Which Freelancing Website Should You Choose?
When you are starting out in the Freelance business, you have to make a lot of choices. One of the more important choices is which freelancing website to choose. You may not want to go that route at all, opting to find jobs on LinkedIn, for example. But a freelancing website is really the best place to find work.
“Freelancing websites bring the client and the Freelancer together. Rather than flailing about in the dark, sending out countless inquiry letters, let the websites do the work for you.”
For a small fee, most of them handle payments, the bidding process, disputes and the leg-work. They can save you a lot of time and headaches.
But, when choosing a freelancing website, you need to do your homework. You don’t want to end up paying out all your hard-earned money to a website in the form of membership fees and other costs.
The following is a very short list of some of the more well-known freelancer websites in the business:
We started using Freelancer.com a few years ago when they were still GetaFreelancer.com. Based in Sydney, Australia, says it is, “the world’s largest freelancing, outsourcing, and crowdsourcing marketplace”. While that may or may not be true, it certainly is a reputable company, with 6 million projects posted at any given time, and over 13, 0000 users.
They offer the Freelancer a number of packages, and the first month is free. The plans are: Basic ($4.95/mo), Plus ($9.95/mo), Standard, ($49.95/mo) and Premium ($199.95/mo).
Each plan entitles you to a certain amount of services and benefits. These include but are not limited to the number of bids you can make, the fees you will pay, the number of skills you can list on your profile page, and the number of rewards you can access.
Freelancer also has a number of other fees that apply, depending on the type of service or project. Freelancer.com (and all the other websites) allows you to create a profile, list your skills, post your resume, and create a portfolio.
Elance – oDesk
Even though these look like two different companies, they are not. Elance and oDesk merged in 2013, yet they still maintain separate businesses. Sort of. 0Desk.com is headquartered in Redwood City, California.
It lists 1.5 million clients. It is free to join. They deduct 10% from each project.
Freelancers can create a Freelancer Profile on their personal page and take an oDesk Readiness Tests and/or skill tests. The results will be posted so that prospective employers can verify your abilities. The tests are basically mandatory, and you must read their Freelancer Manual as one of the Readiness Tests covers information in the manual.
Payments are handled through oDesk but you can choose how you would like to be paid (your bank, Credit card or through PayPal). Hourly projects are paid on a weekly basis through the oDesk using their Work Diary system.
Headquartered in Mountain View, California, with offices in Oslo, Norway, Freelancing website Elance claims to have 2 million business users and 8 million Freelancers in more than 180 countries.
Elance charges an 8.75% fee on all invoices. It offers the Basic Membership plan (free) which provides 40 bids per month, the ability to set up a profile and access to their Workroom.
Other plans with additional services are Individual ($10/month), Small Company ($20/mo) and Large Company ($60/mo). Membership plan information can be found at http://help.elance.com/hc/en-us/articles/203735543 .
Elance offers an Escrow Payment Protection Program which ensures that funds will be available to be paid when the work is completed.
Works a little differently. The Freelancer creates a profile and then pays a fee to send out a bid. Credits must be purchased from Outsource.com before a bid can be sent out. Once you have created a profile and have listed your talents and skills, Outsource will send projects to you.
They will tell you how many credits you will need to bid on the job. Each credit costs $1.67, and the price of the quote varies, depending on the job.
Outsource.com does not collect payments, monetary transactions take place strictly between the client and the Freelancer. They do not offer advice on quotes or rate employers.
Think of it as kind of like a dating service. You might meet Prince Charming…or a Toad.
Since so many of the websites offer free trial service, it is really advisable to try out several and see which one is the best fit. Just remember to terminate your service before the automatic payments start.