Thursday, February 25, 2010

Project Bidding Sites for Web Designers

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If you are a freelance web designer chances are you have heard of project bidding sites like elance and getacoder. Before you use these sites you need to make sure you understand a few things otherwise you will get ripped off and left in the dark. There are no better ways to learn than actually dive in and try the sites yourself to get the experiences. The following tips will hopefully be useful to you as a london web designer who just started using these type of sites to find work.

Only do projects you know for sure you can do. Let’s say you bid on a project to develop an e-commerce website but have no experience setting up shopping carts or interfacing to credit card merchant services. While every other aspect of the project may go smoothly, you are bound to hit a roadblock when it comes time to implement the shopping cart. Since you are web developer, you know how to research and figure the problem out but all this takes time and the result can be a canceled project, no payment, and a poor review for all other buyers to see.

Be aware of the bidding site fees. Most of these sites take a fee from you when the buyer awards you the bid (even before you get paid for the project). A few only take the fee when you get paid. But the bottom line is that the fee should be calculated into your bid.

Don’t be a consistently low bidder. You’ll quickly get work but you will also become overwhelmed in the same manner. Although, with the number of other bidders you will be competing with, sometimes a low bid is what it takes to get awarded a job—especially if you are new on the site. This is also called penetration pricing and eventually you’ll have to start bidding at a fair price in order to be profitable.

Use freelance bidding sites to get you started. But have a plan to gradually move away from them and start dealing face-to-face with clients directly. It’s easier to build trust and strong customer relations when you can see the person you are dealing with. Communication is far easier in this way too. Not to mention that you will not have to compete with people who are offering web design services for peanuts.

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