It is not easy to bid and win projects in job boards, free or otherwise.
This I have discovered in this past month. In the free job boards, it is even worse as competition is stiff and more often than not, some bidders' rates are so low it is hard to compete with them.
In paid job boards, competition is equally stiff but not as bad and there are also bidders whose rates are so low, you wonder how they could actually make a living with those rates.
Another thing I found out is that it is very difficult for new freelancers like me as we do not have any positive feedback from other employers yet. Many of the employers preferred those who have positive feedback and of course, also the lowest rate.
With this conditions, it is very difficult to break into the market. I noticed many new freelancers lowered their rates in order to win some projects so that they could get feedbacks at last and perhaps, be able to get more customers in future.
I have contemplated that but I could not bring myself to it. I am of the opinion that I should not lower my rates just to get a project when the amount of time and energy put into it cost more than the quoted rate. It does not make good business sense.
In situations like this, it reminds me of a very wise advise from the shoe fashion guru, Jimmy Choo, whom I interviewed a few years back.
"We must always set a standard and pricing for our masterpieces and never lower it no matter how much you needed the money."
The reason is simple, he had said that if the price was lowered, you lose your integrity and customers will expect you to lower it again in future. It would be very difficult to bring the price back up without losing customers.
Not surprisingly, Jimmy Choo was practically broke trying to sell his handmade shoes in the beginning because he placed a very high price for his shoes and were not getting any customers. He only had his big break when his shoes were showcased in a women's magazine and the rest is history.
Despite being world-renowned for his beautifully crafted shoes, Jimmy Choo remembered his poor background and remained a humble, nice and polite man. Even now, he is very friendly and courteous to everyone he meets.
But I digress. To get back to the point of bidding and rates, I decided to follow Jimmy Choo's advise. Considering where he is now in the fashion industry, I am sure he is not wrong about setting a standard for our work and never lowering it just because we needed the money.
So, I shall steadfastly stick to my usual rates and continue bidding till I get my break!