Thursday, December 8, 2011

How To Work From Home As A Freelancer

We often hear about American workers losing jobs due to outsourcing overseas. Though mention of foreign companies hiring U.S. workers is not as common, it exists. Elance and oDesk are two online marketplaces that advertise these work from home opportunities. Both report that more foreign companies are hiring Americans, especially when only U.S. workers possess a specific skill.

Americans are known for being skilled at public relations, customer service, Web site content, and marketing to U.S. customers. In 2009 alone, over $15 million was earned by American freelancers working for foreign companies through oDesk and Elance. In 2010, that figure was thought to have doubled, as more companies sought American workers for both short and long-term projects.

Creating a detailed profile with sites like these is the first step on the road to freelancing. Each site is free to join and keeps approximately ten percent of earnings as commission. Certifying skills by taking the provided assessments and providing in-depth work history featuring links will make a candidate stand out from the competition.

As with most other employment, getting hired requires a proactive approach. Would-be freelancers should bid or apply for projects rather than waiting for employers to discover them. Some people complain about the low wages offered but performing initial projects at a low rate is a way to get noticed and build credibility. Freelancers who have been through the process say this is the best approach.

When contacting companies, freelancers should identify a connection with the country and make their communication personal. This sends the message that they are interested in the company and its native land. Being flexible when it comes to work hours is also helpful, as overseas clients operate during different times of day. The occasional 3 AM conference call is a small sacrifice for the freedom of freelancing.

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