Jobs for skilled freelancers are booming, and it doesn’t matter whether your skill is in marketing, tech, design, law, logistics or accounting. More and more companies are turning to gig platforms to find skilled freelancers to fill a wide array of openings. For existing businesses, it makes sense that companies use outsourcing to increase productivity, tapping in to professional resources only when needed. At the same time, starting your own company today has become incredibly easier. The internet has reduced or removed many traditional barriers and allows entrepreneurs to find the professional support they need.
Freelancers who source work through online platforms can find immediate and straightforward access to opportunities to work flexibly – when they want, in many cases from where they want, and to work on a project basis to develop skills and expertise to add to their CV. And if a tempting offer of fulltime employment comes through they can weigh it up. Here are 10 of the top platforms, which we selected to provide a variety of examples.
Upwork is a top global work marketplace, connecting millions of businesses with independent talent around the globe.
With a software and marketing focus, Upwork serves everyone from one-person startups to 30% of the Fortune 100 with a trust-driven platform that enables companies and freelancers to work together in new ways that unlocks their mutual potential. It is used by companies such as Microsoft, Airbnb and GE to access specialist expertise to work on complex projects.
With freedom and control over when to work or hire, their customers can unlock potential that develops the skills of the freelancers and addresses business challenges of the hirers. The impact is both economic and personal, because Upwork aims to match up the right people to enable working strategically, not just on short-term requirements.
Freelancers earned over $2 billion through Upwork in 2019. They provide over 8,000 skills, including website and app development, creative and design, customer support, finance and accounting, consulting, operations, and much more. It suits everyone concerned for their network of freelancers to work with passion for doing great work that they take pride in
Upwork is based in Santa Clara, California.
Freelancer.com claims to be the world’s largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace as measured by the total number of users and projects posted. It can handle anything and everything for large, multi-stage projects, and is also good for smaller businesses that need talent and help in anything from website development and logo design to writing and marketing.
Their LinkedIn entry claims 27 million registered users have posted over 13 million projects and contests to date in over 900 areas as diverse as website development, logo design, marketing, copywriting, astrophysics, aerospace engineering and manufacturing. Their network of expert freelancers work in “every technical, professional, and creative field imaginable.”
As part of a process for Freelance workers to bid for tasks, they can upload examples of previous work, and even converse with hirers using a live chat function. If selected, they complete the work safe in the knowledge they will be paid securely: Freelancer owns Escrow.com, a leading provider of secure online payments and online transaction management for consumers and businesses.
Freelancer Limited is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and is based in Sydney, Australia.
Fiverr is an online creative marketplace that claims to be changing how the world works together. Fiverr’s platform connects businesses with on-demand freelance talent offering digital services in more than 400 categories, across eight verticals including graphic design, digital marketing, programming, video and animation.
Fiverr has been working on tools and tactics to help support its community during the current unprecedented times. This includes federal assistance information, free online screening, and their resource center is available to help answer questions so people can keep you moving forward.
Fiverr’s global footprint includes offices in Tel Aviv, New York City, San Francisco, Orlando, Phoenix, Guatemala City, London, Berlin, Vienna, and Kiev.
Toptal is a global network of the top talent in business, design, and technology that enables companies to scale their teams, on-demand. They claim their strict vetting enables their clients to access the top 3% of freelance talent. For the freelancers who want to find work here, it means a rigorous screening process measured on factors that test everything from language and personality to technical skills.
With $200+ million in annual revenue and over 40% year-over-year growth, Toptal claims it has the largest fully distributed workforce in the world.
The company has no headquarters.
Indeed claims to be world’s #1 job site, with over 250 million unique visitors every month from over 60 different countries (source: Google Analytics, September 2018). This platform is determined to deliver the right fit for every hire, and helps companies of all sizes hire the best talent, and helps job seekers to get hired in the best opportunities for them. That’s whether it’s fulltime or part-time employment, or freelance opportunities.
The range of work on offer covers delivery drivers, supermarket cashiers, health carers, to positions for professional talent in marketing, accountancy, HR and so on.
Indeed is headquartered in Austin, Texas
Since 1998, guru.com has been working out of its offices in Pittsburgh, PA and Noida, India to be a premier platform where professionals connect, collaborate, and get work done in a flexible and secure virtual environment. They have built a compete eco-system.
Hirers can sign up, post vacancies at no charge, and start to get replies from freelance professionals seeking work within a few hours. They choose who they want to do their work and the successful applicants are hired according to a standard guru agreement. Payment can be based on hours worked or task completion, and a total task might be broken down to component parts.
The working relationship between hirers and freelancers then takes place in guru’s WorkRooms. Payment is also made and received within the guru platform. Payment for work is deposited in SafePay, where freelancers see that funds are available before they start work. The hirer can review work before making a payment – all within guru’s domain. If there is a dispute, either party can ask guru to arbitrate.
Freelancers are charged a fee of 2.9% per invoice. However, if they use eCheck or wire transfer they receive 100% cashback on this handling fee.
Founded in 2018 in Vancouver, Canada, Copywriters.com enables businesses to scale through access to proven professional copywriters who are ROI-focused and concerned with accountability and delivering results.
Their database of copywriters is categorised by specialist business sector experience. A small business can hire an individual, an agency could hire a person to work on a roster of clients, a larger business might choose to recruit a whole copywriting team.
This isn’t a platform for copywriters to simply look at a job board and apply for vacancies. To write for Copywriters.com, you need to pass an interview conducted by one of their veteran editors. If accepted, you’ll undergo a 7-week intensive training program. Following that, you’ll undergo a 90 day apprenticeship process where you’ll work with partner companies. If you pass through each step, you’ll be cleared for work. They will also get a feel for any applicant’s income goals and help you figure out how many clients that equates to, what kind of gigs you should be taking on, the rate you should be charging, and so on.
For the businesses hiring from Copywriters.com, this strict recruitment and training regime is a reassurance that they will access top quality writers who will be committed to their business goals.
Nexxt is a recruitment media company that uses marketing tactics to reach out to the full spectrum of talent. Through combining precise targeting and machine learning with multi-channel marketing capabilities and a diversified talent network, Nexxt helps businesses build custom advertising campaigns to efficiently fulfil all of their hiring needs.
People looking for work sign up and create a Career Portfolio (personal webpage). It can be stored as Public, Semi-Private or Private, depending on how selective a work applicant chooses to handle their job seeking. Hirers can inspect these Portfolios, and job seekers can apply for posts listed on the site. Nexxt will also search its database of work seekers to highlight particularly relevant people to the hirers.
Nexxt is based in Wayne, Pennsylvania, and has been matching applicants to vacancies since 1998. It has helped 85 million U.S. job seekers.
PeoplePerHour is the UK’s leading freelance marketplace, and it was founded in 2007. It spans a wide range of categories – everything from 3D printing to asset management, translators, ghostwriters and social media consultants.
The platform has connected nearly one million businesses to an international community of four million freelancers in over 150 countries who have earned more than £130 million.
PeoplePerHour’s project writing tool helps ask hiring companies what assistance they need, before using AI to match and contact the most suitable freelancers – who can respond in minutes – for the job.
In 2020 the platform experienced a 111% y-o-y increase in freelancer registrations, and they expect that trend to continue. Businesses have become familiar with working with people online, and more workers are looking for flexibility in their hours, and where they work from. These are positive signs for the future of online freelance marketplaces.
Since 2008, 99designs has grown from a small, online forum into a global community and creative platform that makes it easy for designers and clients to work together to create fabulous designs that meet exacting briefs.
From clients who need custom design, to designers who want quality projects, people around the world rely on the tried-and-true 99designs creative process to get great design work online.
Partners are now also tapping into 99designs’ API technology, community, and marketplace management expertise to solve their own customers’ creative bottlenecks. Companies like Squarespace have leveraged existing 99designs infrastructure to launch a creative ecosystem around their core product, matching customers with relevant experts exactly when they need them.
With headquarters in Melbourne, Australia and offices in Oakland and Berlin, the 99designs team believes that great design can help people create and grow – no matter where they are in the world.
Have you any recent freelancing experiences we can share with the CSW community? We’d like to hear about them.