Thursday, 26 May 2011

Start your freelancing career with oDesk – An odesk review for beginners

On March 2010, one of my twitter follower asked me if I can help him out designing a website for his company. I lost that opportunity because of a portfolio and then I decided to create my own web design website. I spent a few days designing a new website and on June 2010, I found a website called oDesk.

What is oDesk?

oDesk is a marketplace where freelance workers post their resume, portfolio and buyers look for ideal providers to help with different task. On odesk, there’s a lot of opportunities; from data entry to graphics design, from virtual assistant to project manager, from website developer to creative media works. No matter what you can do, you can join for free and work with this platform.

Getting started

After checking out the site, I quickly googled them and I found a lot of reviews. I went to read a negative review about odesk and found that odesk really works and you can build great online career as well as a nice income opportunity. After that I signed up for odesk and created my work profile.

How it works?

Signing up for odesk is free of cost and for buyers, they can sign up and post their job for free. At odesk, you have to search for different jobs, apply and wait if your buyer hires you. Buyers can also search for providers in the marketplace.

Job types: Fixed price and Hourly

odesk, fixed price and hourly jobsThere are two sort of odesk jobs; one is fixed price which means your buyer wants you to do this job and will pay you when you complete the task. Fixed price job may take a lot of time to complete and the payment is not guaranteed. After completing the job, it’s upto the buyer if they will or how much they will pay.
Hourly job means you will be paid on per hour basis. For this, you have to download oDesk team application and install it on your computer. When you get an hourly job, you can then log in using the app and log your work hours. The app will take one screen shot of your desktop every 10 minutes and keep the record of your activity. This way your buyers can track your work progress. Hourly jobs are better because the payment is guaranteed and it will be added on your overall career.

Building your profile

In the beginning, you have to pass the odesk readiness test to get access to your odesk provider profile. Build your profile by adding your skills; get all of your works and create your portfolio; fill out details, work experience so that it looks great. Take a look at other people’s portfolio to know how a good portfolio looks like.

Getting a job on odesk

Getting job on odesk
You know, this is the hardest part of odesk. You have created a profile, applied for jobs and waited if your buyer calls you for an interview or hires you.. but nothing happenes. Getting your first job or even getting a hint on how to start is really frustrating. The main reason why people don’t hire new people because they have no work records and nothing to show on their portfolio.
Think hard.. put a few work examples on your portfolio, pass a few more relevant tests, upload a good bio photo and add more details on your profile.
Your first impression is the cover letter, write something great when you apply for a job. Try to start a job letter from scratch. Put some work examples, give them a few methods to get in touch with you, give them a reason why they will hire you?
People spent more and more months on odesk but don’t get their first jobs. Most people spend more then 6 months jobless. I’ve applied for many jobs but no results.. until I got my first assignment on odesk :)

Why odesk?

why odesk for a freelancer?
There’s a lot of marketplaces available online that can give you an online career opportunity such as GetAFreelancer, HireACoder and Guru. But I prefer odesk because it’s the one place I got into it first and I’ve already built a good work portfolio. If you’re looking for a great place to start out, then try odesk and only odesk. If you try to get work from all of these sites, you won’t get any.
Odesk have some of the great features for a provider; they pay weekly through all of the major payment methods including paypal, payoneer debit mastercard, moneybrookers and others. They have a great reputation and a bigger marketplace.
It’s better to use odesk as your default portfolio; it’s easier to manage, update and even better to get work.

Few tips for new providers

  • Don’t ever think that there’s a lot of competition in odesk. When you apply for a job, believe that you are the best among others. There’s always new opportunities and lot more work than actual providers, so be on it.
  • Try to be on all of the major communication methods such as yahoo messenger, google talk, AIM, skype and  email to make sure the buyer can reach you when they need.
  • Try to provide a solution to your buyer and if you are unable to do it, don’t keep them hanging.
  • Look for the solution and only solution.. not for the money. In your freelance career, the feedback is the most important thing to achieve.
  • Don’t set a low price on your profile; try to keep it competitive and few dollars low if you are getting started.
  • Keep connect with your buyer and send them work updates regularly.
  • It’s a good thing to build up a friendship with the buyer.. it will result further trust and work opportunities in the future.
  • If you have enough tasks in hand, don’t apply for more work.
  • It’s possible to work even more hours for more money, but please do take breaks and day offs.
  • Increase your hourly wage over time as you work more and gathered more reputation.

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