I'm Touring The United States! Starting in June, I'm conducting private events in 23 American cities. Click here for full details.

Post Reply 
Freelancing on Elance etc.
Author Message
ColSpanker Offline
Pelican
****
Gold Member

Posts: 1,363
Joined: Oct 2011
Reputation: 5
Post: #51
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
One final question: do you do the Elance "tests" for your profile? I can see the point of them for coding and computer languages, but I tried taking the sales test and gave-up on it. I thought the thing was a joke, far too concerned about terminology and not enough about actual selling.

"We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."
(This post was last modified: 09-12-2013 04:47 PM by ColSpanker.)
09-12-2013 04:47 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Enigma Offline
Hummingbird
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 3,504
Joined: Oct 2012
Reputation: 87
Post: #52
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
@BB: Thanks for the info. In regards to the tax issue, I was reading something from another freelance writing expat and he was saying that a decent accountant should be able to find you enough deductions that you're paying little to nothing in taxes. You can write off damn near anything if you're creative. You might even be able to write off your travel expenses if you can prove it relates to your job.

If I remember correctly, he was only paying the accountant like $250/year. I would pay that just to avoid the hassle of filing myself haha.
09-12-2013 05:23 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 2 users Like Enigma's post:
Beyond Borders, Marmite
Bushido Offline
Ostrich
****
Gold Member

Posts: 2,012
Joined: Sep 2013
Reputation: 90
Post: #53
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
(09-11-2013 10:05 AM)Teedub Wrote:  
(09-11-2013 09:19 AM)MattC Wrote:  If there's a few of us living the freelance lifestyle, earning decent money and traveling, we should all hook up at various countries around the world.

That's my plan. Also, we're not U.S citizens so unlike those fellas we're not taxed on citizenship. Just move countries every ninety days and pay no tax!

Is this really true? Have you asked an accountant? I'm a Brit too and was also wondering about the tax implications of this lifestyle. I'm currently a resident in Japan so I'm off the UK books anyway but would appreciate any info you have on this.

One thing that has kept me from jumping in the deep end is getting to my savings goals first (I want to build a decent amount of capital before packing in my very secure job) but if freelancing abroad while changing location is truly tax free then it might be worth making the move quicker than I imagined. I think that I could save a decent amount of cash living in SEA, having much lower expenses and paying no tax!

PM me for accommodation options in Bangkok.
(This post was last modified: 09-12-2013 08:51 PM by Bushido.)
09-12-2013 08:16 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Matt3B Offline
Ostrich
****
Gold Member

Posts: 2,406
Joined: Sep 2012
Reputation: 34
Post: #54
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
Yes, Teedub, is that really true that we don't have to pay tax in foreign countries?

The 3 Bromigos Blog
09-12-2013 08:32 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Teedub Offline
Crow
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 5,182
Joined: Jan 2013
Reputation: 81
Post: #55
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
(09-12-2013 08:32 PM)MattC Wrote:  Yes, Teedub, is that really true that we don't have to pay tax in foreign countries?

Yeah, I think so. However, you have to keep moving around. My Dad is an accountant (corporate tax though, not personal) and he said even if you reside in a country for longer than 90 days, it's so insignificant for them to chase someone up, you could get away with it for years. Alternatively, just pay a little bit of tax and hide the rest of your earnings - just so you're paying something not to arise suspicion.

Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. - H L Mencken
(This post was last modified: 09-13-2013 06:33 AM by Teedub.)
09-13-2013 06:24 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Bushido Offline
Ostrich
****
Gold Member

Posts: 2,012
Joined: Sep 2013
Reputation: 90
Post: #56
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
I was actually asking from a UK point of view. I wouldn't be worried about the foreign government so much as they have nothing on me. Knowing our government, they will find any excuse to chase you for money. I have heard of rich Brits living in Monaco having to pay close attention to how many days they spend in the UK to make sure their tax domicile stays there and not in the UK. But internet business seems way less clear. If you have £10,000s going into a UK bank account in a year from PayPal or wherever that seems like it could raise some serious questions. As someone mentioned, maybe it's worth going the full mile and setting up in HK etc.

PM me for accommodation options in Bangkok.
09-13-2013 09:34 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 1 user Likes Bushido's post:
Vacancier Permanent
Teedub Offline
Crow
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 5,182
Joined: Jan 2013
Reputation: 81
Post: #57
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
Yeah, I understood your point. I knew you meant does it raise suspicion. Yeah, if regular amounts of 10,000 or above are regularly going into your account, that raises a red flag. As long as you move small amounts of money from paypal to your bank, you should be sweet for a few years. Then again, I'm not going to 'advise' tax evasion/criminality. However, I've already got a criminal record, so perhaps I'm not the best person to be asking! Personally, if I start making serious money, I'm going to wing it for a while. However, the 90 days rule is a rule, so as long as you don't break it you aren't actually committing any crime. Oh, I don't know - all I know is, just fuck income tax! I hate it.

Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit upon his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. - H L Mencken
09-14-2013 12:56 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 3 users Like Teedub's post:
Bushido, Fathom, Marmite
TopPanda Offline
Robin
*

Posts: 197
Joined: Aug 2013
Reputation: 1
Post: #58
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
Been freelancing for 10 years, never been pulled up about it.

HMRC is in disarray, do you think they have time to care about your shitty little freelance income when Starbucks and Google own them like £1 billion and they have a backlog of about a year's mail still to open?

Just go abroad and worry about an issue when it arrives. Foreign police don't often enforce the local laws, so why are they going to enforce another country's laws once you're here?

The only guys who need to worry are the American guys who have to pay taxes regardless of where they live.

Stuff I've seen on my travels...
Chinese Ladies Mapped by Province
09-14-2013 09:50 PM
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 3 users Like TopPanda's post:
Matt3B, Bushido, Teedub
w00t Offline
Kingfisher
***

Posts: 848
Joined: Dec 2011
Reputation: 13
Post: #59
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
(09-14-2013 12:56 PM)Teedub Wrote:  Yeah, I understood your point. I knew you meant does it raise suspicion. Yeah, if regular amounts of 10,000 or above are regularly going into your account, that raises a red flag. As long as you move small amounts of money from paypal to your bank, you should be sweet for a few years. Then again, I'm not going to 'advise' tax evasion/criminality. However, I've already got a criminal record, so perhaps I'm not the best person to be asking! Personally, if I start making serious money, I'm going to wing it for a while. However, the 90 days rule is a rule, so as long as you don't break it you aren't actually committing any crime. Oh, I don't know - all I know is, just fuck income tax! I hate it.

There is tax evasion and tax avoidance.
Tax evasion is illegal, tax avoidance is legal.

Thats why its really a good idea to read on your countries tax laws.
09-14-2013 11:46 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 1 user Likes w00t's post:
Vacancier Permanent
Andy_B Offline
Kingfisher
***
Gold Member

Posts: 607
Joined: Jan 2012
Reputation: 2
Post: #60
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
I currently work as an online freelancer (I'm a copywriter). Over 50% of my income comes from odesk, about 25% from warrior forum, maybe 5% from elance, and the rest from my website. I'm hardly one of the biggest earners on the freelance sites but I make a decent enough living at them, so I'll share what I've learned.

1. Don't be discouraged if the bidding is tough in the beginning. Getting your first job is hard, but once you have a job, you get reviews on your profile, and if the reviews are good, they'll make your next job come easier. Once you get past a few thousand dollars in earnings, you will get people starting to invite you to jobs (if your reviews are good). So toughing it out at first to land your first gig is definitely well worth it.

2. Upload lots of portfolio samples. Clients want to see samples before they hire you, so make sure you have a lot of strong ones in your portfolio.

3. Don't do it half assed. The saying "a job isn't worth doing unless you do it right" definitely applies here. If you don't put much effort into your profile, if you don't send out proposals regularly, if you don't put much effort into your proposals, if you don't take tests... You won't get anywhere. Online freelancing is definitely one of those things where you need to put in a consistent effort, even if you're not getting rewarded for it just yet.

4. Don't let the low paying jobs demoralize you. Probably only 1 in 10 jobs on odesk and maybe 1 in 6 jobs on elance pays decently well. A lot of contractors get mad as fuck about this and complain non-stop about "insulting" pay rates. Honestly, this isn't a big deal at all. First of all, there's not really a ton of competition for the well paying jobs, so even though they're few and far between, they are pretty easy to land. Most contractors on these sites do not have any "game," so you can win the best contracts pretty easy. Second, the low pay rates are not some kind of predatory thing. It's not like Google execs are trolling elance 24/7 trying to hire a 160 IQ programmer from Calcutta for $3 an hour. The people who want to pay super low rates are generally individuals who read some self help book about business that recommended outsourcing, and now they're spending the last 20 bucks in their bank account trying hoping to pull a winning lottery ticket. These people are usually more broke than you are.

5. The freelance site forums are generally a waste of time. This is something I discovered early on. Nobody there is actually sharing any valuable advice. It's mostly just contractors who aren't having any luck whining about how much their lives suck, and contractors who are doing OK telling the shitty contractors they have a bad attitude. There's also a lot of really dangerous scarcity-minded thinking on these forums, I find. Like for example I once read a post by some guy who said you shouldn't include a sample of your work with your proposals, because it's "giving your work away for free." Like, what are they going to do, reverse-engineer the app you wrote and sell it in some foreign country that doesn't recognize U.S. patents?? Pretty ridiculous, but for the freelance site forum posters, not an unreasonable concern.

6. You need to play it sorta beta on freelance sites. This is probably my least favorite thing about them; every client you work for has the ability to publish a review on your profile, so if you piss someone off too much, you can lose a lot of future work because of it. Just be polite, no matter how stupid or arrogant an individual client may be.

7. Freelance sites are, ultimately, a stepping stone. In a lot of ways, I feel that freelance sites are like the business world's equivalent of online dating sites. If you have no social circle and you live in a city with shit nightlife, online dating sites might be a way to get started. But you'd be an idiot to mess around with them if you live in a city with real options. Same with freelance sites. They're great to get your feet wet or get a start when you live in an area with few businesses and entrepreneurs to hustle work off of, but ultimately, the really good money is not to be found on freelance sites. To hit the really good money in freelancing you need to build a network of colleagues who can set you up with wealthy clients, sort of like how a successful lawyer depends on his lawyer friends for referrals. Either that or try to win contracts with big companies (of course, that comes with a lot of the same baggage that office jobs come with)
(This post was last modified: 09-15-2013 06:54 AM by Andy_B.)
09-15-2013 06:19 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 12 users Like Andy_B's post:
Matt3B, Beyond Borders, Enigma, Vacancier Permanent, Bushido, w00t, speakeasy, solo, VolandoVengoVolandoVoy, Vice, Marmite, GlobalMan
Bushido Offline
Ostrich
****
Gold Member

Posts: 2,012
Joined: Sep 2013
Reputation: 90
Post: #61
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
Great advice/information guys. This thread is golden. I certainly intend to join your ranks in the near future. Need to save a bit of cash first though.

PM me for accommodation options in Bangkok.
09-17-2013 04:23 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Architekt Offline
Ostrich
****

Posts: 2,254
Joined: Apr 2012
Reputation: 12
Post: #62
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
Currently going through odesk and doing a bunch of qualification tests. (Upgraded my computer today, but monitor is too old to run on my new shit... Gonna have to upgrade that soon :/)

Only thing is the test website is going so slowly that I'm pretty sure it's been missing answers sometimes
09-17-2013 07:20 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Beyond Borders Away
Peacock
******
Gold Member

Posts: 7,385
Joined: Aug 2011
Reputation: 251
Post: #63
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
(09-15-2013 06:19 AM)Andy_B Wrote:  Over 50% of my income comes from odesk

Good post. Do you find Odesk to be higher quality?

And have you tried Guru at all? I used to bid a lot on Guru and got some great jobs off there. I noticed sometimes job posters would have the same ad on Guru as they had over at Elance though.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.
To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes
frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Kipling
09-17-2013 08:41 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Andy_B Offline
Kingfisher
***
Gold Member

Posts: 607
Joined: Jan 2012
Reputation: 2
Post: #64
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
(09-17-2013 08:41 AM)Beyond Borders Wrote:  
(09-15-2013 06:19 AM)Andy_B Wrote:  Over 50% of my income comes from odesk

Good post. Do you find Odesk to be higher quality?

And have you tried Guru at all? I used to bid a lot on Guru and got some great jobs off there. I noticed sometimes job posters would have the same ad on Guru as they had over at Elance though.

Never paid any attention to Guru. I do have an account but I remember feeling like there weren't enough jobs posted there or something. Is it worth trying out?
09-17-2013 09:41 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
w00t Offline
Kingfisher
***

Posts: 848
Joined: Dec 2011
Reputation: 13
Post: #65
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
Good to hear youre having success on odesk, I kinda stopped paying it any attention but did have some gigs there early on. Maybe I should start focussing on it again.

I started pitching directly to companies now, sent out a ton of emails and started cold-calling some companies. I just pulled a list of local companies off wikipedia and went through them all, then moved on to the next big city. After Im done with that I will start looking for company blogs and contact them.
So far I got only polite rejections, one big beer company said they want to put me in their database for future reference and two others said they might need me next year. Lots of companies seem to do their stuff in-house or have contracts with agencies. This is tough and feels like starting out on elance all over again lol. But Im gonna stick with it and see where it goes.

Finally gonna set up my portfolio website this week, just waiting for the domain to come through.

Carol Tice told me I should stop wasting my time on elance but to me its still one of my main money makers so Im gonna keep bidding there aswell. Talking to a swiss travel site right now and it might turn into a steady gig. Pay is decent and they might even put my name on their website.

C'mon people lets make some money!!!
(This post was last modified: 09-18-2013 05:49 AM by w00t.)
09-18-2013 05:46 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 3 users Like w00t's post:
Teedub, Beyond Borders, Marmite
WanderingSoul Offline
Crow
*****
Gold Member

Posts: 5,806
Joined: Nov 2011
Reputation: 130
Post: #66
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
w00t, are you a writer or do you do SEO or something else?
09-18-2013 08:39 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
w00t Offline
Kingfisher
***

Posts: 848
Joined: Dec 2011
Reputation: 13
Post: #67
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
Yup Im a writer/translator but focussing more on writing and also branding myself as a social media expert now. Translation is too boring I dont wanna do it anymore.
SEO is dead as far as Im concerned. I work with seasoned pros who know their stuff in SEO (I dont!) and they say they dont even have a clue what all the agencies are doing anymore since the latest updates.
(This post was last modified: 09-18-2013 08:56 AM by w00t.)
09-18-2013 08:54 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Beyond Borders Away
Peacock
******
Gold Member

Posts: 7,385
Joined: Aug 2011
Reputation: 251
Post: #68
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
(09-17-2013 09:41 AM)Andy_B Wrote:  
(09-17-2013 08:41 AM)Beyond Borders Wrote:  
(09-15-2013 06:19 AM)Andy_B Wrote:  Over 50% of my income comes from odesk

Good post. Do you find Odesk to be higher quality?

And have you tried Guru at all? I used to bid a lot on Guru and got some great jobs off there. I noticed sometimes job posters would have the same ad on Guru as they had over at Elance though.

Never paid any attention to Guru. I do have an account but I remember feeling like there weren't enough jobs posted there or something. Is it worth trying out?

lol Way to answer my question with a question. Wink What's up with Odesk? I assume by the nature of your thoughts on Guru that it's much higher quality. Cool - I will check it out.

Anyways, it's been years since I messed around with Guru but I remember feeling it was better than Elance at the time, though some job posters were the same ones on Elance, as I mentioned.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.
To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes
frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Kipling
09-18-2013 08:55 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Beyond Borders Away
Peacock
******
Gold Member

Posts: 7,385
Joined: Aug 2011
Reputation: 251
Post: #69
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
(09-18-2013 08:54 AM)w00t Wrote:  Yup Im a writer/translator but focussing more on writing and also branding myself as a social media expert now. Translation is too boring I dont wanna do it anymore.
SEO is dead as far as Im concerned. I work with seasoned pros who know their stuff in SEO (I dont!) and they say they dont even have a clue what all the agencies are doing anymore since the latest updates.

Hey Woot - do you have any resources to share on building social media skills? Does Carol have anything like that in the forum these days? I urged her to do something in that department before I left but not sure if she ever did.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.
To be your own man is a hard business. If you try it, you'll be lonely often, and sometimes
frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Kipling
09-18-2013 08:57 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
w00t Offline
Kingfisher
***

Posts: 848
Joined: Dec 2011
Reputation: 13
Post: #70
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
There is a subforum "Social Media marketing" on the den and she also has a bootcamp on getting clients through social media.
I think for her its mainly a tool to getting clients though, not so much a skill in itself that you would market to clients.

I dont have any ressources I had some prior experience from running my own sites and doing some promo on facebook/twitter and the likes. But I had the opportunity to participate in a social media campaign at a trade show for one of the top companies in its field with hundreds of billions of revenue each year.
Basically they just threw some money at it to see what happens. So Im leveraging this now to position myself as a social media guy.

I believe this will happen more and more in the next years as major companies start waking up to social media, have no idea what to do and will look for external experts. I will be there to take their money Big Grin I think you dont need that many skills to work a twitter and facebook account, like so many things in life its more about experience and positioning than raw skills at least thats the way I look at it.
(This post was last modified: 09-18-2013 09:06 AM by w00t.)
09-18-2013 09:06 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 2 users Like w00t's post:
Beyond Borders, Teedub
Freedom Offline
Robin
*

Posts: 194
Joined: Aug 2011
Reputation: 0
Post: #71
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
This may be getting off topic but, how is social media helpful for elance?
@W00t Socially Media is a relatively new in business marketing and evolves very quickly so it will inevitably change in the future. I know it works for many, but it's not applicable for every business. It also takes a good writer.
However, I applaud you for cold contacting. I read from salesmen to get new business cold-calling is the best route. What is your pitch/approach?
BTW, what is the "den"?
09-20-2013 03:32 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
w00t Offline
Kingfisher
***

Posts: 848
Joined: Dec 2011
Reputation: 13
Post: #72
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
I just ask for someone whos responsible for their online-presence or online-marketing, maybe some head of marketing guy. When I get someone on the phone I tell them Im a freelance writer from their city (right now Im focussing on local business), rattle down some companies I have worked for and offer them my services. I also try to identify holes in their online marketing, for instance if they have a blog but not a newsletter I bring that up and offer to write one for them.

The den is the freelancewritersden, its a pretty good paid forum run by Carol Tice. She also has a blog and several books on freelance writing.

Here is a good starter on cold-calling, I used to work in cold-calling and I hate it! Im focussing more on email right now but with cold-calling you get an immediate response and the response rate is way higher than with emails too.

http://www.makealivingwriting.com/2011/0...old-calls/
09-21-2013 01:46 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 2 users Like w00t's post:
Beyond Borders, Marmite
Bolthouse Offline
Banned

Posts: 176
Joined: Mar 2013
Post: #73
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
Any of you guys on blackhatworld?
09-21-2013 06:34 AM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
ColSpanker Offline
Pelican
****
Gold Member

Posts: 1,363
Joined: Oct 2011
Reputation: 5
Post: #74
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
Cold calling is what I do most of the day. Walking into businesses, introducing myself and making a pitch. I sell for an industrial maintenance company, so a lot of people use our services. I don't recommend cold calling for anyone with thin skin. I routinely deal with Assholes who toss my card back at me. It's a little different if you do it over the phone, but you don't get the social cues to gauge the sell.

"We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."
09-21-2013 12:33 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[-] The following 1 user Likes ColSpanker's post:
Vacancier Permanent
Freedom Offline
Robin
*

Posts: 194
Joined: Aug 2011
Reputation: 0
Post: #75
RE: Freelancing on Elance etc.
@W00T Good article post! How do you deal with rejections when asking for the manager or person in charge of marketing?
I've been told to call back or leave a message and they don't get back to me. I'll call back the 2nd time and still nothing. Some people say you should call every other day until about the 5th time and leave a message stating "this will be the last call" (in a polite manner of course).
I have the "Well-fed writer" book and even though I haven't finished reading it, it seemed to lack specific tactics and techniques. Any particular chapter that gives specific examples you recall?
09-21-2013 05:48 PM
Find all posts by this user Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply 


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread: Author Replies: Views: Last Post
  Road to software development - Freelancing Secret 31 6,471 07-28-2018 06:53 AM
Last Post: Apoc
  IT Skills that Lend to Freelancing, Remote Working, Location Independence, etc. Alpha_Romeo 43 17,916 07-23-2016 08:45 AM
Last Post: ElJefe1
  [Making Money]  Anyone experienced with art/creative freelancing? Elster 13 20,322 03-07-2016 05:03 PM
Last Post: johnbozzz

Forum Jump:


User(s) browsing this thread: 1 Guest(s)

Contact Us | RooshV.com | Return to Top | Return to Content | Mobile Version | RSS Syndication