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Quit Chasing Loose Change On Sites Like Fiverr and Odesk and Go Where the Real Money Is Local Business Marketing
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Quit Chasing Loose Change On Sites Like Fiverr and Odesk and Go Where the Real Money Is Local Business Marketing

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Freelance SEO Consultant, Web Designer and Internet Marketer.

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Video Transcription

Hey guys, John here for another edition of Freelancing Friday.

Okay, this week I got a great question from one of my subscribers Chrissy, and Chrissy asks,

“Hi John, I've just recently entered the industry myself but I've always had a fascination with website design and creation. I was wondering if you have any additional advice for me in terms of getting that first paying client. Would you recommend checking out fiverr, odesk or elance to get started?”

Great question, thanks for sending it in Chrissy, let's get straight into it.

The first thing that I want to point out, is that this is a question that quite often. I have a lot of people sending me emails asking – should they go to Odesk, Elance, Guru, Freelancer, or Fiverr, or any of these freelancing type websites, to get themselves clients, and my answer to that is, “no”.

Now a lot of freelance web designers may disagree with me on that, saying no, going to sites like Odesk and so forth to find paying clients, because for some people that might work, but I want to run through a number of reasons why, I don't believe these sites are worthwhile for those of us who want to build a long term sustainable web design business.

Reason number 1 – Pricing wars.

For those of us who live in western countries, whether it be New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, the USA, or Canada, we already know the difficulties involved with trying to compete with people that in say, perhaps India or the Philippines, or parts of Asia where their pricing and bids on jobs that are listed are just so substantially different – and usually always lower than ours – trying to compete with that is almost impossible.

Reason number 2 – Difference in global economy

I know for myself personally living here in Sydney – it's one of the most expensive cities in the world – I can't compete with someone who's willing to design an entire ecommerce website in Manila for $25. I just can't compete on that level

Reason number 3 – Standing out from the crowd

I find it's very hard to stand out from the crowd on a lot of these freelancing sites, because there's just so many providers.

Reason number 4 – Dropping standards to get work

This probably touches on my previous point about the difficulties involved about standing out from the crowd, and that is, you'll find yourself just continually doing whatever it takes to fight for clients.

Reason number 5 – Focusing on vanity metrics

This is just my own personal opinion, but this has come about through general observation from watching in on a lot of freelance web designers that become absolutely obsessed with these silly user ratings and feedback scores.

Now all of those 5 things combined, just essentially leave you fighting with everyone else in order to try and find ….scrounge up whatever crumbs you can possibly find at the bottom of the cage.

Now I don't know about you guys, but I certainly don't want to be building websites at $2 an hour – and this is essentially what happens when you find yourself, fighting or scrambling for work, and fighting amongst all of the other developers on sites like Fiverr and Elance.

I can't be certain, but I think this comes about through a lot of freelancers just wanting everything to happen from the comfort of their own desk.

  • “I'll find clients online”
  • “I'll send emails”
  • “I'll just hang out on forums”

That sort of mindset is really limiting to what you can potentially achieve in terms of attracting clients.

Now I'm not sure if I've spoken about this in the past, I probably have in a previous video, but I want to just mention it again. When I quit my job – I was making about $85,000 a year working for government, when I quit my job, I essentially woke up the next day and I shat my dacks.

I thought, “right, I cant be mucking around here, I've got bills to pay, I've got to eat, I've got expenses, I've got rent to pay and everything else". So I put on my work clothes, I had a whole bunch of business cards printed up, I got in my car and I went banging on doors. I went from business to business. I was handing out cards, introducing myself and I was trying to line up meetings.

This is something I encourage all freelance web designers to do. Get out from the comfort of your chair and go and meet business owners. Forget about chasing work on sites like Fiverr and Odesk – you're going to be working for absolute peanuts.

Don't underestimate the amount of work that is right at your doorstep – through small business and local business in your area.

Okay that's it for today's video, I hope you've enjoyed this one. If you have a question or comment please leave it below. If you haven't yet already, please subscribe. If you've found this video useful please share it with your friends, and if you'd like to see me cover anything in particular send me an email just like Chrissy has and I'll shoot a video for you just like this one.

Thanks so much for watching, take care.

Author
John Romaine
Freelance SEO Consultant, Web Designer and Internet Marketer.

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