My in depth odesk review of the top freelance marketplace for online contractors and employers.
On May 2009, 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. But it was very hard to create a portfolio and then to get real clients.
One day I came across a website called odesk. I was amazed by people who were making 10 dollars an hour. I had it in mind that, yes I want to work and make $10/hour.
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.
By reading this overall odesk review for both contractors and employers, you will have a clear idea about this platform and how it works.
- What is oDesk?
- oDesk for Contractors
- Job types in odesk: Fixed Price and Hourly
- Building Your Profile
- Getting a Job on oDesk
- Why oDesk?
- Tips for New Contractors at oDesk
- oDesk For Employers
- Know Your Outsourcing Needs
- How To Find The Perfect Guy/Girl To Outsource in oDesk?
- Things to Ask Before You Hire a Freelancer at oDesk
- Some Helpful Tools for Better Outsourcing at 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/hire using this platform.
oDesk for Contractors
Signing up for odesk is free and you can start withing 10 minutes. At odesk, you have to search for different jobs, apply and wait if your buyer hires you. oDesk helped me make a good living online. You can easily earn from a few dollars to a couple of thousand dollars a month.
Job types in odesk: Fixed Price and Hourly
There are two types 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 work 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
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
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.
Tips for New Contractors at oDesk
- 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.
- You can get paid through Payoneer Mastercard if your country does not have PayPal.
oDesk For Employers
oDesk is the number one outsourcing website in the world. You can join, verify your credit card and then post a job for free. After you post your job you will get lots of contractors applying to your job. You can get overwhelmed by odesk very quickly because you will be receiving 100s of inquiries depending on the type of job you posted. By default more than half of the people who have applied to the job will be the ones who cannot complete your job so it’s a bit tricky to filter out the real pros from the noobs.
Outsourcing is a skill to master. So many people get great results through outsourcing their workload and to the contrast so many folks waste precious money, effort and time dealing with freelance contractors. In this odesk review article I would like to outline about the things you can do to make your life easy in online business.
Outsourcing was meant to relax you and lose your pain but most of the times people spend more time by training and giving instructions to the contractor. If you are just starting out and don’t want that pain then continue please because this is the odesk outsourcing article that will make your life easier.
Know Your Outsourcing Needs
First define how much time and budget you have. Set a few deadlines that you want to achieve this within a given time frame. Find out how much your time is worth. There are few reasons you may want to outsource your work:
- You don’t have the time to do it yourself
- You don’t have the skills to do it yourself
- You need to get things done faster
Whatever the reason is, you got to find the perfect guy/girl for you. Set a budget for the project and how much you want to spend for this project. Add 40% additional to this budget. Say your budget is $1000, then add an additional $400 to it. This is for the over head cost that may be required in the project.
Set a time frame for your project. Let’s say you want to get this done within 1 month. Then keep an extra 2 more weeks in hand to be on the safe side if anything goes wrong or for the finishing touches. Hopefully odesk makes it easy to manage your finances and it won’t bill until you allow it.
How To Find The Perfect Guy/Girl To Outsource in oDesk?
Finding a contractor in odesk is simple, just post a job and people will start to apply for you. There are some companies, agents (middle man) available but the best way to do business with someone is to do with them as direct as possible. Most of these odesk companies will allow you to see who is actually doing your work, so you can always look up to them. Before hiring make sure you bring them on skype for a small talk.
Things to Ask Before You Hire a Freelancer at oDesk
If you hire the wrong person for the job, you will be paying more money and time in order to fix their mistakes at the end. Here are few things you should clarify and be sure about them:
How Much Knowledge They Have Over This Subject?
Don’t count how many hours they have worked on odesk or how many tests they passed. It is about how much they know. Does the contractor know more than you or do they know less? Do they know how to handle a project and what they have to do in order to complete it? For an example if you are hiring a logo designer and your website is about medical practices. Do they know what type of colors people usually use for medical logos; do they have good sense of colors?
Do You Work Fulltime or Part-Time?
People who are working fulltime, you can expect a faster turnaround time than them who do it part time. There are many reasons you should not hire someone who is working part time. If your contractor is in school or has office work, then you will have times when you need an urgent update and the guy you hired on odesk is not responsive for a while. If your project doesn’t requires an immediate attention, such as you want articles to be written then part time freelancer won’t be a problem for you.
How Many Projects You Have Done Before?
It is important to know what kind of work they have done in the past. Do they have an odesk portfolio with live links? Do they have testimonials and the people who gave are they real? It is very easy to spot the not if you have common sense. Ask your contractor what exactly they did on that project and how long it took for them to complete. If they cannot provide enough evidence of work that leaves you in doubt then consider hiring someone else.
Are You Online? Can I Reach You On Phone/Skype?
You should work with people who are real online. They should not use a fake name or username. You are doing business with them; you will give them money and secret information so you have to make sure they are real. Ask them if they can be found on google, facebook or other. See how they are online. If you can’t find them ask them why they are not. Ask for their phone number or skype name. A real freelance contractor should be easy on passing their contact number/skype ID to the employer. If possible give a call talk to them and know who they are.
What Are The Payment Terms/Options You Support?
Using odesk as a marketplace leaves no problem for you to pay the funds.When outsouring through odesk you can deposit money using credit/debit card, PayPal or bank check. Your money won’t be sent to the provider unless you authorize it. The best way to go is to have hourly work tracked by odesk software.
When You Will Deliver The Project?
Ask them when they will deliver/complete your project. Don’t get indefinite time frame like few days or few weeks. Get a definite timeline such as by 30th of this month. See how they perform and make sure they keep sending you updates as they complete each phase. Wait for the deadline to come and see what happens. Some contractors will complete your project before time, and some will not. You have to keep an eye for them who are aware of it. If they say “hey I know this was supposed to be completed by 30th but I had to take 1 more week for the final touches.” –these are words of responsibility and you should keep these people in your team.
Some Helpful Tools for Better Outsourcing at oDesk
- Skype –free PC to PC video/voice calls and screen sharing
- DropBox –free file sharing service ideal for transferring files
- LastPass –free password saving and sharing service.
- Jing –free screen recording service for instructing your contractor
So are you ready to join odesk? Click here
P.S: It takes hours of research and preparation to come up with these articles. Please click on the social buttons below, as a way to say thanks -it will take just a second!
- Freelance workers in odesk should blog for better exposure and to inspire others
- Tips For Creating Outstanding Profile/ Portfolio At Odesk
- Should I try out freelancing at Elance? Elance review
- I Went to oDesk Meetup Day Dhaka -2012 [Photos]
You will also start receiving my New Blog Articles through email.Just enter your email below and click Sign Up!