How can a newbie freelancer become popular in freelancing websites?

Elance AJAX Search

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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:

Elance Level

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.

Elance AJAX Search

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.

YouTube Popularity

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.

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John Morris


I’m a 15-year veteran of freelance web development. I’ve worked with bestselling authors and average Joe’s next door. These days, I focus on helping other freelancers build their freelance business and their lifestyles.

This Post Has 9 Comments

  1. Nice!

  2. First Time when I listen to your pod cast. I work closely on my profiles and now I am getting response from many hiring companies, even I am getting invitations. Thank you John Morris it really great if you suggest how to increase your profile potential to hired in some Fortune 100. Thank you.

  3. First Time when I listen to your pod cast. I work closely on my profiles and now I am getting response from many hiring companies, even I am getting invitations. Thank you John Morris it really great if you suggest how to increase your profile potential to get hired in some Fortune 100. Thank you

    1. @asherjawad:disqus awesome! Glad to hear that. I’ll look into putting out some stuff for what you suggested… although, I find often times it’s about just going for it. My little brother got hired at IBM with very little experience and it was all about honesty and confidence.

  4. A big GRACIAS from Barcelona. I get hired in Elance and Odesk after fowlling your tips.. Thanks lot. @johnmorris10:disqus

    1. @webegenius:disqus that is awesome to hear! I’m glad the tips helped! 🙂

      1. Thanks ,, Hi, like to know about :: > When client always demand more job and threatening you for rating . In this situation , what should new freelancer can do? Waiting for your suggestion..

        1. It somewhat depends on the situation… but if I could end the project then and there and refund them I would. That’s a client you don’t want… and you tell them exactly why you refuse to work with them going forward. I would also take a screenshot of the message and report them to whatever freelancing site you’re using.

          If it’s a client you want to continue working with some for reason… I’d give them one warning. That what they’re doing is basically extortion, that you won’t tolerate it and that the freelance site you’re on won’t either.

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