I’m often asked by others questions like, “Where do you get job leads?” “How do you find clients?” And, “What’s a good source for finding work online?” Those are all pretty tough questions to answer, as there are several different ways to do so. But there are certainly some resources out there that are worth checking out.
It’s also worth noting that with so many users going after the posted jobs on those global outsourcing sites, it can be a bit difficult to land your first gig. Along with your test result scores clients often look at your feedback rating, so if you haven’t done a job yet you won’t have any feedback. Much like eBay, once you do a job for someone they will give you some sort of rating on how you did and leave feedback as to how their experience was working with you. You’ll find starting out that with no feedback it’s a little hard to get a response. You may want to consider making a hungry bid, coming in low on cost, and writing a stellar bid pitch and hope that the client is impressed with your placement tests.
Don’t worry though. Even if it make take a while until you land your first project, it will get easier with time. Having a well-structured portfolio with high-quality projects surely helps! So make sure you invest a lot of time in building your profile, adding relevant info and make it as professional as possible.
So, without further ado, here are our top picks for the best outsourcing sites for freelancers. Which ones do you already use? Let us know in the comment section below.
Upwork is the place to find freelancers and freelance jobs and has the largest online workplace where savvy businesses and professional freelancers go to work remotely! Upwork makes it easier for the world’s best businesses and independent professionals to find each other, so here is the place you can start your freelancer career.
If you haven’t already heard of, or aren’t already on Upwork, then you will definitely want to look into it. It’s an entire online community of work for remote freelancers that handles everything from the job posting to the payment. You can post jobs or bid on jobs in a system that’s very similar to eBay.
Each user can create their profile, allowing them to upload portfolio pieces and write a bio to let prospective clients know why they’re the best fit for the job. You can open a free account, which limits you to bid on jobs in one profession, and the most important thing to keep in mind when you first get on there is to take placement tests.
The tests will show what your skill level is in your area of profession. If you don’t have any test results on your profile then a prospective client will most likely quickly move on to the next provider, as they don’t know how good your skills are.
The process of being verified on Upwork is a little tough. This is a great source for finding work now and building long-term business relationships.
Guru is another online marketplace of freelancers and outsourcers. It connects freelancers and business-to-business start-ups to clients. The hiring process on Guru is easy, and many of the freelancers on the platform are extremely professional. It’s free and easy to post projects on Guru, if you’re looking for help.
If you’re looking for work you can create a profile, bid on jobs, win jobs, and get paid. If you’re curious what kind of jobs you can find on there, browse around and see if there’s anything that you want to bid on.
Claiming to be the world’s largest outsourcing marketplace, Freelancer is another great site to look in to. The format of Freelancer is just like the rest of the global market outsourcing sites, you create a profile, browse for jobs, and bid on them.
One thing I think is pretty cool about this site are the stats on the homepage. You can see a real time calculation of how many users, projects and dollars spent are happening on the site. It gets you motivated to find work and get going on it!
Also, the low fees are encouraging freelancers to use this platform for repeat relationships with their clients.
Compared to Upwork, it is a lot easier to find customers on Freelancer, even right from the start. A good profile helps, and once you get your first review, more clients will come. Just make sure you bid frequently and if you want to freelance professionally, buy a membership which lets you bid even more! Support is also very good and will answer you any questions you may have.
Tip: Always bid only on verified clients. This way you avoid scams and have a lower risk of consuming your bid on a fake project.
You won’t find nearly as many job opportunities on Craigslist as you will on those global marketplace sites like Upwork and Guru, but it’s certainly worth having a peek at every day or two. When I first got into freelancing I got a lot of work on Craigslist, in fact, some of my biggest clients to date are ones I got off Craigslist years ago. Keep in mind that you don’t have to limit yourself to your home city, browse other cities close by, or major cities for telecommuting positions.
About the author: with over ten years in the freelance web design and writing fields, Scott Stanton has had his finger on the beating pulse of the industry’s hottest design trends and bends for the past decade. Scott regularly writes for Wix.com the free website builder. Follow him on Twitter @TheScottStanton.