freelancer.com my review and very short experience with them.
It’s been a few months since I wrote the first installment about my rather large leap from paid employment into freelance art, illustration and graphic design. I knew it was going to take a bit of time to get some regular work rolling in so I had a look at the freelance job site freelancer.com as an option the get some cash flow rolling while I continued with developing my web presence and alternative income streams.
I took a bit of time (probably not enough) to read up on the way freelancer works, while I did initially think the whole system seems a bit complex with rating points and such, I signed up anyway and started searching for jobs that fit with my style of work and I already have similar examples in my portfolio that I thought I could show the client.
Scanning through the listed projects and email notifications takes a bit of time, no big issue there really. The first problem for me arose when I tried to place a bid on a job that fit my bill perfectly. I needed to supply a bid for the project and I did same basic calculations and worked a price which I thought was fair for the scope of work involved, clicked on the tab to submit a bid on the job. Job interview time, ohh dear god I didn’t realize I needed to write a full job application for each job I bid on. I thought that’s why I spent hours setting up my profile with all that stuff about how clever I am. I spent another half hour or so writing a sales pitch then I’m ready to submit my proposal, click and wait… Not so fast it turns out I can’t place a bid on this job because I don’t have enough points or what ever they call them. Bugger that was a waste of time, fair enough I guess the client has to know they have a high level contractor if the are paying for a service. I should have noticed that on the job listing, but I’ll know next time for sure.
Back to the listings I go in search of more jobs I can bid on with my lack of points, I figured at this point that maybe I should bid on some lower end jobs to get my freelancer ratings up so I would be allege-able for the better paying and more interesting jobs. I searched the job listings again and found my first potential little design job. Note at this point I checked to make sure I could bid on the job with no rating within freelancer.com. Good to go!!! I put together my price, then spent another half hour or so writing my pitch for a twenty-dollar job (yeah I know). Click the go button ……. and no apparently I still can’t bid on jobs that don’t have any minimum rating requirement. How on earth does one get any work on this damn site if one cannot bid on any jobs?
I tried couple more low ball jobs with no specified minimum rating as an experiment to see if maybe I had just picked a faulty listing. All the jobs I tried to bid on came back with the same result. I just couldn’t get a bid submitted which ultimately means my time spent on freelancer.com has been a complete waste.
Normally I will look for independent reviews on anything like this before I bother to try it out, for some reason I cannot explain I didn’t in this case. Better late than never I started googling the problems I was having with the freelancer.com platform. I came across (Up Dated) a blog post from former user of freelancer who had written in-depth about issues he was having in regard to getting paid through the system, but the original post was just the beginning. The comments went on and on from dozens of other freelancers who were having some serious problems with the site, not only getting with actually work but more and more were having serious issues with getting paid or even in some cases having payments paid. Then can reversed and taken back, causing all sorts of headaches and many hours and emails with the site support trying to get the issues resolved.
I think this type of work generation is not for me. I think my time could be better spent finding a better way of driving my business to get the type of work I really want to be doing. The time I wasted on my brief venture with this freelance work site was a painting I never got done or a session working on fine tuning my site some more (version two now By the way).
There are dozens if not hundreds of theses freelance sites. I don’t know what the others are like, they might be better for getting regular freelance work and I have since read that some freelance illustrators and designers do quite well with them, so long as they are signed up for pretty much all of these sites and spend half of each day looking for and bidding on work. I have also read that many of these sites have their own problems that ultimately ends with the creative not getting work or worse not getting paid fairly or at all for the work they do get.
In summary I think my time is better spent creating my own market for my work than spending many hours trawling through freelance job listings, and spending even more hours pitching for jobs only to be out bid by low ball bidders who seem to be prepared to work for next to nothing.
That’s all for now,
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