The age of the gig economy has arrived. About one in three workers in the US are currently doing freelance jobs, and that number is only predicted to grow. Some use freelance work as a means for extra spending money, while others have built a whole career or a digital nomad lifestyle from it. If you think freelance work might be for you but aren’t sure where to get started, check out some of these freelance websites and other tips on finding steady gigs.
Over the past few years, several freelance websites have popped up that act as platforms for gig workers to easily find jobs. Kick start your freelance job search with these posting sites.
Upwork is easily one of the most well-known freelance websites out there. Millions of jobs are posted every year in categories like writing, design, customer service, and development. It’s a great starting point for someone who is new to freelancing and hasn’t yet established a strong portfolio of clients. The only downside is that jobs on this site tend to pay a bit less since there’s such a large pool of freelancers competing for work. However, you can always use the platform to develop long-term relationships with clients who value your work and are willing to pay more in the future.
Another popular freelance platform Fiverr is famous for its gigs that pay as low as $5. That might not sound like a lot of money, but many of these lower-paying gigs are actually mini-tasks that don’t take very long to complete. Knock out enough of them and you’ll eventually be raking in a substantial paycheck. There are also plenty of bigger jobs on the platform that pay more, you’ll just have to work a bit harder to score them.
If you have design skills, this is the freelance platform for you. As a 99designs freelancer, you’ll have two ways to find work: get hired directly by clients, or submit work to open calls and compete for jobs. You’ll have the opportunity to design everything from business cards to T-shirts to entire websites. One big advantage of using this website is that you’ll never have to worry about your pay; 99designs demands upfront payment from clients and releases the money to you once the job is complete.
Good writing jobs are hard to come by, but BloggingPro makes it easy. Blog owners can post freelance, part-time, and remote gigs that involve any type of content writing for the internet. Simply browse the list of jobs and look for niches you think you’re qualified for. Just be prepared to show a strong portfolio that demonstrates relevant knowledge and experience, as you’ll probably be competing against other experienced freelancers.
Toptal is a platform for more experienced programmers and other technical experts to find high-quality jobs. There’s an intense screening process that involves a language and personality evaluation, skill review, multiple interviews, and test projects. If you pass, you can expect to start getting projects from major companies such as Airbnb and Pfizer. Pay for these jobs will be higher than other sites, but you’ll have to work for it.
Although there are plenty of freelance websites out there, some freelancers grow frustrated with the sheer volume of competition and difficulty finding jobs that pay well. However, if you’re willing to do some digging, you can often find freelance work through social media. Most of these jobs are never posted on freelance platforms, so you’ll be able to beat the competition if you can act quickly.
Do you have an active Twitter account? If not, it might be time to make one. Individuals and companies looking for freelancers will sometimes tweet asking for recommendations from their contacts. These tweets are easy to find with a few clever searches. Try looking for posts that include “looking for a freelancer” or “freelance writer needed”, hashtags like #freelance, and even accounts that are dedicated to posting open freelance jobs.
A few tips: make sure your profile photo and bio are presentable, include a link to your portfolio, and double check your tweet history to make sure a client won’t stumble across anything unprofessional.
LinkedIn is another great social media platform to find freelance jobs. Hopefully, you already have an active account that includes a photo, short bio, and your work history. If you’re planning to use LinkedIn as a freelancer, however, don’t be afraid to update your profile to include work samples and a link to your portfolio website.
Once everything looks good, you can use the job search function to look for the keywords “freelance” and “remote”. There are also LinkedIn groups for some freelance niches that you can ask to join. Don’t be afraid to reach out to connections or simply make a post stating that you are looking for freelance opportunities.
Whether you’re an experienced specialist looking to go freelance, or a budding writer or designer looking to take on their first assignment, these tips will set you on the path for freelance success:
Freelance work isn’t always easy, but many people find that the quality of life is much better and that the rewards come eventually. Keep in mind that you’ll save money and time when you no longer commute to an office every day. As a freelancer, you can also set your own hourly rate, which means that you can give yourself a raise when you need it instead of having to ask your boss for one. The hours are flexible, so you can adjust your schedule to fit personal errands, childcare needs or side projects.
Above all, you’ll be free to work from anywhere, opening up opportunities to move or travel. Being location independent and adopting the lifestyle of a digital nomad carries much appeal. Seizing on the flexibility to set your own schedule gets taken to a new level by choosing a new corner of the world.
If you’re thinking about relocating, look into fully furnished apartments from companies like Blueground. They design homes with comfortable workspaces and other amenities made for busy professionals. They offer ready-to-go homes in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. Their apartments are bookable from abroad meaning you’ll have the keys and amenities up and running on arrival. You’ll find that becoming a digital nomad is easier than you thought.
Have you always wanted to write for a food magazine? Or maybe you’re passionate about motorcycles while skilled in web design. The breadth of freelance assignments out there is impressive and you have the choice for which projects to take on. This also means having the flexibility to pick up projects whose timelines fit your own. That’s not to say that the odd rewrite request or last-minute edit may keep you up past your bedtime, but with careful planning, you can budget and allocate time to fit your schedule.
Freelancing, when done right, will have you grow professionally even faster than in a full-time job. Defining and refining your personal branding and marketing materials requires a marketing executive’s hat. Dealing out your elevator pitch and following up on leads will train you as a salesperson. From taking on a variety of projects across industries, you’ll be educating yourself about the latest projects and market developments in real-time. Both the fast pace expected of deliverables and the diversity of clients is what draws many to agencies in the first place,
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