Looking for freelance work? I’ve been doing business on VWorker since 2004. With over 200 completed projects, I can show you the sweet spots on most VWorker employers. Jump-start your success with these bidding tips!
vWorker is also a great way to build up your portfolio and practice working with some of the toughest clients. Dont get me wrong. There are great people on there too. Practice makes perfect, even when you are getting paid for it.
Note: I am in no way promoting speculative work. Please avoid crowdsourcing and competitions by using the filter. Those are recent addition that I do not participate in. We will see how they affect the market place over the next few months.
A Quick Bit About VWorker
vWorker.com (formly know as Rentacoder) is a dynamic online marketplace where 161,545 employers hire and manage 330,430 virtual workers to assist them in business and personal projects. Virtual workers span every country across the globe and every imaginable expertise, including computer programming, writing, graphic design, marketing and many more. vWorker.com offers the safety features and money-back/payment guarantees that allow thousands of these transactions to be done succesfully every month.
Show Them Your Portfolio
You are not actually anything unless you have something to show for it. Put together some type of showcase to provide clients when you are bidding. Sometimes your portfolio is the only thing that needs to talk.
VWorker Profile – Direct Upload
Upload your portfolio images directly to your account. This may be a good option for those who avoid web design.
Upload and organize your portfolio on a 3rd party community site. Check out some of the sites below if you like receiving feedback from artists.
Build A Unique Website
My preferred option. There are many ways to go about creating a website on your own server. Platforms like WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal are great options for easily managing your portfolio website. If you are interested in this more professional method of showcasing your work I’d recommend checking out theDesignerHost.
Keep Your Introduction Short
I’ve posted coding projects on VWorker before. So I know what it’s like. There’s nothing worse than receiving a ton of “canned” proposals from bidders. An employer doesn’t have time to sift through an endless list of irrelevant portfolio links, or read a long 3 paragraph introduction.
Keep the introduction short by asking relevant questions about the project, make suggestions, and show them a single link to your online portfolio address. You objective is to encourage conversation, and prove that you know what you are talking about.
Another helpful tip is to bid with your introduction. Give them a ball park bid estimate and issue a disclaimer that your bid is subject to change after discussion. You are more likely to get a response if you bid because the client usually has a budget in mind.
Bid A Fair Price
Don’t always bid the maximum! VWorker is infamous for its under paying projects. It’s crucial to avoid getting reckless. Projects are rarely budgeted correctly by the employers. Let’s face the fact that most of the jobs are posted by someone starting up a business without much experience. You need to set budget standards that you can live with.
If the project has a max bid of $40, and will take an estimated 5 hours, perhaps you can leave that job for someone less experienced to bid on. On the other hand, if the project will take a month and it’s only a few bucks below your estimate, you can probably suck up difference.
Bid according to your value of time and you will win more projects overall. Remember, there are new projects posted every single day of the week. Don’t force yourself to under bid a project just to win. Winning 10 low budget contracts will drive you insane.
Build Up Your Reputation
Your vWorker reputation consists of your rank, ratings, and your overall professional appearance.
Your average rating is the first thing the vWorker employer is going to look at. Starting out can be tough but even scraping up a few projects for less than they are worth can help this. Many times a 9 or 10 rating is enough to show that you are reliable enough to trust for a mid level project.
vWorker rank is something that I still strive for at #520, because I’ve experienced what it can do for my bidding success. There are over 300,000 members in the vWorker system which can be discouraging. Don’t let that huge number detour you from jumping into the action. Stick to most of these tips and over a bit of time you will be up in the top 20%.
As an employer, seeing a bid from a worker ranked #200,000 out of 300,000 is not impressive. Being ranked #20,000 out of 300,000 is going to get you some returns on those introductions.
Building your vWorker rank is the key to winning large budget graphic design projects.
I wasn’t going to include professional appearance because its a bit vague, but I think it could help some designers. Applying for a virtual job is a lot like a real world job. These are just a few quick vWorker professionalism tips.
Reply quickly if possible.
Keep your portfolio up to date, organize your resume, and provide good etique.
Check your vWorker general settings and hide your project values. Hiding your project values will keep your low end projects from being devalued. Also, you don’t want employers haggling at your price because it appears that you completed the same work for a lower price 2 months ago.
Dirty Trick: Don’t rate the buyer immediately if you think you aren’t getting the 10 you deserve. This will give you some time to cover it up with another 10 rating before the double blind grace period ends. Clients like to see 10’s on top of your work history.
Get Expert Rating Certified
Becoming vWorker Expert Rating Certified is one of the easiest things to stand out. The tests take about 40 minutes and range from Adobe Illustrator to HTML 5. I’d recommend completing at least one of these no matter what it is. Note the bid significance below.
Place An Expert Guarantee
A vWorker Expert Guarantee can be very valuable to your bidding strategy if done properly. An Expert Guarantee, for those who don’t know, is an escrow made by the worker in conjunction with the employee to ensure cooperation from both ends.
Its much like a deposit that you would make before renting and apartment. Don’t punch a whole in the walls and you’ll get your money back concept.
Most vWorker employers do not require an Expert Guarantee, however placing the Expert Guarantee can help your edge on the competition when its not required. What does it say to an employer when you volunteer to risk your own money to win the project? It says this designer is highly confident, and he/she does not screw around.
I usually stick to 5-10% when placing my vWorker bids.
Stick To What You Are Good At
Everyone wants to be great at everything but not all of us can handle it. An important saying comes to mind,
Jack of All Trades – Master of None.
Customize your portfolio to reflect your focus and specialty. And don’t bid on anything on the vWorker newest work feed. If you can’t think of a plan in your head immediately for the project then its probably not for you.
I stick to simple informational web design and some branding work. These two things go well together since many employers think that it should happen at the same time or they come back for the other part later. 80% of my work comes from internet start-up companies whose logo will only be on the website until further expansion.
Try To Stay Available For Chat
Staying available for chat can sometimes persuade confused employers. If you are online, you can answer their questions, and justify your bid before they toss it out.
Bid every single day if you can! Try to be the first bidder. Sometimes it takes up to a week to win a project when I’m on a dry spell. Exercise your right to reject bids within 24 hours if you win too many. Keeping a consistent schedule of work is vital to maintaining your income as a freelance designer.
There will always be that one client out of ten that gives you an 8 rating, because he doesn’t think you are the best in the world. Look past it and move on. Heck, back in the day I even had some 3’s because I missed the deadline. I’m doing fine now.
Keep at it with a positive attitude and you are sure to start winning bids consistently.
Not familiar with VWorker? Check it out here