24 Jun 2014
How Much Money Can You Make on ODesk/Upwork?
oDesk.com is the world’s largest online marketplace wherein both businesses and independent professionals can establish work arrangements. It is one of the top choices for freelancers as it offers great online job opportunities in web design and development, content creation, internet marketing, application and software development, project management and office administration, to name a few.
How To Land Your First Job On ODesk/Upwork
Primarily because of its popularity and wide database of users, newcomers are finding it difficult to land their first job and make money fast through the platform.
If you are one of those who recently signed up, here are a few techniques to help you get through this dilemma.
- Complete your profile. Make sure that you provide accurate details about yourself and that your completeness meter reaches 100%. Ensure that all of the information is likewise well-matched. For instance, your name on profile should match the name on your payment method. Additional tips:
- Title. Make your title succinct yet eye-catching. Limit them to three or four words.
- Skills and Overview. Define your skills thoroughly. Be descriptive with your overview and make sure that the things you excel at jive with the service you’re offering. Focus on giving a pitch that most clients look for – quality, on-time delivery and big return of investment.
- Videos and Photos. If you can manage to create one, add a video introduction. Upload a real photo of yourself as profile photo.
- Social accounts. Link your social media accounts so that it is easier for the client to do a background check.
- Work on your portfolio. Include samples based on the services you specialize in. Do not forget to add descriptions too. Upload PDF documents or images if needed. Enumerate your work experience to showcase your abilities and the range of projects you have handled in the past.
- Set an appropriate rate. Rates are another consideration that clients weigh in before contacting you. The trick then is to find your competition, that is, contractors within your niche and country; compare their experience and education with yours; and make an estimated range that is reasonable yet acceptable for your financial needs. Some freelancers start cheap but increase rates as they get more projects. If you’d like to keep it high from the start, you can offer discounts to the client for short-term works but be clear in stating that you will charge higher next time. Rule of thumb: never go for the cheapest or they may equate that to low-quality work.
- Verify your identity. Keep in mind that this is an online stint and confirming your real identity makes you appear as a serious freelancer. So see to it that you submit two government-issued identifications to oDesk.
- Take skills test. Being in the Top 10% or 20% of all takers will make you more credible in the eyes of the employers and stand out from the rest. Additionally, taking 5 skills test will enable you to apply for 25 jobs (Every contractor begins with a quota of two job applications). Therefore, the trick is to find relevant tests, take and ace them and you’re good to go.
- Be brief yet concise with your cover letter. Just imagine the number of applications they get on every post. You are more likely to catch their attention if your letter answers their questions directly and yet is not dragging to read. Do not go for templates or generic ones. Make it unique and targeted for every application based on the project requirements.
- Choose your jobs wisely. For starters, you can opt for a job with a fixed rate that is less than $50 and doable in a very short time. In this way you can get feedbacks and later on, attract more employers.
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