Finding experts to help you manage a project is often
challenging. My company uses Guru.com and other freelance directories like
eLance.com because contract labor saves me a ton of time and money.
I love Guru.com and the way it lets me put out requests to a
large network of freelance professionals. But I’ve learned one other key thing
about it – it lets me keep an eye on what’s happening in my marketplace of
With a free level access account, you can search for project
experts AND you can also create a freelancer account and search for projects
that you might want to do.
In the project area, you’ll find other companies posting
their project needs and sometimes revealing an awful lot about their company
and strategies. In the employer area, you’ll be able to search freelancers
portfolios and see if they have done work for a competitor and sometimes even
be able to see their work, which may offer some glimpse of what your
competition is doing before it is public.
Is this alone a competitive advantage? Far from it, but I
use it for myself and clients to see what’s happening in the marketplace. For
example, there are a ton of companies doing small projects in the social media
Since that’s part of my work, that trend has a positive
value for me. It tells me that I may be able to win projects in the Guru
network and that more companies are playing in that space. Given that so many
media reports find that social media is not delivering a return, I find it odd
that projects continue to grow and thrive. There’s a disconnect somewhere
–either with the research companies and the questions they are asking, or with
the companies and how they disclose what they are really doing.
Is my market intelligence approach scientifically valid? No.
But it is entrepreneurially valid and allows me to use a gut-level approach, an
intuitive approach to improving my business for myself and my clients.