Working as a freelancer has a certain appealing professional independence and enjoys many benefits, such as independent time management and working from any location you choose, no matter what industry you’re in. However, it also comes with significant challenges that may hinder your progress as an emerging or established freelancing entity, and so there are many platforms that focus on bringing together those that have chosen a different path of independence from any company and are looking to carve their own careers by offering their services to an increasingly fast-paced, digitized world today.
Freelance jobs typically entail taking on contract work for companies or organizations on a self-employment basis for a defined period of time, so as the skillsets improve and learning curves flatten due to the vast amount of resources and information made available online to anyone with the passion to freelance, so does the competition intensify and finding quality freelance work gets tougher. However with the specialized certificates and many opportunities provided by egFWD powered by the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information technology, and Udacity, ambitious future freelancers can rest assured that they will be equipped with the best tools and technologies to tackle the toughest freelance markets upon graduation.
In order to better prepare yourself and set your future plan of finding quality freelancing jobs anywhere in the world, here is a list of the most prominent freelancing platforms that can help you kickstart your career and find exactly what you’re looking for.
One of the most popular freelancing websites, freelancer.com offers a comprehensive platform that provides a multitude of opportunities for both businesses and freelancers. Upon registration, companies looking to hire people to help with specific tasks get to post their jobs, and in turn freelancers can immediately bid on these tasks. When the company selects their favorite candidate, the chosen freelancer can then communicate with that company via a live chat function to keep them in the loop of their progress, as well as provide them with examples of their previous relevant work in an open communication channel. Freelancer.com includes corporate hires and is acknowledged by market leaders such as Microsoft, SAP and Intel, providing opportunities in everything from website development to logo design and beyond.
Toptal focuses on the highest tier of global freelancers and has a high barrier of entry, where candidates interested to join the platform are subjected to a meticulous screening process that evaluates many factors, such as language proficiency, personality traits, and of course skill sets. Being an exclusive resource of top-notch freelancers for big organizations, Toptal offers the best opportunities in terms of its industry variety and broad hiring scope, including all jobs from software developers and designers to finance experts, project managers and almost any other professional role in high demand. Leading companies like Motorola and Hewlett-Packard enterprise favor Toptal as their go-to freelance website, and although becoming part of Toptal might be more challenging than most other freelance aggregators, the reward is definitely worth the risk and freelancers should not be discouraged by the tough competition, because those who make it through can expect profitable awards as they progress in their career and establish their reputation among the top 3% of freelancers around the world.
An immensely popular platform that almost instantly matches organizations with relevant freelancers, Upwork tends to tackle more complex and long-term projects than its counterparts, with a solid focus on software (web, mobile and software development) and marketing (design, creative writing, sales and marketing, administrative support, customer service and more) as their main sectors. Microsoft, Airbnb, and General Electric are known to consider Upwork as their freelancer hiring destination, and the platform provides freelance work on a long-term or short-term basis, depending on the contract that the companies ask for. The process is simple and the interface is clear and to the point; both freelancers and companies create a free profile and begin either searching for work or searching for talent respectively, and users are further empowered by the website’s native online chat and video conferencing service, allowing both parties to seamlessly communicate and track progress until they complete the project at hand.
The name says it all! PeoplePerHour.com is an international community for full-time and part-time freelance work that matches businesses with their relevant independent workforce in minutes, featuring anti–fraud protection, money back guarantees and dedicated customer service that is available 24/7 for all inquiries. PPH includes a huge range of services that caters to almost 1 million businesses that have raised the earnings of freelancers to more than £130 million, and its 3 million freelancers can have their work rated and reviewed upon completion. The platform uses AI-powered technologies to match employers with freelancers in mere minutes, and PPH is favored by BBC, Forbes, and Financial Times among others, making it a solid destination for freelancers to join.
Guru is one of the more cost-effective freelancing websites out there, used by more than 3 million people for its flexibility in payment rates (Guru offers fixed price, hourly, task-based or recurring payment styles) and wide range of services. The platform offers jobs in many industries, covering technical positions like programming and development, as well as more business–oriented roles and general ones like sales, marketing, writing, translation, graphic design, arts, and more. Some features that stand out among the competition is Guru’s ability to verify freelancers, as well as provide them with public feedback scores so that job givers can know exactly who they are hiring. The popular website also publishes all-time transaction data as a further breakdown of the freelancers’ performance to bring a fuller picture to employers around the world.
A more regional hub for connecting freelancers with their potential employers, Maharati is a small multi-lingual Dubai-based skills marketplace that allows both parties to list small jobs or gigs in an easy and affordable way to get things done. The “Microlancer” website promises a wide network of verified buyers and sellers, as well as quick, quality results. Maharati’s online community offers its skills for a variety of jobs, including branding, marketing, copywriting, development, programming, SEO, video, and pretty much anything else the freelance workforce has to offer. Positioning itself as a simple, efficient and secure marketplace for buying and selling skills, Maharati is one website to keep an eye out for the future of freelance opportunities.
The first specialized destination on this list, 99designs is a freelancing website made for designers, their services and their associated work. The platform prides itself on the idea that a new design is created and submitted every two seconds, and design-oriented freelancers can expect to choose from more than 90 categories that include everything from logo creation and website design to even book covers!
A standout feature of 99designs is the addition of a collaborative element which allows freelancers to either work individually with employers or collaborate with the whole online community to get the job done while sharing the allocated budget. 99designs is highly reviewed by more than 37,000 customers with a rating of 4.8/5, and the creative website firmly believes that the collaboration aspect is what makes them create uniquely customized designs that cannot be found anywhere else.
In an ocean of freelancing websites, it greatly helps to add services that make you stand out among your competitors; SimplyHired uses that advantage by allowing users to browse for freelance jobs in their nearby location, focusing on delivering results based on a specific city, state or zip code. Moreover, job seekers can make use of a smart tool that helps them benchmark their skills by accessing a list of top salaries in addition to estimating their fees. Freelancers can even create their resumes on the website through an online resume builder and check out samples of resume templates for free.
Finding a suitable freelance job can be a tedious job, but the presence of hundreds of websites that enable the matching of employers with potential contractors is a reassuring thing for the future of freelance. Passionate individuals that seek to offer their unique skill sets to the world upon completion of the egFWD courses can take comfort in that the freelance industry is thriving, and the rising competitiveness of freelance platforms only means that there is an increasing demand for freelancers in any field of expertise they choose, and that the future is bright with opportunities all around the globe.