Freelance platform tools offer a convenient place where global companies can hire talent from anywhere in the world. Businesses can reduce costs while freelancers can earn dollar payments from anywhere. But how do you do informed comparisons to select the best freelance platform on the internet? We help you by providing this guide which details the features and benefits these sites offer to both freelancers as well as enterprises.
Get to Know Each Platform with the Free Plan
Freelance platform providers offer both paid as well as free plans. The paid plans offer more benefits and advantages. But you need not put your money in them right away. Shortlist a few suitable platforms and register for their free plan or demo. This will help you learn about their programs, do a comparison, and decide which is the best freelance platform for your skillset and capabilities. We recommend you check out the following leading freelance sites to start with:DesignContest,Upwork,Freelancer,Guru, andPeopleperhour. These sites have received high rankings in our freelance platforms reviews that you can peruse to get info on the features and tools they provide.
- Individual freelancers and entrepreneurs can act as boss and use these sites to hire other freelancers for bulk work.
- Small businesses with limited budget can save time by outsourcing some of their work to freelancers.
- Enterprise organizations that need certain skillsets for their projects can hire qualified freelancers.
Examples of Freelance Platforms
- DesignContest: Offers a database of more than 198,000 pre-qualified designers. Businesses can conduct design contests and receive entries from these designers. They can also hire designers to work on their projects and tasks. This site boasts an impressive user satisfaction rate.
- Upwork: Upwork is the result of the merger between Elance.com and oDesk.com. On this site, freelancers can create a profile with their picture, resume, work history, and samples. They can then bid for jobs they are interested in. Both businesses and freelancers are charged a percentage of the fees.
- Freelancer: Thousands of freelance jobs are available in fields such as graphic design, product manufacturing, virtual assistants, mobile app development, web design and more. Post your job and receive bids from talented freelancers. Utilize the platform’s mobile app, time tracker, and 24/7 support. Release your payment after you are satisfied with the work submitted.
- Guru: Boasts more than 1.5 million members worldwide, 1 million jobs completed, and $200 million paid for work done. You can hire freelance services in categories such as writing and translation, software and IT, design and multimedia, admin support and more. Provides a work room where you can collaborate with your hired team. Secure payment is guaranteed using SafePay.
- Peopleperhour: Post a job and let freelancers find you. You can also search profiles and contact freelancers directly. Post a contest and let designers pitch their work. Use WorkStream to manage, communicate, and pay in one place.
Types of Freelance Platforms
There are three popular types of platforms for freelancers:
- Specialty sites for tech professionals
- Sites for certain roles such as copywriters, designers, software engineers etc.
- Job portals where you can find a full-time job as well as freelance opportunities.
Key Features of Freelance Platforms
Businesses can easily submit their projects and tasks and include the name, category, budget, project description and other details using freelance tools.
Freelancers can create a profile with details such as their name, skills, nationality, self description, qualifications, work experience and other relevant information that can help them land suitable jobs.
Freelancers can bid for projects and businesses can invite selected freelancers to bid for them too. Employers can then consider factors such as skills, experience, portfolio, and bid price to select the best candidates for the work.
Freelance platforms make money by charging for the services rendered. Some sites take a cut from both employers and freelancers. So freelancers should ensure they factor in the commission rate while bidding for projects.
Freelance platforms use payment gateways such as PayPal, Stripe, and 2Checkout to ensure freelancers get paid. They also include local payment methods to help businesses pay freelancers who reside in local areas.
Smartphones are ubiquitous and the best platforms are mobile responsive enabling you to access the site and work on it from any mobile device.
Benefits of Freelance Platforms
There are plenty of benefits for freelancers on these freelance tools. They include the following:
- You can post your qualifications and skills online and attract global employers.
- If you are beginning your career as a freelancer, these sites can help you build a client base and create long-term professional relationships.
- You can work on short, one-time tasks to get positive reviews and gain experience.
- If you have free time, you can gain additional income by working on easy tasks such creating basic logos, translating emails, etc.
- Unlike regular full-time jobs, you can work anytime you want to make money.
- Payment is guaranteed because most sites use the escrow facility. The employer funds the escrow account before you start your work and releases the payment after they are satisfied with the work submitted.
- You can find out details about clients such as project history and total amount of payment made so that you can weed out the spurious ones.
- Sites such as Upwork offer useful features such as certifying tests, invoice generation, and free time management tools.
- Last but not least, you can work for reputed global employers and earn dollar payments from anywhere in the world.
Freelancers are in Demand
Surveys reveal that 10 million jobs were created in the US between 2005 and 2015, and 94% of them are freelance or temp. Today, 34% of US workers are freelancers and this area is experiencing high job growth. These stats show that the freelance job market is booming. So, don’t undercut your rates but feel free to charge your clients the full amount for the valuable work you provide to them.
Hourly Jobs are Passe
Freelancers are moving away from hourly jobs because they wish to avoid the headache of time tracking. Most freelancers now opt to charge by project, task, or on retainer. The advantage is you can complete fixed-price jobs quickly and earn more money by doing more projects. You can also offer a specialty package of services to make extra bucks. For instance, writers can bundle services such as SEO research and online promotion to help clients with everything and charge accordingly.
Risks for Freelancers
Initially, wages are bound to be low as you may be selected only for less-paying short tasks. Plus, the platform takes a cut from your payment. Also, you need to wait for some time (some sites even take up to two weeks) to get paid for the work done. Since most platforms are global, you would be competing with freelancers who are willing to accept low rates.
Risks for Hiring Businesses
Employers face challenges such as low accuracy and low quality work, long time to train people, miscommunication with freelancers about what needs to be done, and difficulty in scaling quickly.
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