Elance is one of the many internet virtual marketplaces that allows freelancers and outsourcing companies to come together to work on projects. It is based in California and has been on the web since 1999. Elance allows a business to post a job opening and invites freelance workers who believe they have the requisite skills for the job to make a bid. The company charges a $10 fee to each business to post a job and also takes a small portion of what gets paid to contractors.
What does Elance offer?
- A talent pool of over 100,000 freelance contractors, some of whom are the best in the world at what they do
- Enables providers to create profiles which showcase their talents
- Various plans, including a free membership
- Easy access to thousands of jobs, no more sifting through the classifieds
- Job opportunities for various skill sets including programmers and writers
- If you successfully complete a contract you will not be messed around. Elance ensures that all contractors and employers are treated fairly
- Posting or applying for a job is quick and easy
- You can link it to your bank account and transfer money as you see fit
- Elance allows companies and providers to communicate quickly and effectively
- An incredible amount of choice for employers and providers
- The ability to choose between paying for a membership or taking a free one with slightly less privileges
- Guaranteed payment once an assignment is completed
- Having a good profile entices clients to you
- The jobs pay pretty well
Although it offers a great service, the level of competition means that you have to be persistent if you want to get constant work. Really there is little else to complain about. The employer has to pay a $10 start up fee but that’s a drop in the ocean and ‘free’ sites make this money up by taking a much higher percentage than Elance does.
Generally speaking, Elance tends to attract employers with a higher budget than the free sites. This is good news for those who are tired of having to compete with workers from nations with a lower cost of living. Someone living in the United States for example is not going to be able to work for $3 an hour. While there are one or two projects of this nature knocking around on the site, it is generally a site where employers with big budgets are looking for quality freelancers.
Should You Use Elance?
Once you have paid the $10, employers can post as many jobs as they choose meaning that their potential income is limited only by their business savvy. While there are options to pay for membership, there is also a free option which gives you less marketplace connects than the paid versions but still gives you a chance to make money. We freelancers live on the edge financially sometimes and the last thing we need to do is pay money and not receive jobs. Thankfully, Elance is one of the best virtual marketplaces online. If you take the time to craft a top notch profile, Elance will repay anything you invest many times over.