It’s official! On 16 August, I contracted my 100th oDesk client, Mr. Bill Young. I’m proud, happy, overwhelmed and… a little tired – not because servicing 100 clients makes you tired (well, it does, in a good, temporary way) but because on Thursday morning I only had 95 clients, which means I’ve been working non-stop since. But how do you get 100 clients on oDesk and what does it mean?
Most people who read my blog will know that oDesk is a freelancing platform, where clients can hire skilled freelancers in a range of specialist fields: writers, social media marketers, engineers, web designers, translators, transcriptionists and more.
100 oDesk Clients Valued My Skills
I started working on oDesk on February 1, 2011 with very little experience in web content writing. My first client hired me to write some Ezine Articles for her business. She was suitably impressed, and from there, things started ticking over.
Soon enough people started contacting me for a range of services and I loved the learning experience.
Lessons I Learned From Working on oDesk
oDesk, like everything else in life, offers valuable life lessons. Here are some of the things I have learned:
1. People Buy YOU First.
Clients post jobs for which freelancers can apply. If clients see a profile they like, they can invite the freelancer to an interview. Knowing how to read a job post and understand what the client wants, is crucial. It is crucial to apply only to jobs that you can definitely do, instead of just blindly applying and hoping that you can wing it.
Tip: Be courteous, responsive and professional.
2. Not Everyone Understands the Value of Quality Work
People hire freelancers to do their work for a number of reasons, but mostly either:
a) because they don’t know how to do the work, or
b) because they do know that it is a specialist tasks.
It is usually those clients who have the most experience and knowledge about what makes for good writing, especially for the web, are the ones who put up the biggest budgets and appreciate your efforts. They are the ones who are prepared to hire you on hourly contracts.
3. People Value Responsiveness
If there’s one thing online employers like, it is responsiveness. They want to know that you are there, and that you are working on their projects.
4. Great Service Brings Word of Mouth Marketing
Can’t afford to market your business? Then offer GREAT service – friendly, quality and on time. That way, clients will keep on returning to you and send you referrals.
5. I’m Finally Viewing Myself as a Pro
And it feels GOOOOD! Two-and-a-half years may seem like a long time to get to 100 clients, but do bear in mind that that’s on one platform only. I also have accounts on Fiverr and Brainliners, and I have gained plenty business from my LinkedIn account – without even trying. But I’ll stop tooting my own horn – hard as it is. 🙂
Of course, I could not have done this without the support of fabulous people who were prepared to give me a chance, be patient with me and, when they hired me to do something I was not really trained to do – they took the time to teach me. I’m forever grateful to all of you.
Here’s to the next 100!!!