Offering online services is now easier than ever…
There are endless platforms that allow you to list your online services so paying clients or employers can find you.
With ease of use comes increased competition in the online services marketplace.
Many jobs are now being outsourced to countries like the Philippines and India where companies can hire someone with similar skills at a fraction of the cost.
Candidates from Pakistan, Bangladesh and Cameroon have recently joined the bandwagon. They’re also competing for the same jobs and driving the hourly rates down to as low as $1-$3 an hour.
Take a look at outsourcing sites like Upwork.com, Guru.com, Freelancer.com, Fiverr.com and similar services and see for yourself. You’ll find highly skilled talent in a variety of categories all competing at very low rates.
All this means you now have more competition for the same jobs, but now on a global scale. This will inevitably drive the billing and hourly rates for many local jobs lower rather than higher.
So How Do You Stand Out?
If you live in North America or Europe, then there is no way you can compete on price, otherwise you will be making less than minimum wage.
To stand out, you have to compete with quality, attention to detail and customer service. Your online profiles, photos, websites and portfolios need to be clear, professional and show what you are capable of doing.
Many companies prefer hiring contractors now instead of employees. Keeping that in mind, you can customize your applications to show how you can help your potential clients in their time of need. Wow them with your services on short term projects and watch them come back again and again for more work!
The good new is that most of your competition is not paying attention to their profiles or job applications or quality of work. The majority of applications I get from candidates oversees are lacking to say the least. Take a look at some of the daily emails I get from service providers below and you will quickly realize why you need to stand out so potential clients can see you through all the clutter.
I have left the names on the email applications as in most cases they look fake. I doubt they are a real person as no specific companies are mentioned.
In this first example you can see that this applicant did not even bother to look up my name, my company name or point to any specific service that they believe I might need help with. The email is very generic and looks like something they just copied and sent to multiple users.
There is no mention of their company name or a link to their website or portfolio so I can assess their work. And this is supposed to be a proposal.
This email from a fictional name of Macy Lovell, was sent to my personal email account not my business.
Macy fails to personalize the email with my name or mention what website she is referring to. I have multiple websites and businesses. There is no website link or portfolio or mention of where she is located.
If her company is so good at SEO, why is she not providing a link to her fabulous SEO optimized website?
In this example, the subject of the email says “Interested in SEO” but the email is offering web design and development services that lead to better user experience which “usually leads to better sales”.
Maybe Nancy needs some tips on how to do some marketing and sales herself. For starters, maybe mention the name of the company she represents, send a link to their website and portfolio and match the email subject to the email content.
But at least she is using my name.
In this example, we have to give credit to Rohit for mentioning where he is from. But you would think that a company that has delivered 6000+ websites and 1000+ mobile apps, they would have a company name and website themselves.
This was also sent to my personal email account with no personalized greeting. They most likely purchased an email list and sent out random emails hoping someone will respond.
In this example below, another fictional name of Sara Fox is contacting me regarding a domain I recently purchased. The email is also using my personal name and has a clear subject line. However Sarah fails to mention what company she is representing and does not provide any links to a website or portfolio. I am expected to just take her word for it and contact her and trust her with the development of my website and online business.
In this example below, you can see a follow up email from someone called Kisan. At least Kisan is taking the time to follow up but has failed to mention what company he/she is representing or provid any links to their website, portfolio or pricing.
In this example from Barry Dunne, we can see a conflict between the sender and the name mentioned in the email. Another reason why I am convinced all the names in the emails on this page are fake.
The subject of the email is “Best Web Design Firms” and the writer mentions that her name is Niki… just Niki, there is no last name and no company name or links to any examples. But the email is sent from Barry's account, not Niki.
Are you starting to see a trend here.
In this example from Renu Sharma (Question Mark), the sender does not bother to personalize the email with my name or company name. Once again there is no mention of their company name, portfolio or website. Plus the email is signed by someone called Yahiya esmael, not the same name as the sender at the top of the email which is Renu Sharma.
Last but not least, is this example from Rose. Just Rose. No last name or company name or website or portfolio. Rose is expecting me to trust her with my website and let her and her company mess with the SEO so they can rank me on the 1st page of google when they don't have a website themselves.
These are just a few samples of the daily emails that flood my junk mail folder. Not to mention the daily calls I get from companies in India offering to design my logos, websites and improve my SEO.
I used to get frustrated by all the calls and stopped answering numbers I don't recognize. Now I respond and tell them know that they are caller #40, #50 or #60 this week and if they want to get the clients they need to be #1 not #60.
What Does This Mean To You?
As you can see from the examples above, most companies are getting slammed with constant applications from candidates around the world. Having a standard resume that is vague and lacking any real substance, examples and clear value propositions does not work any more.
You need to find ways to make it easier for recruiters to spot your profiles and your work so they can pick you.
Luckily that can easily be addressed if you know what you are doing.
To learn more about selling your services online, check out chapter three of my book “Pajama Paydays: How To Make The Internet Work For You”.