10 min read
Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Consider this: Freelancers are expected to become the U.S. workforce majority in the near future. That means we can expect to see more and more freelancing job boards appear. That’s not to say we need them. Take a look at the Google search results for “freelance jobs.” You’ll find hundreds of websites that can connect you with prospective clients.
The problem, however, is that not all job boards are created equal. Some are a bit suspicious, causing both freelancers and businesses to question their legitimacy. Others are meant only for seasoned veterans. There are also boards capable of finding work quickly for freelancers, but they won’t get paid very much. Consider it the “price of entry” to the freelance realm.
These obstacles make finding freelance work more complicated than it has to be. That’s why I’ve put together a list of 18 freelance sites to help entrepreneurs find their next gig. Each of these sites is reputable and can be used by freelancers of all experience levels, empowering people to make the most of their skills in a shaky economy.
If you’re a freelancer designer, developer, financial expert, product manager or project manager, you can find hourly, part-time or full-time work at Toptal. The catch is that Toptal has a rigorous screening process, meaning typically only the top 3 percent of freelance talent that applies is accepted.
This is better suited for talented freelancers who have some previous experience under their belt. However, if you’re accepted, you can be certain that you’ll receive competitive compensation.
There are a couple of things that make Fiverr stand out from other leading freelance marketplaces. Users get to list the specific jobs where they excel. When I started podcasting, I hired someone on Fiverr to design my cover and another person to create the intro. When I had trouble getting the podcast listed on iTunes, I enlisted another expert to help solve the mystery.
Secondly, because most gigs start at $5, this is a great place to launch your freelancing career. After you land some clients and build up your portfolio, you can start charging more for your services.
For more than a decade, PeoplePerHour has been helping freelancers land web-based projects. This site has areas like marketing, SEO and software engineering. What makes it so appealing is that it streamlines the process of signing up. Client communication, project management and payments are all handled in one dashboard.
You can send 15 proposals to clients before having to sign up for the paid plan. However, you can still browse listings and get notified of new openings, even if you don’t sign up for the paid plan.
Upwork has been around in some form for years. Elance and oDesk were formed in 1999 and 2003, respectively, and merged to found Upwork. Today, Upwork is one of the largest freelance marketplaces in the world, hosting millions of freelancers in industries like design, development, accounting, marketing, writing and customer service.
Like Toptal, freelancers can find short-term tasks, recurring projects and even full-time contract work. Upwork is good for both entry-level and experienced freelancers because of the variety of work listed.
Freelancer states that it’s the “the world’s largest outsourcing marketplace,” connecting more than 30 million employees and freelancers across 247 countries. With Freelancer, you can a find a couple of different ways to work. The first way is by creating a profile that highlights your freelancing skills. When a client needs your specific skills, he can chat with you in real time.
The other way is by browsing for work and placing bids on projects that match your talents and interests. When your work is complete, you’ll receive a secure payment via the site’s Milestone Payment System.
SimplyHired is a job search engine that helps people find remote or local work in 12 different countries. SimplyHired contains more than 100 job boards, meaning you’ll have access to millions of job openings ranging from marketing to customer service. You can even find nursing and warehouse work.
You can also search for both part-time and full-time work, making SimplyHired a great platform to quickly land a job. It produces a blog that contains helpful advice on how to make yourself more attractive to recruiters.
99designs should be your go-to marketplace if you’re designer. Anyone truly skilled in creating logos and web and app design can find a home here. Creative freelancers can search for jobs where clients need someone to create marketing materials, packaging or merchandise like T-shirts.
The site also provides numerous resources to assist designers in enhancing their skills. These resources include how-to tips, tutorials, tool kits, e-books and even interviews with seasoned designers.
Are you a creative professional or a digital marketing expert? If so, you can land your next gig through Aquent. The site gives freelancers the chance to find remote or on-site work in the U.S. You can also find work in Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Australia or Japan.
What’s most appealing about Aquent is that its Gymnasium offers free online courses that can help you strengthen your existing talent.
The Creative Group is part of the large Robert Half staffing agency. The site is meant for individuals in creative fields like art, copywriting, photography, graphic design and marketing. You can find temporary, project-based or full-time work.
Simply upload your resume to the site or share your LinkedIn profile. Robert Half’s specialists find the right job for your specific expertise and preferences from there.
Envato Studio was established by designers, developers and creatives. This studio can help you land short-term or long-term projects. When a client needs your unique skill set, he browses the site to compare portfolios and pricing. You’ll receive recommendations from the Envato Studio community.
Once you’re hired, Envato Studio holds the payment until the job is completed and the client is satisfied with the work. Throughout the course of the project, the platform gives you a chance to receive real-time feedback from the client. You can be certain you’re on the right track with this direct communication.
Founded by Sara Sutton, who previously founded FlexJobs, this site has been a leading virtual team site for more than a decade. Remote.co is a great platform for anyone who wants to work remotely.
Whether you’re a designer, developer, customer service rep, writer, recruiter or sales professional, Remote.co can help anyone who’s ever dreamed of becoming a digital nomad. If you’re new to remote work, there’s also a handy blog that can help you get started on the right foot.
DesignCrowd has dubbed itself the No. 1 custom design marketplace in the world. Similar to 99designs, this site lets designers find work. You can design logos, website, business cards, T-shirts and even tattoos.
Clients can select short deadline submissions, such as three to five days. Project turnover is incredibly quick. If you need some extra cash, you can also enter design contests through the site.
This site has more than 50 different career categories for freelancers, virtual workers and full-time employees. FlexJobs is a popular platform for anyone searching for remote or flexible work. All open positions are screened in advance, so you can rest assured that the jobs that have been posted are legitimate.
You have to pay to join, with plans starting at $14.95 per month. You can also participate in skill tests, attend webinars and read up on tips to help your job search. Best of all, you have access to exclusive discounts through partnering websites.
Krop is a job board solely for creatives, like copywriters, photographers and designers. On top of creating a profile to showcase your experience, you can use Krop to build and host your portfolio.
Another perk of using Krop it that it’s a site that promotes freelancers to clients searching for new team members.
Since 2005, Authentic Jobs has been connecting creative and web professionals to find freelancers. You can contract or moonlight on the job with companies like Apple, Facebook, ESPN or The Motley Fool for free. If you’re a freelancer interested in working with these companies, start browsing listings for everything from content strategists to back-end developers to project managers.
Because compensation can range anywhere from under $29,000 to more than $100,000 annually, it’s a nice platform for freelancers of all experience levels.
Recently acquired by Communo, LocalSolo is unlike other freelance marketplaces. It’s a localized freelance job board where you can find gigs in your neck of the woods.
It’s free to use, and it doesn’t charge commission fees; it also lets you customize your profile. When you and a client connect, you communicate directly. This way, you can discuss the scope of the project, rates and contracts. As a member of LocalSolo, you also receive discounts from partners like Shopify, FreshBooks, Adobe and DreamHost.
Working Nomads sends you a curated list of remote jobs in areas like development, management, marketing, design, sales and education.
You have the option to receive these notices daily or weekly. You also have the option to find temporary projects or regular employment. Just keep in mind that not every gig is 100 percent remote; some jobs may require you to train on-site or work part-time from home.
Chances are high that you already have a LinkedIn profile. Why not get the most out of it? LinkedIn is used by more than 420 million members in some 200 countries, making LinkedIn one of the best resources for connecting professionals.
LinkedIn has more recently decided to get into the freelance game with ProFinder. This gives small business owners and other professionals a chance to hire freelance accountants, bookkeepers, designers, marketers and copywriters. ProFinder also offers career coaches. Your personal coach will review your resume and prepare you for interviews to help advance your freelance career.
Now or at any other time, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and unable to move forward with your entrepreneurial goals. But these sites can empower you to find opportunities that will maximize your skills and allow you to grow your side work into something bigger.