In this era of a growing global economy, job vacancies in one country can now be filled by candidates working remotely from another country. Various freelance sites have launched job boards where companies post their openings for those seeking employment opportunities.
Regardless of the type of employment, small businesses and big corporations leverage freelance marketplaces to find the best candidates for the job.
Beginner freelancers with a distinct skillset can offer their services to marketplaces providing a wide range of opportunities. They can showcase their skills and connect with reliable employers through user-friendly processes offered by a variety of freelance platforms. For those with highly technical skills, specialized platforms can yield better matches in less time.
When taking a crack at the gig economy, newbie freelancers can choose from a broad array of options that include the following platforms.
Toptal is a great freelance site for experts and professionals with extensive skills and experience.
As the name indicates, only top applicants, around 3% of freelance talent worldwide, are accepted. A resource to top companies across the globe, Toptal is not exactly a beginner-friendly option but offers high-quality opportunities.
The industries covered include health and life sciences, consumer products and services, and financial services. Brands such as Airbnb and Shopify are paying clients. High-paying opportunities with no fees await interested freelancers.
Freelancer.com has the largest pool of freelancers and employers. Professionals from more than 247 countries vie for projects posted on this freelance platform.
Professional areas include design, data entry, invoicing, sales and marketing, engineering and science, copywriting, translation and language, and so on.
A unique feature is their contest format, where only winning freelancers who submit their piece will be paid by the business that posted the work.
A platform with plentiful opportunities is Upwork, one of the best freelancing websites. Formerly named Elance-ODesk, the company relaunched as Upwork in 2015.
With postings of over 3 million jobs annually, Upwork freelancers can find various types of work, from short- to long-term contracts paid with fixed price or hourly rates.
New users are given 80 free Connects, which freelancers can use to submit proposals to potential employers. Outside of that, Connects cost $0.15 each.
One downside, however, is the 20% payout fee for profits of $500 or less. Although it takes time to become reputable on this platform, Upwork’s protection of their freelancers’ work and payment make it worthwhile.
Guru is another good site when looking to get started in freelance work. The platform’s job postings are primarily in the areas of programming and development, design and art, and writing and translation.
For newbie freelancers, it’s simple to join, and select high-quality job categories cater to entry-level freelancers. Fees on Guru are also lower than many other freelancing sites.
The most popular categories on PeoplePerHour are freelance writing, web development, marketing, design, and voice talent. Business managers are also often interested in SEO, admin assistance, customer support, and digital marketing. If any of those are of interest, this site is worth a try.
To create an account is free, and the website takes a 20% service fee for earnings less than $350. Freelancers can work per hour or WorkStream – projects in PeoplePerHour.
These projects are matched to the ability and profile of freelancers.
One of the best websites for freelance designers, 99Designs offers logo, web, and graphic design jobs. Your profile and portfolio as an art, web, or graphic designer is necessary upon sign-up, and a curation team will review the application. Freelancers become more visible on the platform as they are assigned higher designer levels.
Costs include an introduction fee of $100 for work with a new client and a 5% to 15% platform fee. Payment from 99Designs is coursed through PayPal or Payoneer within three business days of project completion.
For newbie freelancers, Fiverr is a top choice. The website and app are beginner-friendly, and packaging and pricing services are simple.
The high service fee and long wait for payment clearance, ranging from seven to fourteen days, are among the downsides of Fiverr. Payment options include PayPal, debit card, and wire transfer.
Gigs for freelance writers, graphic designers, and web designers are among the top Fiverr job listings.
Not exclusive to freelancing jobs, Flexjobs offers job opportunities that are flexible and remote.
Flexjobs is meticulous in its screening of jobs and companies to create a trustworthy employee platform. Anyone looking for a new job can check the site for freelance, part-time, and permanent work across numerous job categories.
The available subscription plan starts at $6.95 a week or $14.95 a month, with a 30-day money-back guarantee.
This website focuses on creating a high-quality portfolio for freelancers. A graphic designer or artist will thrive in this marketplace as the site features design contests to incentivize artists to create work that small business owners will notice and pay for.
The site also features photography, animation, and fashion design. It’s important to complete and update a profile regularly.
The corporate version of Facebook, LinkedIn, is also a popular place for freelancers. The service has become a strong community where business managers post their company’s current job openings. Members can search for any job position and personally connect to people within their network.
However, the site’s popularity makes for a highly competitive marketplace. The trick is to cast a wide net and apply to many opportunities that interest you.
Dribbble is similar to Behance when showcasing work, but one of Dribbble’s defining features is the Freelance Projects Board which features different design projects for premium members. The monthly membership costs between $5 to $15 a month.
Dribbble also features a freelance project newsletter which is essentially a listing of hundreds of design projects. That means fresh leads for freelance work get delivered straight to the users’ inbox.
This feature makes Dribbble one of the best freelancing websites where both business owners and freelancers have a more streamlined workflow for meeting each other.
We Work Remotely (WWR) boasts a more extensive job search function than other freelance job sites. The platform is focused on employment for remote jobs, and the site is trusted by leading tech companies such as Amazon, Basecamp, and Google.
It lists the top 100 remote companies that freelancers can apply to, making it easier for employers and job seekers to find each other. WWR ranks the companies according to jobs posted so freelancers can choose the best fit for them.
WWR also makes transitioning to a freelance way of life better as they have both a blog and a podcast that they feature as part of their service. Additional services that freelancers might find useful are remote-focused learning events, career coaching, and one-on-one review sessions with expert LinkedIn professionals to ensure that users present themselves in the best and most effective way possible.
Any freelance artist or graphic designer will love this site. DesignHill offers a creative marketplace to showcase talents in logo design, graphic design, and web design.
The site’s users can create a store, set pricing, and sell their design work.
Since DesignHill charges service fees only from their clients, freelancers are assured of being paid in full for their design jobs and design contests.
Only available in certain cities in America, Taskrabbit allows freelancers to earn by completing tasks or simple errands. Available freelance jobs can be seen through the mobile app.
No service fees are collected from freelancers, but they need to pay a registration fee of $25 upon profile approval. An invoice for hours worked will be sent after completing every task, and employers will deposit payment directly to a selected bank account.
How to Get Hired as a Freelancer (even when you’re a beginner)
While there are countless opportunities online to find freelance work, there isn’t exactly a specific best freelance website because each freelancer and job is unique.
Users can be on multiple platforms and service several clients—research which site will be most beneficial for the available time and skillset. It’s also worth noting that freelance websites use a special algorithm to match potential freelancers to suitable jobs or projects.
The best way to get hired as a freelancer and make money online is to start looking for opportunities and building a personalized work portfolio. Numerous bloggers have chronicled their freelancing journey, which is worth looking into when starting.
Choose Your Freelancing Niche
To improve chances of getting through the selection process as a beginner freelancer, find a job that matches educational background and work experience.
The primary goal is to find a job board to get hired as a freelancer; then, the second goal is to build a portfolio and establish a reputation.
Website recommendations for those looking into technical and administrative freelance jobs are Upwork, Toptal, and LinkedIn. The types of work posted include, but are not limited to, data entry, customer support, and invoicing for companies ranging from startups to big corporations.
For creative jobs, the best freelance websites are Fiverr, Flexjobs, and Dribbble. Jobs on WordPress, for example, include freelance writing jobs as well as web development.
Start Freelancing Before You Quit Your Full-Time Job
A few things to consider when signing up for an account include the service fees, payment system, and withdrawal method. Freelancers must also be aware that some job postings are a scam. A beginner’s short-term goal must be to establish credibility online and have a set of legitimate jobs and clients that generate income.
The ideal time to leave a full-time job for freelancing is when the safety net is unnecessary because freelancing has become the primary source of income with potential growth.
Leverage Your Network and Connections to Land Your First Freelance Job
Networking is a tool that can help a career thrive.
Freelancers get access to numerous freelance jobs by building operational, strategic, and personal networks and connections. Connecting with professionals with the same skillset or those searching for the same job category gives a better understanding of how freelancing works and can also increase knowledge through the experience of others.
Such may be the stepping stone to landing your first freelance job. Putting yourself out for freelance writing gigs and letting your social media network know your strengths can help land your first freelance job.
Build a Professional Portfolio and Profile
After identifying the best freelance website for a skillset, users should spend their efforts building a reputation on that site. Doing so allows other employers to see their credibility and build trust for possible future contracts.
A profile that tells a story and presents the freelancer in the best way possible attracts more clients. Keeping the profile up-to-date is also a great way to become more visible and relevant.
Contact As Many Potential Clients as You Can
Job seekers are not limited to creating an account on a single website.
Most freelancing websites are free of charge, and new users can apply for freelancing jobs immediately. Posting a candidate’s expertise and work portfolio on multiple freelancing websites increases the likelihood of potential clients discovering it.
Beginning the freelancing journey might seem daunting and tedious but has become easier over the years. Freelancers simply need to create an account on any of the sites listed and will be on their way to getting matched with potential employers. Although it may take some trial and error to find a stable source of income, the benefits of reaching that point of job security are worth it.