In a previous post on FreelanceSwitch, ‘How to Unlock a New Source of Design Income‘, we explained how Microlancer allows freelancers to spend more time doing what they love and less time on admin, marketing and pitching for gigs.
In a more recent post, ‘Giving Yourself the Best Chance of Success on Microlancer‘, you learned how to create a high quality service listing.
If your service listings made it through the review process, it shouldn’t be too long before jobs start coming through. But there are a few things you can do to kick-start your success on Microlancer.
Sell as Many Services as Possible
It’s worth exploring all the categories on Microlancer to make sure you’re making yourself available to perform as many types of services as possible, as long as you have the skills to do so.
More services on the site means more visibility to buyers and more jobs coming through. This is the simplest way to increase the number of times your services are purchased on Microlancer.
Improve Your Service Listing Previews
When prospective buyers browse Microlancer, they see shorter, preview versions of your service listings. These feature the service title, an image of the first service thumbnail, turnaround time, revisions and the price. For many buyers, the decision whether to click through to your full listing will be determined by these factors alone, so it’s very important to get them right.
First, make sure the title of each service is professional, with good grammar and spelling. It should be descriptive, but also capture something unique about your service.
Next, make sure the first thumbnail preview for your service is the best available. Buyers will be making assumptions about your style and skill based on this single image, so make sure that it’s an image you are happy to represent you.
Promote Your Microlancer Profile Page
Your Microlancer profile page is a place to sell yourself, as well as providing a list of all your services. It’s a great way to have buyers browse what you offer without the competition of other service providers. You should link to it from every web property you own; from your blog, your Twitter account, Facebook page, GitHub account, etc.
Collect Business Data
By collecting data about your work on Microlancer, you’ll be able to optimize your services for maximum sales. Ask yourself a set of data relevant questions, such as:
- Do you make more sales when you offer 3 revisions instead of 1?
- Do jobs with a 2 day turnaround time outperform those with 3?
- Which categories are most of your profits coming from?
- What happens if you increase your prices by 10%?
All these questions can be answered with data kept in a simple spreadsheet. This will help to ensure the business choices you make are based on buyer behavior rather than guesswork.
Test your assumptions, and optimize based on the results.
Write Good, Pre-Written Responses
As you complete more jobs on Microlancer, you’ll notice yourself sending similar messages to different buyers throughout the job completion process. For example, when presenting a concept for approval, when turning in a revision, or when concluding a job. You can save a few minutes for each job by creating templates for warm, friendly and professional replies you can use over and over. You can then use software like TextExpander (Mac) or PhraseExpress (PC) to save even more time by making these pre-written responses accessible with just a few keystrokes.
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
Though the vast majority of jobs on Microlancer go smoothly, some result in a disagreement between buyer and service provider. In almost all such cases these are caused by poor or unacceptably slow communication from one or both parties.
As the service provider, you have the opportunity to set the tone of your communication with the buyer. A good, simple process is to:
- Respond quickly to buyer comments and questions, ideally within 12 hours or less where possible
- Make an effort to walk the buyer through your working process, and what they should expect from you
- Read over your messages to the buyer to make sure they’re friendly and clear
- Remember that while you may be very familiar with how the Microlancer process works, buyers may not be. It can’t hurt to walk them through each step in detail, preferably with the help of some of the pre-written responses mentioned above
It’s important to remember that on Microlancer, buyers pay upfront. Frequent communication will reassure your buyers that their money is being turned into good creative work while they wait.
When new features or new categories are launched on Microlancer they will always be announced on the official Twitter (@microlancerbeta) or Facebook. Stay abreast of new developments and, where appropriate, use them to boost your Microlancer business.
Learn From Other Service Providers
Microlancer is new, still in beta, and service providers are all experimenting to learn what works, and what doesn’t. Though also your competition at times, your fellow service providers are an excellent place to learn and observe new strategies to be more popular and profitable on Microlancer. Browse the profiles and services of other service providers, and interact with them on our Facebook page.
Spread the Word About Microlancer
As more people learn about Microlancer and how special it is, more buyers will begin to find their way to the site via word of mouth, which means more sales for you. Contribute to the movement by spreading the word about Microlancer in whatever way works best for you.
That concludes our series on becoming a successful service provider on Microlancer. In the coming weeks and months the site will be going through a variety of changes and additions as we work hard to release new features and generate new opportunities for both buyers and service providers.
Jump on Microlancer to become a service provider. We hope you enjoy the journey!