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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Elance

Book Description

In the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression, a new sector has blossomed: the virtual work world. It's an oasis of sorts, one brimming with unfilled jobs. Elance.com is one of the largest and fastest-growing portals that connects freelancers who need work to businesses that need flexible, cost-effective workers in areas such as software development, creative and marketing, administration, writing and editing, engineering, accounting, legal, and more.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title Page
  3. Dedication
  4. Copyright
  5. Contents
  6. Introduction
  7. Part 1: The New Way of Doing Business
    1. 1 Welcome to the Twenty-First Century
      1. Going Virtual
      2. Introduction to Elance Terms
      3. The Freelancer Explosion
        1. A New Kind of Freedom
        2. Full Time, Part Time, Nap Time
        3. Three Kids and a Kitchen Table
      4. The Online Opportunity for Businesses
        1. What’s the Fuss About?
        2. The Story of Matthew Stibbe
      5. Freelancing Is a Job
      6. Hiring in the Cloud
    2. 2 The Virtual You
      1. Registering on Elance
        1. Becoming a Client
        2. Becoming a Contractor
        3. Connects
      2. The Critical First Impression
      3. Your New Work World
        1. Why You
        2. Be the 10!
      4. Think Like a Client
      5. Be a Client
      6. What’s Sealing the Deal?
        1. Who Would You Hire?
        2. Red Flags
      7. The Competition
        1. Research
        2. What’s Working and What’s Not
      8. To Niche or Not to Niche
  8. Part 2: Selling Your Services as an Elance Contractor
    1. 3 Contractor Accounts and Fees
      1. Account Types
        1. The Basic Elance Account
        2. Individual Accounts
        3. Business Accounts
      2. Elance Fees
        1. Account Fees
        2. Service Fees
        3. Connects and Categories
    2. 4 Contractor Profiles That Sell
      1. The Elance Advantage
      2. Profile Views
      3. Finding and Editing Your Profile
      4. Painting the Profile Picture
      5. Upload a Photo
      6. Profile Basics
        1. Display Name
        2. Tagline
        3. Minimum Hourly Rate
        4. YouTube Video
        5. Overview
        6. Service Description
        7. Payment Terms
        8. Keywords
      7. Job History and Snapshot
      8. Levels
      9. Your Portfolio and Sample Work
      10. Skills
      11. Employment and Education
    3. 5 Winning Projects as a Contractor
      1. The Job Search
        1. Finding Jobs in Your Category
        2. Price and Time
        3. That Little Box in the Corner
        4. Saving Searches
      2. Maximizing Client Searches
      3. Assessing Jobs
      4. Lookin’ Good
        1. The Project Description
        2. The Client Profile
      5. Red Flags a Flyin’
      6. Utilizing the New You
      7. Which Projects to Bid On
      8. Developing a Competitive Edge
      9. Making the Personal Connection
    4. 6 Crafting Killer Proposals
      1. First Contact
      2. Let Them Know You Listened
        1. It’s About the Client
        2. Be Genuine
        3. Plan of Action
        4. Questions and Ideas
        5. Why Me?
        6. Enthusiasm Is Contagious
        7. The Copy and Paste Folly
      3. Basic Proposal Structure
      4. Sample Proposal
      5. Pricing Your Services
        1. In the Beginning
        2. As You Progress
        3. A Pricing Formula
        4. Pricing Red Flags
        5. Negotiating
      6. The Mechanics of Submitting a Proposal
      7. The Nonproposal Proposal
    5. 7 Managing Projects—Your Time to Shine
      1. You’ve Been Awarded the Job, Yikes!
      2. Elance Tools
        1. The My Jobs Page
        2. Workroom
        3. File Sharing
        4. Terms and Milestones
        5. Status Reports
      3. Keep It on Elance
      4. Managing Your Team
      5. The Competitive Edge
        1. Stay In Touch
        2. Take the High Road
        3. Get Ongoing Feedback
        4. The Extra Mile
      6. Boundaries
    6. 8 Tips for Beginning Contractors
      1. You Can Succeed
      2. All You Need Is a Toehold
      3. Quality Is Key
      4. Promoting Your Strengths
        1. Emphasize Your Profile
        2. Special Talents
        3. Past Experiences
        4. Eager to Succeed
        5. Follow Up
        6. Communicate!
      5. Do the Hustle: The Numbers Game
      6. Most Common Pitfalls
      7. The Subject of Underbidding
      8. Deliver, Deliver, Deliver
      9. Ask for Great Feedback
      10. Keep At It!
  9. Part 3: Growing Your Business as an Elance Client
    1. 9 Attracting the Best—The Client Image
      1. The Key to Top Talent
      2. The Client Profile
        1. Two Views Top Talent Will Use
        2. Profile Extras
      3. The Freelancer Universe
      4. Like Attracts Like
      5. A Look in the Mirror
        1. First Impressions
        2. Spelling Counts
        3. Clarity
        4. Job History
      6. Proactive Attraction
    2. 10 Targeting Top Talent
      1. Focus Your Project
      2. Contractor Categories
      3. Target Your Contractor
        1. Keywords
        2. Individuals vs. Companies
        3. Specialists vs. Generalists
      4. The Search Sort
        1. Categories and Tested Skills
        2. Location
        3. Feedback
        4. Reviews, Hourly Rates, and Groups
      5. The Cumulative Effect
      6. Don’t Overlook the Newbie
      7. Posting Your Job
        1. Nuts and Bolts
        2. Inviting Contractors
      8. Elance Search Results
    3. 11 Laserlike Job Postings
      1. It Boils Down to …
      2. Clarity Begins at Home
        1. What’s in a Name?
        2. The Nitty-Gritty
        3. Research
        4. And If You Still Don’t Know
        5. Pricing Your Project
      3. Sample Job Posting
      4. Elance Templates
      5. The Contractors’ View
      6. A Productive Posting Structure
        1. Summary
        2. Details
        3. Questions and Why You?
        4. Streamline
    4. 12 Selecting the Right Contractor
      1. Hiring Online vs. In Person
      2. Determine Your Hiring Criteria
      3. It’s a Tsunami!
      4. The Proposal Page
        1. Overview
        2. The Proposals
      5. Assessing the Proposals
        1. Did They Listen?
        2. Questions Answered?
        3. Do They Understand?
      6. Tally Up
      7. Reviewing Profiles
      8. Get Proactive
        1. Key Questions
        2. Test-Drives
        3. The Phone Interview
      9. Diamonds in the Rough
      10. The Bottom Line
      11. Closing the Deal
    5. 13 Managing Your Projects
      1. Navigating the Elance Workroom
        1. Prefunding Milestones
        2. File Sharing and Status Reports
        3. Teams
      2. Tracker and Work View
        1. Pros and Cons
        2. Using Tracker and Work View
      3. Wondrous Widgets
        1. Screen Sharing
        2. Video Conferencing
        3. To-Do Lists
        4. Code Sharing
      4. The Contractor-Client Relationship
        1. Use Your Virtual Office
        2. How Much to Manage
        3. Fostering Loyalty and Excellence
  10. Part 4: Advanced Elancing for Contractors and Clients
    1. 14 The Nuts and Bolts of the Deal
      1. Protecting Both Sides
      2. Project Agreements
        1. NDAs
        2. Client/Contractor Agreements
        3. Change Order Agreement and Letter of Engagement
      3. Agreements with Elance
        1. Terms of Service
        2. Service Agreements
      4. Protection Online
        1. Elance Policies
        2. Protect Your Account
      5. Privacy and Elance
    2. 15 Managing Your Account—and Your Money
      1. Really Important Settings to Know
        1. My User Info
        2. Notification Settings
        3. My Availability
        4. Client & Job Preferences
        5. All That Other Stuff
      2. Put It in Escrow
        1. Escrow Management for Contractors
        2. Escrow Management for Clients
        3. Stopping Payment
      3. Project Payment Options
        1. Fixed Fee vs. Hourly Pay
        2. Hourly Work Guarantee
      4. Following the Money
        1. Your Financial Accounts
        2. Financial Transactions
        3. Bringing Home the Bacon
        4. Global Payments
    3. 16 Leveraging Your Elance Experience
      1. Don’t Miss Out
      2. Following the Footsteps
      3. Top Clients
        1. Ken Lancaster
        2. Steffen Hedebrandt
        3. Ramon Ray
      4. Top Contractors
        1. Julie Babikin
        2. Khrystyne Robillard-Smith
        3. Ron Zvagelsky
      5. Crucial Feedback and Ratings
        1. Ask for It
        2. Set the Example
        3. What to Do with Bad Feedback
      6. Marketing Yourself
        1. Social Media and Elance
        2. You Don’t Have a Website?
    4. 17 Troubleshooting Guide
      1. Breaking the Rules
      2. Oops, I Did What?
      3. Refund, Cancel or Dispute
        1. Refunding Payments
        2. Canceling Projects
        3. Project Disputes
      4. Getting Back on Track
        1. Project Posting and Proposal
        2. Workroom Messages, Terms and Milestones, and Agreements
        3. Save, Save, Save
        4. The Higher Road
      5. Contacting Elance
    5. 18 The Elance Community
      1. You’re Not Alone
      2. Hot Spots
        1. The Elance Blog
        2. The Water Cooler
      3. Health Insurance
      4. Professional Perks
        1. Affiliates Program
        2. Referral Program
      5. The Elance University
      6. In Summary
  11. Appendixes
    1. A Glossary
    2. B Sample Proposals and Job Postings
  12. Index
  13. About the Author