Like I said before, if you want to win the good projects on Elance and make some real money (not just for peanuts), the first thing you need to know is how to choose your battles. Just bid on projects worth bidding on, or at least can turn into a project worth bidding on (some buyers don’t know how to come up with a useful brief, but sometimes you can help).
That being said, below are some types o projects you DON’T want to bid on. In fact, you should run like crazy when you see posts similar to these.
1. “I have many projects for you, so bid accordingly” – What does “bid accordingly mean”? I know what it means… means you want me to work for peanuts, don’t you? In this case, let’s not hide behind fancy words and false promises. Just say “I’m looking for cheap work and don’t care about image, so if you do this one for a nickel, there’s more where that came from”. I think I’ll say pass!
2. “I need a clone of the following website” – You also don’t care a lot about image and I have a feeling you expect this to cost you close to nothing. After all, you provided all the “creative input”, right? I just “did some HTML”. No, I don’t think I want to be associated with plagiarism and cheap work. No thanks!
3. “I want blue rounded corners with a 2px white border” – Wow, I’m amazed! You seem to know so much about web graphics. I’m sure we’ll get along great and you will be able to help me with a thing or two. I always love to hear a good Photoshop tip from one of my clients. NOT!!! Sorry, my friend, but this is not the kind of brief I expect from clients. I expect the kind of “tell me your needs, your goals, your expectations” kind of brief. Throw in a site structure, the website content and maybe some style preferences and we’re good to go. Give me too much design related details and I know for sure that you’ll make my life miserable in the next couple of weeks.
4. “I need a website for my company” – That’s good to know. I was afraid you’re gonna need me to build you a space shuttle or something. Duuhh! Of course you need a website! After all, your project is listed under Website Design & Development. To such a project description, my estimate can only be this: it will cost between $500 and $50000 and it will take between 3 and 365 days to complete. Come on! Give me something to work with. This is the exact opposite of point 3.
5. “We had a good designer who designed themes in WordPress for $150 each. That is a comfortable price point for us” – Can I have his number? I have a job for him! Now seriously… even free themes are worth more than that. But I guess it’s true what they say: you get what you pay for. Sorry, but I’m more “comfortable” with clients who appreciate my work.