If you're in freelancing for keeps, you need private clients, period. Every single serious freelancer has to make private clients and direct deals a priority in their business. The truth is, your chances are going to be mighty slim otherwise.
Here's a brief look at the five top reasons why YOU should be grinding it out every day, advertising yourself and making yourself known to potential private clients.
eLance, Fiverr, oDesk, Guru. What do all these freelance sites have in common? They charge you or your client extra.
On most professional freelance sites, like eLance and oDesk, you'll find that the client is charged extra. For example, if you do a job for $100, on eLance the client gets charged $100 + 8.75%.
When you deal directly with clients, and he pays the money upfront straight to your PayPal account (or whatever e-payment system you use), you don't get charged, and he doesn't either. It's a win-win.
Over at Fiverr, they take a 20% cut of whatever job you do. So, in reality, you're earning a measly $4 per gig (provided that no extras were purchased). Again, when you deal directly with clients, you're not losing out, and neither is he.
Dealing directly with private clients allows you to build a better relationship. You get to know each other (a little bit), you exchange e-mail addies, maybe even connect via social media; when you use a third-party program, you don't get to do all these things.
When you build a relationship with your client, he/she is more likely to realize that your services are an essential part of his/her business. Thus, they'll always have you at the back of their mind, and there's as much greater chance of them coming back to you, and giving you all their related work. In the long run, it's much more profitable to have ten clients who give you all their work, than a thousand who give you a job once and never come back.
Building relationships is the way to go.
Yep, moolah is just another word for money.
Private clients are much more likely to pay you more for the same amount of work, for two reasons:
- When clients use eLance/oDesk, most of the time they'll be going for the lowest-paid Philippino (no offense intended0.
- Since they get to know you better, they don't mind paying more. They know your quality of work, and they will actually pay you exactly what you deserve.
Number one, by the way, is just an inescapable fact. It's just true. Sorry, fellas. Number two is also true. When they get to know you, they're more comfortable giving larger amounts of money since they KNOW that you're gonna do a good job and not rip them off.
When you talk to and give a sales pitch to a client privately, there's no competition. There's nobody else around to spoil your chances.
With freelance sites, there's almost always a bidding process happening (excepting Fiverr). Especially for writing jobs, there will normally be close to 30 people bidding, all on the same project. That works out to approximately 3.3%, but it's more likely closer to 1% if you don't have any reviews.
When you deal directly with clients, you're the only one in the picture. Just you, and nobody else. You can set your prices, explain your work and the rest without having to worry about what others are bidding.
Needless to say, this raises the chances of getting hire pretty significantly.
When you do freelancing the private client way, what you know have is a sustainable business model. Something that is both ensured to work, and something that can be profitable enough for you to make a decent living at it.
Once you find your client, it's just a matter of rinse and repeat. And ultimately, this is gonna allow you to achieve the "work from home, work whenever and wherever" lifestyle you really want.
I would highly recommend that you switch to working for private clients, if you haven't already. Yes, eLance might seem great for now, but ultimately it's not gonna work out. 99% of the guys making a living online deal directly with private clients. It's up to you, now.
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About the Author: JR John is a happy-go-lucky freelance writer and red panda lover. He runs a website from which you can purchase his high-quality, professionally written articles. JR’s very grateful for the opportunity Akhil has graciously given him to guest post his meaningless rant on Make a Living Writing. To learn more about JR, contact him, or hire his writing services, visit his website.