One of the best ways of finding freelance jobs is by placing a bid through sites such as Elance.com, GetAFreelancer.com or Guru.com. Clients post jobs indicating the description of the work they want done, as well as the timescale and budget range. After freelancers place a bid, the client then chooses the best fit, which in many cases is also the lowest offer. Though bidding sites offer a great opportunity to find freelance work, they also have some pitfalls that need to be avoided.
Here are some guidelines for bidding for freelance work:
1. Research the client
Before bidding for any freelance job, take time to learn about the potential client. First, take time to look at their job description or profile. If they offer little or no information, then you should be concerned. You should also find out if they have a business website. Finally, take time to Google the name of the client. If many people are complaining about them, then it would be advisable to keep off.
2. Don’t bid too low
Many freelancers bid low in order to enhance their chances of getting jobs. However, bidding low for jobs makes you appear less professional and lowers your chances of charging more in future. For instance, when you accept article writing work for $2 apiece, you will find it difficult to charge $10 for another project. If you are going to succeed as a freelance writer, you need to attach value to your services. Find out what the going rate for your services is and stick to it. This way, people will take you more seriously.
3. Look out for pirates
At times, a client might accept your bid but send more work than what was indicated in their job description. This should raise a red flag. In such a case, send the client a polite email highlighting that the job requirements are not consistent with the agreement. However, mention that you would be willing to negotiate new terms. Walk away if the client is not ready to re-negotiate.
4. Be wise with payments
Matters regarding payment should be handled with a lot of discretion. One of the best ways of receiving payment is through escrow systems. This is where the client submits money to a third-party account where it is held until the project is completed, after which it is then released to the freelancer. This kind of system safeguards both parties from monetary and intellectual theft. The downside of this system is that you are usually charged a fee to withdraw your cash to a different account. To avoid such extra charges, you could ask the client to make the payment directly to a service such as PayPal. If you have never worked with the client before, you could ask them to deposit a down payment of the agreed fee.
5. Avoid anything illegal
Once in a while, you are likely to come across freelance writing jobs that are illegal. For instance, some jobs will require you to write false testimonials about a product or service. Others involve plagiarizing content from other sources. Such illegal content is used by scammers to swindle money from people. Be sure to avoid such jobs at all costs. Even if you are ghost writing, you could still get tracked down by the authorities.
Though bidding sites offer numerous opportunities for freelance work, most of the jobs are low paying. Therefore, to make more money as a freelancer, it would be advisable to get in touch directly with clients.
Image source: elance.com