In this edition of the Affiliate Buzz, host and Instructor of the Affiliate Marketers BootCamp, James Martell and wife Arlene discuss what you need to know to transition smoothly as Elance becomes Upwork. Elance of course is an online freelance marketplace company, and Upwork, the new online platform.
James and Arlene kick off the episode with the announcement about their new grandson, who is on his way and should arrive soon on nearby Vancouver Island.
The Merger between Elance and oDesk
James kicks off the episode by recapping the merger between Elance and oDesk. The two former competitors are both successful on demand service providers. He and Arlene first discovered Elance at Commission Junction University in Santa Barbara.
Over the past decade, James has discussed Elance frequently on the Affiliate Buzz. He and Arlene have posted over 1300 projects through the Elance system, and are not sure what they would do without it.
Upwork - A Freelance Talent Platform
Elance and oDesk are in the process of transitioning to a new freelance platform called Upwork, which has more than 9 million registered freelancers. Their skills include editing, writing, producing, accounting, legal, and anything else you could need to outsource.
Upwork has more than 3 million jobs a year posted, and there are over 4 million active clients - which include James and Arlene. Arlene points out that the fierce competition forces freelancers to offer affordable prices.
James adds that the ability to work from anywhere is a highly desirable trait. As long as you have a computer and a decent internet connection, Upwork offers an unlimited talent pool of low cost professionals to take care of the work for you.
Upwork offers you the chance to hire freelancers from all around the world. If you live in an expensive area, for example Vancouver where James and Arlene live, then hiring a freelancer from a geographic area with a lower cost of living allows you to hire them at a rate that's affordable to you, but still lucrative for them.
James has already registered for Upwork and started to post projects. Because his current service providers have also made the transition, he can post new projects and continue working without interruption.
Making the Transition: Elance becomes Upwork
During the podcast, James offers a live walk through of the Upwork dashboard. While similar to the Elance dashboard, James observes that Upwork is a lot cleaner. It uses the full screen instead of a narrow view.
Then James reviews the jobs he has listed on Upwork and compares the amount of bids he's received here as to what he would have received on Elance. With 9 million freelancers, there will be no shortage of service providers to bid on your jobs.
If you are dreading the move from Elance to Upwork, then you are not alone. James had some initial concerns, too but now that he is registered on Upwork and is getting comfortable with the dashboard, he looks forward to using it for future jobs.
James had some questions about certain features included on Elance, and how the move to Upwork would affect them. He called Elance who assured him that the following would transition over:
- your portfolio where you include samples of your work
- the biography you put together for others to view
- all the feedback you've given or received on Elance
Comparing Upwork to Elance
While looking around the Upwork system, James noticed that the messaging system is a little more organize than what Elance users are used to seeing. He points out that you can filter freelancers according to ones you've hired or ones you've messaged.
Arlene is newer to the outsourcing side of things than James. During the podcast she shares some of the experiences she's had hiring freelancers, what she looks for including details in their proposal, ratings, and feedback. By the time she hires someone, she is sure she is getting the right person for the job.
James and Arlene wrap up the podcast by comparing the pricing between Elance and Upwork. Arlene describes how she recently used her meticulous process to hire someone from the Philipines to transcribe some podcasts. The result was stellar work at a fair price that met every deadline.
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