Page 1

THE STORY SO FAR


CHAIRMAN’S LETTER 2

CHAIRMAN’S LETTER


Freelancer is a very rare and exceptional company. What we do actually makes a difference. We change lives. We help lift people out of poverty. We help people feed their families. We help entrepreneurs build businesses. We help people build products and services that greatly impact the world. Our long term mission is to beneficially change one billion people’s lives on this planet by providing them with a job sourced through our platform. We are still in the very early days of this journey, but we’ve made a start. Today, almost 7.5 million projects and contests have been posted on Freelancer. It’s a small step towards our goal, but a significant one. Freelancer is not just driving a global revolution in the way we do work; it is also at the nexus of a series of global macroeconomic trends. 60% of the world’s population, 4 billion people — are yet to connect to the Internet. More and more industries will be eaten by software, and more and more jobs will be performed with a computer and will head into the cloud. The world is becoming more and more flat as everything increasingly becomes hyperconnected. Finally, the structural imbalances and skills crunch between the aging western world workforce and once in a lifetime boom of people entering the workforce in the developing world. Freelancer is the platform that aims to connect all of this together. None of this would have been possible without the encouragement and contribution of our 15 million users all around the world.

Matt Barrie CEO & Chairman, Freelancer Limited CHAIRMAN’S LETTER

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TABLE OF CONTENTS 4

TABLE OF CONTENTS


CHAIRMAN’S LETTER

PAGE 3

FREELANCER TIMELINE

PAGE 6

INTRODUCTION: A WORLD OF OPPORTUNITIES

PAGE 8

A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

PAGE 10

FREELANCER STORIES

PAGE 18

EMPLOYER STORIES

PAGE 52

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

PAGE 85

TABLE OF CONTENTS

5


THE LEGEND IS BORN - OUR COMPANY IS INCORPORATED.

JANUARY

1 MILLION PROJECTS POSTED.

INITIAL FINANCING RAISED FROM STARTIVE CAPITAL. GETAFREELANCER (SWEDEN) IS ACQUIRED.

MAY

APRIL

HITS 1 MILLION USERS.

LAUNCHES FREELANCER MARKETPLACE FOR VIRTUAL CONTENT.

SEPTEMBER

JULY

DOMAIN NAME FREELANCER.COM IS ACQUIRED. CHANGES NAME TO FREELANCER.

HITS 2 MILLION USERS.

LAUNCHES FREELANCER CONTEST CROWDSOURCING PLATFORM.

JUNE HITS 3 MILLION USERS.

DECEMBER

DECEMBER

JULY FREELANCER ACQUIRES VWORKER.

NOVEMBER

500,000 PROJECTS POSTED.

4 MILLION PROJECTS, 25 REGIONAL MARKETPLACES AND 10 LANGUAGES.

NOVEMBER

DECEMBER

OCTOBER

2009

6

COMPANY LAUNCHES IN SPANISH & GERMAN. SCRIPTLANCE IS ACQUIRED.

HISTORY IN THE MAKING

2010

2011

2012


HISTORY IN THE MAKING HITS 8 MILLION USERS AND BECOMES OPERATIONAL IN 30 LANGUAGES.

JULY FREELANCER OPENS ITS INITIAL PUBLIC OFFERING. FREELANCER FLOATS ON THE ASX.

NOVEMBER

HITS 10 MILLION USERS.

JANUARY FREELANCER ACQUIRES WARRIOR FORUM, THE WORLD’S LARGEST INTERNET MARKETING MARKETPLACE.

15 MILLION USERS! APRIL

APRIL

2013

2014

2015

HISTORY IN THE MAKING

7


*The diagram illustrates the Freelancer online economy. The pink lines indicate where projects are being posted by employers, and the blue lines indicate where the projects are being performed by freelancers. Thicker lines indicate a higher dollar volume of work. White dots indicate the location of Freelancer’s users. Edges are sampled data from awarded projects throughout the years specified.

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A WORLD OF OPPORTUNITIES


A WORLD OF OPPORTUNITIES Freelancer.com is the world’s largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace by total number of users and number of projects posted. Founded in 2009, we had over 9 million users when we first opened our doors to the public at the Australian Securities Exchange in 2013. Now, 1.5 years later, we’ve reached our 15 million user milestone and would like to celebrate it with this publication dedicated to all employers and freelancers who continually trust our platform. This feat however doesn’t stop us from recognising the potential to grow even bigger and better. We have made it our mission to beneficially influence 1 billion people’s lives by giving them jobs through the platform. Likewise, we aim to empower entrepreneurs, small businesses, and startups by connecting them to this global network of skilled workers. We wish to enable our users to work together on any job wherever they are in the world, and truly make a difference. Every user on the platform is impacted. Each project has an employer and a freelancer, and both lives are changed through either earning money or getting the work done. It’s very rewarding to know that we’ve been changing the lives of millions of people around the world. Reaching out has never been easier — we have created 40 regional websites with 19 supported currencies and we are also available in 32 languages and 247 countries, regions and territories. Jobs available in our marketplace now span over 850 categories. We have also launched several products and services to make our user experience even better — local jobs, contests, mobile and desktop apps, Skills Lab, Recruiter project assistance, and many more. When we started our journey, we could only hope of celebrating 15 million users just a few years later. We cannot be more excited and thankful for joining us on this amazing ride. In this showcase, we proudly share some of the stories and faces behind Freelancer’s success.

A WORLD OF OPPORTUNITIES

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A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE NICK WHITE VIRGINIA, USA RICK CANO OREGON, USA

“EVERY JOB, EVERY COUNTRY, EVERY LANGUAGE, EVERY CURRENCY, AT ANY TIME” 247 COUNTRIES REACHED 40 REGIONAL WEBSITES 19 SUPPORTED CURRENCIES 32 LANGUAGES 850+ JOB CATEGORIES

MARTIN SOEDERHAMN COLORADO, USA

BRYAN GILES HERNANDEZ MEXICO

TOP COUNTRY SOURCES FOR PROJECTS & CONTESTS IN FY14 23%

HIRAA KHAN CALIFORNIA, USA GOVINDA DASU CALIFORNIA, USA

NIKKI ROWLEY ECUADOR DAVID MAILLARD BRAZIL

14%

44%

8% 4%

7%

UNITED STATES INDIA UNITED KINGDOM

GASTON MUYANO URUGUAY

AUSTRALIA CANADA OTHER JUAN MARTIN ITURRALDE ARGENTINA

*BASED ON THE NUMBER OF GOOD PROJECTS & CONTESTS POSTED (A SUBSET OF TOTAL PROJECTS & CONTESTS POSTED) IN THE FREELANCER MARKETPLACE IN FY14.

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A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE


DAVID DUNDAS UNITED KINGDOM MIKE BEATON UNITED KINGDOM MIKKEL JERSIN DENMARK

FERNANDO LOIZIDES CYPRUS SYED SAQLAIN PAKISTAN

MICHELLE DIAMOND ISRAEL

NGUYEN DUC TRONG VIETNAM ANNA LEE SALAS PHILIPPINES ROMEO JAVELLANA PHILIPPINES

RITA ROY CHOWDHURY CALCUTTA, INDIA JAS PANWAR JAIPUR, INDIA RAJHA BALAJI BANGALORE, INDIA

DANIEL PRATIDYA INDONESIA

HOOI JUN KEAT MALAYSIA

KELVIN OTIENO KENYA DICKSON DESMOND NIGERIA

NEILL WHITEHEAD MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA ALEX BONT SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA DEAN CAREY SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA MICK LIUBINSKAS & GARY ELPHICK SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA

**MAP REPRESENTS FREELANCER USERS FEATURED IN THIS PUBLICATION.

A GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE

11


12


FREELANCER DEMOGRAPHICS 0.8% 3.2%

3.6%

2.4%

1%

9.3%

1.1%

8%

15%

9.4%

20.6%

41.9% 13.2%

41.1% 41.5%

42.3% 45.4%

USER’S AGE

EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT

NUMBER OF LANGUAGES

UNDER 18 YEARS OLD

DOCTORATE DEGREE

ONE LANGUAGE

18 - 24 YEARS OLD

MASTER DEGREE

TWO LANGUAGES

25 - 34 YEARS OLD

BACHELOR DEGREE

THREE LANGUAGES

35 - 44 YEARS OLD

DIPLOMA CERTIFICATE

45 - 54 YEARS OLD

HIGH SCHOOL

FOUR LANGUAGES OR MORE

55 YEARS OR OLDER

PRIMARY SCHOOL OTHER

18-34 year olds (millennials) make up around 85% of our users

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2/3 of our users are degree educated or higher

Over 90% of our users know more than 1 language!

27.7%

25 20 15

19.1%

MONTHLY HOUSEHOLD INCOME

19.7%

15.3%

10.5%

10 5

7.6%

$0 - $300 $300 - $500 $500 - $1000 $1000 - $2000 $2000 - $3000

0

$3000+

FREELANCER DEMOGRAPHICS

13


OUR USERS AT WORK 80

72%

70 60

SIZE OF ORGANIZATION

50 40

INDIVIDUAL

30 20

2-4 EMPLOYEES 5-10 EMPLOYEES 12.7%

10 0

14

OUR USERS AT WORK

11-50 EMPLOYEES 6.1%

4.7%

1.5%

3%

51-100 EMPLOYEES 100+ EMPLOYEES


*Freelancer David Maillard and his team’s office space. Read his story on Page 46.

0.3% 1.2%

1.1% 5.6% 3.5%

2.2%

6.3%

6.7%

19%

4.5%

7.2%

24.9%

23% 14.3% 32.4% 51.8%

21.3%

11.8%

21.5%

31.8%

9.6%

EMPLOYMENT STATUS

TIME SPENT WORKING ONLINE

CONNECTION SPEED

SELF EMPLOYED/OWNER

1 HOUR

< 256 kbps

FULL-TIME EMPLOYEE

2 HOURS

256 kbps-1 Mbps

PART-TIME EMPLOYEE

3-6 HOURS

1-5 Mbps

FREELANCE PROFESSIONAL

6-12 HOURS

5-10 Mbps

STUDENT

>12 HOURS

10-50 Mbps

STAY-AT-HOME PARENT

50-100 Mbps

RETIRED

100-1000 Mbps

OTHER 2/3 of our users are their own boss – they work for themselves

> 1 Gbps Over half (57%) of our users work full-time online (6+ hrs/day)

Only 1/3 of our users have access to broadband (defined as >5 Mbps)

*DATA AS OF 1ST APRIL 2015. DATA AGGREGATED FOR ALL ACQUIRED MARKETPLACES SINCE 2001.

OUR USERS AT WORK

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7.4 million

$2.2 billion

PROJECTS & CONTESTS POSTED

VALUE OF PROJECTS POSTED

64 million

4.8 million

BIDS ON PROJECTS

CONTEST ENTRIES

*DATA AS OF 31ST MARCH 2015. DATA AGGREGATED FOR ALL ACQUIRED MARKETPLACES SINCE 2001.

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WINNER OF 8 WEBBY AWARDS

WINNER OF 11 STEVIE AWARDS

17


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FREELANCER STORIES WE’RE DEFINING THE FUTURE OF ONLINE WORK Sixty percent of the world’s population will soon join the Internet and most of them will come from developing countries. Freelancer.com’s mission is to provide professionals anywhere around the world with opportunities to earn wherever and whenever they want. This also gives them the freedom from restrictive nine-to-five jobs and to be in control of their careers. We help freelancers all over the globe whose incomes are dictated by their economic standing, with some receiving merely US$8 a day. Through Freelancer.com, their labors (coupled with hard work and dedication) can be better rewarded and as a result they enjoy an improved quality of life.

Most importantly, we change lives. Parents see their children grow, women gain equal footing as men, graduates are not turned away by lack of experience, individuals earn more than what their country dictates, and veterans practice their craft no matter their age. At Freelancer.com, everyone is encouraged to work with whom they want, on what they love, and at their own pace. They become their own bosses, privileged to maximise their earning potential and explore brand new territories. In this book we have published some of the success stories of freelancers from all walks of life. Writers, graphic designers, a musician, an animator and many more took over the reins and used Freelancer.com to up their game.

FREELANCER STORIES

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After two years Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve been doing really well on Freelancer.com. The earnings are very good and now I have a lot of respect among my friends and family members. Thanks Freelancer for everything! Shahzaib S. Graphic Designer Karachi, Pakistan

4.9 / 5.0 rating, 67 reviews

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FREELANCER STORIES


Freelancer.com is a great place for Internet professionals. I am able to do work anywhere, anytime. Thanks to the Freelancer.com team!

Moshiur R. Internet Marketer Dhaka, Bangladesh

5.0 / 5.0 rating, 72 reviews

FREELANCER STORIES

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WHY THIS TWENTY-SOMETHING GRADUATE TURNED DOWN A TOP TECH JOB

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FREELANCER | Nguyen Duc Trong • Thái Nguyên, Vietnam


“THE PATH TO BECOMING YOUR OWN BOSS IS NOT AN EASY ONE, BUT IT IS DEFINITELY DOABLE THROUGH FREELANCER.COM”

Recent university graduate Nguyen Duc Trong felt conflicted as he stared at his computer monitor, reading the letter inviting him to join one of the top IT companies in Vietnam. He thought it would be awesome to start his career in an established company but at the same time, imagined how cool it was to become your own boss. He remembered a quote by Justice League creator Brad Meltzer that said, “We are all ordinary. We are all boring. We are all spectacular. We are all shy. We are all bold. We are all heroes. We are all helpless. It just depends on the day.” That day Trong decided to be bold and turned down the offer. When he told his parents he was going to put up his own company, they gave him a pat on the back and told him he could do it. The trust bestowed on him inspired Trong, who had stopped asking for monetary support from his parents since entering college. “My parents are hard workers and I didn’t want to put too much burden on them. I want them to somehow enjoy their earnings instead of pouring it all into my studies,” he said. To allow himself to pay university fees and his daily living expenses, he took up outsourcing jobs on Freelancer. com and was able to make it lucrative. The amount of work on the site was constantly growing and if he was able to make it big while doing it on a parttime basis, how much more full-time? He built a company called E-commerce and Technology Solutions (ETS) and hired

programmers. The beginning was a bit rough; his programmers would sometimes do their own thing and ignore his authority, but they soon saw his potential in leading as he constantly closed deals. The bunch of them also liked how they are employed in a company that gives them freedom at how they want to spend their time. “It’s like working as an employee and a freelancer at the same time,” Trong said. The company celebrated its first anniversary in October 2014, and from a team of three (which included Trong), the young CEO now supervises six. “We’re focusing right now on Website development and design using PHP as our main language, but we’re planning on expanding soon,” he said. Their only source of clients at the moment is Freelancer.com. Trong was thankful that he started building his reputation on the site years ago, while still working as a student. “My good reputation took years and hard work to build but we’re reaping the benefits right now as more clients entrust their projects to us. ETS is going really well and in the future we’re hoping to hire more people,” he said. He hopes to help employers more than just providing services for a fee. The young entrepreneur aims to turn his company into every employer’s partner. “In ETS, we not only provide quality services but we immerse with our clients; we show ownership and genuine responsibility of the project as if it’s ours. I think that’s what sets us apart from the thousands of providers on Freelancer.com.”

FREELANCER | Nguyen Duc Trong • Thái Nguyên, Vietnam

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WHEN FORTUNE SMILES UPON MAN

PHOTOS BY KEVIN SABUNI PHOTOGRAPHY

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FREELANCER | Kelvin Otieno Ogos • Nairobi, Kenya


GRAPHIC DESIGNER SHOWCASES SKILLS ON FREELANCER.COM’S CONTESTS

“I join contests because I want to win,” Kelvin Otieno Ogos, better known as KelvinOTIS on Freelancer.com, stated with an assured air. “Winning proves that my design skills stand out among other designers’.” Kelvin referred to the Contests regularly launched on Freelancer. com. These graphic design-oriented contests typically involve the creation of logos, business cards, mug designs, etc. and they are open to everyone. Employers then get the chance to choose from a number and a variety of designs, often in the hundreds, within minutes of posting. While Kelvin was unsure as to the exact number of contests he participated in since he joined the site in 2010, he estimated that he participated in hundreds. “I have won 19 times,” he proudly shared. Freelancer.com was the first site he came across. “Thanks to the name, it came up so fast on the search engines during my regular surfing.” He admitted that it was difficult to make headways in the beginning but his persistence and hard work bore fruit when he won his very first contest on Freelancer.com. Having been driven from his office in the Nairobi Central Business District by high overhead costs and stiff competition over a shrinking market of potential buyers, Kelvin’s success in the contests opened a whole new world for him. “This was definitely the ultimate turnaround opportunity for me. It tremendously improved my income.” He even funnelled a portion of his earnings into his new handpainted T-shirt business, an enterprise that now provides him with monthly earnings of about US$500.

“The ultimate reason for joining the contests was to earn money, but along the way I realized that it was more than that. Through the contests my design skills have sharpened—by seeing many other trends all over the world, including meeting clients with diverse needs.” The exposure helped him get more jobs through direct hiring.“Finding clients is one very big challenge; maintaining them is another,” he said. “This was made easy for me at Freelancer.com where within a short amount of time I had come into contact with hundreds of them through contests and direct hire jobs.” Based on the strength of his portfolio, Kelvin has formed relationships with clients from Australia, Belgium, USA, Switzerland, Thailand, Germany, Japan, Canada, and many more. Kelvin’s financial challenges gradually eased, and right now, he is comfortably able to take care of his bills, including settling his children’s school fees. “Due to Freelancer.com, I am able to work from the house, which allows me to spend quality time with my family while making money to meet family-related needs. I have never regretted closing my office in the city. I could never have found a better alternative than Freelancer.com.” Further, Kelvin doesn’t only look at Freelancer.com as a place of work. “It is also a learning platform where one can sharpen his communication and interpersonal skills, improve his varied professional skills, and expand his knowledge of diverse world cultures through networking.”

FREELANCER | Kelvin Otieno Ogos • Nairobi, Kenya

25


MUSICIAN STARTS A FREELANCING CAREER IN HIS STUDIO

26

FREELANCER | Juan Martin Porcel Iturralde • Buenos Aires, Argentina


JUAN MARTIN GAVE UP HIS FULL-TIME JOB TO FOCUS ON HIS PASSION FOR MUSIC Juan Martin Porcel Iturralde worked in an international company in Argentina where he was given the opportunity to travel to different countries. He didn’t feel satisfied however, and felt like there was something missing in his career. He thought of giving up his job for his first love, music, but he wasn’t sure how to make a comfortable living out of it. Not the type to give up, Juan pursued his passion one step at a time. “I never stopped composing. I never stopped my curiosity for music,” he shared. He learned to play a lot of instruments: guitar, drums, bass, piano, and he also learned to manage every virtual instrument such as synths and electronic DAW (Logic, Ableton, Fruityloops, etc.).

job,” he said, adding that working full-time on Freelancer.com might be a great idea because his earnings were better. The more time he dedicates, the more money he would earn. Providing a comfortable life for his family wasn’t only his sole motivation. Juan said that doing what he loves every day without having to leave home was all he needed. “When you love what you do, you would want to work all day because you enjoy it.” He was once obscured by limitations when trying to pursue what he loves but he pushed on. “I was once scrambling to find what I felt was missing. My advice to people who are struggling is to never stop trying. It may be frustrating but if you go on, you will find it.”

Eventually, Juan quit his sales job and settled for a part-time job in the mornings, where he did sales at the Buenos Aires International Airport. The rest of his day he filled with his dream job — music. He was all set; he had a home studio he specifically built for his startup business. “Once I realized that I can get jobs associated with music such as song composition, arrangements, and sound design, I started to invest in some good hardware to have better work quality.” Finally on the right track to turning his passion into work, Juan sat proud in the middle of his cozy little studio, waiting for customers to whirl themselves in. “I ran into a blank wall. Nobody came in and I didn’t know where to find them.” That was when he stumbled upon Freelancer.com. “I browsed the Web looking for a way to work from my studio. I chose Freelancer.com because I think it is the biggest website for freelancing. It has a lot of projects from all around the world in several categories,” he said. A few months later, he had already gained the trust of many of his clients, and they kept coming back. He also had to employ a musician and a singer because he was already overloaded with work. “The speed of my business’ growth is so fast that I’m actually thinking of giving up my part-time

FREELANCER | Juan Martin Porcel Iturralde • Buenos Aires, Argentina

27


HOW SAVING ONE LIFE BECAME A MISSION TO HELP MANY Daniel Pratidya saw the need to take on additional jobs apart from his regular nine-tofive due to the chemotherapy treatments undertaken by his mother-in-law. After coming home from work, he would log into Freelancer.com to bid on several projects at a time, desperate to pay the bills and support his four children. Freelancer.com was introduced to Daniel by a friend after learning of his plight. His first job on the site was Web scraping, which paid US$2 an hour. Not long after, he discovered Microsoft Excel and translation jobs, which he confidently took on. He was surprised at the sheer amount of jobs offered in these categories, and the worry he had been nursing started to dissipate.

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FROM FREELANCE WEB SCRAPER TO PRESIDENT OF THE INDONESIAN FREELANCERS ASSOCIATION, DANIEL WORKED HARD FOR LOVE

Although he never missed paying all the treatments his mother-in-law needed, she passed away, leaving everyone heartbroken. At the very least, Daniel and his wife didn’t have to worry too much about the debts left. Through freelancing combined with their day jobs, they were able to settle balances in less than a year’s time. His stint at Freelancer.com — where he worked day and night to provide for his family — benefited Daniel with a dozen new skills. “Because of the need, I forced myself to learn new skills so I can bid on more projects. I never gave up. As a result, I became an expert in certain fields in just a fairly short time,” Daniel said. Hooked on Freelancer.com, Daniel never left the site even after their finances became manageable. He also couldn’t leave some of his employers who hired him regularly. The Web scraping job, which got him started on the site, still goes on to this day and his rate has increased to US$8 an hour. He also had a project where he translated an English website to Bahasa Indonesia that netted him about US$2,500 in a month. Until now, the employer hires him whenever they would release additional pages. Daniel has completed about 250 projects on the site and earned a total of US$60,000. Knowing that there are hundreds, or even thousands

more who experience financial difficulties, he wanted to introduce more people to the site. “Freelancer.com greatly helped my family during dire times. I want other people to have the same opportunity,” he said. He started a community where he can impart wonderful experiences that will help others financially. Daniel founded the Indonesia Freelancers Association in 2013 that now boasts of over 700 members across the country. “We aim to gather freelancers across the country and inspire them to join us and make a better life,” said Daniel. They have held events including seminars and forums that aim to help freelancers with work such as financial management and internet marketing. Their most recent event was held September last year when Willix Halim, Freelancer.com Vice President for Growth, arrived at the seminar as the main speaker, where he gave a talk about hacking for startups. He was joined by Achmad Zaky, the founder of www.bukalapak.com as co-speaker. “Because of the efforts of IFA, more Indonesians are enlightened by the opportunities of freelancing. More and more are earning dollars, which help them manage their finances better and live a higher quality of life,” Daniel said.

FREELANCER | Daniel Pratidya • Jakarta, Indonesia

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CASINO PIT MANAGER PLAYS HIS CARDS RIGHT IN FREELANCING 30

FREELANCER | Romeo Javellana • Cavite, Philippines


Romeo Javellana has known gambling for nearly all his life — not as a vice, but as a means to earn a living. At 19, he dropped out of college due to financial difficulties and got himself employed as a casino dealer where money was good. “My life is the casino. This is my bread and butter,” he staunchly said. “For a college dropout, it’s hard to find a job that pays like the casino.” Thirty-six years later, he is now the Pit Manager, the officer in charge of supervising and managing gaming areas and

tables in the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) casinos. “I see to it that house rules and regulations are properly observed and at the same time, our casino gives the utmost customer service to our players,” he said. But in 1997, he discovered and fell in love with Action Script, an object-oriented language that enables animation and adds interactivity to programs. He began to study it on his own and by 2006 he searched online for a site

FULL-TIME WORKER EARNS EXTRA AS A FREELANCER

where he could test his knowledge on Flash and action scripting. He tried many freelancing sites until he found the then GetAFreelancer.com (which eventually evolved into Freelancer.com), where he found his first freelancing gig. Alongside his work at the casinos, he has a thriving Web development business called Cessy Rona Studio. Among the services he offers are the creation of advertising widgets and banner ads, maintenance or expansion of existing projects, addition of product or application features, and adding interactivity to websites. The company also develops CMS, games, desktop or browser applications and eCommerce sites. Romeo is expanding his business to include mobile application programming and development. From time to time, he changes hats and becomes an employer on the platform. “I sometimes hire someone else to help me with a project, especially if it’s more than I can handle, or if I can’t figure out something with the program. It’s great that someone is able to help you solve a problem.”

With his earnings from Freelancer.com, he was able to renovate his house. “About 90% of the total amount I spent on home renovation came from freelancing.” He was also able to take his family on vacation to Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia and other local destinations. He added, “Freelancer.com is excellent in all ways — from job search to bid placement, from project awarding to payment and commission collection, and even to action on complaints.” Freelancing is somewhat akin to a casino game. “It’s one big gamble where you take high risks. Whereas a traditional workplace offers you a more or less certain future defined by a secure source of income, in freelancing, you face an uncertain future where you are given the opportunity to shape it according to your will. But unlike games of chance, one can grow as a freelancer as you improve with practice; you persevere until you win.” he said.

FREELANCER | Romeo Javellana • Cavite, Philippines

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FREELANCING HER WAY AGAINST THE NORM

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FREELANCER | Rajha Balaji • Bangalore, India


A WOMAN KICKED TO THE CURB BY HER IN-LAWS PICKED HERSELF UP THROUGH FREELANCING

When Rajha Rajesuwari Balaji reached high school, her parents wanted nothing more than for her to marry someone stable and successful. In their search for a prospect for their young daughter, her parents started to arrange meetings with several families. Rajha lost count of how many times she declined, cried, and struggled against it. Her dream was to become a doctor and getting married would impede that. She excelled in science and secured high enough marks to be eligible to get into medical school. Her parents had other plans in mind however, and asked that she take a degree in Home Science instead — a popular course in India largely studied by women. Rajha refused and ended up taking a Bachelors program in Computer Science. She learned to love her course and worked as a teacher after graduation. Not long after, her parents once again came knocking, reminding her that it’s high time for a wedding. Her parents arranged her marriage to a man they have known for years. She surprisingly got along well with her husband, but the good start was spoiled by her in-laws only months after they tied the knot. “I gave up my teaching career to be a typical Indian housewife. I kept our home in apple-pie order for my husband and his family. However, my in-laws treated me very badly after my family couldn’t meet the financial demands they made one after the other. In this part of the world, it’s called dowry,” she said. Seven months through the marriage, Rajha was kicked out of her in-laws’ home. Her husband was forced to

remarry, but he refused and chose to be with Rajha. “Freelancing saved our family when a client I worked for in my previous company tracked me down to offer a one-time job. However, freelancing then wasn’t well-received, so even after this positive experience, I decided to join another company for a meager salary for the sake of job security,” said Rajha. There was no denying that she was growing tired of the grind. When some of her friends approached with a suggestion to start their own company, she immediately jumped in. The group started out at RentACoder.com, stayed through the merge to vWorker.com, and finally to Freelancer.com. It wasn’t just their skills that flourished. Their group has increased in number through the years as well. They now have two full-fledged professional teams. Nine people take care of Web design and development while five are assigned to mobile apps development. Rajha gave up her job to focus on freelancing. Rajha was once homeless and penniless. Now, she managed to purchase an apartment in Bangalore, India’s silicon capital. Her family is financially stable and she no longer worries about her little boy’s future. “I’m proud to admit that Freelancer. com is the bread winner of more than 10 families in my team. It also gave me freedom and helped me grow from a helpless victim to a confident and happy woman. I can now finally enjoy motherhood and family time,” she said.

FREELANCER | Rajha Balaji • Bangalore, India

33


APP DEVELOPER BUILDS COMPANY FROM GUTS AND PASSION

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FREELANCER | Jaswant Panwar • Jaipur, India


WHEN A COMPANY CLOSED HIS DOORS ON HIM, A NEW BUSINESS VENTURE OPENED When Jas was hired by a local software company, his family was overjoyed. Software engineering jobs in India started to become difficult to snatch when the world learned how efficient and cost-effective Indian programmers are. Everyone suddenly wanted to learn how to build and design websites and apps with an aim to impress big companies that were the go-to of Western countries. Although Jas’ company was relatively small, he earned enough to pack his bags and leave his parents’ house.

After that first project, Jas knew he would be dedicating his time to Freelancer.com. “I was very motivated. I like working on new ideas, communicating with employers from all over the world, and getting great feedback. I also enjoyed many Freelancer.com programs like earning reward points, passing exams with high scores, and earning badges.” Soon, Jas couldn’t take the demand of work alone. “From a one-man army, I now have one smart team in our company, Logictrix. Here we are completely free in the way we want to work. I just always remind them to develop with passion.”

His family was surprised to see Jas on their doorstep, bags in tow, after only a few months. “I tried to work in my own style because this is the only way I know where I can give maximum output to the organization.” He learned that freedom in the way people want to work was an important driving factor. Unfortunately, his bosses weren’t happy with his methods. “People at work were sad to see me go, and I was sad that my first job didn’t work out well. But I was more fired up than ever. From that experience, I found out what I want and I was determined to work on it,” he said. His stay in the company, albeit short, made him realize that his forte was in developing Android apps. He spent hours each day developing dummy apps for Android while waiting for job applications to push through. One of his friends informed him that instead of practicing on his own, he could hone his skills better in developing apps at Freelancer.com while earning money on the side. Jas was excited at the prospect of working on live apps as well as getting revenue for his hard work. Without second thought, he signed up at Freelancer.com. His first project was awarded to him on the same day he started bidding. The employer from Australia only asked him a few questions, and Jas promised he would deliver sound results in five days. The project was to remake an iOS app for Android for US$255. Jas finished it in only three days and was given a five-star rating and superb feedback. FREELANCER | Jaswant Panwar • Jaipur, India

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DRAWING HER PLANS ON FREELANCER.COM Anna Lee Salas, a 30-year-old licensed architect, is standing tall in the field of architecture. She isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t intimidated by the challenges inherent in an industry considered to be male territory. Having worked for one of the biggest malls in the Philippines as design officer for a construction project, she definitely has what it takes to compete head-on.

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FREELANCER | Anna Lee Salas â&#x20AC;˘ Manila, Philippines


Fascinated by beautiful houses and interiors at a young age and with a passion for drawing, she mostly designs commercial building and residential house designs, but does commission work on space planning, and interior and conceptual design and drafting. After seven years of employment, she decided to become a full-time freelancer and is delighted with the rewards that came with it. Among such perks is earning higher income.

to Quezon City and the pressure in the corporate world pushed her to do so. “You need to multitask to meet deadlines, complete the drawings, go to the site, procure materials, and in some cases, deal with difficult bosses. In freelancing, I can work as early as I want. No more travelling expenses, fatigue, and most of all, I have flexible time. I can even take a vacation and do my work there—just a laptop with internet connection will do.”

At first, she was hesitant to resign from her job and become a full-time freelancer, but the toxic commute from Manila

The international exposure also taught her a lot. “I am learning new designs from different people and different

AN ARCHITECT GAVE UP HER FULL TIME JOB TO ENJOY THE COMFORTS OF FREELANCING

cultures, and I am kept updated on design ideas. My clients and I learn so much from each other. As much as possible, if I still can, I always accept the project. I just keep in mind that I will learn new wisdom and knowledge in every project that I do.”

could not believe it. After that, everything just came one after the other. Sometimes, she doesn’t even bid—they just offer the contract and all she needed to do was accept. She also gained regular clients coming from Australia, USA, and Canada.

By working with several contractors and architects, she learned more about space planning, interior design, and many others. Architecture evolves through time and freelancing helps her to be updated with the new trends.

“Freelancer.com totally changed my life. It gives me the best flexible time. I am earning so much more here compared to regular work. My expenses were also reduced and I don’t have to wake up too early or deal with a difficult boss.”

When she had her first contract, a townhouse project, she

FREELANCER | Anna Lee Salas • Manila, Philippines

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FREELANCER | Rick Cano • Oregon, USA


A FATHER’S LEGACY RICK ATTRIBUTES THE FAST GROWTH OF HIS COMPANY TO CLIENTS AT FREELANCER.COM

From doing WordPress designs, they now offer full service website maintenance and security, SEO, Google Adwords, and Backlinks. From designing and providing service to Fifty-four year-old Rick Cano mulls 12 sites per month, they scaled up over the online consulting business he to 27. Most of that business comes established nearly 12 years ago and is from clients who have hired him proud of the growth it has achieved. at Freelancer.com and from their He anticipates that Cano Consulting referrals. The portfolio that he built will grow even further at the hands of from all of his work at the site also his son, Jared, who will take over the helped bring in more clients. reins three years from now. Much of the success the company is currently “Part of my strategy is to provide enjoying is an offshoot of Rick’s excellent customer service because membership at Freelancer.com since I have found that providing service 2009. “I’ve been a member for five over and above what my clients years and it’s thanks to Freelancer. expect often turns into referrals. com that I’ve achieved such success,” Every client I have worked with on Rick, a custom WordPress designer, Freelancer has referred me a family attested. member, a co-worker, a girlfriend, “I also like the idea that Freelancer was more ‘international’ so I could get business from other parts of the world and not only be dependent on my local economy or US economy,” he added. “I’m glad I chose Freelancer because as our US economy faltered I was less affected by local business.”

a grandmother…the list goes on.” To support this strategy he provides additional work at no extra charge. “To prove to them that I’m an excellent designer and more importantly, an excellent business partner.” What started out as a one-man team eventually turned into a family business: he hired his son as a Junior

Web Developer and his wife as graphic designer. Two more employees came aboard, a Junior Web Designer, and an SEO Specialist. “My son struggled to find a job for a year after he graduated from college and I really needed an assistant. With his computer science degree, he fit right in. My wife, who has a full-time job, wanted to explore her creative side; so, I hired her on a part-time basis to do graphic work.” Walking away from a 25-year job, in an industry that was extremely high stress and that took lots of time away from home to set up a business, proved to be the right decision. “Now I have the freedom to work really, really hard or take some time off….and I do it all from my home.” Not one to rest on his laurels, Rick set his sights on the next phase for his business: incorporation. Most of the paperwork, he said, is completed. “In three years, I’m going to be able to pass on this business to my son and he’ll be full owner while I work for him until I retire.”

FREELANCER | Rick Cano • Oregon, USA

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WHAT THIS PROFESSOR DID TO FIGHT RETIREMENT BLUES For sexagenarian Rita Roy Chowdhury from India, retirement isn’t the end of an age — it’s actually a new beginning. While other retirees often feel anxious or depressed about the challenges that retirement brings, Rita chose to take charge of her life by freelance writing on Freelancer.com. “Just when I was wondering how to fill my empty time after retirement, Freelancer just happened,” she shared. “I did not get the chance to experience post retirement blues or feel left out.”

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A RETIRED TEACHER FINDS LUCRATIVE WAYS TO EARN AS A WRITER

A retired Associate Professor and Departmental Head from the Vivekananda College for Women, which is under the auspices of Calcutta University, Rita has always had the passion for writing. While the content writing she currently does is quite a stretch from her bachelor’s degree in philosophy and doctorate degree in environmental ethics, she appreciated the fact that she learns something new each day. “Freelancer gave me the opportunity to experiment with my writing ability and I can use my leisure time well.” Although new to freelancing, she has wonderful stories about the jobs she completed and the employers she worked with. A Bangladesh national named Raisha asked her to write an article about how hypertension can be better controlled through Telemedicine using Skype. Another employer, Kevin, asked her to write some do-ityourself advice and tips in 150 characters for his micro blog. Then there’s Michael Fayez from Egypt whom she calls her “friend from the Nile.” She narrated:

“My project with him was about stocks and shares. I developed an eye infection during the course of the project and had to undergo surgery. He was very compassionate. He would tell me to stop doing the project and say that it could wait, get well first. I was overwhelmed. Even after the project was finished we exchange greetings.” She admitted that there were times she felt low. “The world outside is no longer my arena of work but I turn to Freelancer and I get engrossed in the projects. Actually I have access to the whole world through the platform. I have found a global community here.” It is true what advice gurus often counsel: It takes the right attitude to adjust to this new phase of life. “I enjoy working here,” she reiterated. “Freelancer. com is more than the money— it’s about interacting with people from different countries that you get to know. I will always remain grateful because it has given me strong emotional support right after my superannuation.”

FREELANCER | Rita Roy Chowdhury • Calcutta, India

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GETTING OUT OF THE RUT

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FREELANCER | Syed Saqlain • Karachi, Pakistan


WORK DISSATISFACTION LED GRAPHIC DESIGNER TO BUILD OWN BUSINESS

“Clients want to work only with Logotrak!” said Syed Saqlain, founder of custom logo design company Logotrak. “They rehire me for every new project.” This is not an empty boast. He has over 2,000 reviews to prove that he is among the best at Freelancer.com. His secret: making his clients his top priority by churning out designs that are 100% tailored according to his clients’ requirements. But he’s not stopping there; he is aiming to become No. 1. “It’s kind of an award for me. If I keep working hard, I’m absolutely sure that I will be the Top 1 service provider on Freelancer.com.”

he earned US$30 and an additional US$35 for extra work on stationery together with this project. He appreciates that Hala, his very first client, provided him the opportunity to get started on Freelancer.com. “Her positive feedback was my turning point.” Since then, Hala repeatedly hired him, and Saqlain would even offer her free logo design services. “Freelancer.com is the best way to achieve your aims and make your dreams come true,” he said. “Now I have so many potential clients from all over the world and get many projects on a daily basis.”

He studied graphics design in a small institute and obtained his diploma after two years. He got into Freelancer. com when his friend told him about its predecessor, GetAFreelancer in 2007. His earnings at a small printing house as a graphic designer weren’t enough and he needed extra money.

The man who’s now proud of the business he established is a far cry from the fresh graduate that made job-hopping a habit in the early years of his career. The underlying dissatisfaction led him to pursue his passion on his own. “I wanted to be a successful person. I spent 10 years, but when I felt there was no chance

Seven years on the platform has not made him forget his roots. He constantly reminds himself of his first logo design project in 2008 where

to advance, I resigned and decided to start my own business through Freelancer in 2007. I also launched my own website, www.logotrak.com that year.”

FREELANCER | Syed Saqlain • Karachi, Pakistan

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FREELANCER | Gaston Muyano • Parque del Plata, Uruguay


DAD TURNS FREELANCER TO GIVE KIDS QUALITY TIME HIS FIRST PRIORITY WAS HIS FAMILY OVER CAREER. IMAGINE HIS SURPRISE WHEN HE GOT THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS THROUGH FREELANCING.

Gaston Muyano, a graphic artist in Uruguay, spent about three hours a day to travel from his small hometown in Parque del Plata to the country’s capital, Montevideo, for work. He left early each morning to avoid rush hour and he arrived home late in the

thought he could be fulfilled with his career and, at the same time, be present during the important early years of his daughters, was to be an independent worker.

evening, missing the chance to spend time with his wife and two young daughters.

brought his skills as a digital artist, animator, and graphic artist to Freelancer.com. “I was attracted to work on the site because it was growing strong every day. The jobs are increasing, giving me more work opportunities. I knew that the site could help me achieve my dream to work independently,” he said.

He felt like Bianca, three, and Florencia, two, were growing up so fast and he wasn’t there to see it. He missed out on the little things – such as braiding Florencia’s hair, and taking them to kindergarten — which were fortunately being done by his wife Lorraine. The closest thing he ever had to witnessing his daughters’ milestones was hearing their shrieks and laughter through the phone whenever his wife delivered great news. To top it all off, the job that took over his life wasn’t even rewarding. He earned very little and the expectations were low. Even if it paid well, it wasn’t a good enough reason to let his kids grow up with someone who was barely their dad. The only way he

Gaston took a leap of faith and

The projects he handled started small. The first one was to create an animated comic book that educates kids about different diseases, for which he was paid a little over US$30. Then came a relatively big one, worth US$600, where he animated 2D images of animals. The employer was so pleased that Gaston was very fast and skilled, being able to animate 20 images in the time some animators took to do one.

build his portfolio fast. He employed his brother Mauro, who is a 3D artist, to help. Together, they aimed to take the business to greater heights. To establish themselves better, Gaston made a small animation company, www.betterexplain.com. As the name suggests, they want to help their clients better explain their campaigns or objectives through animation. Now, Gaston and Mauro handle several big projects that take weeks to finish and do smaller projects day to day. They are even planning on hiring another artist because of the high demand. “This career not only brought my family economic stability, but it also allowed me to speed up my artistic growth. The different projects we take on, the different people, businessmen, and artists we work with help us to learn more and improve our craft. Most of all, I work on what I really love to do, here at home, where I can help my wife raise Bianca and Florencia,” he said.

Due to the awesome feedback left by employers, Gaston was able to FREELANCER | Gaston Muyano • Parque del Plata, Uruguay

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IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO BECOME A FREELANCER Belgian-born but Brazilian at heart, freelancer and IT startup owner David Maillard looked away from his computer to watch a surfer get wiped out. Chuckling to himself, David thought he ought to show the newbie how it was done. Not yet though — his focus was on the dozen emails sent by valued clients.

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A FREELANCER FOR 15 YEARS, DAVID DISCOVERED FREELANCER.COM A LITTLE LATE BUT QUICKLY ROSE TO BECOME ONE OF THE SITE’S SOUGHT-AFTER WORDPRESS DESIGNERS

Working where he wanted and riding big waves during breaks were some of the perks David enjoyed since he up and left the nine-to-five job he had as a project manager and office assistant at a large real estate firm in Belgium. It was in 1999 when David left its security. It came as a surprise to family and friends when he said he wanted a career making and designing websites, at a time when the Internet was accessible via dialup connection and page layouts were horribly cramped. “I was 21 when I decided to create websites for clients I found at local classified ads. During this time, everything was coded in Notepad and Dreamweaver. Eventually, WordPress came and I jumped into it. I’m now using WordPress almost exclusively for all my clients but I’m also adept at PHP, HTML and CSS.” After he had a tough time looking for clients, David decided to try marketplaces and found Freelancer.com to be his favorite. He discovered the platform only in 2012 through a friend. “I thought that although

it’s possible to make a few dollars, there was no way to make a living on the site. I was wrong. Nowadays, a sensitive part of my revenue comes from Freelancer.com.” David has completed about 285 projects since he started and became a member of the site’s Preferred Freelancer Program, which helped boost his reputation. “I’m going to stay here for good. Apart from my excellent standing and being a member of the Preferred Freelancer Program, the site has the most exposure in the market. There are a lot of jobs to take on so I feel secure. Of course, it’s not easy hauling the clients in. You really have to work hard and be dedicated.” David’s favorite Freelancer.com feature is the profile page. “I like the way reputation is calculated because it says so much about the employee. Like it or not, it’s one of the first things an employer looks at so it can really make or break a career. I’m proud to say that I have received no less than five stars in all 172 reviews left by clients.”

FREELANCER | David Maillard • Sao Paulo, Brazil

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FREELANCER | David Dundas • Bristol, UK


VETERAN WRITER EXPLORES FREELANCING CAREER A LONGTIME WRITER, PROOFREADER, AND EDITOR FOUND NEW OPPORTUNITIES AT FREELANCER.COM

David Dundas’ career as a writer, proofreader, and editor started when he wrote a short novella purely as an exercise. 10 years later and now in his late 50s, David is working harder than ever. He signed up at vWorker, which was later acquired by Freelancer.com, to expand his business and meet more clients. From then on, the business went full-time with both private and Freelancer.com clients now keeping him busy seven days a week. Although the tasks could be daunting, David never employed others. He found that writing and amending text was a very personal affair, and he preferred to be in direct contact with each of his clients. David now divides his time between Bristol, UK, and Le Blanc, France, as freelancing allows him total control of his time and whereabouts.

good employees, while others are more suited to being self-employed. I decided I had the necessary skills to be a successful freelancer, which are dedication, enthusiasm, and skill in what I do.” David wrote on and off for most of his working life. Around the same time, he wrote a novella for an exercise, and checked some academic work for a friend doing a postgraduate degree. She recommended him to friends, and the editing and proofreading business started to grow. He joined vWorker three years ago to expand the source of work and stayed after the Freelancer.com takeover a few months later. “It was a great choice because approximately 30-40% of my annual income now comes from working with clients from Freelancer. com.”

“Freelancing gives me freedom and Like many freelancers, David also allows me to be the master of my own encountered difficulties at the destiny. I believe some people make beginning — he found the size and

complexity of the site daunting. “The trick is to stick with it as, like everything in life, the more you get used to something, the easier it becomes.” As for freelancing, he said: “It also takes time to build up a reputation on the platform, but if you are persistent and are prepared to put in the hours, it is certainly possible to make a comfortable living. I certainly recommend it to those who are in need of a second income or who want to see if they could, over time, freelance on a full-time basis.” David enjoys the little things freelancing gives him. He gets to spend more time in his home in Le Blanc. “I enjoy the simpler things in life, like walking the dog, fishing or kayaking on the river, searching through the ‘brocantes’ and French markets for hidden treasures, and enjoying slightly better weather!”

FREELANCER | David Dundas • Bristol, UK

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CHARTING A DIFFERENT FUTURE

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FREELANCER | Dickson Ifeanyi Desmond • Aba, Nigeria


SECONDARY TEACHER FINDS EXTRA INCOME AS AN ONLINE WRITER

For three years Dickson Ifeanyi Desmond taught Mathematics, with Physics and Chemistry on the side, to senior secondary students at a local school in Nigeria. Assured of a guaranteed income, he didn’t look for another job despite earning a low income because it was “an easily available job” until a friend told him that he could make a living by writing. On July 2012, he joined Freelancer.com, where he found an abundance of content writing opportunities. He found little difficulty in transitioning from a regular 9-to-5 job to freelancing. He’s passionate about writing and has been writing since he was a boy. Initially earning less than US$200 a month on the platform, he is now bringing home up to US$600, six times more than his earnings from teaching. Apart from the income, he enjoys a better quality of life now. He enlarged his territory by gaining plenty of experience in content creation and in the process, he learns something new each day with the various topics he writes about. Furthermore, he admitted that he wasn’t as skilled in content writing when he started out, but his clients saw his eagerness and tutored him on how to do the job properly. Dickson’s clients were mostly SEO and content writing companies. His major client has branches in Europe, Australia and Asia and another client is from Singapore — both of which have retained him for the long haul. He also worked with individual employers from Malaysia and Pakistan. “The ease offered by working on the platform is indeed fabulous,” said Dickson of his professional life beyond the four walls. “Teaching confined me to a single place; Freelancer.com allowed me to work from home and from anywhere. I am in control of my time and freelancing has afforded me great flexibility.” He now has time to pursue other interests such as reading and is now working towards an Industrial Mathematics degree. “My life has unimaginably changed through the services and features provided by Freelancer.com. I have encouraged many of my friends in Nigeria to join the platform,” he added. “Freelancer has gone a long way in solving the problem of unemployment in various parts of the world, especially in my country.”

FREELANCER | Dickson Ifeanyi Desmond • Aba, Nigeria

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EMPLOYER STORIES

â&#x20AC;&#x153;160 million jobs, or about 11% of the projected 1.46 billion services jobs worldwide, could in theory be carried out remotely, barring any constraints in supplyâ&#x20AC;? * Freelancer.com connects entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses to a gigantic community of talented freelancers worldwide. We provide them with a costand time-efficient way to kickstart their businesses. We want to make it simple and easy for anyone to transform their idea into reality with just a few simple mouse clicks, even allowing the entire business to launch on the back of a credit card.

This book features inspiring employer success stories as varied and unique as our users themselves: from a mobile app project for charitable causes and a Nordic recipe portal to surfboard designs and a wedding video. These stories aim to motivate you to turn your own project ideas into reality.

* McKinsey Global Institute, The Emerging Global Labor Market, Part I: The Demand for Offshore Talent in Services.

EMPLOYER STORIES

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GETTING ACTORS PRIMED FOR A PERFORMANCE

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EMPLOYER | Dean Carey • Sydney, Australia


AN APP THAT HELPS PERFORMING ARTISTS IN THEIR CRAFT WAS DEVELOPED ON FREELANCER.COM On location in Sydney, a rugged, good-looking man with tousled hair and hazel eyes sat comfortably in the makeup chair. As he prepared for a shoot for a new movie where he starred as the iconic comic book hero famous for his adamantium claws, Hugh Jackman received a text message from Dean Carey, his mentor and the Creative and Founding Director of Actors Centre Australia, about the contents of a mobile app Dean wanted to create. He immediately emails back: “Dean, this app is amazing—I am literally in the makeup chair and have just read the whole thing. Great reminders about how to prepare properly, brilliantly laid out, and it fires the imagination. It is perfectly set out as a buffet of knowledge — gold.” And that’s how “The Acting Edge” app was born— the first ever app developed for actors dishing out information and top tips on how to prepare for castings. “Actors have all the motivation and much of the inspiration required for casting. What needs to happen is focus, harnessing the actor’s energy, and a solid game plan with which to begin,” Dean explained. “The app plans to deliver precisely that.” The app was actually part of his “The Acting Edge” program that included an online course that breaks down the craft of acting into eight indispensable elements that bring out the best of the performing artist.

one.” This greatly contributed to easing his initial apprehensions about using the site. “The website was professional, full of information and it made me feel 100% confident every single step of the way. With the Milestone Payment System you know you wouldn’t pay for something you weren’t happy with or which didn’t meet the brief.” “The Acting Edge” app would’ve cost six times more if it were built by local developers, according to Dean. The app was built for AU$3,400 on Freelancer. com. “I couldn’t be more thrilled with the outcome. If I hadn’t found Freelancer.com, this project would never have gotten off the ground. If I hadn’t seen the certainty offered as well as the professionalism of the site, I would never have gone down this track. Freelancer.com connects people who would never have connected. The world shrinks, and we meet people who can help and realize our projects and dreams. What could be simpler than that?”

Upon the recommendation of a friend, Dean joined Freelancer.com to have the app developed. As a first time user of the site, he found it quite easy. He was pleasantly surprised with “all the wonderful and enthusiastic bidders.” He based his selection on the bidders’ written commitment and understanding of the project, their status with Freelancer.com, and their rating in terms of completion, quality, and customer satisfaction. In the end, he chose Softwareweaver, of whom he spoke highly. “The care, commitment, and dedication of the team were outstanding,” praised Dean. “I knew I had to get the app right and the team made sure my vision would be realized.” What made their relationship effective and productive was communication. “At every step in the process the team leader was in full communication with me,” he added. “In fact, he took as much pride and excitement in creating the project as I did, which made the process a shared

EMPLOYER | Dean Carey • Sydney, Australia

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ENGLISH TEACHER HIRES FREELANCER TO HELP STUDENTS

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EMPLOYER | Nikki Rowley • Cuenca, Ecuador


NIKKI, AN AMERICAN VOLUNTEER IN ECUADOR, DEVISED A METHOD TO PREPARE HER STUDENTS FOR THEIR TOEFL EXAMS WITH THE HELP OF VOICE-OVER ARTISTS

Serving as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Cuenca, Ecuador for three years now, Nikki Rowley was an English teacher in Arizona, USA, who wanted to make a difference. There were many others before her, as the Spanish-speaking country really pushed for Englishlanguage learning, but she wanted to build sustainability that would create lasting change. She had been doing basic courses on English for years, and although the results were good, it wasn’t enough for her. Most of her students study English so they could study or work in foreign countries such as the US and Canada, so she thought, why not create a program that would prepare them for it? “I’ve been here long enough to know what my students aspire for. Most of them dream of getting into a university in an English-speaking country. I made it my mission to help them turn their weaknesses into strengths and start them on their path to success,” said Nikki. Students struggle during Englishlanguage tests and Nikki thought of leveling up her lessons to prepare them from upcoming TOEFL exams — one of the respected Englishlanguage tests recognized by universities and agencies in the world. “I made a preparation course focusing on speaking, writing, and listening. Once they have a good grasp on the strategies, then it’s all about practice. I wrote scripts for dialogues and

searched for voice over artists for professional recordings,” said Nikki. Professional voice-over artists who are also native English speakers were hard to come by in Ecuador. Even if she found them, she wouldn’t have been able to afford them, since she hasn’t charged anyone for her lessons as part of being a volunteer. “I checked out freelance companies online and found Freelancer.com. It was the easiest to navigate so I posted my project there.” She picked MJBaird1971 from Virginia, USA because they were quick to respond and offered sample recordings. One of them was once an on-radio talent and Nikki immediately loved the clearness of their voices. “They were very genuine and transparent with the whole process. The price was competitive and the quality of the finished product was very high. “ The experience at Freelancer.com went smooth. Nikki said she liked the chat feature best because it allowed her to talk directly to the freelancer regarding changes, which resulted in a quick turnaround for projects. Nikki is married to an Ecuadorian, and they haven’t figured out where they will settle down. The online teaching business would be a perfect start as they won’t worry in case they need to move back to Arizona. One thing’s sure for Nikki though: wherever she is, she’ll always be a teacher.

EMPLOYER | Nikki Rowley • Cuenca, Ecuador

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FREELANCER ILLUSTRATES YOUNG AUTHOR’S MOTHER’S DAY PRESENT .

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EMPLOYER | Neill Whitehead • Melbourne, Australia


Twelve-year-old Leo had a bright idea for Mother’s Day: he would bake the sweetest and grandest chocolate cake for his mother. However, he was faced with two reasons why this gift was impossible. One, he wouldn’t be allowed to trash the kitchen, and two, it would ruin the surprise. He also didn’t know how to bake! Frustrated, Leo decided to just turn the whole ordeal into a story. Placing himself in the story along with two younger siblings, Leo managed to get away with experimenting in the kitchen.

The result was so creative and entertaining that parents Neill and Bernadette decided to publish the story. It hardly required any editing from the couple, and Neill himself didn’t think he could come up with anything like his son wrote if he was his son’s age. They decided to search for a publisher, but first they needed someone who could illustrate. Without pictures, the superb story would seem bland, especially since it was targeted to kids around Leo’s age. “We wanted to recognize his

IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE FOR LEO TO BAKE A CAKE FOR HIS MOTHER, SO HE WROTE THE EXPERIENCE IN A BOOK

achievement. Writing something without being prompted is such as great thing to do. But for a kid’s non-commercial writing hobby, it’s not feasible to get an Australian artist to do commissioned work,” Neill said. He turned to Freelancer.com because it wasn’t only more economical, but it also allowed him to view the work of several artists to assess the style that would suit Leo’s story. Neill had previously used Freelancer for commercial purposes like website design. He was already familiar with how it works and was pleased with the results of his past projects. “We decided to give it a go on the illustrator to surprise Leo. It didn’t cost much to give it a try,” he said. Among the bids he received, Neill picked Alina, an illustrator from Romania. “The competitive bidding was a great feature. We saw a variety of styles, which influenced us to choose her. Alina is a very talented artist; she uses different styles and is also very flexible and adaptable,” he said.

The outcome was a full illustration of Leo’s book entitled “The Cake of Doom” where the reader can choose between two actions with corresponding results – either the reader progresses through the story or suffers a consequence. Leo got the inspiration on this type of story-telling in the series “Goosebumps – Choose your Own Ending” that he read years ago. The story didn’t make it to Mother’s Day, as it took Leo about a year to finish it up until publication. A lot of distractions got in the way – Leo’s activities include attending school, painting, and playing the piano. Like most Aussie kids, Leo also spends a lot of time hanging out with friends and going to the beach, according to his dad. “The Cake of Doom” is available on iTunes, Google Play, Amazon Kindle, and Kobo. Leo decided to donate all the profits of his book to a charity that will benefit a new school in East Timor. “What can I say – he is just a great kid. We’re very proud of him,” Neill said.

EMPLOYER | Neill Whitehead • Melbourne, Australia

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A VISION, A PROMISE, A FUTURE

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EMPLOYER | Hooi Jun Keat • Petaling Jaya, Malaysia


GROOM TOLD THE TALE OF THEIR FUTURE IN A HEARTWARMING VIDEO FOR HIS BRIDE

Standing onstage in front of his family and friends, a young man dressed in a black suit nervously delivered his big speech. Towards the end, he looked at his lovely bride, radiant in red cheongsam, and said: “I thank my beautiful wife for being a part of me and allowing me to walk along with her on the journey to forever. I can’t promise you super rich wealth or a luxurious life, but I promise what a husband should do.” A video was then shown on the widescreen. With Westlife’s “Beautiful in White” playing in the background, the animated video featured cartoon images of the newlyweds, Hooi Jun Keat (JK) and Sara, and their future journey together as a loving married couple. It showed them from the wedding to the early years of their marriage, from the pregnancy to the birth of their son, from the son as a child to him becoming a mature young man. The husband remained supportive of his wife throughout—there was even a poignant image of the backs of an old couple, with the husband’s arm over his wife’s shoulder, looking out into the sea over sunset. The video ended with a photo montage of the couple with family and friends.

ones who could help me fulfill my wish and dream.” Also a contributing factor was that the team came from China. “As the wedding in China is quite similar for the Chinese in Malaysia, they understood easily what I wanted and how I wanted the video to be.” The entire production took two weeks. With only one day prior to the wedding day to preview the video for further revisions, it was quite understandable that JK was worried. “But Dicanime assured me that they could do it within the time frame. Indeed, they really kept their promise and successfully delivered the awesome video on time.” He says “Freelancer.com made people like me a lot happier. Not only did it provide good details of all the bidders, but it gave me confidence to outsource my work online rather than offline.”

The video, which was created by an experienced video animation team called Dicanime on Freelancer.com, made a huge impact at JK’s wedding in November 2013. “The video animation was a killer blow on my wedding day because it’s not only incredibly touching, it also amused all my 350+ guests,” said JK. “Most importantly, my newlywed wife cried tears of joy.” The video almost never got made because JK couldn’t find anyone locally to do it. He heard about Freelancer.com before but only decided to try it after considering all alternatives. “Freelancer.com is the best I could find online compared to similar marketplaces,” he said. “In terms of user-friendliness and tools, everything is well structured and easily understandable.” He posted the project and didn’t have to wait long as bidders started to pour in. With the help of the platform’s chat system, he was able to communicate with the freelancers and eventually made his final choice. “Dicanime told me that they were new on Freelancer.com,” he explained, “but the sample videos I saw in their profile were just brilliant. It so happened that they had done a similar project before. From that point on, I knew they were the EMPLOYER | Hooi Jun Keat • Petaling Jaya, Malaysia

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GIVEMOB:

GIVING MADE MOBILE

PHOTO BY LANNY NGUYEN PHOTOGRAPHY

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EMPLOYER | Hiraa Khan • San Francisco, USA


YOUNG ADVOCATE MADE IT FASTER AND EASIER TO DONATE TO CHARITIES

Giving back has never been easier. With the popularity of mobile devices, charities are now able to reach out to users and provide them with opportunities to donate to causes they support. One such app is GiveMob (givemobapp.org) — available for free in the App Store and Google Play — by young advocate Hiraa Khan, who had been working with and for non-profits since high school. After enrolling as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley in 2003, she worked closely with social justice organizations, serving on the Board of Directors of the American Civil Liberties Union. After graduating, she worked at Google, Inc. for a few years and continued to volunteer with local organizations in her free time. “Since leaving Google I have worked for non-profits in Pakistan (Acumen Fund) and India (UNICEF). I also graduated from a two-year full-time Masters in Public Policy (MPP) program at UC Berkeley in 2013. In graduate school I studied non-profit management and professionally consulted for a number of local and international organizations.” She is interested in various charitable issues, ranging from women’s rights to job creation, and felt that GiveMob was a great way for her to raise awareness about a number of causes. “I realized how little awareness there was in the industry about the use of mobile technology for engaging donors and supporters. I set out to create this mobile app to make it easy for anyone to give to charities through their smartphone.” GiveMob, which spotlights a different nonprofit organization every day, helps users make charitable contributions of $5 or $10 (in US currency) via text-to-donate. Organizations showcased on the app span a number of charitable causes and are domestic and international in focus. The app also encourages

users to share their favorite campaigns with their network through social media. The team hand-selects non-profits and charities throughout America. Since they could track their users’ cause preferences, they have the ability to tailor the non-profit campaigns on their app. “I tried a few different sites before finally deciding on Freelancer. com. The biggest deterrent to using other sites was the number of false or inauthentic developers. For example, they lacked the technical knowledge they claimed they knew, or would offer me an unrealistically low contract price. On Freelancer, however, I received competitive offers from well-qualified developers around the world,” said Hiraa. She hired Fourspan Tech, who were extremely professional throughout the experience and helped her work with Apple’s rules and guidelines on charitable apps. “They were so committed to the project that they volunteered to help me implement two features that Apple asked to be added—the SMS donation and ‘Read More’ links should open outside of the app—on the original budget. They were even able to recommend key product features to help maintain the app’s original user experience.” When Hiraa originally posted her project, she received dozens of responses. However, Freelancer quickly filtered and recommended a developer based on the technical requirements of her project. She ended up going with the team recommended by the site. “I had a fantastic experience using the platform. It’s efficient, effective, and secure. I am excited by the prospect of using Freelancer.com for other projects in the future.”

EMPLOYER | Hiraa Khan • San Francisco, USA

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FOOTWEAR BUILT FOR CHAMPIONS People typically see their possessions as extensions of themselves, so they jazz up everything they own â&#x20AC;&#x201D; laptops, mobile phones, cars, etc. Shoes are no exception. There are shops that allow buyers to customize their own shoes, giving the new owners a sense of pride that they have created their own unique design that reflects who they are. Bont, the worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s largest producer of handmade speed skates, is a forerunner in footwear customization. Long before the arrival of customization websites such as NikeID, Bont was already creating skates according to customer specifications in 1975. Its founder, recreational speed skater Inze Bont, used to paint the base of every pair of ice speed skates that he made by hand.

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A FREELANCER HELPS MYBONTS’ CUSTOMERS FIND THE PERFECT PAIR OF SPEED SKATES

“It was a labor-intensive process that he could only make two pairs per week,” shared son Alexander Bont, who spent seven years on the Australian short track team before joining the family business and now heads the company as its CEO. “Whatever the customer wanted they received. We were the pioneers of custom sports footwear.” With the introduction of the website in 1996, Alexander made their first product customization HTML page that used layers of gifs to allow customers to visualize what their boot would look like. As they added more and more options, it became too much work for them to keep the page updated with all the new leathers and other materials that customers could choose from so they just went back to a simple form. To improve customer experience, Alexander searched online for a company to make a customization page but he was quoted US$65,000 per product to digitally scan and make this page. “I wanted up to 15 different products so it was way too expensive. Good thing I found someone on Freelancer. com who could make the app for eight products for US$8,000.” The release of their new page allowed customers to not only see how their new skates or

shoes would look, but also see them in different environments and select different colored components to complement the boots. “To develop this project the freelancer had to create 10 different views of each product, have up to 20 different colors and up to 23 different options in a single product. The material colors needed to be replicated accurately and the parts needed to be layered and positioned perfectly for it all to work.” Not many freelancers had the experience in doing what Alexander needed. Ideally, he wanted one who had already made a similar type of website to save him time and money from having to build one from scratch. “Freelancer.com recommended this freelancer to me and he did have experience and he had a perfect score for his feedback.” Apart from the customization page, Alexander hired freelancers for jobs such as making promotional videos, posters, banners and more that as a small company they would not otherwise be able to afford. “Without Freelancer.com, we would probably stick with one magazine ad per year but with Freelancer we have been able to create amazing videos at an affordable price. Even the MyBonts logo was made by another freelancer.”

EMPLOYER | Alexander Bont • Sydney, Australia

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GALAXY FEUD WAGING WARS ACROSS THE GALAXY Galaxy Feud is a turn-based space strategy app developed by Tumbling Heads, an indie game development company located in Boulder, Colorado that focuses on innovative apps for the iPhone and iPad. The idea for the game, as Tumbling Heads co-founder Martin Soederhamn said, came from “a couple of guys in a basement.”

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EMPLOYER | Martin Soederhamn • Colorado, USA


About eight years ago, before the existence of apps, Martin came up with an idea for a strategic trivia game. He believed that existing trivia games all rely too much on luck of the draw, so he created a game without the dice and with a way for players to strategize their way to winning. He made

games, create molds, find a distributor, etc. Your only other option is to approach a big game developer like Hasbro and hope to sell it to them. If you’re lucky enough to sell the idea, there’s no guarantee that the game will ever reach the shelves. Once the app craze really started it was clear that

a prototype of the board game but was unable to find the funds needed to create it for the public.

this was the route we were to take.”

“You need around US$200,000 to produce the first batch of

Galaxy Feud is similar to the well-known pen and paper game Battleship, but with a much larger scope and limitless

MARTIN CREATED A GAME THAT WOULD RIVAL LARGE GAMING COMPANIES

gameplay strategies. As a multiplayer game, it offers 90 skills, from tactical defensive skills to devastating nuclear attacks. You gain XP points and credits from every battle. As you earn experience, your rank increases and new powerful weapons and skills become available to you. You can use the credits to upgrade your ships. Plus, there are cool weapon animations and 3D ship models, an epic soundtrack, and visually appealing space environments. To be able to make a game which involved plenty of CGI and 3D animation, Martin utilized “some of the great talents on Freelancer.com.” He found the perfect guy for the job, Julian Tramacera, a talented 3D animator from Argentina. “He immediately had a good understanding and appreciation for what we were trying to accomplish. We ended up with 10 animations for just US$450. If these had been done by a professional studio, I would have expected to pay a minimum of US$4,000 to have these videos done.”

All things considered, the entire cost of the features needed would run to around US$8,000 offsite, according to Martin, who said that it was incredibly cheap but at the same time way out of their budget. “At Freelancer we will probably spend US$1,500. We got the game story written by a freelancer, the illustrations, texturing 3D models, and all animations done on the platform.” Freelancer.com gave them access to great talent who can work within their budget. The game is now available for free in the app store. According to Martin, it looked like it was produced by a major developer and not a couple of guys in a basement. “We’re ready to battle the likes of EA and Activision. All these for a fraction of the cost had we approached professional studios directly. We will always come back to Freelancer and are very excited to meet other talents from this amazing community.”

EMPLOYER | Martin Soederhamn • Colorado, USA

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DANISH FOODIES ASSEMBLE DREAM TEAM ON FREELANCER.COM

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EMPLOYER | Mikkel Jersin • Copenhagen, Denmark


MIKKEL AND JULIE KARLA BUILT A NORDIC RECIPE WEBSITE ON A SHOESTRING BUDGET

The sudden wave of interest in Nordic cuisine inspired Julie Karla to launch a big recipe portal with Nordic food recipes catered to the American market. Julie Karla, a well-known Danish food blogger and national champion of home cooking, collaborated with Mikkel Jersin, a project manager, to create www.karlasnordickitchen.com, which features easy-to-make healthy food based on organic recipes. “Unfortunately, none of us are experts when it comes to Web, programming, or getting traffic for a website,” Mikkel said. “In fact, we hardly knew anything about it when we started the project. Our one and only starting point was a bunch of Nordic recipes that Julie developed in our kitchen and her local food blog.” Mikkel and Julie needed more than one person to help them set up the website and they weren’t sure if their shoestring budget would allow them to hire professionals in Denmark. With a budget of $800, they wanted to be able to hire a developer, translator, writer, SEO specialists, and illustrator. “A site like this would cost 5-10 times as much in Denmark or possibly a lot more. The price for such things here

is so enormously expensive that we didn’t even try to do it in Denmark. The translation of the recipes alone would break the budget,” Mikkel said. They decided to rely on Freelancer. com. First, they hired someone from Canada to translate Danish recipes to American standard. They needed an illustrator next to make the site more personal and found a Nigerian artist who did more than 50 drawings. Also included in their team were a Romanian SEO analyst, an American ghostwriter living in Pakistan, a team of Indian SEO specialists, and an Indian website developer. “The process works like a breeze and it’s even quite fun when posting a project. All the bids coming in rapidly from all over the world, choosing the team, and getting to know them while working with them. To us, it’s really amazing that this is actually possible. We have dreamed about doing this project for years, but we couldn’t find the right people to help us within our budget and with the right qualifications. Had we known how easy it was, we would have done it years ago. For anyone planning to set up a business, we strongly recommend they dive in and get started straight away,” Mikkel said.

EMPLOYER | Mikkel Jersin • Copenhagen, Denmark

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EMPLOYER | Nick White â&#x20AC;˘ Northern Virginia, USA


UNLEASHING THE BOND BETWEEN K9S AND THEIR MASTERS A FORMER US MARINE AND US SECRET SERVICE’S DOG TRAINING TECHNIQUES FOSTER BETTER RELATIONSHIPS BETWEEN CIVILIAN PET OWNERS AND THEIR BEST FRIENDS

Fallujah, Iraq, went down in history as one of the bloodiest battle sites in the US-Iraq War in the early 2000s. Amidst the countless lives taken on both sides and the massive destruction that turned the place into rubble, one young marine, then only 18, saw a beacon of hope — fourlegged, furry creatures sniffing about in search of bombs. “I’ve seen the bomb dogs finding IEDs (improvised explosive devices), which saved my life and fellow Marines’ lives,” recalled Nick White, owner of Off-Leash K9 Training in a Yahoo! Special feature. “That’s what really got me to think that dogs do so much more things than most common pet owners believe they can do.” After his tour in Iraq, he went on to the Secret Service where he worked closely with their Belgian Malinois in detection and protection. Against the advice of family and friends, he left government service to establish his dog training business in a highly volatile economy. His decision

turned out to be the right one, as OffLeash is now the highest rated dog training business in the Tri-State area and has a mix of civilian and celebrity pet owners as clientele. To show that the company’s claim of 100% guaranteed results is true, Nick turned to videos demonstrating how different ages, sizes and breeds of dogs behave before and after the training. One of these videos, now embedded on offleashk9training. com and on YouTube, was made by a freelancer he hired on Freelancer. com. “A friend told me about Freelancer. com and found Aabeeroy from India to create the video,” he shared. “Within five days, I had an amazing video that completely blew my other professionally made videos out of the water. Aabeeroy did it in half the time, half the money, and the video looks four times as good!” The professionally done videos cost him

US$1,500; whereas, the one done via Freelancer was only US$750. The video was well-received by his clients because it highlights all the available training programs. “It generates more revenue because it’s the FIRST thing people see when they go to our website and they can see all the trainings we offer,” he explained. “This leads them to purchase more training programs versus ‘just’ our obedience program.” On its first year, the company earned US$38,000 and in 2014, it grossed US$1.3 million. The company is on its fifth year of operations, with 42 locations in the United States. For Nick, dog training isn’t a business; it’s his passion. “I had a dog growing up called Deputy, a German Shepherd, and I loved teaching him tricks. During my government service I realized that training and working with dogs fulltime was my calling.”

EMPLOYER | Nick White • Northern Virginia, USA

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TEACHING ENGLISH IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES Fresh out of Stanford, Govinda Dasu’s focus for his career was not about finding a job in a large company in Silicon Valley. Instead, he chose to bootstrap for a startup he is building with a Stanford classmate and an ex-Infosys employee. Using his skills in Computer Science and all their experiences combined, they improved on one of his college projects — Learning Dollars — an educational app that aims to teach English in developing countries.

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A TECH STARTUP CREATED AN APP CALLED LEARNING DOLLARS TO EMPOWER FUTURE FREELANCERS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

Although similar to online language-learning software Rosetta Stone, the app will be free and more relatable, especially for users in developing countries such as in India, China, and Brazil — where Govi and his colleagues tested. “The US$300 fee of Rosetta is too steep and it also uses pictures of random people that may not be effective in hooking people in the developing world,” he said. Learning Dollars will use pictures of celebrities from all over the world. For instance, the app would teach “basketball” with a picture of Yao Ming playing the game, the phrase “they are dancing” with a picture of Shah Rukh Khan and Deepika Padukone dancing, and “an interview” with an image of David Letterman interviewing Aishwarya Rai. Govi and his co-owners decided to focus on the app development, leaving the task of collecting thousands of photos and matching them to phrases to a freelancer. Strapped for budget, the group couldn’t afford someone in California. They had to outsource the job. “Freelancer.com, as the leader in its industry, was the very first site I tried out. It wasn’t enough to hire just one person, so I hired three freelancers,” Govi said. The task was difficult for a fixed priced job to work on so Govi turned the project into an hourly job. He used a time tracker app to ensure that his freelancers were working productively. “I maintained the regimen of checking the time tracker’s random screenshots of my workers’ screens before paying

them. It worked perfectly,” he said. He paid each freelancer US$15 per hour. Govi said that if he had sourced the job locally and expected to get the same quality of work, it would have cost him anywhere between US$5,000 and US$10,000 — a huge amount compared to what he paid on Freelancer.com. He hired Jony Mariño from Argentina, Juzer Hakimuddin Fakhri from Kenya, and Vikas Roy from Africa. Govi loved the international experience, more so because the freelancers brought their regional expertise into the project when it came to finding world celebrities. Learning Dollars is still in its early stages and that they haven’t taken any funding yet. “We are still bootstrapping, and the reason we were able to bootstrap for so long on our own money is because of low-cost, efficient services at Freelancer.com. Hopefully, we will be able to build something of quality before approaching investors and increase our startup’s valuation,” he said. Once Learning Dollars is launched, Govi hopes that his education app would empower people in the developing world to learn English, get a great education, and gain earning power. “Essentially, I hope to train the future freelancers of the world. People in developing countries are great workers and deserve to be part of the global economy. I believe that by training the next generation of freelancers, Learning Dollars could be a significant player in fighting global poverty.”

EMPLOYER | Govinda Dasu • California, USA

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EMPLOYER | Mick Liubinskas and Gary Elphick â&#x20AC;˘ Sydney, Australia


AUSSIE STARTUP AND FREELANCER SET TO MAKE WAVES SURFBOARD MAKER DISRUPTS THE INDUSTRY WITH GROUNDBREAKING TECHNOLOGY & FREELANCER’S HELP

Creative and affordable: these are the words Gary Elphick had in mind when he opened Disrupt Surfing — a Bondi-based startup that creates custom surfboards using 3D rendered technology. It happened when Gary, a surfer for more than a decade, grew frustrated paying thousands of dollars for surfboards he didn’t feel were his. He always felt a strong attachment to his boards and he wanted something that expressed himself without breaking the bank. A customized surfboard can cost upwards of AU$1,200. A Disrupt board meanwhile, ranges from AU$400 to AU$650. The boards are also 100 percent customizable in shape, construct, and design. It was generally well-received that in less than six months since Gary founded Disrupt, they already sold more than 700 individually-designed surfboards. Like many startups, Gary faced the problem of getting the word out. Not many people know about the possibility of creating fully customized surfboards online. This problem, along with all the other hurdles experienced by startups, is being tackled one by one at muru-D — a start-up accelerator backed by Telstra.

Disrupt Surfing was one of the 11 startups that secured a spot in muru-D’s sixmonth acceleration program. One of Gary’s mentors at the accelerator, Mick Liubinskas, recommended that Gary tap Freelancer.com, and it made perfect sense to Gary. “Freelancer complements our business because of the thousands of talented designers in their arsenal. More people can access a whole network of designers who will design their custom surfboards,” he said. SURFING ON THE SITE Mick’s firsthand experience led him to believe that Freelancer.com is useful for surfers who want a customized board but are not experts in designing. He hired a freelancer on the site to create his custom design based on a leaf because it matches the shape of a board and adds to the natural part of surfing. “It was also a birthday present to myself so I wanted to get mick@40 on it somewhere but fitting in with the design,” he said. The experience was easy and swift, according to Mick. “Freelancer.com gave me a lot of options in terms of people to work with. The site shows me

their experience, handles the payment over milestones, and is great for communications. I also love supporting an Aussie company,” said Mick. He picked his freelancer, Exxarts, after interviewing him and reviewing his profile. “Design is such a personal thing and surfboard is a bit different so I chose one of the more expensive designers. They had a good portfolio and great rating from previous jobs.” Using Freelancer.com is an awesome start for Disrupt as more people would be aware of how easy it is to get a professionally-designed customized board. The process is faster and shorter. Surfers would just log into Freelancer. com to get a design, submit the design to Disrupt, and wait a few weeks for the board to be built and delivered to their homes. Through the site, Disrupt hopes to encourage surfers to get creative and start owning personalized surfboards. Freelancer.com makes this tricky part hassle-free and inexpensive.

EMPLOYER | Mick Liubinskas and Gary Elphick • Sydney, Australia

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EXPLORING ONE OF MEXICO’S PUEBLOS MÁGICOS TAXCO DE ALARCÓN

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EMPLOYER | Bryan Giles Hernandez • Guerrero, Mexico


PROUD CITIZEN DESIGNED A MAP FOR HOMETOWN’S MOST POPULAR TOURIST SPOT

Perched in the rugged terrain of the Atatzin Mountain, the imposing structure of the Parish of Santa Prisca y San Sebastian watches over a sea of Spanish-style red tile roofs. Located in Taxco de Alarcón, a charming colonial town in the Mexican state of Guerrero, the church is a testament to the town’s rich religious and cultural tradition. Built with pink stone and flanked by two towers, its Baroque architecture houses a number of floor-to-ceiling altarpieces, all overlaid with gold. The church is just one of the town’s many attractions. “We love to receive visitors to our town,” said Web developer Bryan Arturo Giles Hernandez with pride. “We are also known for our traditions such as the ‘Semana Santa’ (Holy Week) and there are other lovely nearby villages with great history.” Visitors flock to the town to witness the elaborate processions and ceremonies.

tapping into forums. Other people’s comments and experiences convinced him that Freelancer was his best bet. Unlike other similar sites, Freelancer is “more organized and so easy to use.” He found it easy to post projects; the forms and chat feature facilitate communication; and the stats and recommended freelancer feature are very useful in singling out the right person for the job. He also applauded the site’s payment system. “The site has a nice secure feature,” he adds. “If you make a payment, you can still get it back if something goes wrong. Freelancer.com inspires trust.” Now, he couldn’t stay away from the site and its community. “I just love it,” he admitted. “It’s not only what you can do, but you can see what other people are doing, too. That expands the limits of your mind — you just let it fly and create!”

The local Tourism Office distributes a map that highlights the route of the processions during the Semana Santa, the biggest attraction. More interestingly, the map was created by a freelancer hired on Freelancer.com. “We often wanted to do projects to promote our little village,” shared Bryan, who extended his help when he heard about the proposed brochure through a friend who works at the Tourism Office. “But to find someone to do this kind of job is expensive and usually takes a lot of time.” He added that freelancers in the town are uncommon as most have left the town to find work and live in the city. “With Freelancer.com, we get the jobs done in less time, less money, and with more quality.” He hired a freelancer from Romania to create the map that has illustrated icons representing significant roads and landmarks. The job was completed in less than a week. Bryan based his selection on how quickly and how appropriately the bidders responded to his messages and on the samples he specifically asked for. He paid nearly US$60 versus US$200-300 had he had the brochure done locally. Bryan heard about Freelancer.com via the usual route, Googling, and then did more research by

EMPLOYER | Bryan Giles Hernandez • Guerrero, Mexico

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IDEASPACE: RESOLVING CONFLICTS THROUGH CREATIVE COLLABORATION

Technologies exist to make human tasks more convenient. The Samsung SUR40, for example, enables several people to simultaneously share content on its 360° interface using Microsoft PixelSense that allows camera-free touch and object recognition on the screen. Recently, a new application for this device was developed as a means to bring together conflicting ideas in a neutral environment. The software requirements specification and design of this tabletop application called “ideaSpace” was led by Dr. Andri Ioannou, Assistant Professor in the Department of Multimedia and Graphic Arts of the Cyprus University of Technology and co-director

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A SCIENTIST HIRED A FREELANCER TO HELP HIM WITH HIS APP FOR COLLABORATION

of the Cyprus Interaction Lab (http://cyprusinteractionlab. com/) and Dr. Fernando Loizides, visiting lecturer and special scientist in the same University and Laboratory. ideaSpace is a bespoke application, custom built to work on the Samsung SUR40, that aims to allow users to be creative collaboratively by prototyping interfaces, posters, ideas, and generally anything that can be digitally or physically presented. The users, by means of ideaSpace, can engage in conversation by visually working towards a common goal. Its main function is to create projects, each with the purpose of creating designs with a unique concept. Each project holds the digital images of brainstorming ideas that consist of user-scanned designs through the SUR40’s scanning facility or are sourced from an external device. Once these designs are loaded, the users discuss and annotate the ideas using keyboard text, voice recording, or “finger paint annotations” that can then be uploaded to and shared on Facebook. Fernando decided to find an expert online (a first in the lab’s history) since they weren’t able to find a local expert who fit the budget. “I was familiar with online options for hiring skilled persons and specifically remembered that

a friend had used ScriptLance (which Freelancer acquired). I read reviews online and asked other friends who had used Freelancer for their recommendation; that encouraged me to post the project and see what programmers would respond. Based on the huge response and the information about the programmer I could gather, the decision was made to assign the project through Freelancer. com.” Only one programmer was hired with experience in touch technology (such as mobile and tablet programming) and in C# and software development kit (SDK) for Windows for touch devices. Fernando managed the development and programmed a semi-working prototype to guide the developer. Fernando described his experience on Freelancer. com as: Fluent: “The process of posting a project and carrying through till the end is fluid and easy, like an installation wizard.” Intuitive: “Things just make sense… the buttons, menus and descriptions for things are easy to understand and use.” Enabling: “Things that could not have otherwise been done, skill sets and tight deadlines that need a freelancer immediately can be easily found and utilized.”

EMPLOYER | Fernando Loizides • Limassol, Cyprus

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AVIATIONSHAKE SET TO STIR UP AVIATION RECRUITMENT SCENE “Jay and I are both smitten with the industry,” said AviationShake co-founder Mike Beaton. “For us, it’s not just a job, it’s a life.” A pilot by profession, Mike and his partner Jay Markowiak, an account executive for an aircraft ground handling company, created an East-London startup that sought to remedy some of the recruitment pitfalls in the industry by providing essential skills training for aviation graduates and professionals.

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EMPLOYER | Mike Beaton • East London, United Kingdom


The problem Mike identified is not unique to the aviation industry. Training and education programs, while generally providing students with solid fundamental skills and knowledge, don’t always prepare graduates for the real world. In aviation, what this meant was fresh graduates weren’t aware of the entire range of roles and functions that work to keep the industry safe, efficient, and dynamic. “It’s a fact that graduates from aviation management courses — both at the baccalaureate and masters level — have

surprisingly little real-world knowledge of the industry.” With AviationShake, the pair intended to prepare applicants by running workshops on writing CVs and managing interviews to improve their marketability and increase their chances of advancement. Aviation companies also stand to benefit. The work involved in filtering through the sheer number of applicants can get quite expensive and they miss out on the more qualified candidates.

PILOT LAUNCHED A CONTEST FOR DESIGNING THEIR NEW COMPANY’S CORPORATE IDENTITY

To kick-start the venture, the company needed a visual identity that would make it stand out in the industry. They considered hiring traditional providers but many of the contracts limited them to only three to four designs with two to three revisions. “This didn’t suit us one little bit, seeing as we both consider our brand and image incredibly important. We wanted more options than this.” And options they had—a full 213 of them—on Freelancer. com. Instead of doing a project posting, he staged a design contest. “We thought a contest would provide more valuable results for us than a simple job listing,” he said. In the end, Satgraphic came up with the winning bird-andairplane logo. “They came up with a concept that we were a personality-driven startup — which is exactly right—and then worked on extrapolating what our two personalities would look like in a graphical context.” He further added that they liked the dynamism the design offers — the base design can be applied in various ways.

Going into this contest, Mike adhered to only two rules: every design gets feedback and feedback should be critical but supportive. When he first discovered the contest feature on Freelancer.com, he reviewed a fair number of the other contests to see if the quality of work was up to scratch. “I was amazed by the quality of work on display and realized very early in this process that we could really get what we wanted in this format, and the best way to ensure that was to be very involved from the outset,” he advised. “Freelancer provided us with fantastic value for money and an excellent platform for our design contest. It was easy, exciting, and fruitful,” he concluded. “Without Freelancer, we almost certainly wouldn’t have the identity we now have, and we’d have paid a lot more for the privilege. I recommend the site to my peers who are looking for development or design work.”

EMPLOYER | Mike Beaton • East London, United Kingdom

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EMPLOYER | Michelle Diamond â&#x20AC;˘ Haifa, Israel


WRITER EARNS BIG THROUGH TRANSLATION SERVICES

BUSINESS OWNER MICHELLE DIAMOND SOUGHT NEW AVENUES AND GOT AN ADDITIONAL REVENUE STREAM Michelle Diamond moved to Israel from South Africa and soon found herself assisting a neighbor with English content writing. Within a few short months, she had a content writing business (writingsense.com) and was writing for a variety of clients on different topics and styles such as blogs, product descriptions, press releases, etc. She joined Freelancer.com to increase business opportunities. The

experience gained from the global exposure helped her business, and a new service was added to her company’s portfolio: translation services. The client, a casino, needed some of their English website translated into German. She was initially given one website and then based on the quality and service, the client then provided an additional five websites to translate. The website was approximately 12,000 words and would be offered as a language option on the client’s existing website. After weeks of searching, she found a German translator on Freelancer.com. “Thomas was extremely professional and thorough, and I could tell this from the first proofreading job he

did for me,” described Michelle. “He was very clear in explaining the errors found in the work we sent him to proofread and he is efficient and delivers as promised.” Since then she has hired him as translator for several other projects. For US$1,670, she had three casino websites perfectly translated from English to German. The client was so impressed with the quick turnaround time and the high quality that they gave her other websites to translate. “Being able to provide a top-quality translation service opened other doors for us since our casino client passed on our information to other clients.” From this referral, Michelle has two new clients providing regular translation and content writing work.

EMPLOYER | Michelle Diamond • Haifa, Israel

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS AND DISCLAIMER All the users featured in this book have kindly given us their permission for the publication of their stories and we would like to thank them for their contribution. Unless stated otherwise, all images displayed in this publication are the property of their respective photographers. All materials submitted by the users remain the copyright of the respective authors. While every attempt has been made to verify the information provided in this publication, neither the authors nor their affiliates assume any responsibility for errors, inaccuracies or omissions.

Copyright Š 2015 Freelancer Technology Pty Limited (ACN 142 189 759). All Rights Reserved. MAY 2015

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS AND DISCLAIMER

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