Freelancing has become incredibly popular in recent years, with some people using it to supplement their monthly income and others pursuing it full-time for the freedom it accords them. This surge in popularity is understandable seeing that freelancers get to choose the projects they work on, schedule their own hours, work from new locations each day, and charge their own fees. However, with the freelancer ‘gig’ economy gaining more and more participants each day, finding projects is fast becoming a challenge for freelancers, especially ones who are just starting out.
Freelancers today need to build a solid reputation and portfolio if they want to receive steady work. But they can't do that if they don't receive work in the first place—the eternal ‘needing experience to gain experience’ conundrum is not restricted to conventional job-seekers alone. Luckily, there are several platforms that solve this dilemma by allowing freelancers to showcase their talents and scout for prospective clients. Here are the seven best websites to find work as a freelancer:
Fiverr is a job site for freelancers of all kinds; their services include digital marketing, designing, writing, voice recording, music, programming, and many more. Geared towards lean entrepreneurs who are looking to hire talent for short-term projects, Fiverr is a good place for freelancers searching for interesting work with fair compensation.
Arguably the most well-known site for freelance job-seekers, Upwork caters to both expert and novice freelancers in every conceivable job category. With an impressive clientele that includes companies like Panasonic, Unilever, Pinterest, Zendesk, and more, freelancers on Upwork can pick from a variety of high-paying gigs that make for a welcome addition to their portfolios.
Another platform that primarily caters to small businesses, Freelancer is a site which allows job-seekers to view all relevant postings and bid on the ones they find most promising. While getting the first one or two gigs can be a challenge, the offers start rolling in with a greater frequency once freelancers start building their profile on Freelancer.
A site only for freelance designers, 99designers is a platform where companies come to get all their designing needs met—whether it's logos, websites, products, business cards, or T-shirts. The site works on a 'contest' basis wherein freelancers submit their designs for a client requirement and then earn a pre-determined sum if their work is chosen.
Web and mobile developers, and creative professionals working in categories like animation, video editing, graphic design, and more, can find high quality work on Envato Studio. Once accepted on the platform, freelancers can post their services along with their fees, sample work, testimonials, and client requirements. Prospective clients then view the various freelance offerings and select the one that best suits their needs.
With over 3 million services on offer, freelancers of all kinds can find useful work on Guru. The platform works on a bid system where freelancers have to submit quotes in reply to client postings. However, unlike several other sites which follow this practice, Guru alone has an escrow payment process which ensures that freelancers will never be left in the lurch when it comes to being paid for their work.
Unlike the sites on this list, Toptal is very selective about its freelancers—only accepting experienced and talented freelancers working in the fields of software development, web design, or finance. However, once freelancers do pass Toptal's screening process, they have access to projects with industry heavyweights like Airbnb, J.P. Morgan, Hewlett Packard, Emirates, and more. There's also no nuisance of bidding for projects as Toptal sources freelancers for prospective clients based on their requirements and connects the two directly.
Since hiring freelancers on a need-basis is more cost-effective as compared to hiring full-time talent, companies and entrepreneurs can also makes use of these sites to get their work done on a budget.