Elance vs. oDesk vs. Freelancer

Elance-vs-oDesk

Maximize Your Potential As a Freelancer

The dream of being able to work from home and leave the workplace for good has become a reality for more people than ever before thanks to outsourcing platforms. The first, Elance, was started in 1998 and is a place where people can bid their services to prospective employers. In the past 15 years, sites like oDesk, Freelancer, and 99Designs have joined them to offer freelancers of every skill the ability to work independently. How can you maximize your potential as a freelancer using these outsourcing sites as a foundation?

Know What the Commission Rates Are

Outsourcing platforms need to make money in some way and modern advertising revenue just doesn’t make the grade. You are using these platforms as a sort of agent or intermediary to obtain work, so each platform takes a percentage of the agreed upon rates as a commission for their work in helping you obtain work. Each website takes a different percentage:

• Elance charges 8.75%
• oDesk charges 10%
• Freelancer averages 13%
• 99Designs charges 40%

With Freelancer, different jobs have different commission rates, which is why their rate is averaged. If you don’t take these commissions into account, you could potentially lose money instead of make it, which is why it is important.

Know Where the Competition Is

Did you know that there are over 7 million registered sellers on Freelancer? On the other end of the spectrum, there are only 200,000 registered freelancers on 99Designs. The more competition that you have for jobs, the more likely you are to find that your bids or offers are being undercut by your competition. People are desperate for work today and are willing to work for a minimal hourly rate if it means they get enough to pay their bills. Before committing any resources into an outsourcing network, see what your competition may be, check their work history if you can, and know what you must be prepared to face as you seek your own work.

Where Are the Jobs At?

Freelancer has had the most jobs posted since their inception, over 4 million independent jobs. On the other hand, Elance has been around five years longer and had over 1 million fewer jobs posted in their existence. When you compare the ratio of jobs posted to freelancers registered, however, Elance wins hands down because there is more than 1 job per registered user, whereas there is about two-thirds of a job per user on Freelancer. Even 99Designs has an equal 1:1 ratio for jobs to freelancers. If there isn’t work for you on an outsourcing platform or the competition for that work is incredibly high, it may be worthwhile to check a different platform so that you get the work you need.

Are you using outsourcing platforms? If you’re not, then chances are you’re not maximizing your potential as a freelancer. Research each platform today to see which one might be right for you so that you can achieve the dream of working from home too!

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