Monday, April 19, 2010

3 Tips for Expat Freelance Work

Hi Everyone, Earlier today I spent a few hours looking for service providers on Elance (a site that I have used successfully in the past) - a highly-reputable site for posting jobs and searching for service providers.

Given how many emails cross my desk and/or how many blogs that come our way that are written by expat women who are freelance writers, freelance designers, freelance photographers, freelance everything, I thought I would start my search today by reviewing the profiles of expats listed.

To my absolute shock, of the 107,640 people listed on Elance as freelancers looking for work, only 84 came up in the search results for the term "expat" and only 73 for the term "expatriate" - and in both cases, many of the people showing in the results were not even expats! (I am thinking that the results grab anyone's record that has the term "expat" or "expatriate" in it, even if the term is listed in their previous work projects completed or similar).

Now, I find this mind-boggling because I am going to bet two things: first, that there are a lot more expats than this who have registered on Elance because they are looking for work; and of the 'invisible' expats looking for work on Elance, a high proportion of them would be very interested in doing work for expat-related sites. Agree?

Tip 1: If you are looking for expat freelance work, take five minutes to go now and update your profile on any freelance site on which you are registered as looking for work. Otherwise, how can expat sites or relocation-related companies find you and learn about your expat/relocation-related experience and expertise?

Tip 2: While you are updating your profile, think not just about what work you have done in the past, think carefully about what work you would like to be 'found' for and make sure these keywords are on your profile as well.

Tip 3: Here are some great links that I dug up on our site that might interest/inspire you as an expat freelancer:

Article: Working Virtually: A Great Way to Earn Additional Income, written for us last year by Jean Stone on behalf of Jobs Online

Interview with Michelle Goodman last year: Author of My So-Called Freelance Life: How To Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire

Some Freelance-Related Links: On our Jobs & Careers page

Here's wishing you success on your freelance job hunt! Andrea


katy said...

Interesting post. The bigger question though is what is Expat in the global marketplace? I am English but live in USA, so that makes me an Expat, but most of my work is definately geared to being an almost-American and being able to write about gardens, education and parenting.
Maybe I will go and put an 'Expat' in there too though.

Expat mum said...

I would add - keep a strict record of which sites you sign up/subscribe to. I am guilty of joining sites then forgetting to write them down, thus having no idea where I "am" in the virtual world.

contact said...

Very interesting post. I did the same search to see if I was among the expat providers on Elance .... Ouf! I am !!
As a new freelance expat writer, I found the tips and ressources very useful. So thank you very much Expat women.

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