There are a lot of pros to going freelance. Your work schedule will offer a lot more flexibility around your home life, you’ll be able to gain experience in the areas of work you really want to, and you’ll be able to complete work from any location you like – so you won’t be stuck in a dark office for the rest of your life!
And while the pros of becoming a freelancer are persuasive, there are cons that need to be considered. Not knowing where your next pay check is coming from can get tiresome, and struggling to pay bills isn’t exactly how you imagined yourself living past your early 20s.
What happens now? Finding new clients is a necessity, but knowing where they are can be tricky. Luckily, there are a number of places your next job could be lurking, so don’t despair just yet.
Upwork is the big league, which makes it a good starting point for beginning your freelance career.
There’s a real variety of work advertised on Upwork, from low-budget projects, to clients who are willing to pay. A wider variety of projects makes it easier for you to land your first gig, so don’t turn your nose at the lower-paying jobs just yet!
You can also get paid straight through the website, which means money-handling can be one less thing to think about. Freelancers are also able to track their hours and project status, which makes communication between freelancer and clients simple.
Tip: With the big sites, you’ll need to stand out. Include a cover letter for every project to give yourself the best chance of creating a lasting impression.
Fiverr has made quite a rumble in the freelance world since its beginning in 2010, and not necessarily for the right reasons.
Fiverr allows clients to find work from freelancer for, you got it, a fiver. $5 can buy you a whole range of services on the site that would cost you an arm and a leg elsewhere.
But if you’re a freelancer looking for jobs – surely this should be the last place you try? While you might not be able to make millions from it, there is a reason that so many freelancers advertise the odd service on Fiverr.
The attraction for freelancers is the site’s traffic. The cheap prices have drawn a lot of custom in the past six years which makes it a good place for new freelancers to gain exposure on.
Tip: Don’t let it take over your life. You’re not going to make a living from Fiverr that pays above minimum wage, so while it’s a good idea to use it for some free advertising, you shouldn’t dedicate all your time to it.
People Per Hour
People Per Hour is a freelance bidding site where you place a bid on a job with the amount you’re prepared to complete the project for.
While it can be tempting to go as low as possible, don’t leave yourself short. Sit down and realistically think of the minimum amount you can complete a piece of work for.
Bidding sites have become controversial over the years, especially when work goes for very low prices. Stay vigilant and don’t offer your services for less than they’re worth.
The site has also become the subject of spam postings, so keep your eyes peeled and be wary of anyone asking for free samples of work.
Tip: Write a concise bid specific to the job that showcases your talents. Some jobs will get upwards of 50 bids, so don’t waste time drafting an essay that no-one’s going to read!
For those struggling with all the spam-filled sites out there, FlexJobs could be your answer. The site works on a subscription basis, which means you’ll be less likely to be scammed thanks to the website’s ruthless vetting system.
However, the subscription will be coming out of your pay check, and while paying $14.95 a month doesn’t sound like a lot, this is work you could be doing yourself at no cost.
For those who have used FlexJobs, it’s got some pretty good reviews. The simple-to-understand search system is one of the favourite features of the site, along with the large database of jobs.
If you’re starting out there’s no harm in getting experience through a subscription-based site, but if you don’t get the return you expect, don’t stick with it. You can easily search for jobs for free once you have experience under your belt.
Tip: Take advantage of the free skills tests, as they’ll indicate your skills levels to potential new clients.
iFreelance also operates on a subscription basis. The main difference is, iFreelance offers different levels of subscription with different rewards. Freelancers can choose between basic, silver and gold depending on how they want to bid.
If you want to showcase more pieces in your portfolio, you may want to opt for the gold option, but if you’re happy with just a couple of samples then the basic package is for you.
One downside is that bids from freelancers paying the lower subscription fee will appear at the bottom of the listing, so people paying their way to the top will get first dibs.
On the other hand, an upside to having to pay a subscription fee at all is that you’re offered more reasonable pay than those on sites such as Fiverr.
iFreelance is great if you’re a seasoned freelancer looking for the odd piece of work, as a lower-rate subscription will allow your experience to speak volumes.
Tip: Pay for what you need. Don’t be tempted to get the highest subscription just because it looks the most appealing.
Which websites are your go-to for your next freelancing gig? Leave us a comment in the section below!