Freelance platforms are a boon for both individual workers and businesses. In today’s internet age, you can work from anywhere, anytime for any company in the world. Freelance platforms facilitate this by providing a place where global businesses can find and hire temporary workers. On these sites, independent professionals can create profiles, share their work portfolio, and contact potential employers.Show more Organizations can search a database of candidates based on criteria such as skills, experience and more. They can provide temporary contracts to freelancers such as writers, editors, translators, designers, and others. Businesses can save the money they spend on permanent employees, while freelancers are assured of guaranteed payment on freelance sites that provide escrow facility. Start by checking our leader Fiverr, and other recommended solutions in this category.Show less
To create this ranking of best Freelance Platforms we have checked 106 popular solutions currently present on the market, contrasting their features, ease-of-use, customer service, possible integrations and mobile support using our patented SmartScoreTM rating system. This ranking has been prepared by Nestor Gilbert, our B2B authority dedicated to the Freelance Platforms category.
Fiverr is an award-winning freelance service marketplace that assists employers in finding the best talent for a project. Leveraging transparency, Fiverr gives employers access to a freelancer's professional history, including rating and feedback of previous clients.
Formerly known as Elance-oDesk, Upwork is a cloud-based global freelance platform. Upwork provides employers tools to shortlist candidates and review proposals. It has an in-app messaging feature where employers and freelancers exchange files.
Freelancer.com is a freelance and crowdsourcing marketplace used by over 25 million users. This platform has a robust search tool that enables employers to filter the results down to elite-level workers. Employers can also set milestones for freelancers to achieve before they can qualify for payments.
A freelance platform that caters to businesses in search of creative artists, developers, etc. Evanto Studio has a large pool of handpicked professionals whose portfolios and rates are available for review. The platform also comes with its own job approval workflow, project management tools, and built-in messaging app.
PeoplePerHour is a freelance market where businesses can scout for global and local professionals. All freelancers in the platform underwent meticulous background checks to ensure that they can deliver quality service. PeoplePerHour also implements escrow protection as well.
Toptal is a popular network of developers, designers, and financial experts. This freelance platform houses a pool of elite professionals, all of whom belong to the top 3% of their respective fields and fluent in English. Employers can also work with their chosen talents for free for a maximum of two weeks.
DesignCrowd is a creative freelancers’ marketplace that offers a money-back guarantee to dissatisfied employers. Using the crowdsourcing approach, businesses can post their design needs, requirements, and budget and choose the freelancer they want to work with based on the proposals submitted.
A freelance platform where an individual or team of professionals collaborate with employers from all over the world. Guru.com comes with its own set of team management tools such as a comprehensive project dashboard, time tracker, and status alerts. The platform also supports file sharing and messaging.
Nexxt is a popular career network that acts as an intermediary between freelancers and employers or recruitment agencies. It offers a subscription-based service to recruiters and businesses, which gives them access to job posting, candidate search, application processing, tools to promote job listings, and more.
DesignContest is a crowdsourcing community of talented graphic artists and clients looking for quality design. Here, organizations and employers can launch a design contest (logo, website, etc.) and choose from the submitted entries before paying. DesignContest also assists in the transfer of copyright ownership of the designs purchased.
Market Lancing is a freelance marketplace where businesses can outsource work for various services such as writing, graphic design, and programming.
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.
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, and Peopleperhour. 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.
There are three popular types of platforms for freelancers:
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.
Client and Freelancer Protection
Data security is always a necessity and a good freelance platform must have solid boundaries in place when it comes to information access. This is to prevent the unauthorized use of personal information and even portfolio to which freelancers, in particular, can be vulnerable.
There are plenty of benefits for freelancers on these freelance tools. They include the following:
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.
Fraudulent activities have a higher chance of happening in an open platform where strict profile screening and background checks are loosely implemented.
Freelance work used to have the stigma of not being a “real job.” It used to be seen as a source of extra funds than a steady source of income. Over the years, however, the trend has started to shift and lean more toward freelance workers.
More and more professionals realize the benefits of working outside a rigid corporate environment and working on their own terms. There, however, are those who remain skeptical of remote work as a viable long-term source of livelihood. The skepticism can be attributed to the common misunderstanding of modern work from home or freelance work structure. Things have changed drastically over the years with existing and emerging remote work trends that only make working remotely an ideal option.
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic, despite being unfortunate, has only proven that remote work can be a steady source of income, especially for freelancers who get the right jobs and the right clients. While businesses and on-site employees struggle to transition into working remotely and staying productive, seasoned freelancers find themselves in a more secure work environment both financially and physically. It is important to note, however, that freelance or remote work is not for everyone and not all jobs can be done remotely.
All work requires the right tools and for freelance and remote workers, capable hardware and stable internet connection are not enough. Programs and tools play an important role in establishing a smooth and secure work environment, as well as in building a good business relationship between clients and freelancers or remote workers.
If you are new to remote work setup, we have curated some of the best remote software solutions. But to give you a general idea, here are some of the reasons why you must have the right tools as a remote worker or freelancer, especially if you are working with or managing a team:
The first and most important thing is to ensure the app is appropriate for your firm’s needs. Do not worry about the delivery method and pricing model and focus on getting the appropriate program. Second, you should invest some time to do proper research on the background of the provider and the functionality of the product. Otherwise, you may end up paying a high price if the software proves to be a bad fit.
Another important thing is you should always browse the contract and understand the terms and conditions. SaaS agreements are known for clever phrasing, so be sure you know what you are getting into. Do not get suckered into an evergreen contract. Be clear about the renewal terms as well as the notice time needed to cancel the renewal.
You will be surprised to learn the gains you can get by negotiating smartly. SaaS software is a competitive market and providers will be willing to give you a price reduction to earn your business and continue it. Make use of this opportunity to save some money.
Realize that the teaser rate is offered only for a short period. Learn about the total price you need to shell out after the initial discount ends. Also, calculate the long-term fee to know what you are getting into.
The best freelance platform is Fiverr. It offers a dynamic and secure freelance marketplace for clients in search of skilled professionals from designers, writers, developers, and more.
The services offered on the platform also fall under the affordable range. Starting at $5/job, clients can get access to a pool of vetted talents. Freelancers, on the other hand, can set up their own accounts to market the professional services they offer.
Fiverr also comes with secure communication channels, feedback and reputation review, buyer protection guarantee, and more.
Aside from establishing a connection between clients and qualified freelancers, freelance platforms offer a number of benefits, and here are some of them:
Global exposure. Freelancers have the opportunity to showcase their work and skills to a global audience.
Useful for building a reputation. Freelance platforms usually have a feedback and review system in place. Reviews and feedbacks more or less reflect on how well freelancers do their jobs and more positive reviews help clients decide whether a freelancer is qualified or not.
Lots of part-time options to expand experience history. Work history matters even in the freelance industry. Clients have the tendency to go after experienced freelancers because they require little or training. For new freelancers to expand their experience, it is much better to go after one-time or short-term projects. This will not only allow them to move faster from one job to another but also exposes them to different types of clients.
Work on your own terms. Unless the client requires it, freelancers do not work on fixed hours. There are freelancers who are required to work a specific number of hours daily, but they are free to choose the time as they please.
Freelancers can choose their clients. Freelancers have access to client profiles where they can also view feedback and reviews from other freelancers who have already worked with them. This way, freelancers can also assess if they would be willing to work with specific clients or move on to other offers.
Not all freelance platforms cater to all types of skills or businesses. The following, however, are standard features across freelance platforms:
Freelancer profile: This is where freelancers display all the necessary information and skills to attract clients and reach out to them for a job or project.
Bidding option: This gives freelancers the opportunity to place their bids on a job or a project posted by potential clients. Bidding option can be open to all freelancers in the platform, or only to qualified freelancers whom the client has shortlisted.
Monetization plan: This is how freelance platforms get their part of the deal. Freelance platforms charge commissions either on the clients or both clients and freelancers.
Payment gateways: To make sure that the freelancers get paid and the payment transactions are secure and smooth, freelance platforms often use trusted payment gateways like PayPal, Stripe, and 2Checkout.
The easiest freelance platform to use are those that provide powerful search tools for both freelancers and clients, straightforward application options, and other standard features:
Among the freelance platforms on the list, only Upwork offers a basic plan for free. With this plan, clients can instantly match with the right freelancers, as well as gain access to verified freelancers. This plan also comes with Upwork’s built-in collaboration and payment tools and payment protection plan.
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