Elance Client Guide


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The Elance Client Guide was created to help new businesses get started on the site. Learn tips and tricks to get the most out of your Elance experience.

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Elance Client Guide

  1. 1. Keep Up the Good Work:A Client’s Guide to Success on Elance
  2. 2. 1. Work Differently™: Success awaits....................................... 3 2. Creating Your Job Post: Set yourself up for success............. 5 1. Create a clear and detailed job summary.................... 5 2. Select the right category and subcategory.................. 7 3. Specify the skills or experience needed...................... 7 4. Choose between an Hourly and Fixed Price job......... 8 5. Set your budget as accurately as possible.................. 8 3. Finding Great Freelancers: Be proactive............................. 10 4. Choosing The Right Freelancer: Cut to the chase............... 12 5. Awarding Your Job: Close the deal...................................... 16 6. Managing Your Project: Where work gets done................... 18 1. Managing terms, payment and approval................... 19 2. Managing work and paying for Hourly jobs............... 20 3. Managing work and paying for Fixed Price jobs........ 20 4. Managing jobs on a daily basis................................. 22 7. Once Your Job Is Complete: The final touches.................... 24 8. Your Reminder: Stay safe.................................................... 25 9. Job Well Done: Keep up the good work............................... 26Table of ContentsMark F.Japan | The Moneo Company
  3. 3. Section 1:Work Differently™: Success awaitsHello and welcome.We’re glad to see that you’re ready to grow your business with great freelancers.Whether you’re new to Elance or looking to fine-tune your hiring talents, thisClient’s Guide to Elance is your starting point.You’ll learn everything from how to pinpoint the best online workers, to settingbudgets, managing projects, making sure you only pay for what you expect andgetting the absolute most from online freelancers.First things first though. Hopefully you’ve already registered at Elance. If not,sign up now (it’s free).Now, what exactly is Elance?Elance is where people Work Differently™.We’re an online workplace where businesses go to find, hire, manage andcollaborate with skilled online freelancers. Elance has over 500,000 businessesposting 100,000+ jobs each month.Here at Elance you’ll have peace of mind knowing that you’re in control,working safely and only paying for what you expect. Plus, we’re there with youevery step of the way.Xan H.United States | Buffalo Jackson Trading Co.On Elance you’ll find the world’s top professionals. They’re the happiest onestoo. Why? Because “Elancers” are self-employed and free from big commutesand small cubicles, so they love their work and are more productive than everyday employees. Check out our latest global freelancer survey to see whyElancers are so cheerful when working with you.Oh, and the results are equally impressive for businesses, as you’ll see frombrowsing our most-recent global business survey.Elance: A Client’s Guide | 3
  4. 4. Section 1: (continued)Work Differently™: Success awaitsHow Elance works.It’s simple. To find, hire and manage jobs using top professionals on Elance, allyou need is a web connection and an internet-ready device. You can even useyour smartphone or tablet.To get started, just post your job for free on Elance. We’ll help you find aperfect freelancer who matches your needs and budget. You’ll then collaboratewith your freelancer in a secure Workroom, taking advantage of all the greatcommunication tools and features available to help you confidently manage yourproject and freelancer. You’ll only pay for work that you approve, and Elancewill be by your side taking care of the paperwork that typically comes along withpaying. This lets you focus on what you do best: Growing your business.Next: Creating Your Job PostIn terms of payment, you pay your freelancer using the Elance platform. That’sit. There are no additional costs for using Elance to manage your job. Instead,Elance’s service fee of 8.75% is paid by the freelancer, meaning they’ll accountfor this in their price. For example, when your freelancer submits a $500proposal, we add our fee to their quote (you’ll receive a bid of $543.75). Whenyou pay your freelancer, we deduct our $43.75 and pass the remaining $500 onto your freelancer.Ready to dig in and learn more? Let’s get started.Take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with the guidelines in the followingpages. With the instruction provided you’re sure to grow your businessusing Elance.Ramon R.United States | Smallbiztechnology.comElance: A Client’s Guide | 4
  5. 5. Section 2:Creating Your Job Post: Set yourself up for successTo attract the best talent on Elance you’ll first need to create a job post foryour project at hand. The job post briefly explains what you’re looking for, andusually, how much you want to pay.In the next section we’ll discuss your many options for getting this job posting infront of freelancers, but for now let’s focus on making your post stand out. Afterall, with thousands of businesses competing for the time and talent of our bestfreelancers, it’s important that your job post be eye-catching and informative.So, what are the keys to a great job posting?1. Create a clear and detailed job summary.You’ll save time and effort by being specific in your job post. Here’s why:• You’ll attract the best proposals, as freelancers look for clients who are wellorganized and prepared.• You’ll get started faster, since project details help answer freelancerquestions up front.• You’ll avoid bumps in the road, making a smoother path to a successful project.Elance: A Client’s Guide | 5
  6. 6. Here are some tips:▪ Details. Details. Details. Writing your job post is no time to be vague. Letfreelancers know exactly what the project entails, what’s expected, whatskills you’re looking for and any other details critical to the project. If it’simportant for understanding the scope and timing, include it. While there’sno ideal length, be succinct and write it as long as it needs to be. And don’tinclude confidential information that you wouldn’t want shared publicly.- Hiring someone to develop a mobile app for you? Specify if you’re lookingfor an iPhone or Android app (or both!).- Looking for an article writer? Include an estimate of word length inyour job post.- Need animation in your marketing video? Highlight the need for animationexperience and ask for examples in your post.• Provide example files, if possible. As the old saying goes, a picture isworth a thousand words. In addition to describing your vision, include asample that speaks volumes. The example can be something you’ve workedon, or something on the web that’s close to the job you have in mind.Section 2: (continued)Creating Your Job Post: Set yourself up for successElance: A Client’s Guide | 6
  7. 7. • Consider using an Elance template. If you’re not sure where to begin tocreate your job post, try one of our pre-populated templates. We have themfor many different jobs in a range of categories, and each can help you getstarted by filling out important areas. Remember to customize the wording toreflect your unique project and requirements. This can be a real time-saver,especially on your first couple of jobs until you see how easy it is to startfrom scratch.2. Select the right category and subcategory.It’s critical that you place your job in the appropriate category; otherwise it won’tbe seen by the ideal freelancers. Freelancers can only bid on your job if it’s intheir respective category. This helps Elance ensure your job post is visible tothe right talent.Not sure which category is best for your job? Try searching for similarprojects on Elance, and you’ll find the category and subcategory they’reorganized under. This will save you time as you’ll help limit the proposals youreceive to higher-quality matches.When selecting the category and subcategory, think about the outcomeyou’re looking for:• Need a logo for your investment firm? Select the Design & Multimediacategory and Logo subcategory.• Hiring a PR consultant for your small IT business? Post your job in the Sales& Marketing category (Not IT & Programming).3. Specify the skills or experience needed.If your job requires specific know-how, such as a background in iOS orPhotoshop expertise, share that fact up-front. This will save you time asyou’ll help limit the proposals you receive to higher-quality matchers. Needsomeone with PHP programming skills? Looking for a writer who has editorialexperience and speaks Spanish? Want custom animation development in yourvideo? Select those skills when prompted.Section 2: (continued)Creating Your Job Post: Set yourself up for successElance: A Client’s Guide | 7
  8. 8. 4. Choose between an Hourly and Fixed Price job.On Elance you’ll have the option of paying on an hourly basis or with one fixedprice. We note this with options “Hourly” or “Fixed Price.” Each has its uniquebenefits for various projects, but here is a quick recap:Choose Hourly jobs when:• You need flexibility, as project size and scope may change.• You have an ongoing project involving follow-up.• You want to evaluate 2 or 3 freelancers, getting a feel for work beforecommitting to one freelancer for a larger job.• You want to start a job instantly and fine-tune some details later.• You want to make sure you only pay for hours worked, and want to takeadvantage of the free Elance Work View™ feature to track work and viewyour freelancer’s real-time screenshots.Choose Fixed Price jobs when:• The project is set in stone, and you’re familiar with the amountof work required.• You want to use the Elance Escrow feature to fund key milestones in theproject and release payments gradually as you approve work that’sbeen completed.Regardless of which option you choose, you can change at any time. Simplyrequest the modification and you and your freelancer can change termsin a heartbeat.5. Set your budget as accurately as possible.If you’re new to hiring freelancers, estimating the fixed price cost or hourlyrate of a job can be a learning curve. But don’t worry, you’ll get the hang of itsoon. Spend some time considering all of the variables, then try to suggest areasonable figure. This isn’t necessarily your final price. You can negotiate withthe freelancers you like before settling on a final price. Estimating a budgethelps make your project more attractive to the best candidates, as freelancerswill know you have given thought to the project scope.Tip: You can also look for jobs similar to yours already posted on Elance, andsee what others are charging. Or make it an Hourly job (vs. Fixed Price) andsimply allocate a number of hours for work. You can add more hours as you geta better feel for the project.When in doubt, leave the budget open. If you’ve scratched your head to no-endand just can’t determine a reasonable budget, it’s OK. Set your budget as “NotSure” and as you narrow down your choices, you can always discuss the costand hours required with each freelancer to work out a fair price.Section 2: (continued)Creating Your Job Post: Set yourself up for successElance: A Client’s Guide | 8
  9. 9. Move your project atop the job list. Elance automatically places your jobnear the top of the listings page once you post it. This should make it easy foryou to find freelancers searching for projects that match these skills. However,if you need additional opportunity to catch the eye of top freelancers, for $25you can choose to feature your post so it stands out on the listing page andfreelancers know you’re serious about your job. Bonus: This fee actuallylets you re-list your job at the top of the listings page twice, giving you morechances of being seen.Further hone your posting with Other Options. On the Create your job page,you’ll see a section called Other Options (Privacy, Location, etc.). Click theShow button to reveal more alternatives you can apply to refine your post. Thisincludes options to select:• Job Posting Visibility – Use this option to determine if your job is viewableby all Elancers, or only candidates you invite to view the posting.• Preferred Candidate Location – Use this option to specify where you preferfreelancers to be located. Once you check the box, you’ll be prompted toindicate the location.• Post This Job For – Use this option to determine posting length, usingthe pull-down menu to select how long the job will remain posted. Chooseanywhere from 1 to 90 days.• Proposed Start Date – Use this option to indicate when you would like thework to begin.• Purchase Order Number – Use this option to provide a PO number for yourfreelancer to use when invoicing.Section 2: (continued)Creating Your Job Post: Set yourself up for successNext: Finding Great FreelancersElance: A Client’s Guide | 9
  10. 10. Now that your job is posted, it’s time to find the perfect freelancer. It maytake a couple hours for freelancers to come across your job post, absorb therequirements and respond with their job proposals. But that doesn’t mean youhave to wait. Get things going by searching for and inviting freelancers to bidon your job post. Here are some thoughts on finding that talented professionalquickly and easily.First, check out Elancers we’ve recommended. Using our sophisticatedmatching tools, we automatically generate a list of Elancers who look right foryou. We’ll show you these candidates immediately after you create your jobpost. Browse the candidates and invite the most-promising ones to submita job proposal.Section 3:Finding Great Freelancers: Be proactive• Use Search for potential candidates. Another option is to find freelancersusing Search. In the search bar at the top of most Elance pages, simplytoggle to “Search Freelancers” and type in any search criteria. Be specific.You can search by specific skills (PHP experts) or more general descriptions(web programmer), or by the work you want done (develop a mobile app).Invite those who are the best fit.You can also select Portfolio Samples search and identify candidates byviewing samples of their previous work. Simply click the Portfolio Samplestab and type in what you’re looking for, such as “Ecommerce website” or“Restaurant logo”. You’ll find samples sure to give you a great idea of what’spossible for your job.Elance: A Client’s Guide | 10
  11. 11. ▪ Look for Tested Skills. While searching, on the left side of the searchresults, you can also narrow your search to freelancers who have passedSkills Tests on Elance. These tests let you know that the person you’reworking with has proven know-how in the area you need. There are hundredsof Tested Skills on Elance, from programming and development to design,language proficiency, marketing savvy and more.▪ Invite members of pre-screened Elance Groups. Elance Groups arefull of talented and verified freelancers. With an A-to-Z offering of Groups(literally Android Development Experts to Zoho Creator Experts) it’s easy tofind trusted professionals. Group membership is often dependent on verifyingcredentials (Microsoft Certified Professionals) or passing certain Skills Tests(WordPress). You’ll find Elance Groups ranging from technical fields tocreative fields. Simply invite all members of a Group to submit a job proposal,or filter the list to hand-pick a few of your favorite candidates.Section 3: (continued)Finding Great Freelancers: Be proactiveAfter posting your job, getting proposals and also inviting a handful of other greatElancers on your own, you should find yourself with a nice collection of potentialhires. Now it’s time to identify the freelancer(s) best for your unique project.Next: Choosing The Right FreelancerElance: A Client’s Guide | 11
  12. 12. OK, you posted your job, invited interesting freelancers and perused ourrecommended choices (if not, see section 3). Now it’s time to narrow your listto a few shining stars. You can do this by reviewing their Job Proposals andProfile pages and taking time to chat with top candidates, among other time-saving options.Keep in mind that the freelancer with the lowest price is not necessarily thebest choice. Nor is the person with the highest bid. To get the most value, yourideal freelancer should offer outstanding talent at a fair price. Although pricingis a moving target, often determined by supply and demand, here is a quickoutline of some popular skills available on Elance and the average price perhour to complete that job:For updated pricing statistics, including for skills not provided here, visit theElance Talent Trends section.Section 4:Choosing the Right Freelancer: Cut to the chaseBeyond pricing, when choosing among candidates here are some thoughts:▪ View freelancer Proposals. Interested freelancers will respond to your JobPost or invitation with a Job Proposal. What do you look for in a Proposal?All Countries - 2012 Average rate Higher-end rateMobile Developer $23-35/hour $100-$160/hourWeb Developer $20-$30/hour $90-$120/hourGraphic Designer $18-$26/hour $40-$50/hourWriter $13-$19/hour $45-$55/hourSearch Engine Optimizer $9-$14/hour $50-$65/hourVirtual Assistant $7-$11/hour $25-$30/hourCustomer Service Agent $7-$11/hour $25-$30/hourBook-keeper $12-18/hour $25-$35/hourElance: A Client’s Guide | 12
  13. 13. ▪ View freelancer Profile pages. Each freelancer has a public Profile page onElance, which is a great starting point to determine their skills and experience.Here are areas for you to review when browsing a freelancer’s profile:Overview: Think back to when you were writing your job post, and howmuch effort you put into writing something that was professional and friendly,yet succinct and detailed. Expect the same from a freelancer. Review theirOverview to ensure it’s clear and relevant. Is this the sort of person you want towork with again and again?Feedback ratings and comments: When clients complete each project onElance, they’ll rate and leave comments on the quality and value of the workthey received. Clients also rate each freelancer’s work on a scale of 1 to 5–including areas from Quality and Cost to Response and Professionalism. Payclose attention to these ratings, especially if the freelancer has several jobs andconsistent ratings.Take a moment to browse the written Feedback the person has received,and if clients consistently recommend the freelancer. Also look to see howthe freelancer responds to feedback–this can be a good indicator of theprofessionalism you’ll encounter on your job.▪ Look for someone truly interested. A good Job Proposal will include anintroduction that’s written specifically to your project. Rather than a formletter sent off to any possible client, they demonstrate interest and ask goodquestions to get clarification.▪ Look for professionalism. The tone of the Job Proposal should beprofessional, with attention to detail. There should be a natural flow ofinformation from section to section, making the Proposal a unified piece.▪ Look for unique value and benefits. Find freelancers who have directexperience in the job you’re hiring for. Also browse for people who point outhow they’ll take a unique approach to apply their skills towards your project.Section 4: (continued)Choosing the Right Freelancer: Cut to the chaseElance: A Client’s Guide | 13
  14. 14. Levels: Closely related to Feedback and Ratings, Elance Levels is a numericalranking we calculate to show where each freelancer stands among their peers.It takes into account many variables, from a freelancer’s activity and long-termrelationships to earnings, reviews and more. The higher the Level, the higherthey’ll appear in results when you search.Tested Skills: Freelancers are encouraged to take Skills Tests on Elance, toshow their proficiency in their fields. There are hundreds of test available, invirtually all fields.On each Profile page you’ll see a list of the skills tested, and where they rateamong their peers (Top 1%, Top 10%, etc.). Look to make sure the freelancerhas taken and performed well on the skills tests that matter most to you.Groups: Many freelancers have joined Elance Groups reserved for Elancerswho have been pre-screened, by providing specific credentials or other proofof their expertise. Check to see if the candidate has joined a particular group,which will give you a good indication of their skill level in that area.Portfolios: There’s no better way to get an idea for someone’s talent thanto see actual work they’ve done. If applicable, simply click on the person’sPortfolio to browse related projects.ID Verification: Freelancers have the option of having their identificationformally verified through their Elance account. Look for the green check mark tosee if your candidates have taken this step.Section 4: (continued)Choosing The Right Freelancer: Cut to the chaseElance: A Client’s Guide | 14
  15. 15. • Use multiple forms of communications to screen freelancers. Whenyou’re starting to narrow choices, it’s good to open a line of communicationwith top freelancers. Your project Workroom has its own private messageboard, allowing for email communication that is automatically captured onElance, where it matters most.Sometimes it makes sense to simply pick up the phone or use Skype to discussthe project. This is okay after you’ve received a proposal from interestedfreelancers. Just always be sure to document the conversation back in yourproject Workroom, particularly if you’ve discussed any decisions around timing,budget or scope of work. Really, any details important to your project shouldbe documented back in the Workroom’s message board and updated in theproject’s official Terms & Milestones. While having these conversations offElance is fine, and can often help you come to a decision faster, be sure you’remanaging your project and payments only through Elance. This is how you stayprotected, avoid any potential scams and take advantage of all Elance has to offer,including our awesome Customer Support.• Consider a smaller project with 2 or 3 freelancers. Another popular option isto give a few freelancers a small portion of the project (or a related job) to seehow things go. It’s easy to set up an Hourly job for 2 or 3 hours, and let eachwork their magic. You’ll get a good idea of each person’s skill and work style–hopefully enough to make an informed decision on who to go with for the entirejob. Think about this as you would a normal hiring process, except you’ll getthe opportunity to see how the person performs. You’ll only allocate a smallportion of your overall budget in the process, and eventually go with the bestfreelancer, paying and thanking the others for their time and effort.In conclusion: Use this handy checklist.That’s a lot of information to absorb, eh? As a quick review of what to lookfor when considering freelancers, here is a brief checklist of ideal requisites.Hopefully your ideal candidate will have:□ A genuine interest in your specific job.□ A job proposal that’s professional, friendly and well-tailored to your project.□ Direct experience tackling projects closely related to your job.□ An impressive Portfolio of related work (if applicable).□ A succinct and well-written Profile page.□ Positive Feedback and Ratings from clients, as well as a high Level.□ Tested Skills in areas related to your project.□ Membership in Elance Groups related to your project (if applicable).□ ID verification status.□ A track record of responding promptly to your requests during thevetting process.You’ve now gathered all of the important information needed and you’ve madeyour decision on which freelancer to hire. Now it’s time to hire and get thework started.Next: Awarding Your JobSection 4: (continued)Choosing The Right Freelancer: Cut to the chaseElance: A Client’s Guide | 15
  16. 16. With a top candidate (or entire team) picked, it’s time to finalize the negotiationsand get ready to work. Start by confirming the price and job terms. Here issome advice on quickly and efficiently settling things.Negotiate a fair price. You may have already proposed a price on your jobpost form, or mentioned a price when communicating with a freelancer, andnow it’s time to finalize that budget. Often a freelancer will be excited about thejob, but they’ll estimate that the project will require more funding. This could bean issue with your original price estimate, or it could be that the scope of theproject may have changed. Either way, keep these thoughts in mind:▪ Always remain professional. No need to take things personally. You’re aprofessional and you know what the job is worth to you. Simply explain whyyou feel you’re offering a fair price. Be flexible if your freelancer offers pointswhich you hadn’t considered.▪ If things change, update terms and milestones. When changes happen,update all related items in the project. Be especially sensitive to shifting enddates, price and scope.▪ Avoid fraud. Never take jobs off Elance. If freelancers ask you to completethe job or pay them outside of the Elance platform, a warning bell should gooff in your head. Something is not right. It’s against Elance rules and you’re indanger of getting scammed. If you agree and pay them outside of the Elanceplatform, you will lose all protection Elance affords you. Period.Section 5:Awarding Your Job: Close the dealNow it’s time to award the Job. Here’s how:▪ Select a freelancer’s Proposal. When you’ve found the winning offer, simplyaward the job by selecting the best Proposal. You’ll be prompted to updateall the terms and milestones. These updates will get sent to the freelancerfor approval and vice versa should they request any edits. Here’s moreinformation on setting those final terms:For Hourly jobs, terms include: a) the number of authorized hours you agreeto pay your freelancer each week, b) the hourly rate for these hours and c) thenumber of weeks the job will take.You’re going to want your freelancer to use Elance’s Tracker tool with WorkView turned on, so make sure you discuss this with your freelancer and Trackerwith Work View is activated. Tracker acts like a timecard, and freelancers signinto Tracker when they sit down to work on your job. Work View will then takerandomly-timed screenshots of a freelancer’s screen and automatically uploadthese screenshots to your job’s Workroom. This gives you unprecedentedvisibility and control into the time you’re paying for. The nice thing about WorkView? If you see activity in your freelancer’s timesheet not related to your job,you can reject that time and avoid paying for it.Elance: A Client’s Guide | 16
  17. 17. Be sure to review timesheets on a regular basis too. If you simply approve themblindly, you may run into surprises at the end of the project. By staying up-to-date on the quality and price of the deliverables you’re receiving, you and yourfreelancer can stay in synch.Also, if you haven’t done so already, be sure to put your payment method onfile through the “Financial Accounts” section of your Elance account (Manage/Financial Accounts). This is important because with Tracker turned on, Auto-Pay is turned on. More information on Auto-Pay is available in the next sectionof this Guide, “Managing Your Project.”For Fixed Price jobs, terms include the project milestones and amounts youagree to pay your freelancer for the work delivered at each of those milestones.Milestones are key dates in your project when you expect work to be deliveredand make payment to your freelancer. The vast majority of Fixed Price jobs onElance work best with more than one project milestone because this gives youmultiple opportunities along the way to view, approve and pay for work.Here are a few examples of the types of milestones clients and freelancers setfor projects on Elance:For a writing project:• Milestone 1: freelancer delivers an outline of the final writing• Milestone 2: freelancer delivers a first draft of the final writing• Milestone 3: freelancer delivers final writingSection 5: (continued)Awarding Your Job: Close the dealFor a video project:• Milestone 1: freelancer delivers a storyboard of the video script• Milestone 2: freelancer delivers a first draft of the video• Milestone 3: freelancer delivers a second draft of the video• Milestone 4: freelancer delivers final video with source fileSet as many milestones as you’d like, breaking up your total budget amongthese key milestone dates.By using Elance Escrow, you can then fund these milestones ahead of time,giving your freelancer the confidence that payment is securely in place sothey can begin work. Payment doesn’t get released until you allow it*. Whileyou don’t need to fund all milestones at once, funding the first milestone is abest practice and we encourage freelancers to avoid doing any work on anymilestone until it’s been funded.Looks like you’ve found the right person and settled on terms. You will be notifiedby email (and in your My Jobs section) when the freelancer has accepted thejob. Now it’s time to start the project and get some great work done.*Note: we’ll cover more about releasing payment on your project milestoneslater in this Guide. However, it should be noted that payment on an Escrow-funded milestone will get released automatically after 30-days if no action hasbeen taken by the client after the milestone is marked complete.Next: Managing Your ProjectElance: A Client’s Guide | 17
  18. 18. Congratulations! Your Job was accepted and you’re now ready to work withyour freelancer for an awesome result. With every project you’ll automaticallybe assigned a secure Elance Workroom where you and your freelancer cancollaborate. This is also where you’ll track progress, receive completed workand ensure that your freelancer gets paid for work you approve.These notes will make you get great work and build a working relationshipthat can extend to projects down the road. While there are many services andfeatures, below are some highlights on how to get the most from workingwith Elance.Remember, you’re free to invite additional TeamMembers or Guests.Great work happens when the full team works together. To make sure you havethe right people tackling and reviewing work, Elance makes it easy to assemblethe right team. This includes freedom to create entire teams of workers ratherthan a single freelancer.Build an entire team. Many businesses realize that the most-efficient andeffective way to work is to have a full team of freelancers ready at all times.A good example is a full team of Elancers to build your website–from a UXdesigner and key programmers to SEO experts and link builders. But once theproject is over, keep the team together for regular maintenance. Simply openan Hourly job (see Section 5) and keep it open for when work is required. Then24/7 you’ll be ready to assign more work instantly when the need arises.Add existing Team Members, new Team Members or Guest Users. As yourproject is progressing along, you may find it beneficial to bring in additionalElancers or colleagues to augment the process. This can include adding otherSection 6:Managing Your Project: Where work gets doneElancers you’ve worked with to this job, inviting new Elancersyou find or even inviting other colleagues to join Elance andbecome part of the team as a new Team Member or GuestUser. Here’s how to add Team Members:1. From the top-level navigation on any Elance page, clickManage/My Team. Or, from your Workroom’s main page, inthe People section click Add.2. Select either Team Member or Guest User (Guests havelimited functionality and will only have access to theWorkroom for a limited time).3. Follow the on-screen direction, either adding an existingTeam Member or inviting a New Team Member or Guest.Elance: A Client’s Guide | 18
  19. 19. Note: When adding Team Members, you can determine the level of access eachperson has. Here are the roles you can assign and the functionality allowed:AdministratorCan complete all Elance tasks.Hiring ManagerExcept for Withdrawals, can perform all tasks.RecruiterExcept for Withdrawals and Payments, can complete all tasks.StaffCan perform a partial set of actions required for jobs.1. Managing terms, payment and approval.Take advantage of the many features built into Elance that help protect you,your money and your ideas. While all freelancers who are on Elance agree toour Terms of Service, you can also further protect yourself and your ideas withadditional terms before and after your job is awarded.▪ Consider NDAs and other documents. If you need to provide candidateswith sensitive information in the job post, before you’ve hired, it’s a goodidea to ask each freelancer submitting a proposal to sign a Non-DisclosureAgreement before you engage in further discussion past your initial job post.This way you can explain the job need without concern for protection of yourintellectual property.In our Help Center you’ll find several sample contracts you can customizeto further refine your agreement with the freelancer. From Non-DisclosureAgreements to Engagement Letters, you’ll find sample documents containingkey issues. You simply personalize them with your exact details and uploadthem to your job.▪ Independent Contractor Services Agreement. Your original ideas are whatseparate you from other businesses. By default, the contract you and yourfreelancer agree to before work begins has a work-for-hire provision. Thismeans that you, as the client, own all work created by the freelancer. Alsoincluded in the agreement are freelancer obligations to confidentiality, non-disclosure and non-competition.▪ Upload Additional Terms. You can further amend your working relationshipby adding to the language of your job terms, if the amendments are uploadedto your Workroom and both parties sign and agree to the alterations. To doso, visit the Terms & Milestones page of your Workroom and add these files.Your freelancer will be prompted to accept these additions.Section 6: (continued)Managing Your Project: Where work gets doneElance: A Client’s Guide | 19
  20. 20. 2. Managing work and paying for Hourly jobs.It’s easy to stay on top of the work performed for Hourly jobs. To do so,your freelancer should use the Work View feature and Tracker tool so thatscreenshots get submitted to your project’s Workroom and timesheets getsubmitted to you automatically at the end of each week. With these tools, youcan review screenshots along the way and after a timesheet gets submitted,you’ll have 5 days to review that timesheet before it gets automatically paid.During this review period, you can reject any time that wasn’t spent on your jobfrom the timesheet so you don’t pay for these hours. Just click Timesheets inthe Workroom, select the appropriate Timesheet and Review.Again, you’ll have 5 days from when a timesheet is submitted to you,before it gets automatically paid. This is called Auto-Pay. Use this time toreview the timesheet, look at the screenshots during those project work hoursand reject any time you don’t see was spent on your job. You have full controlto review and approve the authorized hours on your job. Use the 5 days todo so. This is called Work View Protection. Once the auto payment has beenmade to the freelancer, it is not refundable.3. Managing work and paying for Fixed Price jobs.With Fixed Price jobs, you’ll manage payment by setting milestones. You canthen use the Elance Escrow feature to fund these milestones, and each time amilestone is approved by you the funds will be paid to your freelancer.When a milestone is achieved, meaning a freelancer has uploaded the workdeliverable to your Workroom, they will mark that milestone as complete,thereby triggering a request to release the Escrow funds.Now, it’s your turn: review the work that was uploaded by the freelancer. Isthe first draft of your blog article exactly what you were expecting? Did thefreelancer create the website wireframe as you had both agreed to in the projectterms? If the answer is “Yes” and they’ve done the work that was expected,then release the Escrow funds for that milestone so your freelancer can getpaid and you two can move on to the next milestone. If the answer is “No”,message your freelancer in the Workroom and discuss what needs to be donebefore you release those funds. You have 30 days to resolve any issues–afterthat time the invoice will be paid automatically (unless other steps are takenthrough our dispute process). With Elance Escrow and milestones, you approvethe work before you release funds. This is called Elance Escrow Protection.As mentioned earlier in this Guide it’s recommended that you break your projectup into several smaller milestones. Initially you can fund just the first milestone,or fund all milestones at once. It’s up to you, but note that we recommendfreelancers don’t start working on a particular milestone until it is funded.Section 6: (continued)Managing Your Project: Where work gets doneElance: A Client’s Guide | 20
  21. 21. Again, funds will be released when you review and approve work for thatmilestone. NOTE: Funds are automatically released 30 days after the job ismarked complete. So be sure to either release the Escrow funds prior to this, orwork with your freelancer on any edits that need to be made to the work.If you are unable to work with your freelancer to receive a deliverable thatyou approve for releasing Escrow funds, you can contact Elance for disputeassistance. Simply click this option in your job’s Workroom to get in touch. Besure to allow time in the process for this step, as payment will be automaticallysent after 30 days.Section 6: (continued)Managing Your Project: Where work gets done▪ If needed, Elance will assist. If no resolution is agreed upon between youand your freelancer, we will discuss the situation with all parties and attemptto resolve concerns. We have a well-defined dispute assistance process inplace, which can be accessed directly from your project Workroom. Althoughwe don’t make final decisions, we help facilitate the discussion to make sureall issues are on the table to more easily reach a consensus on matters.Elance: A Client’s Guide | 21
  22. 22. 4. Managing jobs on a daily basis.As well as payment and approval features, you’ll find many ways that Elancemakes it simple for you to complete projects quickly and efficiently. Here aresome additional tools available to you in your project’s Workroom.▪ Communication and collaboration. You’ll find tools for staying in touch(from email to video conferencing), as well as solutions for sharing files andtracking work. Use them, particularly your job’s private message board andthe Terms & Milestones page where you can document key decisions youand your freelancer agree to. This is critical should any problems happenduring the project that need Elance’s help, or should you require disputeassistance (as only the agreements documented here can be reviewedduring the assistance).▪ Request weekly status reports. It’s simple for freelancers to keep youupdated on jobs. For hourly jobs, the weekly timesheets created by Trackerserve as status reports. And remember, if your freelancer is using WorkView, as we strongly recommend, these timesheets will also include real-time screenshots so you can see exactly what’s being worked on during yourAuthorized Hours.For Fixed Price jobs, ask for weekly status updates, with notes on tasksperformed, hours worked, journal entries, attachments and plans for theupcoming week. These status reports, along with your project’s milestones canhelp you stay on top of progress.▪ Upload all files and ask for all files to be uploaded. Make sure everyoneuploads all files to the Workroom when changes are made and deliverablesare sent. If your freelancer needs to use an off-Elance service to uploadtheir deliverables, be sure they document the location, file names, etc. in theElance project Workroom’s message board as well.▪ Eliminate paperwork and busy work. Elance has streamlined the processof getting work done, including taking many of the bureaucratic steps out ofthe process. Things happen automatically, intuitively and greenly. MotherNature will thank you. For example, invoices will be automatically generatedweekly on Hourly jobs by Tracker. For Fixed Price jobs, these invoices arecreated when milestones are completed and approved.Section 6: (continued)Managing Your Project: Where work gets doneElance: A Client’s Guide | 22
  23. 23. ▪ Control notifications. On Elance you can decide what correspondenceyou receive and how often you’ll receive them. From marketing materials toalerts, simply indicate your preferences.▪ Real-time analytics. You’ll find a summary giving you a concise update ofhow much money you have spent on which projects. Just click Manage/MyReports to find this useful information.With the information provided in this Client Guide to Success, you should begetting great work and building a lasting relationship with your freelancer. Butonce the job is finished and the freelancer paid, there are a couple more stepsto ensure the process goes smoothly for everyone involved .We also have a 1099 service available. If you are a business in the UnitedStates (U.S.) and you hire a freelancer who is a “U.S. Person” as defined bythe Internal Revenue Service (IRS), you may be required to submit a 1099 taxform to the IRS at the end of the tax year. For clients with multiple jobs andfreelancers, this can involve a great deal of paperwork. On jobs that requirea 1099 form, if requested by the client, Elance will issue the applicable 1099forms on behalf of the client to the IRS and to the freelancers at the end of thetax year. A summary report will be provided for the client as well.Next: Once Your Job Is CompleteSection 6: (continued)Managing Your Project: Where work gets doneElance: A Client’s Guide | 23
  24. 24. Before you move on with the great work you received, take a moment to finishup the loose ends:▪ Provide Feedback. Your opinion matters. Feedback is among the most-significant ways clients are able to differentiate between one Elancer andanother. Take a moment to rate how well the person performed, and whatvalue you received. Keep in mind that Feedback cannot be changed, so don’tleave Feedback early, be honest and refrain from anything which you mayregret later. Remember, freelancers can read your reviews too, and someof the information you provide will be made public while some may remainprivate and only available to the freelancer. Also of note is that freelancerscan respond to your feedback, so always handle responses (positive ornegative) in a professional manner.Section 7:Once Your Job Is Complete: The final touches▪ Keep track of your freelancer. Use your My Freelancers page to quicklylocate and Rehire your preferred partners. Be aware of how busy they’regetting, to make sure there is time for your next project.Next: Your ReminderElance: A Client’s Guide | 24
  25. 25. Your security is paramount at Elance. Naturally we don’t want to see you wasteprecious time and lose money. Keep these critical things in mind at all times:Manage or document key decisions on Elance:• Use the message board.• Always update the Terms & Milestones section if there are changes to theprice/timing/scope.• Don’t take your project off Elance, even if the freelancer insists! Thiseliminates any protections you have and means we have much less roomto help you.Review the work:• You have full visibility into what you’re paying for.• For hourly projects, require that your freelancer use Tracker with Work Viewturned on- Always review timesheets during the 5-day review period before paymentis automatically made.- Reject any time from the timesheet before it gets automatically paid.Section 8:Your Reminder: Stay safe• For Fixed Price projects, set milestones for key points in your project. Morethan one milestone is almost always recommended.- Fund Escrow for a milestone before your freelancer begins working on it.You can fund all at the outset, but this isn’t required.- Always review and make sure you approve the work before you releaseEscrow funds for a milestone.Remember: Stay on Elance, pay on Elance.Next: Job Well DoneElance: A Client’s Guide | 25
  26. 26. By following the advice in this Client’s Guide to Elance, you’re sure to haveincredible success using talented professionals on Elance.The opportunities are endless!As mentioned earlier, freelancers love long-term client relationships. Not onlyis it more fulfilling to work with repeat customers, they also can increase theirLevel by working with you consistently.So when you’re finished with a project, don’t be shy about suggesting otherwork your freelancer can do. Sometimes you’re so focused on that to-do list infront of you that you don’t realize the opportunities that are right in front of you.Perhaps the project has on-going maintenance needed, or additional parts tocomplete the puzzle? Use your freelancer as an invaluable partner.Section 9:Job Well Done: Keep up the good workThanks again for becoming a part of Elance and the online work revolution.We’re excited to help you Work Differently™ and be more successful. It’sawesome to have you on the team!If you’re looking for additional help for managing your projects on Elance, checkout these resources:Elance Help CenterElance Official BlogQuick Start Help VideosTerms of ServiceElance Webinar Sign UpCheers,The Elance TeamLaura G.United States | Extreme Sports XElance: A Client’s Guide | 26