The Trend of Freelancing Websites in 2016
In the past, the term “freelance” may have carried a negative connotation, but 2016 has seen a rise in the number of people working as independent workers. According to Freelancersunion.org, almost one in three Americans worked as independent contractors in 2016, which is approximately 54 million people in one country alone. With a large number of people joining this community, it’s not surprising that websites are appearing to connect freelancers with companies who need their talents. Here are some of the top freelancing websites that can help connect freelancers with companies looking for them.
Formerly known as Elance and oDesk, Upwork.com has added several new features and tools with its rebranding. It has a better interface, new mobile apps, search algorithms, and real-time chat among other features that make it more user-friendly. The portfolios of work completed and easy client feedback provide prospective clients with insights into freelancers before their first conversation. The sheer size of Upwork is one of its primary benefits, as it offers over 2,700 skills and a freelance pool from more than 180 countries. Project tracking and invoices are handled elegantly within the platform through the “Work Diary,” where snapshots are taken every ten minutes to ensure the project is on track. While there isn’t a membership fee to join, Upwork collects up to 10% of the freelancers’ proceeds whenever they get paid.
Freelancer.com is similar to Upwork in that it charges freelancers 10% of their proceeds. However, this fee can be reduced to 5% or 3% if a freelancer buys a monthly membership. The network features a wide array of skills for freelancers, including website development, marketing, content and blog writing, and many others. With over 7 million completed projects, freelancers in this network are never short of work opportunities.
3. People Per Hour
Peopleperhour.com, which has been around since 2005, is networked to connect freelancers with small businesses. Just like Upwork, the skill categories listed are extensive. Since most of the employers are small businesses looking for cost-effective solutions, the network only charges 3.5% of the freelancers’ proceeds. This lower cost enables freelancers to offer lower prices without having to take significant pay cuts. Freelancers receive notification from the network when a client has posted a bid, without having to search for work. The network keeps track of work streams to help freelancers manage their workflows, feedback, and invoicing.
99Designs.com is a network for specialized freelancers, with jobs ranging from brand design to stationary design. It is built specifically for freelance graphic designers to compete for projects. Although this network only covers graphic arts, it is becoming increasingly popular with companies looking for graphic work on the internet. Once a client has worked with a freelancer, they can request their services as many times as they want.
Oddly enough, Google’s search engine is a great resource for freelancers looking for jobs. Companies are starting to look beyond these networks to find talented freelancers. Websites like Indeed.com and Simplyhired.com (among others) are working with companies such as Betterteam to assist in setting up job listings, as well as freelance opportunities. Strong work history enables the freelancers to take their skills to clients directly, cutting out the middle man.
If a freelancer wishes to stand out, they should showcase their portfolio on their own site. Finding a service to build a great website for a portfolio, such as Websiteproperties.com, is critical. The domain and the layout of the site must be impressive, as it acts as the home of their most effective independent selling tool. Including a blog covering the significant areas of their chosen skill sets can help the site gain a foothold on search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo.
Be Your Own Boss
Freelancing provides more than financial income. It provides a sense of financial independence, especially in today’s economy, and it enables people to be passionate about their work. Although becoming a freelancer might seem scary, the vast resources on the internet can help freelancers make their dreams come true instead of serving their employers’ dreams. The trend in freelancing websites will continue to rise in the coming years, providing limitless opportunities and connections between freelancers and hiring organizations.
Featured photo credit: pixabay.com via pixabay.com.