I have come to know Elance very well since being laid off from my full-time job. One of my parenting magazines recommended Elance as a way for stay at home moms’ (aka SAHM) to make a little extra money. Elance is an online resource that allows users to either provide specific services or hire a provider for a specific task (e.g. administrative work, database management, programming, graphic design, etc.).
I first signed up with Elance thinking I could make a little extra money performing administrative tasks. I completed the timely tutorials and set-up my personal account only to realize that I do not have time while chasing around a crawling baby. However, as mentioned in my First Official Post, I can attest to the success of using Elance to hire a service provider.
Having six years of experience with a world renowned hotel company, I understand the importance of brand identity. I felt it was essential to have a logo that represented who “The Unemployed Mom” is. I posted my logo requirements and shared a summary of my blog concept. I identified the price point, my expectations and the duration for accepting bids. Various graphic designers then placed bids on my job. From that point, I reviewed their bids as well as their qualifications.
Elance’s site is very easy to navigate so I had no trouble familiarizing myself with the bid features. Elance also provides a Private Message Board (aka PMB) so the client and bidders can communicate privately. The PMB is a terrific resource, again very easy to use and follow.
Since I am an avid eBay and Etsy user, I already know the importance of feedback. Elance has a feedback feature which helped me to identify the designers’ credentials. Elance also allows the designers to showcase their portfolio, which in my particular case proved to be the item that “sealed the deal”. I awarded the job, created project milestones, escrowed funds via my American Express, and worked with my designer on the logo creation. My logo and favicon were created and the job was closed prior to the original timeline communicated from my graphic designer.
Note: I did receive bids from providers that did not meet my expectations. It was obvious when a bidder did not read my requirements because there was no personalization in their bid. Also, some of the bids were very low (in the $50 range), but I am a firm believer in “you get what you pay for”. These low bidding designers would have been fine if I wanted a generic clipart logo. All in all, I was pleased as a first time Elance user and without hesitation, I recommend the site! My experience was extremely positive and I plan on using Elance in the future for both providing services and hiring service providers.