EverClients

Curated Leads for Freelancers, and Supporting Community

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 pooledall 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: March 3rd 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 methat launch timing is important, that I’m not super-human, and that it’s hardto 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 achievedreliable 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: