Most people tend to set out on their freelance journey already armed with a handful of essential, bill-paying clients. Very few dive right in without a single client on their books and just hope/pray to land a worthwhile job. But let’s be honest, clients don’t last forever. You could be the best freelancer in the world but times change, situations change – as do those of your clients, so sometimes you need to source more work. Or perhaps you just want a little bit extra on the side month to month. Whatever your own personal situation, having the knowledge on hand to be able to find work day to day should you need it can give a serious amount of peace of mind – even if you never end up needing it.
So that’s what we’re going to look at today. Resources for finding freelance work. Below I’ve made a list of 8 places I’ve found jobs in the past. The work landed encompasses many areas where I’ve found a mix of quick and easy one off jobs right through to successful, month to month clients. So let’s get started.
Whilst there are lots of freelancer marketplaces on the web these days, UpWork is one that has performed consistently well for me both in terms of finding freelance work and outsourcing my own tasks. Like with all platforms of this nature, they’re only as good as their user base and UpWork has one of the largest out there. Feature wise, it’s a relatively standard affair with all of the bells and whistles you’d expect in terms of project management and billing.
If you’re just looking for quick and easy, hourly work then PeoplePerHour.com or PPH is a good place to start. By using PPH you can quickly anything from one off hourly tasks right through to full, meaty web development projects. You can quickly search for jobs based on budget/anticipated payment amounts so identifying simple one off jobs is a breeze. PPH boasts a large user base of both buyers and sellers and has categories that cover pretty much all online work from data entry to logo design right through to complex programming projects.
Another popular marketplace is freelancer.com. This operates in the same style as the two networks above but has a significantly larger user base. That can be great for buyers, not so much if you’re a freelancer scratching about for work. But it’s worth giving it a go regardless as providing you’re competitively priced and can obviously do the work you’re quoting for then you should still land work. Keep in mind though that freelancer.com is favoured by several of the poorer countries around the world so it can be hard to compete unless you’re performing at a high level.
Guru.com boasts over 1.5 million members worldwide so holds quite the marketshare. Whilst the system is pretty much the same as the above sites, it does have the added benefit of being able to browse available jobs before signing up. This can be handy if you’re performing highly specific tasks and are not sure if there is a market for your services at hand. You can also use their handy search feature to find freelancers based on location as opposed to just price/budget so if you prefer to work for someone local this is probably the site for you.
TopTal (Top Talent) is for those freelancers who perform their jobs at a high level. I’m talking about high end designer, developers, programmers and such. The best in their field almost all gravitate towards TopTal as it prides itself on offering the “top talent” on the web as opposed to just being a free for all like the sites above. Obviously with such strict entry policies and requirements it is hard to get on board. But if you are able to operate at an exceptionally high standard you’ll always find jobs on hand with TopTal.
Not many people like the idea of working for a “Fiverr” a time, but let me tell you those fiverrs can soon add up – providing the service you offer can be completely for such a lowly amount of course. Typical (popular) gigs on fiverr include cheap logo design, small article writing, link building, data entry or search/social network submission services. All tasks which can be performed by you, the freelancer with minimal effort.
As a buyer, you’ll tend to be quoted a cheaper price by hiring people via the webmaster forums than you would via one of the above marketplaces. In simple terms, it’s because of overheads. The marketplaces above take a % of the fee quoted in return for providing the “middle man” service. With forums, you’re dealing with buyers and sellers directly. But whilst this is cheaper it also puts you at risk more in terms of non-payers etc.
With all that said, forums still remain one of the top places on the web for finding short term freelance work. But you won’t be alone. The competition is rife but like with all freelance jobs, you only need to find a handful of good clients and they should, providing you’re up to the task, keep you in regular work.
Believe it or not Twitter is a great place to find people looking for work. Lots of people these days don’t have to go through the tedious task of finding people to work for them directly. Even through one of the marketplaces above it can be time consuming. No, they’d rather let other people do the work for them by way of recommendations. Try it yourself, search “anyone know a logo designer” or similar on Twitter and look at the sheer amount of requests day to day.
In my opinion it’s best to put yourself out there on all of the platforms above. Those seeking freelancers tend to be creatures of habitat and will solely use one platform in order to source workers for their needs. On any of the platforms above, someone looking to hire a freelance will be inundated with requests for pretty much every job they post. So there is no real need for them to post in multiple places. So if you want to give yourself the best opportunity possible at landing said jobs, make sure you’re present on all of the above.
One thing I would say however is be consistent. Use your own name or company name across all platforms that way if there is someone posting multiple places they’ll make the connection and realise they’ve seen you elsewhere etc. It also shows you’re serious about your freelancing.