In Bangladesh and other developing countries oDesk has received a huge positive response There are lots of “help groups” and forums where freelancers talk about their experiences and help newbie freelancers to get on their feet. I myself is in a few groups for odesk freelancers. This post is based on my findings from those groups. In this post, I will write about 5 worst mistakes that a oDesk freelancer can make.
You can earn real money from oDesk. But money should not be your main driving force. If you are just in it for the money, let me tell you, you will have a hard time finding work. You should be passionate about the work that you do. If you are a freelance web designer, you should feel passionate about creating new websites and learning new things. Otherwise it will effect your work and you will get bad feedback from your client, which will make getting better jobs harder.
This is the second most deadly thing an oDesk freelancer can do. Not only in oDesk but in other freelancing platforms there are opportunity to take part in paid or free skill tests. Many freelancers want to cheat on those open-book tests in order to get a good result. If you do so, you are only killing your freelance career. Suppose you are poor in English but you want to score a good marks in oDesk Basic English Skill Test. So you get the odesk test solution from online and get a top 10% position. But what will happen when the client wants to chat with you on skype or call you on your phone? How will you cheat then? This will create a bad impression.
You must read the whole job post properly, understand it and then then apply to it. If you are not 100% confident about the job then you should not apply to it. If you apply to the job post without reading it properly not only you will waste the client’s time but you will waste 1 of 20 job applications that you are allowed to make in a given week. Many clients want you to start the job application with a random phrase just to make sure that you have read the job post properly.
Clients are always on a deadline and they are always in a hurry. That is why they went to oDesk and hired you – a professional. You should always maintain communication with him and update him daily about the work process. This will ensure a good feedback when he ends the contract. Even if you take longer than you originally said it would take, if you maintain proper communication it will not be a big problem.
Odesk guarantees payment on hourly jobs but they do not do so in case of fixed priced jobs. So, sometimes you can be cheated by the client. To avoid this always do the following: require atleast 10% upfront payment and require milestone payments as you complete a segment in your project. Also, if you are a web-designer you should work on your server instead of the clients’. If you are a graphic designer when submitting work (before payment has been made), you should use water marks on the image and you should never hand over the source files before payment has been made. But again, this will depend on your relation with the client.
What major mistakes have you made in your freelancing career?