The Death of Elance (as we know it).
There’s a saying that “all good things must come to an end.” Throughout my life, I have found that to be more often true than not. Over the past year I have been using Elance to supplement my client base that tends to be cyclical in nature. Elance was effective in augmenting that client base. Actually it was very effective.
There was a lot of competition on Elance without a doubt – but not so much so that nobody ever stood a chance of landing a project. Start off doing $20 revisions here and there, get a couple of good recommendations, and the user was well on their way to bigger and brighter things.
Evidently, Elance wasn’t happy enough going it alone in their niche. Sometime around 2 months ago they decided to merge with Upwork (formally Odesk). I never used Odesk because the time that I went there I saw that most jobs had 50+ bids on projects that paid less than $50. Projects that paid more than $500 had more than 100+ bids on that project. It’s just absolutely a poor platform to land quality clients. The vast majority of clients there are used to paying $3 to $5 dollars an hour for their projects. Obviously, that’s not going to workout.
I’m not sure what my next plan of attack is going to be. The aspect to learn here is about brand protection and loyalty. Something that the folks over at Elance have been highly negligent in observing.
My prediction: Upwork is going to have a huge attrition rate and have a double digit loss in providers. They will see a marked increase in abandoned projects and dissatisfied clients complaining that the quality of work they received was nowhere what they were used to on Elance. 18 to 24 months down the line there will be some type of announcement or huge campaign to try to recapture those that had abandoned the platform.