When you want to get started with projects right away, certification can be a drag. Many freelance marketplaces require members to take certification tests in order to show clients their specific qualifications and quality of work. However, they often take time to get the results and many cost money. So, how do you land projects without getting the certification?
Choose Freelance Sites with No Certification
There are many freelance sites that do not require certification – such as Elance.com. There, you can simply join, submit a profile and samples and start submitting proposals. Although certification adds value, it is not mandatory to show the quality of your work. On Elance, your feedback rating has a lot to do with whether a client hires you or not, as well as how you present yourself in your proposal. Elance also allows providers to post several proposals for free each month, so if you don’t bid a lot, you can go with the free account.
Beef Up Your Samples and Portfolio
On sites where certification is not required, but is advised (like Elance.com), beef up your samples and portfolio. Include several samples of different kinds of projects so the client can see your overall style and the quality of your work. The portfolio alone can often win you the bid if it’s diverse and all of the work included is your best.
Drive Traffic to Your Online Profile
Open your own website and include a link to your Elance portfolio with free methods like article marketing, links, press releases and social media websites. With this method, you need no certification at all and can redirect interested prospects to the Elance site where you can take advantage of their payment system and other tools. Another great benefit of using this method is that you learn how to effectively market yourself online. Remember to use targeted keywords to help individuals reach your website. If you have the money to invest, you can also use ads and other paid media sources to send targeted traffic to your website and Elance portfolio.
Word of Mouth
Ask your previous clients for recommendations. Promise them a discount if they refer their colleagues or friends to you in order to get work done. This is a great way to land projects on Elance and improve your reputation for being the best in your field. Word of mouth continues to be a very powerful method of advertising. Certification does not need to be a requirement for you to land projects if you use the advice and tips above you can learn your first of 500th project on Elance.