You gain popularity by doing more work and getting good reviews and recommendations from the clients you work with.
Elance uses a sophisticated algorithm to determine an individual freelancer’s level. You can see this level displayed on the side of your profile here:
This level is important because it plays a major role in how you show up in profile listings throughout Elance. In general, the higher your level the more likely you are to show up at the top of those lists and get seen by potential clients.
How to Consistently Outrank Popular Freelancers on Elance
However, there is an equally important ranking factor that I see many new and even advanced freelancers miss…
And that is what Elance calls “Match”.
Whenever a potential client performs a search Elance uses a matching algorithm to show that client the profiles most relevant to their search. This is Google-style analysis of your profile… keywords, skills, activity and so forth.
So, the more relevant your profile is to a certain search/need of your potential clients the more likely it is to show higher up on those searches.
You can read about Elance’s algorithm straight from Elance itself here.
This is why you constantly hear me harp on targeting your ideal clients in your profile. As a new freelancer, you can increase your chance of getting noticed by potential clients by picking a specific web design niche to go into and tailoring your entire profile to that niche.
How to Stack All the Odds in Your Favor
Finally, I always recommend doing as much as you can “outside” of the freelance sites to promote yourself.
Create YouTube videos based on your area of expertise, write articles, answer questions on sites like Quora and Stack Overflow, and so on.
And in every one of those places link back to your freelance profile and give people a way to find out how to hire you.
You’ll start to get people who find you outside of the freelance site who contact you to hire you… and you’ll also grow your popularity on the freelance site itself.
And, if you keep doing it… it all feeds itself until you end up getting more people contacting you then you can actually take on as clients.