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  1. #1
    Señor member
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    uk freelancing ....

    hi folks,

    I was wondering how many of you work on a freelance basis and where (if you use online resources) you find work online. I ask with particular reference to freelancers.net and was wondering if anyone had ever got any work from the site?

    What sort of rates are being charged on there? (are they more "european" prices for work or similar to e-lance) - I'm trying to establish whether I'm wasting my time pitching for work on the site really. I'm not looking to make millions but I don't particularly want to bust my balls for £5/hr either!

    I joined e-lance the other week and some of the charges people are offering for projects are well below the market norm because it's such a competitive market and competing against Indian, Chinese or Russian based developers is particularly difficult as they are able to work for a lot less but I guess you take your chance with e-lance.

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  2. #2
    An Inconvenient Serving Size hurricaneone's Avatar
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    It all came down to the amount of time I put into sites like e-lance, etc was not compensated adequately by the patheticly low number of bonafide leads generated.

    So, not to put good time after bad, I quit doing that.

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  3. #3
    Senior Member SubwayDesigns's Avatar
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    I tried answering to every job that looked interesting to me for about 2-3 weeks. Never got anything back...

  4. #4
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    As a test, I actually posted a 'fake' job on freelancers.net to see what kind of feedback I got. A couple of weeks ago now.
    I did it because I was considering the freelance career option and was interested to see what other designers were quoting, as I did not have a scooby doo how to charge a fair price.
    The job posting was for a purely informative/creative site - no databases or ecommerce or anything. All content/pics/logos would be provided for the job - just the design and creation was the pitch to the freelancers.

    Well... I have to tell you this. Within one hour of posting the job I had like 20 emails in my inbox - within a day I must have had another 100 replies. By the second day I withdrew my job post because I was just completely overwhelmed by the amount of responses I was getting.
    And not only that - going through the emails - was a joke. I had quotes for people offering to do the work for free, and then people quoting 9000 pounds. And I could not even identify a leap in the standard of work between individuals charging 150 quid to those charging 9000. It actually made me lose complete confidence in working freelance - because of the complete lack of continuity in pricing. How the heck am I meant to compete with people who are offerng to do work for 50 quid, when I would expect to get paid much more?
    If I had posted the job for real - I certainly wouldn't have approached any of the people through freelancers.net - because I just couldn't identify a trustworthy candidate. I got tired of looking at crap portfolio sites too - some of them really were a joke. The only emails that caught my eye were those who immediately mentioned the price they would charge (not a 6page explanation of why they charge what they do and then the price) and name dropped prestigious clients that they have worked for before.

    PLus - it was totally obvious that all the applicants post exactly the same email to potential jobs everyday. Some had clearly created a template email and forgot to personalise it to my job, leaving gaps where they had meant to fill in figures/particulars etc.

    To stand out from the crowd it woulod definitely take a very different email approach. And I doubt whether potential employers could be bothered/have the time to go through every single email - they might not even reach yours.

    Seriously, after that experience - I would not bother. Unless it is a highly specialist job where fewer candidates will be applying.

  5. #5
    Mental Deficit Nionicle's Avatar
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    paintmeapixel,
    I am only a student in flash but today i wanted to see what was going on in the boardroom. Then I cam across your post. It was very informative to me. Thank you for posting it.
    I can only postulate the probability of performing at a paramount level of perfection praised by the pulchritudinous paragon whose only practice is to preserve such a paradigm.

  6. #6
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    No worries Nionicle. Thankyou for acknowledging my post

    I really do hope that others take time out to read it too - there was in actual fact a feature in a UK net magazine on this very thing.

    They actually did exactly what I did on the freelancers.net site and did a several page article spread on the results in their magazine. If I remember correctly the conclusions they came to were much the same as mine, as well as the fact that freelancing prospects appear gloomy - and desperate going on the evidence of prospective designers offering to do the job for as little as 50 pounds or free, because they want the opportunity to develop their portfolio.

    It certainly made me question career prospects in the web industry.

  7. #7
    Mental Deficit Nionicle's Avatar
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    As long as you dont have a name for your company you can get almost any software and build media for your customers. These horrible designers then flood the net. While the Elite Professional designers are left looking for any openings they can find. The Elite have to drop there prices at times just to earn some income to feed the children.
    I hope you can get my point through my poor writing skills.
    I can only postulate the probability of performing at a paramount level of perfection praised by the pulchritudinous paragon whose only practice is to preserve such a paradigm.

  8. #8
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    Yup, I totally agree with you. It is sad for budding pros, but as always there must be a way round it.It's just gonna take a bit of thinking/strategising and a unique approach from the 'elite' to break in...
    Although I definitely do not recommend a site like freelancers.net (for web design), basically because it is just far too popular and anyone can apply for work. Their system does not benefit either designer/employer.

    Perhaps a way to combat this is to have a strict registering process, where prospective applicants have to prove they are 'professionals' and have registered copies of the software that stand with their line of work. And also provide more private information - maybe even bank details. That would cut out the people relying on piracy.
    And perhaps, any successful lead would have to have a follow up report to ensure that the person advertising the job doesnt get screwed over by the designer or vice versa.
    In fact, perhaps a system semi similar to ebay where you have feedback etc. Maybe payment for a job could even be completed through the site...
    Approaching a freelance network in this way would certainly combat piracy and hopefully give the 'elite' more of an opportunity, and in particular build a reputation through feedback.

    Hmmm... worth thinking about...

  9. #9
    Senior Member SubwayDesigns's Avatar
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    Guru tried to achieve what you're talking about. They have a test you have to take before you register to check if you're a 'professional'... of course none of this ever works, you can always look up every answer to the test and not really know anything about the software you say you master.

    And checking everybody who wants to register individually would be, I'm sure, a huge investment of time and require a qualified staff.
    The ebay system isn't great either... anybody can say they'll give you 5$ off their price against a good rating - or even threaten not to sell to you.

    It's quite hard to find online gigs nowadays I found. If you're lucky, one of your client needs many projects - or will provide more projects through word of mouth.

  10. #10
    mullet king
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    i survived my time in freelancing by creating a portfolio site, then searching for UK studios and mailing 100 per day.. it worked beleive it or not!

  11. #11
    Señor member
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    Originally posted by mx_kid
    i survived my time in freelancing by creating a portfolio site, then searching for UK studios and mailing 100 per day.. it worked beleive it or not!
    You mailed design agencies looking for freelance or a permanent job? It's got to the time of year where I've only got a couple of months left on my masters course so I need to try and secure either a regular amount of freelance (unlikely) work or a contract/permanent job.

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  12. #12
    mullet king
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    looking for freelance

    I think there is a good list on www.webdesigners.co.uk or something similar... lemme hunt it out

  13. #13
    Señor member
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    Originally posted by mx_kid
    looking for freelance

    I think there is a good list on www.webdesigners.co.uk or something similar... lemme hunt it out
    404
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  14. #14
    mullet king
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    Here ya go Jimmy Jim Jim-Bob
    http://www.webdesigner.co.uk/designers.html

  15. #15
    An Inconvenient Serving Size hurricaneone's Avatar
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    Originally posted by mx_kid
    Here ya go Jimmy Jim Jim-Bob
    http://www.webdesigner.co.uk/designers.html
    I cannot believe you landed a real design position not knowing that it's supposed to be Billy Joe Jim Bob.

    Don't ever say I never did you any favours.

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