There are so many reasons for wanting to become a freelancer, be it the buzz you get from being your own boss, being able to work around a busy schedule, or being able to set your own prices and have that additional irregular income we all crave. During the pandemic, the number of freelancers soared due to redundancies, reductions in earnings, and quite simply due to boredom for many people. There are so many websites that have been designed to help freelancers build relationships with companies with whom they wouldn’t usually have the opportunities to make initial contact, but with so many options around, how can you choose the platform that is going to work best for you? We have put together a short list of the top 15 websites that can help you achieve your own personal freelance goals, and boost your possibility of becoming a successful freelancer.
Starter Barter is one of the latest websites for Freelancers to gain exposure to potential clients, it has only been in operation since late 2019, however, has a rapidly increasing number of co-creators already signed up. The website has been created for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and freelancers to trade information with each other, the service is free to use and profiles are easy to set up. No money is exchanged through the website, it is purely about sharing knowledge to help build successful futures. You offer how you can support another company and what you need assistance with in return, for example, if you own a small clothing brand, you may request a trade with a photographer who needs to gain exposure. There are a wide range of services you can look to trade with on the website, with the Starter Barter promise, that if you have no matches at the time of searching, they will take over and email you a compatible trade within 60 days.
People Per Hour
People Per Hour is a UK website that has been in operation since 2007, helping thousands of freelancers connect with individuals and companies from around the globe. The website is free to join, simple to use, easy to create a profile and has page upon page of potential jobs you can bid for. In our experience of using People Per Hour, there is a large percentage of freelancers from Pakistan and India using the tool, however, most jobs posted will state if they are looking for someone from a particular country, especially for writing jobs and voiceover work. Despite being voted one of the top sites for Freelancers, they have recently changed some of their payment policies which are having a big impact, leading to many freelancers looking for opportunities elsewhere. Payments were released within 48hrs up until last year, People Per Hour now hold payment for a minimum of three weeks. Their commission percentage is also higher than many of their competitors, with a commission of 20% plus VAT and service taken from work submitted under £250.00, being reduced to 7.5% once you receive over that amount, you then have the PayPal transfer fees on top of this. The one area that People Per Hour stands out is their customer service, if you have an issue with a buyer releasing funds, need help navigating the site, or just have a general question, their turnaround time for responding is within 24hrs.
Servicescape is a global freelance platform, with its head office in Salem, Massachusetts. They have been in operation for over twenty years, gaining them thousands of loyal customers, from CEO’s to small business owners. This is one of the largest websites you can enter as a freelancer so there is a huge amount of competition, you really need to have a niche skill.or style to be able to stand out here, however, if you can really express and showcase your abilities there is so much potential with this site thanks to it being a longstanding, trusted site. To create a profile on Servicescape is fairly simple, however, it does require more information than similar websites we have used, such as full home address and credentials. You will also need to take a short quiz, alongside a tutorial project to ensure the site is suitable for you to use, and for Servicescape to decide if they want you. Once you start working on projects, the site will take a whopping 50% commission for all work so you must take this into consideration when setting your prices.
Since its creation in 2010, Fiverr has now been credited as one of the top 400 websites in the world. Fiverr was created in Israel, and is one of the leading sites for freelancers to promote themselves on for an array of tasks. Fiverr has freelancer levels which you need to work through to get perks, for example, level 1 (entry-level) freelancers are only able to post about their services 10 times, their posts will be removed if they do not gain enough activity. It also takes 14 days to process level 1 payments, for levels 2 and 3, payments are released within 7 days and they can post 20-30 ‘gigs’ to drum up work. The commission for Fiverr is very simple, for any jobs completed under $40 you are charged $2, for anything over $40 you will be charged 5%.
Formally named Elance-oDesk, Upwork is an American-based Freelance site, with its head office in Santa Clara, California. The website is split into worldwide, and American-only jobs for ease of use. It is free to create your freelance profile, with commissions set at 20% for the first $500 earnt, and 10% between $501-$10,000. At Upwork, payments aren’t made quite as simply as competitor sites, if you want to be able to withdraw your earnings, you can either decide to withdraw your earnings on a weekly basis or once milestones have been reached, there is a separate protection plan for each that you need to pay for.
TaskRabbit was created in Boston, Massachusetts in 2008, to this date it has tens of thousands of vetted freelancers working on their site, all of who have endured background checks to confirm their suitability. The site is used worldwide and will access your location as you enter the site to narrow down lists of suitable jobs. TaskRabbit is a bit more varied than some of its competitors as it promotes face-to-face jobs that you wouldn’t really associate with freelance websites like house removals, building work, cleaners, dog walkers, and so on. What we really like about this site is that it offers buyers to tip their freelancers once they submit their review, for example, if the task was delivered early or done to a higher standard than expected, you can deposit additional payment once the agreed money has been exchanged. TaskRabbit commission fee is a standard 15% on all jobs.
1840 and company
Based in Kansas City, Missouri, 1840 and Company is a global marketplace for vetted freelancers, professionals, and outsourcing services. The 1840 company has been in operation since 2014, however, their latest venture into the freelance world has only been going since January 2022, therefore there is quite little we know about them so far as their website is still being fully developed into a more user-friendly platform. This is certainly a company that intrigues us as it shows potential. They are currently offering freelancers a free 1-month trial to get things off the ground, which makes it perfect for seeking relationships for future work.
Enterprise Nation is a UK-based platform that has a vibrant community of small businesses and entrepreneurial individuals. They promote events for freelancers to gather, share knowledge and build client relationships. The company was established in 2005, it now has a growing community of over 75,000 users on its site. Enterprise nation works on a subscription basis rather than commission, the basic fee is £20 per month to work on their website as an advisor – they don’t use the term freelancer.
Located in Germany, MVP factory began using freelancers in 2017 and found it to be so beneficial, they decided to create their own elite freelancer website in 2019, which went live in March 2020 named MVP Match. The site has attracted global freelancers, with more than 2000 on their books today. You can only become a freelancer on this site if you are invited, they look out for talent on other freelance websites, platforms like LinkedIn, and social media. There is a page to apply for an invitation, you will need a complete CV and portfolio to register. As a freelancer, it is your responsibility to directly email your invoices to MVP to be paid – there is no link to direct invoice like with many competitor sites. Invoices will be paid within 30 days. There is no information as to the commission percentage taken by MVP at this time.
Freelancer is one of the largest, and most well-known sites for freelancers to work from. Established in 2009, the company was created in Australia, they now have offices in London, Jakarta, Vancouver, Manila, and Buenos Aires. There are literally millions of freelancers working on this platform, so you really need to have the time, talent, and endurance to be willing to work your way through the small tasks, to get the chance to bid on higher-paying jobs. Freelancer is used by some of the biggest companies in the world, including; Google, NASA, Amazon, and Facebook. It is free to sign up and really easy to create a profile, once you sign up you can bid on a maximum of 6 projects per month. The commission seems pretty reasonable at 10%, however, there can be some hidden fees on this site that you need to look out for, for example, there is an additional 10% added when you are awarded prizes, then another 20% fee when a service is performed – basically the website has a fair bit of jargon and so not to be stung you really do need to comb through all the Terms and Conditions.
FlexJobs Corporation has a fantastic reputation for really looking after their freelancers. They hand-pick jobs they feel might be suitable for you and have an incredible customer service team who are there to assist you if there are any problems during the project or with the payments following a project. FlexJobs was established in 2007, they can help with securing freelance work, career progression, and also offer training courses. There is a subscription membership to sign up to this website, you can pay $24.95 for one month, $39.95 for three months, or $59.95 for a year.
Dribbble is a completely remote company with no head office base. It has been created as an art and design-focused freelancer site, voted the world’s leading community for creatives to share ideas, talents, and work. You can post your services with fixed fees, or browse job listings and bid on suitable projects. There are three options when joining Dribble, if you are more interested in liaising with other artists then sign up is free, you can make a profile, still bid on jobs, and enjoy this vibrant online community. For £4 per month, you can go Dribbble Pro, this upgrades your profile and allows you to stand out more. The final option is Dribbble Pro-Business, this is the option most freelancers who are on the site purely for financial gain use, this upgrade is £11 per month, you can create a pitch video, get priority placement in the search engines, have a ‘hire me’ button added to your profile, and also have suitable jobs emailed to you daily.
The social media platform Behance was created by Adobe to allow artists and designers a website to showcase their creative services as freelancers. The site works on a subscription basis of $99 per year, there is the opportunity to have a free trial before you sign any agreement – it is free to join if you are an Adobe Creative Cloud Member. There are thousands of jobs available to bid on, this is a superb platform for Graphic Designers, Motion Graphic Artists, and Photographers to sign up to.
Periodix was created in New York in 2015, it is rapidly growing to be the future leader of freelance websites, thanks to its use of artificial intelligence. AI scans through 300,000 listings each day, to narrow down perfect job opportunities for its freelance community. They currently have over 8,000 freelancers working on their incredible site. The site auto-fills all information required for you so you don’t need to retype the same information time and again, you also get notified of new job listings that match your skills as soon as they are posted. It is free to set up a profile, however commission fees are unclear. They have created some brilliant YouTube content, with tons of tips to help you in your freelance career – even if you decide not to sign up with Periodix this is worth checking out.
Toptal is a remote company that was created in 2010 to allow elite freelancers a site to promote their skills. They are extremely selective in the freelancers they allow on their site, with much of their current talent previously working at Google, J.P. Morgan, Samsung, and IBM in executive positions. Toptal is a global company, working with over 150 countries, helping to provide people with knowledgeable and capable remote workers. They are passionate about living for the future, so offer scholarships, training programs, and also work with numerous volunteer projects. There is a flat fee of $500 to join the site as a freelancer, however, as the positions available to bid for on this site are for more prestigious clients you are more likely to earn more back here than from any other site.