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This blog post introduces TeamOrders and gives full instructions on how to join teams.

We're excited to launch a new feature: TeamOrders!

While the majority of our clients are very happy with the OpenOrder system, we are targeting new clients that want a specific skill or knowledge set. These clients are often willing to pay for extra knowledge, but they want assurance that an expert will take the article. We also have clients who work with a few select authors, but those authors are very popular, and the client would like to easily switch the order from one favorite to another. These client needs led us to TeamOrders. 

TeamOrders are a hybrid of Direct and OpenOrders. Orders go to a specific team of writers selected by the client at a price set by the client. When a Team member chooses the order, only that author completes it.  If the author doesn’t complete it on time, the order goes back to the Team and another Team member can complete the assignment.

TeamOrders are not a concept to circumvent OpenOrders or DirectOrders. They are an additional ordering function that alleviates certain issues that new clients are experiencing. Clients can still place OpenOrders and DirectOrders. Clients can place DirectOrders with authors who are on one of their Teams.

For example, a client works with Author A, Author B and Author C. The client has placed these three authors in a Team. The client needs a press release for an event in three days. The client isn't sure which writer is available, so the client places a TeamOrder instead of guessing or sending messages and waiting for replies. The client also needs a brochure for the next season, an item that isn't time-sensitive. Author B has already written about the product, so the client places a DirectOrder with Author B for the brochure.

Participation in Teams is completely voluntary. If you don't like any part of a Team, whether earnings, instructions or anything else, you can decline the Team. Since Teams are voluntary, clients have to make their Teams competitive to attract the best authors that fit their needs. 

Now that we have the general concept, let’s get in to the details.

Pricing and Earnings

Clients set TeamPrices. Their pricing tool includes our commission, so they set prices that fit their budget. The Team price applies to all items for that Team, regardless of any author's star rating or DirectOrder price.

Here's an example: A 4-star author with a DO rate of 3 cents per word joins a Team with earnings of 2.5 cents per word. If the author chooses the TeamOrder, they will earn 2.5 cents per word. The minimum TeamOrder earnings is 1.37 cents.* 2- and 3-star authors will earn more from TeamOrders than from items chosen from the OpenOrder board. TeamOrders may be a great way for 3-star authors to showcase their specific subject knowledge and earn more in the process. 

Finding and Joining Teams

All Team information is displayed under "Assignments – TeamOrders." There are two types of Teams: invitation only Teams and casting call Teams. Casting calls will be visible to all authors, no matter what star rating. Invitations will only go to specific authors chosen by the client.

Click on a Team name to view the requirements for the Team. Clients may ask for an application. The application can be almost anything – a quiz, a request for a writing sample or proof that you know the subject at hand. The Team may also have special conditions. Conditions may include that only 4-star authors may apply, that all items will be published with the client's name or pseudonym, that you agree to a non-disclosure form or any other conditions in accordance with our Terms of Service and US law. Conditions based on race and gender are not appropriate. A condition to write in a specific voice is a valid requirement. 

Your application will be forwarded to the client, who then will approve or reject your application. Clients may become overwhelmed with responses, so please be patient.

Claiming TeamOrders

Once you've been accepted to a Team, click on the Team name to see the orders available for the Team. You can accept one TeamOrder at a time for all Teams. You cannot accept orders for multiple Teams simultaneously. You cannot accept multiple items for the same Team simultaneously. TeamOrders are in addition to any OpenOrder you may choose. This means that you can have two items accepted, one OpenOrder and one TeamOrder. You can still receive as many DirectOrders at your set price as clients want to send. 

When you accept a TeamOrder, you have the processing time to complete it. Missing the deadline will mean that the order goes back to the other members of the Team. When you submit, the order follows our regular process: It is checked for plagiarism and sent to the client. The client has the standard three days to review the item and accept or ask for a revision. The revision and rejection process is the same as all other orders.

Leaving Teams

If you have been invited to a Team and do not want to participate, simply click the "No Thanks" button. At the moment, you cannot hide casting calls that you are not interested in, but we are working on this feature. We are also working on leaving a Team that you have joined. The function is planned, but it was not visible at the time of this writing.

How Will TeamOrders Change Textbroker?

Creating and managing a Team requires a certain time and thought investment. The majority of our current clients are very happy with the simplicity of the OpenOrder system and do not have the time to invest in a Team. We predict that our OpenOrder volume will continue to grow. On top of that traditional growth, Textbroker's sales team is working on bringing in clients with higher expectations and corresponding higher rates of pay.

Level 3 authors may benefit most from this development. While clients evaluate articles on how well they serve their needs, Textbroker rates solely on spelling, grammar, style and tone. Because clients may place more technical articles at higher levels, a level 3 author may have the appropriate skill set to write the article and be unable to access the assignment. With our new TeamOrder system, a client can ignore the Textbroker rating system and instead look only for authors with appropriate experience. Since our 3 star authors represent the largest demographic, it makes sense to search for these skills among a wider pool.

We know that recent months have been hard for 3 star authors, and we hope that this new system will improve their chances of finding an assignment. Because many clients will invite authors based on the information in their profiles, please make sure that your profiles reflect your experience in a way that makes you attractive to our clients.

Finally, the casting call feature will allow you to directly showcase your talents to a client. You can find subjects you're interested in and prove that you're the right person to write about them. TeamOrders give you the ability to pursue clients more directly and write about the things you love.
We know that change can be unsettling, but we hope that this post will address any concerns you may have. Please be patient with us as we develop this feature, and as always, thank you for your work here at Textbroker.

* Edited from our original post. Textbroker still takes a 30% commission, but we calculate down from the client's set price instead of up from the author's earnings. This different calculation method results in a slight difference in the minimum earnings from DirectOrders.

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