The popularity of freelancing sites has been steadily growing in the past few years. There are a lot of contributing factors to this growth. One of the biggest draw for workers is the ability work and earn from home. For businesses, it’s the availability of cheap skilled workers and the ease of scaling their work force.
One thing in common with sites like oDesk, Guru, Elance and a host of other specialized freelancing websites, is the inclusion of a feedback and ratings system for contractors. This helps employers gauge the capability of a prospective hire. In turn, contractors are able to use the ratings system to showcase their capabilities and justify their rates.
When you start out on any of the freelancing sites, you’re basically starting out on the bottom rung. The experience you list on your profile doesn’t count for much if you don’t have feedback or hours worked on record. The contractor with the most logged hours, work delivered and higher feedback rating will be more favored over someone who has excellent qualifications but no jobs completed yet.
If you’re just starting out and building up your reputation, try to keep the following in mind:
- Always over-deliver. This is an important tenet in successful people’s work ethic. Produce results that are beyond what was expected. This also the only way you can recover from any bad feedback you receive.
- Be consistent. Nothing gives an impression of reliability as being consistently on time for work and completing projects before deadlines.
- Clear Communication. English is the primary medium of communication on the Internet. Being able to communicate clearly will help you bag more clients and projects.
- Results Matter More. You are expected to be self-supervising and independent, not just being able to do the job. Once you have all the instructions, start working on the tasks. Clients who employ online contractors are mainly concerned with getting the job done right and not with checking up on you constantly.
- Pro-activeness. Being pro-active increases your value to a client. Pointing out possible problems before they happen, giving feedback on how to improve work and productivity, providing back up options to ensure there will be no work delays all of these are hallmarks of a great contractor.
- Provide “out of the box” solutions. Use your experience to help out your clients. Be willing to give suggestions that could help them out. For example; a previous client was having problems building their social media presence and another client I had provided this exact service. I suggested that they contact each other so he could buy Twitter followers from my other client. Problem solved.
Employers don’t want to spend time doing a background check on new people. They want to hire quickly and start getting work done. This is why building up your reputation is crucial to your success as a freelancer.