EverClients

Curated Leads for Freelancers, and Supporting Community

Share:

Summary

When you first start out freelancing finding work sucks. You're competing with slick operators from all over the globe, and you're not even sure what a proposal looks like.

I created EverClients to help freelancers bridge the chasm between freelance virginity and veteran service provider. The intention was to do this by writing useful material, and via a web app which pooled all of the leads which litter the hundreds of 'jobs boards' online. By collecting the jobs into a single 'stream' I could provide filtering so that the first step - finding - wasn't so painful.

EverClients took me ~6 months to build, and my launch was a moderate success. Over the course of the following 6 months it garnered a few hundred paying users, which mostly left.

I believe this app & community would have flown, had I been in a better place. For now, it rests on my servers :)
 
EverClients
Status: Shelved
Updated: January 18th 2017

Pain to Solve:

To find leads for digital freelance work reliably, and in a controlled, sustainable way.

Tools/Skills Used:

  • Data-Acquisition (scraping, analysing, profiling, organised worker-bots)
  • One-page JavaScript app front-end
  • PHP LAMP on AWS
  • Bootstrap
  • WordPress for knowledge sharing
  • Stripe for payments
  • Campaign Monitor for email marketing
  • Custom SaaS platform, including billing

How it went:

Achieved some momentum, but ultimately got shelved as I ran out of cash and energy. I’m happy that a lot was executed well. EverClients reinfoced to me that launch timing is important, that I’m not super-human, and that it’s hard to educate and sell, (especially alone).

There have been many side-benefits from this project, apart from the experience, such as I now have a solid SaaS code-base, a fuller knowledge of AWS, and Stripe.

Things that worked:

  • Email Funnel – the course of articles guiding freelancers to better bidding was really well received, with many replies thanking me
  • Branding – created a short memorable name and achieved reliable style narrative  which people repeated (Assisted by Miz Rahman)
  • Data-acquisition – The app worked, absorbing the first ~1million leads fairly quickly
  • SaaS Platform – I wrote this from scratch, using various scripts I’d written over the past few years. This was a solid test of my self-taught coding 🙂

Lessons Learned (Post Mortem):

  • Team Up or keep it small – One-man SaaS is heavily reliant on that singular person & their state of mind
  • Six months is too long – … of a dev cycle pre-launch (high risk, lack of energy when feedback actually arrives)
  • Lower hanging fruit – Building something that has to educate as well as deliver makes things harder
  • Perfectionist – I have the tendency to want to perfect things I make myself

EverClients Homepage:

Lead Feed Web App Page:

Lead Feed App Homepage: