At least 75% of the Projects lack adequate detail for a professional to provide a realistic bid. Most of them look like a cat jumped on their keyboard or zombies were outside their door and they were just trying to write it down as fast as they could.
Here are 6 simple things Freelancer could do to increase their revenue and simultaneously increase skilled Freelancers chances of locating relevant work.
I’m so sick of reading one sentence descriptions like “I want a pretty website.” Require a minimum of 250 characters or something so they’re forced to put thought into it.
Like 95% of the time they include no details about what their business is. I can’t tell if they have just forgot or just watched an episode of Shark Tank and decided they’re going to become a millionaire from a $250 website.
In 12 years of website development, I’ve found that every client needs assistance identifying and clarifying the scope of their project.
If Employers were required to select from a drop down called “Scope” that said something like:
By asking this, and displaying it in the Notifications and general listings, this would help Freelancers decide whether or not they want to pad their estimates to account for the hours talking with Employers about these things.
It also decreases the risk for Employers and Freelancers so Employers don’t end up with clueless Freelancers and Freelancers don’t end up with cheap or unreasonable Employers.
Freelancers padding their estimates will, as a result, be generating more revenue for Freelancer.com
This is one of the most aggravating aspects of Freelancer.com for me. I honestly don’t understand how the Freelancer UX team hasn’t thought this through by now.
If Employers were required to select (checkbox style) from a list of features they are expecting on the site it would further clarify scope and decrease risk for everyone involved.
Ex. Please select all features you’re expecting to be included in your website:
In the current system, not only is there no formal way to ask questions to employers, but if you don’t fit your pitch into the first 75 characters (which is about what is visible to the Employer when looking at the project) your chances of being rewarded are decreased. So instead of focusing on asking the right questions, you have to cram your pitch in for a project you’re not even sure is legit or has any defined scope.
Freelancers should have a way to ask questions when submitting their bid. The questions could be anonymous so Freelancers aren’t motivated to manipulate the system by spamming the person. These quesitons could then be posted on the Description of the Project to clarify it for everyone.
If you wanted to take it a step further, those questions could be voted up or down by other Freelancers as relevant or not and that could impact that Freelancers reputation / ranking in the same way it does on StackOverflow.com
When a project lacks detail it prevents qualified Freelancers from providing an educated Bid. Which results in Freelancers either not bidding for fear that they’re going to commit themselves to something that turns out to be bigger than it was, or unintentionally over commit because the employer was too lazy, ignorant or just plain stupid to provide substantive details.
Employers who waste Freelancers’ time should be held accountable!
Freelancers should be able to rate the Employer’s profile based on their communication, how reasonable and / or realistic they are with their expectations, and more.
This should then be shown on their Projects so Freelancers can choose whether or not they want to waste their time.
Furthermore it could affect the price they pay (they could be charged a higher fee which goes to Freelancers and Freelancer.com to compensate for dealing with bozos.).
First of all, all currencies should be converted to the Freelancers currency so they don’t have to keep Google open to convert the currency for every damn project.
Secondly, the search by price range should be fixed so it actually works for all currencies. Right now if you say 250-500 it will return that for any currency. But 250 Rubles (Russian) is 4.47 USD. So it’s a total waste of time for developers.
Sadly, I have reported many of these things to Freelancer.com and they’ve never done anything about it (in the course of years). Our best bet is to blast them on social media until it gets their attention. Too bad they don’t have a place for their community to vote for features. The irony is that it just leaves room for competitors and is lost revenue because they don’t know how to communicate with their community.
What do you think Freelancer should change?
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