg, stay professional, example: use “Kindly” not “Please” example: Kindly let me know if you have any similar projects.

      I hope it all works for you well.
      Thanks & best of luck
      Nabeell

    • Sameh,

      I see Nabeell already posted some good tips to you. You can find some more on the site under”worker articles” which will help you hone your bidding considerably. I’d also recommend adding more text inforation in your profile (at the top) about what sets you apart from competitors and why they should choose you. Your profile is usually the 2nd thing an employer sees (if your bid) so you want to sell yourself as well as you can.

      Best of luck.

      Ian

      • sameh

        Ian,
        Thank you for you tips, I already enhanced my profile. Actually its very important.

  • Alessandro

    Ian,

    since I work as freelance translator, I would be very interested in the website’s localization/translation and being part of it. I know it’s still a long shot, but how will you pick the translators? Will you post an announcement on the site? Thanks

    • Alessandro, If we do not have a translator lined up we will definitely post it up on the site as a project. I love how our own site allows me to hire the best talent in every field and use it as often as possible myself. Thanks.

      Ian

  • Muhammad Talha

    Thanks for nice guideline and hope your guidance will continue leading us to success.

  • This is an excellent posting and I have learned a lot today about freelancing. I am currently based in Uzbekistan and have worked in the region for more than 35 years. Is there a russian language site equivalent or affiliate of vworker.com or imtips.co? We have a lot of local (russian speakers), talented coders and they would like to offer their services to employers.

    • IMTips.co is a blog and so you can always get the content translated with Google Translate option but for vWorker Ian is the right person to comment on it.

      • vWorker cover almost every region of world, however faar east region ( China, Japan, Korea, Hongkong ) seems bit cut off from vworker freelancing, No?

        • Hi Charles,

          We currently don’t have a russian version of vWorker.com. One way they could participate is if a group of workers teamed up with a project leader who spoke English…perhaps someone like yourself. We may expand into different languages in the next year or two, but the above would be your best bet for the short run. Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful.

          Needz,
          Yes, the issue there is the same with Uzbekistan: right now the site requires English. We have a few workers and employers in China, but it is not like other parts of the world.

          Ian

  • Hi Ian,

    WOW, Thank you so much for the answer 🙂 I am sure I’ll win as almost all points you mentioned are in my favor 🙂

    He He 😀 Sorry for getting over joyed 🙂

    Well, yes the points are very justified and I am sure you and your team must have spent loads of time to compile them.

    I appreciate that you will post that on blog so more and more people will get benefit from it 🙂

    Like always, I am really grateful for you help and kind response. Wish you and your team all the best.

    Best Regards,

    Faizan.

    • Faizan,
      It was my pleasure (and we will definitely post it up on the blog as well for others). Have a good rest of the week.
      Ian

  • All i mean,

    Bring awareness amoung your coders that stop bidding for less or atleast post workers that your bid is low and should be atleast this and that.

    I did the same and workers understood and increased their bid amount couple of times.

    Please dont take thigs personally i am talking generally.

    vWorker is a professional platform for workers aswell as for Employers open for newbies but not freebies.

    Hope things are cleared now

    • Needz,

      We have an economic incentive to want higher bids too, since we are paid a percentage of the bid.

      At the same time, we also believe in the power of open marketplaces, and the idea that if enough people participate, they will price things fairly than if a person went in and said “I think it should be this much”. That is one reason why i don’t think telling workers to bid higher will work. First there will always be people who don’t listen. And for some it might be in their best interest to bid lower (new people on the site for instance…who are trying to “break in”). If we prohibitied it, we would be stopping those people form launching their careers. This would be discriminating against those people for the benefit of the older workers. In a healthy marketplace, there is room for both types of workers and with so many projects on the site, that is the way vWorker is. I’d recommend focusing on the ones that pay the amount you need to make and ignoring the others. One way is to set your filter so that projects below a certain $ amount don’t show up on the site for you.

      Ian

  • If you ever have had a chance to look at All bidders in vWorker, you’ll see the fact. Try atleast 50 projects & see the average.

    The picture will be clear.

    • Ian would be the right person to comments on such average numbers and I can only express my views on some of the information available to public.

      • Shabbir,

        I will be glad if Ian reveals the statistics. And we reach to a healthy conclusion. Ian can you kindly consider the point we were into?

        Thanks

        • To finish this thread: the stats were posted above this in a previous reply.
          Ian

  • Shabbir,

    We are talking about professionals/ pro platform here, not freebies/ ametuers.

    I can expect newbies not to be get selected initially for project but yes once they do they’ll refine OR get less paid.

    Please look that i am not talking about newbies, i am talking about abusing policy that i both exploited by Employers/workers in terms of winning a bid.

    You can get chinese replica of Blackberry in less amount does not make you a genuine Black Berry holder.

    Chinese introduce this version for buyers having less power of buying.

    But what chinese did is * less for less *, fair policy!

    How about if someone asks you to design 25 Logos for $0.50 ( legal but abusing minimum $3 policy) is something abusing the worker.

    I can even show you designers all around who even dont get paid for what they designed. Fine huh?

    Newbies are not Freebies
    But
    Freebies can Newbies 🙂

    Its not that i am Anti Indian, but i am putting the facts here. You will see majority of indians/ bangladeshis are the ones that will bid for the given link i mentioned and they do.

    If majority of mentioned market will stop doing that, you will see how fast things will get better for all of us in terms of getting right amount for right project.

    • Macro

      I totally agree with you 🙂

      Excellent point 🙂

    • Needz, I agree that Indian bid low and I am also an employer in sites like vWorker and other forums because I get things cheap. Using the same example of imtips logo hiring a designer for a logo would mean lot more cost to me than $20 but I don’t think we should be putting a floor or a ceil to something and it is workers who would.

      I charge almost $80 for installing WordPress and I know many people around here in Kolkata (India) who charge even $20 and also people who charge $197 as well. I am in open marketplace and so I am fine with both the prices. People are comfortable at a price where they are evenly occupied with work should dictate their price. It’s not me who should be guiding the $20 people that they are making it very cheap or even ask $197 that you are over charging. Don’t you think so.

      • Needz, Shabbir, Marco,

        There’s alot going on in the previous discussion, so let me start from the beginning.

        Needz,

        Thanks for notifying me of a potential violation.

        1) $3 minimum rule violation?: Shabbir is correct that the minimum project posting allowed is $3. And this person is asking for a max bid of $.50 x 25 = $12.50, so they don’t run afoul over this rule

        2) Your statement that “Indians and Bangledeshi residents” are “spoiling freelancing” by bidding on projects with low amounts (like the one you reported).

        Here is a picture of the first 6 bidders on that project.
        http://www.screencast.com/t/hlatIeuVi5EK
        The countries are (in order): Serbia, India, Pakistan, Pakistan, Pakistan and Romania! When I total up all the countries, Pakistanis bid on it the most.

        Now, Needz, after learning this, I could do the same thing to you that you did to Shabbir…I could accuse Pakistan of spoiling freelancing for everyone. But if I did that, I would not be fair to you and other Pakistanis. That’s because its simply not true.

        The fact of the matter is that there are plenty of people in many countries who bid on that project. And no one is forced to bid…if they bid, it’s becuase they want to bid. And I suspect the reason is this:

        “Ebook Cover Design (LONG TERM ASSIGNMENT)
        We’re seeking designers that will create high quality ebook covers on a regular basis. This first assignment is a test for future work.”

        So that is what explains why so many people bid. They are looking for long term work from this person. They probably looked and saw he has a decent # of past ratings and didn’t have any bad comments from workers saying he had ripped them off. They probably figured this was worth taking a chance on.

        This is why we don’t just ban projects. I certainly would not do a design at $.50 a cover for a trial…even if there was a lot of future work involved that was better paying. And I suspect that a succesful designer like yourself, Needz, wouldn’t want to either. But that doesn’t mean that no-one else wants to. We don’t presume to decide for others when we cannot put ourselves into every other person’s shoes appropriately. So we instead let them decide on their own what is best for them.

        3) Low bidders spoil it for everyone else

        Someone mentioned this, so I thought I would address it. If you look at the site stats, you’ll see:

        http://www.vworker.com/RentACoder/DotNet/misc/Reports/PulseOfVWorker_Misc.aspx#BiddingStatistics

        Employer selected the lowest bid: 18.5% (99,753)
        Employer did not select lowest bid: 81.5% (439,342)

        Just because someone bids low, doens’t mean that the employer will pick them. In fact, most people are suspicious of low bids becuase they feel they equate to low quality. The vast majority of the time, employers don’t pick such a bidder.

        Ian

        • Ian,

          Thanks for your feedback.

          Its not that i accused Indians/ Bangladeshis about playing unfair. Its the majority i mentioned. Certainly Pakistanis and worldwide bidders/ employer do place low bid to win the bid and thats not work always.

          Ian, who is going to confirm that Long term relationship will continue?. Employers, i have seen usually put this statment in order to get less bid and after that they never appear again.

          Shabbir,

          I did’nt mean to offense you or anyone else. It was all that i experienced and moreover i said lets improve ourself 🙂 No hard feelings.

          Thanks Ian for putting me on right direction and Shabbir thanks for sharing your thoughts!

          • No I also told that if I were in your place I would have said something similar.

            • Needz,

              >>Ian, who is going to confirm that Long term relationship will continue?. Employers, i have seen usually put this statment in order to get less bid and after that they never appear again.

              Yes that’s a very good point that you brought up. They are deliberately choosing to take a risk that the employer is telling the truth. Perhaps some have looked at his ratings and saw a good # of projects, and no bad ratings/complaints from others…but really…I am just guessing and it is hard for me to say.

              If it were me, personally, I would not bother with this project, when there are so many other more promising ones to bid on, where I would not have to take that risk. But for whatever reasons, these people felt it was worth the risk. And as such, I am not going to presume to say I understand their own individual situations better than they themselves do. Does it make sense where I’m coming from?

              Ian

  • Shabbir,

    Please dont compare two different enviornment factor under the same umbrella.

    1. Physical Offices
    2. Virtual Offices

    We have to follow struct regulations in relevance to Physical Offices like the as follows which tend are not followed on internet virtually:-

    1. Labour Law
    2. Company Tax Registeration
    3. Office Timings
    4. Allowances
    5. Market Rate
    6. Taxation

    I have not seen any IT software house /office that is paying stipend to Entry Level less than $80 in Pakistan.

    $3 is approx. 250 Indian Rupee. ( 25 websites for 250 Rupees, funny! )

    All i wanted to convey to this region to improve their quality not quantity. Moveover many workers are not happy with cheap price now since they get low quality work.

    I have seen Indians/ Bangladeshis workers that they even provide free extra deliverables along with original bid deliverable ( not demanded by employers ) but only ( to win the bid ).

    This makes terrible after effects to other worker bids & performance

    *Less for less* is still better option than taking *More for Less*

    • Ok so I will not compare physical with virtual offices but let me then compare virtual with virtual offices.

      fiverr.com is a website where people are ready to anything for $5 and you will see lot of Graphics tasks like

      I will design a stylish personal SIGNATURE logo in any format for $5 See this
      I will create an awesome logo for your website for $5 See this

      And you will find people from US even are ready to task like those for $5.

      I myself could not even think about getting a single logo done for $5 (IMTips Logo was designed through a contest of $20 here) but I see people get that done as well.

      So you also cannot paint the Indian’s with the same brush saying freelancing is ruined by us.

      Now about the extra deliverables not demanded by employers is something on case to case basis about excelling yourself.

      • Macro

        Hi Shabbir,

        Well, I need to add something my friend. You forgot to mention that there is no one checking the quality of the deliverable there. You send work, no matter what you did, you will get the payment. Its a fun site and not for professionals. Come on please don’t move the ship in wrong direction.

        Thanks,

        Macro !

        • Marco, I don’t think anyone is checking without paying but it would be better if I put it in a way that there is lot less of an expectation from those type of sites. People are not making a career from those type sites but yes with vWorker people are making careers out of them.

  • You know you have just given your top most imtips Shabbir!

    25 websites in $3 for you is reasonable?. Then you must be either indian or Bangladesh resident.

    Sorry to say dude but Coders from your region have spolied freelancing to max possible limit.

    Its due to workers like these region who have made employer think they can get 25 Logos/ websites in $3. And suprisingly even employers dont feel *shame* of *unethical* while putting their bid.

    They exactly know workers from this region will do it for quarter of a penny!. How pathetic is that!

    I am sorry for being rude but i guess i wont be responding to your Blog anymore after your view on what you said.

    • Needz, Again you are taking it the wrong and personal way. My minimum hourly rate is anyway $18 and neither I say that it is reasonable from my point price of view and I would not bid for such projects but some people can consider that as reasonable and bid.

      You are targeting specific regions like India or Bangladesh and you say that people from this country has spoiled freelancing but I think otherwise. People from developed countries outsource and take advantage of people from Asia to get job done for $3. You have to see both side of the coin.

      Yes I see you were rude and I would have done the same but consider from an outsider perspective. I know it is tough but as I would not bid for such projects, nor it is my expertise I can look from an outsider’s perspective and see that it is very cheap work force needed by client but that is all he is ready to pay. Those who want can grab it.

      Now let us take a bit of different example. Say a college pass out joins a job in a fortune 500 company as trainee. Would he be paid the same salary as a person with 2 years of experience. I am sure you will agree that no he should not be paid the same.

      So don’t you think projects like this can help new comers on site like vWorkers to develop a portfolio. I even get email from lot of people who want to be doing some work for me or my site for just a certificate or experience.

      Now you respond to the blog or not is your choice but I thought I would clarify my point.

  • Shabbir,

    This totally sounds unlogical & against the ethics.

    If i assume your equation to be true, then a worker may ask you to design 25 different Logos @ 50 cents each as he qualifies for minimum $3 for a project.

    Minimum for single project is $3, we are not talking of bulk work here.

    Sounds strange to me.

    • Why 25 logos. I would say even complete 25 websites as well is fine for me as a project because it may sound reasonable to a person in some country but not feasible in some other.

      I think this task is by no means un-reasonable if people are ready to do that as per the buyer’s requirements. Yes you cannot do it because of various cost factors.

  • Ian,

    The minimum Bid that worker can throw for any project is $3.

    How to report vworker about those *workers* who generally asks for a project less than $3.

    Just take a look at this link for example ( MAX BID .50 per title )

    http://www.vworker.com/RentACoder/misc/BidRequests/ShowBidRequest.asp?lngBidRequestId=1674156

    ———————————-

    I guess we should have *Report this Bid* button on each bid to stop such exploitation.

    Regards

    needz

    • Needz, you are quoting on the wrong side of minimum. $3 minimum is per project but buyer is saying 50 cents as minimum per sub-work of one ecover and total project price is anyway above $3 as he needs 25 of them.

  • Hi Ian,

    Hope you are doing great 🙂

    Well, sorry for taking your time. Just went in to some situation first time in my 3 years of freelancing career. So, I thought to ask your opinion, as you are always very supportive and ready to assist 🙂

    Out sourcing is a very common technique these days. People find projects and outsource them to people like us on freelancing sites. But what if we stuck in a situation when the real person disappear and the outsource person wants to escape too by making excuses that they don’t like anything. Now if that is a designing project and worker sent not one or two but six layouts to choose from and all were rejected by saying poor quality etc. Then what a worker should do? If you ask me, I went to technical arbitration and now I am not sure what a technical arbitrator will check? What is industry acceptable standard as in past 3 years my projects were accepted by the industry and this project also had same quality.

    Please can you spare some time explaining “industry standard in graphics” and your suggestions. Because this is some kind of way out for people who are not willing to pay and just leave by saying its poor quality. This is a very serious problem for the site which guarantees both parties. I am sure you are well aware of this before and must have solutions in your mind 🙂

    Thanks once again for reading !

    Best Regards,

    Faizan.

    • Faizan,
      Great question dude, well done!!! i think thats the best way to use Ian’s expertise & you really made it happen. I would now wait for Ian’s comments on it & I am sure he will not only help you out but also make it easy for all the freelancers here on how to get out of such situations.
      Keep it up

      • Nabeel,

        Glad that you liked my post. I thought to ask Ian about this because I am on vworker since 3 years and among top 300 coders here. But even working on so many projects, it never happened before, so I was unaware of such situation and how to deal with that. I could ask that same thing to facilitator but here I am sure more people will get benefit.

        Thanks once again and like always I am sure Ian will help us out this time too 🙂

        Best Regards,

        Faizan.

      • Nabeell, yes I agree its a great question and based on this conversation we may do a blog posting or article to make it clear to everyone. I just posted an answer to Faizan which is hopefully helpful to you too.
        Ian

    • Faizan,
      That’s a very good question. Industry standards say that both sides have responsibilites. One of the responbilities of an employer is:

      >Providing specific instructions to a worker on what they want, when the worker requests it. (If they don’t do this, the designer has no way of knowing what they want and fulfilling their expectations).

      That is not the only one, and of course you have responsibilities too. Here is a list of the most important ones. Does this help?

      Ian

      When determining the percentage completed in a design project, vWorker determines whether each party had met their responsibilities in such a project.

      In a design project the designer is responsible for:
      a) Providing a reasonable # of iterations…generally 3. (If they don’t do this they are not doing an acceptable level of work to fulfill the contract)
      b) Following all specific employer instructions as to what they want in those iterations. (If they don’t follow specific instructions, they are not behaving competently)
      c) Creating work that is of the same quality as in their sample. (if they do not do this, they are defrauding the employer and may be ejected from the site)
      d) Giving a reasonable # of choices to the employer in each iteration…if appropriate. (If they do not do this they are not doing an acceptable level of creative design work to fulfill the contract)
      -) Bonus points are given for a designer that also makes suggestions.

      The employer is responsible for:
      e) Asking the worker for a sample before choosing them so that they have a reasonable expectation of the end result. (If they don’t do this, then they have no right to complain about the quality of the final work)
      f) Providing specific instructions to a worker on what they want, when the worker requests it. (If they don’t do this, the designer has no way of knowing what they want and fulfilling their expectations).
      g) Not backtracking (changing their mind) after the worker does what they want…unless they are willing to award the worker more time/money (and the worker is willing to accept it). (If they backtrack without more time and money they are expanding the scope beyond what they both agreed to when the worker bid…which unfairly attempts to make the worker do more work than agreed to).
      h) Limiting iterations to a reasonable #…generally 3. (same as g)

      Ian

  • Ian,

    In regard to designing aspect.

    How can we prevent our design not be stolen under the tag of * Providing Watermark Logo before accepting the Bid demanded by worker * ?

    Thanks

    • Needz,
      You’re doing the first and most important thing, including a watermark. That will stop the vast majority of employers from ever trying to mess with your design, because it’s too much work to remove it (especially if it’s a complex water mark). However if you run into an unethical one that has done that, then report them to vWorker. They will immediately be forced to remove it from public use or have their account closed. Since most employer value their account, they comply. If you want damages as well, you can also sue them. We will provide the court with all evidence necessary to show that you created the log and gave it to them, so it makes the proff very convincing to the jury. However, most people aren’t damaged so badly that it makes going to court worth while.

      I hope this helps.

      Ian

    • Ian,

      I was actually pointing on the *Concept of Design*. Employers gets lots of option and after that either they design on their own or get it done locally.

      Prevention is not possible, right?

  • Ethiopix

    Hi,

    Great post Ian, Thanks for sharing this will really help new freelancers with talent and ability to work but doesn’t have much knowledge how to bid. I would like to ask one question about self-mediation on the way though, let’s say the buyer have used all the limits of self-mediation ( 2 projects or 20% of a person’s projects ) but the worker haven’t used the self mediation limits why shouldn’t the worker not use self-mediation with the buyer regardless of the buyers status of self-mediation?

    Thank you
    Ethiopix

    • Thanks Ethiopix,
      I’m glad you like this article.
      To answer your question, we require both parties to have a self-mediation available in order to use it. Here is the reason: self-mediation allows people to avoid formal arbitration and resolve things quicker which is very good. However, it has a downside: an abusive employer or worker can do something bad and then use self-mediation to hide what they’ve done. Obviously, that’s not good, so we limit the # of self-mediations. If your employer has run out of self-mediations, it could be a sign that they are doing things that other people should know about (and perhaps even that you would have wanted to know about before you entered the project with them). So that is why we don’t allow it in that situation.

      Ian

  • For All Newbies & Pros Workers, here is my Demographics of Work won against Lost:-

    ——————————–

    All Projects 3815

    Project Cancelled 1188

    Project Lost 2193

    Project Won 391

    ——————————–

    You can see that :-

    1. Almost 40% of project are cancelled by employers.
    2. The remaining 60% is what I try to win for.

    ———————————

    Ian, can you please show us the real demographics of how many projects are open Vs Cancelled ones?

    Regards

    {needz}

  • Shawn V. Wilson

    If adding a bid when responding is such a mistake, why does vWorker encourage it by putting the box there? Or at least, why don’t they say not to make a bid until the employer supplies more info?

    • Shawn,

      That’s an interesting question.

      I’m curious: when you first saw the bidding area, did you think you *had* to make a bid? If so, perhaps we should do something there to make it clearer.

      Just to give you some background: the bidding form was created to give users the maximum freedom to do what they want to do. They can leave just a comment if they want. They can leave just a bid if they want. Or they can leave both a bid and a comment. The idea on the site has always been to allow people to do what they want to do (as long as they are not harming other people or themselves).

      I have my own idea of the way things should be done and the best way to win bids. So that’s what I talked about the above. Those ideas are based on my own values and experiences. At the same time, I like to stay open to the idea that I don’t know everything. There may be times and situations where the above doesn’t apply and a quick bid might be better. Perhaps an example is a very quick $6 project where the employer wants a quick answer to a question. If you stop to make a converation rather than bidding, then someone else might swoop in ahead of you.

      Since we can’t anticipate every situation, it would probably not be too wise to limit what you can do and force you to do things that might not be best in certain situations. I think it’s better to give you the freedom to decide for yourself what you will and won’t do.

      Ian

  • Ian,

    There is one feature for employer is missing and that is

    >> Add this coder to my favourite list

    Or is that existing?

    Needz

    • Needz,
      Yes they already have this feature (under ‘my account’, ‘my worker list’ in their employer menu). They can use it to create a list of favorite designers for bidding, inviting to project, or use it as a team to make communication and management easier with you.
      Ian

  • Ian,

    I just saw a new feature of attaching Jpeg, Gif formats directly now 🙂

    And ofcourse the shortcut panel for that!

    Regards

    Needz

  • Ian,

    Let me bring some reality to the new freelancers, since the whole story about “successful bidding” is like a fairy tale.

    What you state there could work for high-budget projects, but for the rest, it could be taken into account as a method to hide oneself behind the rest, trusting that a great buyer sees you shine at the distance.

    Please don’t misunderstand me. I never placed a “pick me” bid, nor a canned one. Since the very beginning, I auto-declared me as quite reticent to do such thing. And what was the result? Being ignored by people who wants a price after a few messages, if not since the initial “hello”.

    For newcomers, even after showing technical and communication skills, it’s still matter of luck to land a high budget project. So you have to start with small ones, and yes, bidding low, if you want to have some ratings before trying to go for the big projects.

    I wonder where did you get that “99% of the employers will respond back”. That’s too optimistic. In the real life, employers or managers don’t have much time to talk with you. Some want you to read their minds and change the things over the run, and obviously, say a price quickly.

    I don’t know if things have changed in your site in the last years, but some time ago, when others bids where visible to everyone, I lost many times to “pick me” or canned bids who were placed for the minimum. And guess what…I was told by a few buyers that I asked too many questions. Read it again. I was criticized for asking questions.

    Obviously, it’s not that way the whole time. With some time and luck you find a buyer who doesn’t choose price/time over anything, where “bid #2” has a higher rate of success, but this does not happen every time, so your “99%” is not realistic and it’s very misleading for a newcomer.

    I applaud you, though, for taking the time to write down a guidelines about how things *should* be done.

    Thank you for reading.

    • Gabriel,

      That’s a very interesting perspective. We haven’t had public bids since the first few months we started (back in 2001). So you’re giving advice to other freelancers based on your brief experience from over a decade ago! That was back when many people still dialed up the 56k modems and cell phones were the size of bricks. So you might want to consider that perhaps your information may not be the most current and applicable.

      There are many workers who experience quick success on the site and write about it:
      http://www.vworker.com/RentACoder/DotNet/SoftwareCoders/Articles/default.aspx?intTabSelectedId=2
      If you are serious about being a freelancer, let me know your screen name and we’ll analyze your bids and then give you tips on why you had such bad responses from employers.

      Ian

      • Ian,
        I think Freelancing is now strongly building up as a profession rather than just a source of income in my opinion Gabriel should watch out for his public dealing tactics or improve his sales/marketing/communication skills in order to compete on a platform like VWorker where you are loaded with tons of experienced & professional freelancers. VWorker platform provided a multi cultural environment where you have to change your way of communication in accordance to the buyer behavior & demographics.
        Coders here need to understand that its on us to make maximum use of such a great platform rather than criticizing freelancing.

        • Nabeell,

          I agree: freelancing is very different than it was back in 2001 and is now a profession for many (rather than a curiosity/hobby). And I agree that winning projects is all about marketing and communication skills. Most likely Gabriel can make some changes that will improve his bidding greatly…if he’s interested in learning. A pleasant, positive and interested attitude has the safe effect in bidding as it does in real life: it generates far better results than an unpleasant, negative or disinterested one.

          You also bring up a good point that its important to remember that the employer’s culture may be different than your own. It’s important to be flexible and learn to adapt to what they are expecting. The virtual workers who can do that are the ones who are going to be the most succesful.

          Have a good weekend!
          Ian

      • Ian,

        Some time has passed so I cannot be sure, but I would say I experienced the public bids for a longer period. Anyway, I don’t think that privatizing the bids could have done something in buyers minds. I don’t even think that after 10 years the number of buyers rooting for the cheap/quick in small projects has changed a lot. I don’t see why. Please enlighten me if I’m wrong.

        The point I was trying to mean, is that with those stats, you could make the newcomers be disappointed after a few tries. Yes, you should do the things the right way, but no, that’s no warranty for immediate success. Yes, you should bid like #2, but no, that does not avoid losing over #1.

        I think that even more important than the way you place your bids, is choosing where to place them first. Few contestants means more chance of success. “Weird” projects nobody wants to take and/or ones requiring not so common skills are like instant wins.

        Finally, just to make things clear, I didn’t come here to flame about your website or freelancing in general. Isn’t always a good thing to hear opinions from both sides? I don’t consider my experience as something negative either. I had problems starting with it, but after getting a few ratings and doing what I’ve described previously, thinks began to get better. I reckon I’ve not logged into vworker for a year, maybe more, but then I was winning projects from time to time, never bidding for the cheap.

        Reaching that level did cost me a lot of frustration. That’s sure.

        Thank you for reading.

        • Hello Gabriel,
          Firstly let me introduce myself, I am also one of those Lucky Freelancers who started their career with RAC & enjoyed the entrepreneurship.

          At this forum i would like to share my views on one the Worse Tactic these freelancing sites use to grab more money. That is GOLD MEMBER SHIP!!!! i guess its only Vworker that has not introduced any of such schemes etc. Can you imagine how difficult it is for a newbie to invest money in a business upfront & than wait to make profits to justify his investment. What if VW starts this as well, where will the newbie go? where will the competition go? If Ian & his team is sincere to the concept of Freelancing or Crowd Sourcing, than why not appreciate it & make maximum use of it?
          Gold membership helps the coder to stay on top of buyers list, win a project not by being competitive but being sincere to the freelancing website!!!!!!!
          Gabriel, i would suggest you to make a visit to some freelancing websites & you will find the difference yourself.
          Have look at Ian’s involvement in queries raised by coders here, what do you call it? I guess he must be least bothered about coders and must focus on buyers, but he wants fair competition & wants buyer presence on vworker because of competition. I feel proud & share with my friends when CEO of VW replies to my queries!!!!!!

          Ian,
          I strongly believe that you gave birth to freelancing via RAC, i respect your sincere approach to keep the Freelancing icon alive. Can we have rentacoder.com back? i hate typing vworker.com 🙂

          Or can we use rentacoder.com as forum where buyers & coders can discuss issues etc…….i miss RAC like anything 🙁

          Many thanks, have a great weekend

          • Nabeell,

            Thanks so much. Yes many of the competitors charge “gold membership” fees simply to be able to bid, which makes it much harder for the entrpreneur/freelancer to get started at first. We strongly believe in only getting paid upon success…that aligns us more closely with our customers and makes us give them the best service possible.

            Regarding RentACoder.com: that still has some name brand recongition, so we are redirecting people from that domain to vWorker.com. Perhaps in a few years when people stop using that name to get to us, we can turrn it into something else.

            Ian

          • Nabeell,

            I’m one of “those lucky freelancers” too, and I know very well what you’re talking about. I’ve already visited other freelancing sites, and even worked in a few. I know the difference. 😉

            I’m very grateful to RAC because that website allowed me to learn a lot and participate in some really interesting developments, earning money in the middle. Please don’t misunderstand what I’ve previously said.

            Thank you for reading.

        • Gabriel,

          >>Some time has passed so I cannot be sure, but I would say I experienced the public bids for a longer period.

          First, this is called a “closed auction” versus an “open auction”. We switch to closed auctions in late 2001 as a month long experiment. We found that closed auctions vastly outperformed open auctions in terms of both bidding price (for workers) and success (for employers…because people wouldn’t succumb to bidding fever and bid simply to win, and then not finish the project becuase they bid too low). So we kept it that way.

          >>Anyway, I don’t think that privatizing the bids could have done something in buyers minds.

          You’re entitled to whatever opinion you want to have. At the same time, your opinion does not match up with what we found actually happens in real life.

          >>I don’t even think that after 10 years the number of buyers rooting for the cheap/quick in small projects has changed a lot. I don’t see why. Please enlighten me if I’m wrong.

          LOL! Well, if you honestly can’t even conceive or imagine that *anything* might have changed at all in a *decade*, then what can I possibly say to you? 🙂 I sincerely hope thie reasoning and logic above isnt the sort of thing you also demonstrated to your future clients when you started bidding. If so, perhaps this was one reason why you did not experience the same success that others have.

          Again, if you’d like me to review your bidding and see if there are things you can do to improve it, just let me know your profile URL and I will.

          Otherwise, I wish you all the best.

          Ian

          • Ian,

            I just asked a sincere question. Either if it’s too dumb or too complex to exemplify, you did not have to make a laugh about it. The irony in your 3rd paragraph is very offensive.

            Thank you for reading.

          • Hi Ian,

            I must say its rare to hear from a CEO saying that he can himself help some one to improve their bidding 🙂

            Thanks for that, I am really impressed 🙂

            Regards,

            Faizan.

  • RK Deepak

    Thanks, and I do apply this policy in my bid.

  • Ian,

    Most of the times we have to face employers who know nothing about say logos or designs.

    Normally they can be termed as *un learned buyers*.
    The problem is we have to firstly teach them what design is and then what logo is.
    Since these types of buyer are very unprofessional and touchy about their self-esteem.

    These buyer not only create problems for us aswell as more than 80% of these buyer’s project are either cancelled or they are self mediatedly closed.

    There has to be some sorting about newbies that Professionals can work easily with them.

    You know statements like “I dont like this logo, i dont know but i need a good logo”

    Regards

    {needz}

    • Needz,

      Yes I understand what you’re saying when you talk about employers that hire you for logo design and they know nothing about it whatsoever. However, before we can talk about how to handle it, it’s important to first understand the reality of the situation.

      It is actually very normal for many employers to know nothing about logo design. Whether in the traditional world or in vworker: the clients are coming to you because *you* are the expert. If they were actually experts on logo design, most wouldn’t need you in the first place! So the first thing to understand is that this is actually normal.

      Second, during bidding you can figure out whether the person is knowledgable about the logo design process (or not) by asking them questions. If you want to only deal with experienced employers, you can then choose not to bid when you run into one. Or, you can charge them more since you know they will take more time (to make it worth your time).

      >>You know statements like “I dont like this logo, i dont know but i need a good logo”

      The problem here is that the person doesn’t know how to put into words what they do like, becuase they don’t understand the concepts behind it yet. And remember, they are not expected to be experts in design: that is why they are hiring you. So as someone that does understand, you can find out what the issue is. Think of yourself like a doctor. The patient comes in and first and says “I don’t feel good”. The doctor doesn’t give up, but instead asks detailed questions to help the patient describe the problem “What hurts, when does it hurt, when did it start, what kind of pain is it?” etc. You can say, “Is it it the color, or the style, or the font?” etc.. Another good technique is to say “What’s an example of something you like?” Then once they give it to you “What is it that you like about this that is not in my logo?”

      Ian

  • Ian,

    Can you please explain difference between Worker sub accounts & Vitual Office?

    Thanks

    Needz

    • Needz,
      That’s a good question.

      The virtual office/my teams is new and this is just the first of a series of releases. Full details on the feature are here:
      http://siteupdates.vworker.com/2011/05/rollout-2011-05-13.html

      But with the current release of the virtual office/my team, the difference is this:
      1) “Sub-accounts” are people you give permission to act like you on the site. If you are a worker, they’ll be acting like a worker. If you are an employer, they will be acting like an emlpoyer.
      2) Your team/virtual office is made up of people you are hiring on the site (i.e. you are an employer and they are workers).

      More details:

      1) Sub account: allow you to give access to other people to login as you (for example: to bid on your behalf). These people effectively are you and can act on your behalf, so only assign this ability and permissions to people you fully trust to do that.

      2) My virtual office/ my teams: This is the first part of a multi-part enhancement for teams. This release gives employers new team-based management, tracking and financial reporting capabilities, as well as the ability to more quickly and easily access commonly used features. More details are here:
      http://siteupdates.vworker.com/2011/05/rollout-2011-05-13.html

      Ian

  • Also,

    Congratulations on Virtual Office feature just introduced!

    Needz

    • I’m glad you noticed that and thanks! I’m very excited about the it too. The best part for me is the ability to see everyone I’m working with (and have worked with), in one convenient place. Thanks again!
      Ian

  • Ian,

    I am looking forward for Design Contest very very anxiously! 🙂

    Thank you for reminding me again.

    P.S. I have just stopped my client not give me bonuses through Payoneer. Rule is rule and every coder has to follow it!

    I hope its fine now Ian ?

    • I appreciate that Needz and we are working hard on the contests. More to follow when I have new information to report!
      Ian

  • Thanks Ian,

    I will be careful next time not to ask buyers to pay me through Payoneer.

    I had to confirm this from you

    Many Thanks Ian!

    Regards

    {needz}

  • Bethaleg

    Oh, and one other thing about the employers acting like the experts: I have yet to encounter an employer that does not take into consideration my ‘expert opinion’. This is why the comment system on Vworker is so great. Before you even place a bid, ask questions of your employer! And if they want it done in 3 days, but you know it will take 6, tell them so! I haven’t had an employer balk at an extension if it means high-quality work.

  • Bethaleg

    I had to comment on Adrian’s post when I read it, even though Ian already did a great job of explaining.
    Just for the record, I am a stay-at-home mom to three beautiful children, and Vworker has been the key component to my success. They are a very organized company and have safeguards and policies in place for everything. I feel secure working for them.
    When you first start freelancing, it is sometimes necessary to accept a lower bid than what you actually want. You need to get your name out there, and boost your ratings so that employers know you can do high-quality work. I have often suggested a ‘trial period’ to employers, with a lower rate during that project, with the promise of raising the price if I continue to work for them. This has been an awesome way to establish long-term work with various employers, and it is worth it to me to accept the lower price at first.
    You may not make $18/hour, but consider that you are spending nothing to work. No matter what other job you may have, you have to spend a certain amount of money to work. You have to pay gas to get there, and you have to buy food to eat while working. You may be required to buy uniforms, or certain shoes. If you are a mother, like me, you have to pay for childcare expenses. I believe when you figure it all in, Vworker is the number one place to work!!!!

    • Bethaleg,
      Thanks so much for sharing some very shrewd advice on how to get ahead in the bidding. And thanks so much for your support and kind words. We work hard every day for you and will continue to!
      Ian

  • Also Ian,

    Please guide me, asking employer to give *bonus amount* through payoneer?.

    1. By passing vWorker on bonuses, is that legal?

    Since workers have a feeling that commision on bonuses should not be taken.

    Thanks!

    {needz}

    • Needz,
      I think you already know the answer. What you’re talking about is called “disintermediation”. And your contract on our site (as well as all freelance sites) don’t allow that. If every user did that, then we would go out of business, and we would not be around for you to get new business on. So please keep all of your business onsite.

      And what I recommend is that instead of a bonus, you set it up as pay-for-time. Theh you can drop the fee from 10% to 6.5%-9% as well as setup more flexible billing that automatically increases or decreases based on the work. You also get paid weekly, rather than having to wait until the end for a bonus.

      Ian

  • Thanks Shabbir for pointing my mistake. I will be carefull next time.

    Ian,

    1. Is it legal to email your clients ( email taken from project contacts ) just to market yourself?

    2. The minimum Bid vW sets for any project is $3, I have seen may employers asking design projects for even $5 ( say a logo ). Is’nt there procedure that Projects like logo design start from $10.

    You know different slot costs for different nature of work?

    Regards

    {needz}

    • Needz,

      Yes you can contact your clients via email. But I would advise you to be careful. You don’t want to appear to be spamming them and damage your relationship with them. I hired you once on vWorker and you did a fantatic job with the logo. And what I found out is that this means I am also now on an automated contact list of yours, and receive unsolicited emails from you from time to time. The emails are not personal, but seem generic/bulk/addressed to a group and feel rather spammy. I never said anything about it becuase it would take more time to say something rather than delete it. But others are much more sensitive that I am. And if an employer wants to rehire you, they can already contact you very easily. So I would recommend showing discretion.

      >>2. The minimum Bid vW sets for any project is $3, I have seen may employers asking design projects for even $5 ( say a logo ). Is’nt there procedure that Projects like logo design start from $10.

      The problem is that some projects in the logo category might only be worth $3. For example, I posted one that had someone cleanup the graphic file that the logo was stored in, so it was very quick and easy and I just didn’t want to be bothered with it myself. If you are not interested in these jobs, then I’d recommend that you set your filter so that smaller jobs are not shown to you on the site or in your newsletter.

      By the way, I hope you will be participating in the new design contest feature when it’s out in the next few months. It will allow the top designers to showcase their skills and make themselves stand out immediately from the lesser qualified people.

      Ian

  • zain

    So can i get a simple procedure for it because i want to work with vworker on online projects .

  • zain

    sir, i am new on vworker and also in online working .So, i want help because i am facing some problems in filling your required form and on bidding

    • Zain, please provide more details as to which form and bidding you are having issues and I am sure people will be able to help you on this.

      • Zain, if you have a generic question, then please do post it as Shabbir said. However if it is support issue, you can contact us 7 days a week via live chat, phone and email (go to the feedback link on every site on the page), and we’ll be happy to help you.

        Ian

  • I completely agree with point #1. As in job hunting one has to differentiate their cover letter and resume from the other 1000 applicants, one has to differentiate themselves to win the bid also.

    Kudos.
    Manisha.

    • Manisha,
      Thanks so much and best of luck to you in winning those bids.
      Ian

  • Adrian

    Hi Ian!
    Yes, there are many other workers out there rather than programmers. My girl worked a couple of projects as a content writer. Those jobs are very poorly paid (1$ per article?!?!) and it is a lot of work. I did content writing as well and it is not worth the while.
    There are people taking advantage of this site and so called “emerging economy countries”. And it seems like they are encouraged to do so.
    I use vWorker to land graphic design jobs. Trust me, this week i’ve seen very challenging jobs all paid with almost nothing. There aer many people posting jobs from other freelance sites as outsourcing. There should be something done about this. I can’t turbo charge anything with such work.
    This used to be such a great site. The quality of the buyers has dramatically decreased due to the quality of so called PROFESSIONALS on site. I haven;t studied for what i do, got no degree, but i am damn good with what i do. And i got better and better after all these years and i’m sad to say i will soon leave vWorker for reasons just mentioned!
    Plus i see many bids in which the buyer is actually THE EXPERT telling us workers how long it will take one to deliver his no good project.
    Just now i looked at a project where an american asks for 100 book covers for 25 bucks. He says loud and proud that it takes him 5 minutes to create 1 such cover. So one can make around 10 covers per hour (i doubt that). So one will work 10 hours+ to get 18 bucks (being able to use paypal in his country).
    It is ridiculous because a poor bastard from the third world will actually do this job with a result i could hardly call quality.
    Buyers should be refined a bit i think… Now, if you charge buyers, the prices will be reduced again.
    I don’t understand why are you all so happy? Of course one can afford to quit a job in Pakistan and work full time on vWorker and be happy about it. I can’t do that in Europe. And believe me, it’s been a while since i’ve last seen a european worker bid on your site. What do you think of that?
    I wish you all the best. Hope to see the sun shine again on Rent-a-coder.

    • Adrian, what you are saying is completely true but you have to understand that person looking for 100 book covers for $25 is not running after very good quality and he is fine with averagely good things at super cheap pricing. My one book cover http://shabbirbook.com costs me more than $25 to be honest but remember that this is competitive world.

      About the pricing you would see that I am from India and still my min hourly rate is $18 per hour and I am still making a career in freelancing. See here and this is beside my blogs and forums that I maintain.

      Now what you are suggesting is already there with the help of featured projects on other freelancing sites.

      • Shabbir, brings up some good points. The other thing is that on vWorker you can set your filter to “emerging economy” or “developed economy”. If you choose the latter, you will not see the jobs that are targeted to the emerging economy. That way you can focus on just the ones that are targeted to you.

        Ian

    • Adrian,

      I understand where you’re coming from as a person in Europe. You need to make alot more money to pay your rent and feed yourself than a person in India or Romania or China does.

      However, at the same time you are also misunderstanding some fundamental things.

      >>It is ridiculous because a poor bastard from the third world will actually do this job with a result i could hardly call quality.

      1) I’ll address your issue of what you can do to earn more. But first I need to address the misunderstanding you have and also speak for the workers in emerging economies that you are slamming as “poor quality” because they charge less than you.

      What you are not understanding is that just because they charge less than you do, doesn’t mean they are spending less time, or expending less effort or are any less qualified than you. It’s all simply becuase the cost of living in their countries are far less than yours. $1 goes much, much further than in your country. These are not people living in hovels and working in mud huts. They live in the best sections of town, work in corporate offices, wear the same clothes from the same stores that we do (The Gap, etc.), and live and look pretty much the same the same as us.

      If you work for $18/hour like the author of this blog does, it is not even worth your time. However, in many countries, that is a great salary and means independence from working for a bank, or other employer.

      And if an employer wants to hire someone like that, it’s not “taking advantage”. They are entering a mutual beneifical agreement that works for both of them.

      >>Just now i looked at a project where an american asks for 100 book covers for 25 bucks. He says loud and proud that it takes him 5 minutes to create 1 such cover. So one can make around 10 covers per hour (i doubt that). So one will work 10 hours+ to get 18 bucks (being able to use paypal in his country).

      As you saw already from Shabbir, $18/hour in some countries is a good rate. What you need to do is find the employers who are willing to pay your rate for what you dod.

      2) Choose your projects:

      >>My girl worked a couple of projects as a content writer. Those jobs are very poorly paid (1$ per article?!?!)

      There are two types of writing projects: projects where the employer doesn’t really care if the person is a native english speaker (i.e. the content is not important) and types where the person cares about the content and requires a native english speaker. Your girlfriend should not be bidding on the former, but should be bidding on the latter. These are not $1 an article jobs. Take a look at the #3 all-time ranked worker on the site. She is a writer in the U.S. and has made her career from doing articles. She is not picking the $1 an article jobs.

      >>Plus i see many bids in which the buyer is actually THE EXPERT telling us workers how long it will take one to deliver his no good project.

      I’m sorry to hear your attitude is like this. Many employers don’t know how long their work takes to do, but at the same time they are the managers and must set deadlines. If you simply tell them how long it takes to do, they are willing to listen and adjust. However, if you are take the attitude that they are incompetent and you don’t care about their projects,then that attitude will be noticable in your bidding. No employer wants to work with a bitter person, and that will hurt you in the long run.

      >>And believe me, it’s been a while since i’ve last seen a european worker bid on your site. What do you think of that?

      U.S. workers are always in the top 3-4 every month for bidders who have won, and their costs are as high or higher than European. European workers also show up there as well…just not as many since the site is not as known in Europe.

      Anyway, if you are serious about turning around your bidding style, someone at vWorker can look at your bids and see if you are bidding on the wrong types of projects and/or letting a bit too much attitude peek out through your bids. If you want someone to do this, please let me know your profile URL.

      Ian

  • Alessandro

    Thanks for the article, Ian. I’d like to point out that your site is used not only by programmers, but also for other freelancers, like article writers, translators, and so on. I’d like to have an article about them too since I am a non-programming freelance worker.

    • Thanks Alessandro. I’m not sure if you read the above article past the first paragraph or so, but if you do, you’ll find that the things it talks about apply to all freelancers, and not just to programmers. I had to pick some text for the example bid and so I made it a programming example, but it is just to illistrate the point. The concepts apply to all types of workers.

      Ian

  • Syed Ali Abbas

    Wow! NO FEE…. that seems too good to be true! Me and my wife we work on wVorker and both of us are thunderstruck by this news. I joined vworker a few months ago and my start was so good that I had to quit my permanent job from a leading telecom company in my country.
    The only moan I still have is the payment methods on vWorker. In Pakistan, we cannot receive money via PayPal and other methods i.e. western union, Payoneer etc. are too expensive. Are you planning to add new payment methods like moneybookers in the near future? Even if the answer is no, the elimination of project fee will obviously make up for everything.
    And it was fun reading the post. I wish you and the vWorker team all the best for future.

    • Syed,
      I’m delighted to hear that by working at vWorker you were able to quit your permanent job.
      Regarding payment…have you considered wire transfer? If you have and it doesn’t work for you: we are always keeping our eyes open for new methods. Moneybookers is actually more expensive than current methods, so it’s not ideal (http://blog.vworker.com/2011/03/disadvantages-of-moneybookers.html). But it’s possible that Payoneer may be offering a cheaper bank to bank transfer within a few months, and we’ll continue to look around as well.

      I’m glad the post was so useful to you and wish you and your wife the best as well!

      Ian

  • @Nabeell, thanks so much! That’s a very smart technique and thanks so much for sharing it with everyone!
    Ian

    • Ian, i have read about RAC history & how you started RAC (now VW). I am a big fan of yours and all my success as a freelancer has been through RAC & by following your guidelines. You are a source of inspiration for me & trust me i want to see VW grow & playing a small role in making VW more easy for others is something of PRIDE for me!!!!!

      I guess this will surprise you that i have been searching about you a lot on internet & reading all i could to be like YOU 🙂 Keep it up Boss

      • Nabeell, thanks so much and I’m so glad my own experiences are able to be a source of inspiration for you. 🙂 vWorker/RAC started a long time ago (back in 2001), and I still look back fondly on those days! Thanks again and all the best to you!
        Ian

  • @Shabbir, this is really interesting to hear that many seniors follow Ian’s Vision here 🙂 thats why i call Ian is the GURU OF OUTSOURCING !!!!!

    One thing is really important, the Screen Name option of VWorker, you know Branding yourself is also very important when we talk about Freelancing, so now I have a targeted Name at VWORKER 🙂 my Screen name describes/speaks my expertise.
    “Grace Group(SEO xPERTS)”
    My name tells every buyer that am a SEO Expert & that is what my strength is, so if i am Coder and good at .Net Technologies my name should be
    “XYZ .NET EXPERTS” so “ABC .NET TECH Guru”

    People should not know you only by name but also by your expertise, so projects for SEO make things easy for me. In Short try to make use of every option available at VWokers, dont take projects for granted, work hard make a reputation & SEE YOUR COMPANY ON VWORLER GROW !!!!!!

    Come On wana be Entrepreneurs

  • Ian,

    Awesome article!

    Needz

    • Needz, your comment was flagged as spam because of the link and try to use the link in the Website field to avoid such flagging.

    • Needz,
      Thanks!
      Ian

  • Ian, am a big fan of your, & i think i should add some valuable points here for Freelancer.
    You know my biggest strength as a freelancer is not Winning Projects, I work on hardly 2 projects a month, keep cost low & build relations with buyer to facilitate him & work with him in future.

    Since i keep my cost low, i use a certain part of my earning(after project closure) as Investment in stocks, mutual funds etc.

    Now after 6months, i enjoy my investments, i enjoy repetitive projects from my buyers & good reputation on vworker 🙂 I have been practicing it for last 2 to 3 years & it has really worked for me, the 15% of a project i lose in paying the project fee comes out through my investments. For all newbies set a vision, dont run for money strive for Reputation & enjoy the earning once you are well settled.

    Wish you best of luck 🙂

    • Nabeell, this is exactly what I do. I don’t take up too many projects because I am too busy with lot of other things like my blogs and forums. So if I see a project that is under my expertise and am confident of getting it done on time and with quality ( and of course I have the time ) I take up the project or else refer them to other people. This way I have long term relationship building with many of my clients.

      • Nabeell,

        That is a really smart idea of investing in things that will pay you without your having to do extra work. A few thoughts on that:

        1)After the change to bidding I mentioned above goes into effect, you won’t even have to worry about the 15% fee in your bidding, so that extra 15% you are making from your investments can go elsewhere.

        2) The new affiliate program we setup pays you something called “lifetime residuals”, which is another investment you may wish to check out (if you refer others to us, or would consider doing that). What this means is that we pay you for the lifetime of every new employer or worker you refer. Every month you not only get paid for the new people you refer, but you also build up a stream of steadily increasing and recurring income from people you have already referred. Like your mutual funds and stocks, this is a fantastic way to make money without having to actually do physical work. If you’re interested, you can check this out here: http://www.vworker.com/RentACoder/DotNet/Affiliates/Help.aspx

        Continued success to you!

        Ian

        • Ian, That definitely interests me to refer few people to vworker and earn the residual income.

        • Ian, a suggestion that you have very few banners especially nothing in range of box or 125×125. If you can add those many bloggers can link to their profile more neatly.

          • Shabbir,
            I’m glad to hear it and thanks for the useful suggestion. We can get you a 125×125. Before we get to work on it: is there any other size you usually use as well that might be useful?
            Ian

            • I use Standard Leaderboard (728×90), Box (300×250) and 125×125

              • Shabbir,

                I’m happy to announce that we justed posted up a ton of new affiliate banner ads for you to choose from! YOu can view them at: https://www.vworker.com/RentACoder/Affiliates/LinkCreation/BannerAd.asp

                Enjoy!

                Ian

                • Yes some really great banners and will have them here soon. Thanks Ian.

                  • I’m glad you like them and its my pleasure Shabbir.
                    Ian

                • Pretty cool Banners!

                • Ian, I placed the banners now but I also found couple of bugs in the HTML code generated.

                  1. target=blank is the html generated for the banner I am using where as it should be target=”_blank”. See the missing ”
                  2. For Workers the banner landing page is same as for Buyers and it should be different for better conversion. As of now I am using the home page link for the banners.

                  • Shabbir, Thanks for the info and we’ll get that fixed for the next release.
                    Ian

        • Ian, thanks for replying to my post in such a detail, well i am well aware of this affiliate program at VW 🙂 & am enjoying earnings from this program as well.

          Thanks to VWorker team for providing us all sorts of possible features to earn some extra money!!!

  • Hi,
    Great post. I get many of method how to get job from freelance online. Thank for sharing this 🙂

    • Toto,
      It’s my pleasure. You’re welcome!
      Ian

  • Vadimir

    Ian,

    Re: Passing the fee on to employer.

    What about repeat business? If there is already long-established work paid for example as $1000 bonus weekly, will you now charge the employer a $1100?

    This would either require a review of long ago negotiated deals (obviously bad for business) or the employer would simply reduce the payment to compensate for this change. The net result would be the same for all parties, but “stirring the water” would unnecessarily shake up long-established agreements (again bad for business).

    With a steady decrease of a number of projects completed each month (see the Pulse section), do we really need to take up the risk of shaking up a repeat business?

    • Vadimir,

      >>What about repeat business? If there is already long-established work paid for example as $1000 bonus weekly, will you now charge the employer a $1100?

      Remember, you are in control of every contract you create (not us). So if you have an agreement with your employer for $1000 bonus weekly, the agreement is ultimately:
      1) For them to pay $1000
      2) for you to receive $900 (I’m assuming they don’t pay using a preferred payment method and the fee is 10%. It would be less with a PPD).

      So to continue after the change, just stick with your original agreement and bid only $900. He will still see $1000 as your bid (and pay $1000). And you will still receive $900, and everything will be exactly the same. Do you follow me?

      >>This would either require a review of long ago negotiated deals (obviously bad for business) or the employer would simply reduce the payment to compensate for this change

      No, you don’t have to do either of these, as I explained above.

      However, if you really are doing bonuses, you should strongly consider switching to pay-for-time instead. The fee drops to 6.5%-9% (instead of 10%), which can save you considerable time over the long run.

      >>With a steady decrease of a number of projects completed each month (see the Pulse section),

      Just to make sure you undersatnd what you’re seeing: you’re talking about just the top section which charts the # of pay-for-deliverables project *only*. The pay-for-time projects are experiencing something like 14,000% growth. This is exactly what we’ve been hoping and expecting to see. In the past people would do (the more expensive) pay-for-deliverables only. But now they are switching all repeat business (and often even the first time business) to pay-for-time so they can work more flexibly and save money.

      But I can see why you thought that, so we’ll make sure to notate this better on that page so everyone can fully understand what they’re seeing.

      Ian

  • Great Job Ian. Excited to hear the new upcoming update 😉
    I am working with vworker since last 2 years and I am among top 400 coders here !
    After working on more then 250 successful projects I still have a question 🙂

    My company is having great ratings on vworker and we are having lots of repeat business. We also focus on new business as well and find new clients. Some times we come up with people who are unsure of what they actually want or reluctant to pay. In other words they are looking for free work. Now, I as a coder with great ratings would definitely avoid a dispute and try to minimize that as much as I can even if I have to work extra just to avoid the dispute showing in my profile. Which is considered bad generally, even we win its considered as the coder is rude or they have so many disputes with buyers.

    I had a dispute with my repeat buyer an year ago and he reduced the scope of all projects we were working on. Now all the projects went to arbitration. The result is when they were shown in my profile, I was asked by many employers before giving the project that we are concerned about so many arbitrations. That made me think that arbitrations even its neutral, still give a bad impact.

    What do you suggest and how we can avoid this situation? Moreover, I think self mediation should be shown as regular closed project. Also if a buyer thinks they want to reduce the scope of project which is really common then there should be a way of skipping regular arbitration as scope reduction is very common.

    Thanks,

    Faizan.

    • Faizan,

      >>Great Job Ian. Excited to hear the new upcoming update

      Thanks and I am too!

      >>I am working with vworker since last 2 years and I am among top 400 coders here !
      After working on more then 250 successful projects I still have a question

      Congratulations on your hard work and success! By the way, we are going to be introducing a new feature that will allow you to learn more about how arbitrations work, so you can make sure you take adavantages of all the protections the site gives you, and not accidentally “shoot yourself in the foot”. You’ll also be able to also take a test and get a new certification on your resume that says that you’ve passed this test.

      >>My company is having great ratings on vworker and we are having lots of repeat business. We also focus on new business as well and find new clients.

      That’s great to hear.

      >>I had a dispute with my repeat buyer an year ago and he reduced the scope of all projects we were working on. Now all the projects went to arbitration. The result is when they were shown in my profile, I was asked by many employers before giving the project that we are concerned about so many arbitrations. That made me think that arbitrations even its neutral, still give a bad impact.

      You didn’t mention if you were at fault for the scope reduction, the employer, or if no-one was. I’ll answer this as if they were neutral and no-one was at fault (but if that wasn’t the case, let me know).

      On one hand, site users have a right to know if people have been in arbitrations or not. Sometimes this shows an employer or worker to be wary of. At the same time there are lots of site users who entered arbitration and did not lose it (neutral or self mediated). We want to make sure others realize that they didn’t lose the arbitrations. So we purposefully:

      1) Under “arbitrations:” we put only the “lost” arbitrations in a normal sized font (since those are the most important)
      2) Underneath that (purposefully in a very tiny font) we put the neutral and self mediations. This shows they are less important. We also add this wording:
      “Lost arbitrations indicate the party did something wrong, while ‘won’ or ‘neutral’ arbitrations do not. (For example, an employer who simply exercised their money-back guarantee, or a worker who exercised their payment-guarantee must open an arbitration to have the pre-conditions verified. This does not indicate that they did anything wrong.) To get the full details on any concluded arbitration, see the arbitrator’s comments on it.”
      3) We also include what happened on every arbitration (in the arbitration comment) so that users can read for themselves what happened and figure out the situation.

      >>What do you suggest and how we can avoid this situation?

      Without knowing exactly what caused the dispute to occur between you and the employer, it’s difficult to give concrete suggestions. But you can always ask your arbitrator (who knows the details of your situation) for advice on future projects and they’ll be happy to help you.

      >>Moreover, I think self mediation should be shown as regular closed project. Also if a buyer thinks they want to reduce the scope of project which is really common then there should be a way of skipping regular arbitration as scope reduction is very common.

      We strongly believe that openness and transparency make for a strong marketplace and hiding things causes problems that weaken it. As part of that…if we know something happened, we pass that information on to everyone. That is why we let people know how many self-mediations have ocurred. To avoid misinterpretation, we specifically tell them that only lost arbitrations mean there is a problem.

      >>Also if a buyer thinks they want to reduce the scope of project which is really common then there should be a way of skipping regular arbitration as scope reduction is very common.

      If we did that, we could be hiding potentially important information. Sometimes a reduction in scope is no-one’s fault, but sometimes it is. And if we always hid it, then people would not be as fully protected from the latter as they could (and should be). That’s why we instead take the approach of reporting as much as we know so they have the maximum information to decide what makes best sense for them.
      Ian

      • Hi Ian,

        Thank you for replying 🙂

        Well, it was a general question. Don’t want to reopen the dispute 😛

        No one was at fault, it was neutral. Anyways, I agree to your points.

        From the situation, I actually mean to avoid arbitration when a buyer is asking you to do more or asking that he is not satisfied even the thing is working fine or asks you something which is practically not possible or have technical limitations. Please can you answer above 3 situations separately if possible. Its very common and happens to every other coder. So, I am sure it will help a number of workers using vworker as a source of earning.

        Thanks again for your time.

        Regards,
        Faizan.

        • Faizan,

          You asked about:

          >>From the situation, I actually mean to avoid arbitration when a buyer is asking you to do more or asking that he is not satisfied even the thing is working fine or asks you something which is practically not possible or have technical limitations. Please can you answer above 3 situations separately if possible. Its very common and happens to every other coder. So, I am sure it will help a number of workers using vworker as a source of earning.

          I see, but let me back up a second. First I want to make it clear that the whole purpose of arbitration (and the payment guarantee we give you) is to protect you in caes you get into any of the above 3 situations, and can’t work out things on your own. Some people are extremely good at rapport, communication and customer service and can smooth talk their way out of any situation. Other people find it a challenge. But whether you are the first type or the second, you *always* have the ultimate protection of arbitration. Specifically:

          1) ” when a buyer is asking you to do more”
          We will tell the employer he cannot get extra work (if it’s outside of contract) or help you negotiate more money and/or time for it (if that’s what you want instead).

          2) “buyer asking that he is not satisfied even the thing is working fine”

          We will pay you for the work, even if the employer refuses to pay.

          3) “employer asks you something which is practically not possible or have technical limitations.”

          We will confirm that it’s not possible and make the employer move on. Although if you are in this situation, you most likely have a much bigger problem: you have a “trust gap” and the employer doesn’t trust your technical judgement. This is the real cause of this problem.

          —————————————–

          But to answer your questions about what you can do *before* arbitration

          1) ” when a buyer is asking you to do more”

          This comes down to good rapport and communication skills. If you don’t have these, there are many books. A very good one is “Getting to Yes” by William Ury which also teaches win-win negotiation skills as well. Also, a very good guide on the management aspect of handling this, is here :
          http://www.vworker.com/RentACoder/SoftwareCoders/Articles/RacEmails/CrucialInformation.asp
          see “DON’T mishandle requirements changes.”.

          2) “buyer asking that he is not satisfied even the thing is working fine”

          Without knowing more, it’s impossible to give more specific details. Is he/she saying that because they misunderstand what you’ve done? If so, you need to work on better rapport and communication. Is he/she unhappy because there is a disagreement over the contract or scope? That falls under #1 above. Perhaps they are just trying to rip you off and won’t stop. In that case, there is probably not much you can do on your own, and need to escalate it to arbitration.

          3) “employer asks you something which is practically not possible or have technical limitations.”

          In this situation you should explain why it’s not possible or pratical. If you have good rapport with the employer, this is pretty easy. But, if you don’t, or if the feature is very near and dear to their heart, it can be a challenge. Again, any good book on communication, negotiation and rapport (like the one I mentioned above) is helpful.

          Ian

          • Thanks a lot Ian,

            I am grateful for your time and support 🙂

            There were 2 projects that we have been working on since 4 months, we did them in first month but from that time, they are saying move it to left, then right then again left 😛 lol 😀 and my team was doing as they were asking just to avoid arbitration 😛 But now, I am putting them to arbitration 🙂

            I will definitely read the book and try to be proactive next time rather being reactive 😉

            Wish you best of luck with the new updates 🙂

            Regards,

            Faizan.

            • Faizan,
              It was my pleasure and I’m glad it was helpful to you.

              It sounds like the employers on that project are going in circles for a few months..an arbitration is a good decision. One bit of free advice: if you are putting it in for 100% completion, then make sure you are really 100% complete (including anything your team promised to do extra). Because if you claim you’re done, but are not, you will lose the arbiration. So if you’re not done or are not sure, then don’t put it for 100% completion, but put it in for a contract clarification instead. Does that make sense?

              Ian

  • Awesome post, Ian! And I am very excited to learn that we will begin to get 100% of the amounts we bid on. How do the employers feel about that? Now they are out money, instead of us. I always figured the 15% covered what my expenses would be if I worked outside of the home (daycare, gas, food, clothing, etc.), so it never bothered me too much. Still, I won’t complain about getting the whole amount!
    I think your tips are great, and have noticed many of the things you mentioned in your post. Very rarely has an employer not replied to me when I have asked specific questions. Also, establishing a good worker/employer relationship has helped me have recurring work.
    Keep up the great job, vworker — you are a dream come true for me!!!

    • Bethaleg,
      Thanks and I’m glad you enjoyed the post so much!

      >>How do the employers feel about that?

      The way I’ve been explaining it to them, is that this new way makes everything much more transparent. In the past, most workers would just raise their price to cover the fee anyway. But this way, they can see it directly. And since they can see it, they can now actually do something about it and *reduce* it by choosing a preferred payment method. With the old method, the employers didn’t really think about the fee, and didn’t realize they had an incentive to do this. I think we’ll see lots more preferred payment methods occuring.

      >>Keep up the great job, vworker — you are a dream come true for me!!!
      I’m glad to hear that. 🙂

      I’m delighted to hear that! Continued success to you!!!

      Ian

  • Hi Ian!
    Thanks for such a great article. It’s true that we can win a project if we bid according to clients requirements not to describe our all skills. Personally, I’m a newbie in Freelancing and this article taught me a lot.
    Now I have a question – How to approach the client if he adds new requirements to the project and asks nothing about project cost? Means he is adding some new requirements to the project and which is not possible to do within the amount we fixed for the project before.

    • Ideally if new requirements are added he will ask you details as to what can be the time line and that is where you should let clients know that it will be X days more and will cost X amount extra.

    • Hi Pankaj!

      I’m delighted you found the article so useful!

      >>Now I have a question – How to approach the client if he adds new requirements to the project and asks nothing about project cost? Means he is adding some new requirements to the project and which is not possible to do within the amount we fixed for the project before

      That’s a good question. First, I’m assuming this is a pay-for-deliverables project (where you bid a fixed price to complete the job) rather than pay-for-time (where you are paid by the hour and this sort of thing isn’t as much of a conundrum).

      Shabbir, is right in that you need to take a look at what the client is asking and think about how much more time it will take you to finish it. Here are your options:

      a)If it’s a tiny amount (say a few minutes), it may be worth it to your client relations (and winning future business) to tell them: “You know, that wasn’t in the initiail requirements so I didn’t include it in my bid. But because it is very quick and you are a good client I’ll do it for free. Just be aware that any other new future modifications I’ll most likely have to charge you for”. This both makes them feeel good and sets future expectations properly.

      b)If it’s a larger amount and/or you don’t want to (or can’t) do it for free, then you have two choices:

      b1) Ask them for more money (and explain why…similar to above)
      b2) Tell them you can’t do it, and explain why (i.e. other projecte, etc.)

      If the client balks at anything in “B”, remember that you are *not* stuck with doing the work for free! Remember that vWorker protects you and part of that protection is enforcing the contract. If the client still won’t accept “B” then you can put the project into arbitration for contract clarification and an arbitrator will interpret it and determine if a feature is in scope or out of scope. Then (presuming it wasn’t in the original contract) they will force the employer to accept either b1 or b2, or they will forfeit the project (and will pay you for the work you’ve completed to that point).

      One final option: if you have a client who does this alot it can be a big pain. A better setup is to move them to pay-for-time. Then if they ask you to do something new, you are getting paid more money automatically for it and don’t have to worry about any of this. Plus with pay-for-time, it drops the fee significantly (to a maximum of 9.5% and a minimum of 6.5%) so you not only get more flexibility but you save money as well.

      I hope that helps!

      Ian Ippolito

      Ian

      • Exactly. For me at times my client email me things like get this done and send me the amount for it. I at times say it was so small a task to charge and they are just ecstatic to get those tiny things done.

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