I personally believe the Connects program will help rid clients from spam applicants which in turn will make the experienced applicants stand out without a client having to sieve.
I'll probably upgrade to premium but for $10 (although it's not a lot), it doesn't seem to offer a great deal of benefits.
Rollover Unused Connects
Is this really worth it? If you're struggling to use your connects originally - is this worth paying for a "rollover"? Yes, you can argue some months will be dry, etc...
Improvement: financially compensated for unused Connects at a rate of $0.10 per Connect (which can be deducted from your next payment)
Buy Additional Connects
The price per Connect is $1. oDesk have stated jobs can be anywhere between 2-5 Connects meaning I could potentially have to pay up to $5 just to apply to a job?! I don't think so...
Improvement: apply for jobs once your Connects are depleted at a rate of $1 per job which will be deducted from your pay (similar to "service fee)
View Competitor Bids
My bid doesn't change depending on my competitor's bid; my rate stays the same. If someone wants a document of 1,000 words where I'd charge $50, I'm not going to change it to $20 to compete with other applicants.
Scrap this and instead: Premium Icon - let your competitors know you pay to use our service
Upgrade from 60 to 70 Connects which is an extra 2 to 5 job applications.
Improvement: Reduce free memberships to 40 and increase premium to 80
Overall, I'm pretty disappointed by the benefits of premium members.
What are your thoughts?
Updated with my ideas.
I'll wait and see how the system works before giving it a thumbs up or down. What I WOULD like to see is for oDesk to apply the same type of program to clients to help rid "freelancers" of spam "clients," increase the quality of work relationships and improve overall trust.
Until/if that includes clients being obliged to have fully completed profiles, verified payment methods and fully funded milestones (when used), and a way to oblige them to fulfill their responsibility for closing contracts and limiting the number of unfilled job positings, especially now that Connects is only a couple of weeks away (by limiting the number of free jobs they can post, for example), I'll wait and see...
I agree with you both. This post is simply about the information I already know. There may be other upgrades but from what I read, it doesn't seem lmuch of a difference.
I've updated the thread with my own ideas which I find would be more suitable.
How can you consider paying for their "premium" feature?
There's already a ton of other clients who don't respond to anyone even weeks after they submitted their job posting.
A freelancer has to waste 2-5 connects (of 60 MONTHLY) on someone who probably won't even bother to decline your application?
It would be different if clients had the same posting restrictions, then we would have a fine balance.
In relation to the new oDesk Membership plans and Connects requirements, I have been seeing the expression "pay to win." I prefer to use the expression "pay to play" since paying to bid on jobs is typically not an advantage to freelancers as evident on Elance. Thus, the features of paid plans are of no interest to me.
I do spend time and money for self-promotion of my services on the Internet in support of my own "Internet presence marketing" campaigns, which have always resulted in favorable results. Business is good, referrals are up, repeat clients are frequent, and unlike on oDesk the time spent acquiring work is commensurate with returns on investment of time and money.
I do like the new My Stats page on oDesk, and more bids are being replied to in a timely manner (seemingly fewer non-responsive clients). Still, freelancer search for clients features available to freelancers are extremely poor; and client search for freelancers features result in meaningless results leading to few if any invitations -- poor performing algorithms (aka "mad robots") -- too many poor quality clients and freelancers exist on the site.
Fix the search features (in both directions), and "fire" the poor performing deadbeats....
Thanks PH! I like your comment regarding the "pool parties"; probably more like corporate gatherings is lush places.... Also, I have noticed more complaints in the "Client" area within the community; an indication that improvements are being made to improve the quality of clients.