In our increasingly digital world, there are more ways to share your talent online and get paid to do the work you love than ever before. Check out these top websites as you develop or start your freelance career.
Toptal is tailored to the freelance elite, aiming to only accept the top 3% of freelancers onto their platform. Their focus is primarily on technical talent in software, finance, and project management.
You apply to specific gigs in the platform, and hires are notified within 48 hours of your contracted work. Larger businesses tend to use this platform, so you'd have the chance to bid for well-known companies through Toptal.
Skyword is a content marketing platform that is especially geared towards freelancers with marketing, graphic design, and/or content writing experience. Skyword functions less as a job board and more as a "go-between" that matches clients with freelancers that have the skills they need.
Freelancer reviews of Skyword have been generally positive. Also, there is no fee required to sign up. However, there may be long stretches on the platform without any available work, which means Skyword may be better utilized as a source of supplemental rather than primary income.
Freelancer is a site with a huge variety of gigs. Whether you are a techie or more creative, there are gigs on Freelancer for you.
This is a great platform for more seasoned freelancers, as it's a spot where clients go for high-quality work. You'll typically be paid per gig and will encounter a mix of large and small companies looking for talent on the platform.
It's no secret that LinkedIn is the most widely used social media network among business professionals. One of LinkedIn's less famous yet still widely utilized tools is ProFinder.
This feature allows prospective clients and freelancers to connect with each other by means of an automated algorithm designed to match job candidates (and their skill sets) to particular job postings and projects. The system shows you potential clients looking for your services and you can submit a proposal for each.
If you're already present on LinkedIn and have your profile and resume set up, then ProFinder is a relatively easy "next step" to finding more work. However, ProFinder comes with a big disadvantage: a monthly subscription fee of at least $47.99 to continue using this service. Obviously, this may be an exorbitant price for many freelancers to pay.
People Per Hour
People Per Hour offers a huge variety of gigs, ranging from traditional copywriting to 3D printing. If you've got unique talents, this is probably one of the best sites to let your particular passions shine through on your profile. You might be the perfect freelance fit for any of the businesses that frequent the site. Overall, though, the site’s largest gig categories are design and marketing.
People per hour is free to join, and once you get a gig, you'll pay a percentage of your earnings to the site on a sliding scale: 20% for projects less than $700, 7.5% for projects between $700-%7,000, and 3% for projects more than $7,000.
Mediabistro is a job board site with a heavy emphasis on the media industry. There are a ton of full-time job listings on Mediabistro's board, but there are also many freelance opportunities available, including work for copywriters, editors, publishers, and so forth.
One particularly nice feature that Mediabistro offers is a training program that helps freelancers to hone their marketing skills and broaden their knowledge base. Of course, since Mediabistro has a much narrower focus than the other sites mentioned above, you may need a very specific skill set to find success with this platform.
Flexjobs is the site for you if you are looking for remote, part-time opportunities in gigs like software and graphic design, but there are also some more unique roles for jobs in niches like translation or environmentalism. It is free to sign up for Flexjobs, but you'll need a paid subscription to take their skills assessments and get better visibility from other competitive applicants on the site.
SolidGigs is more than a job board. It's a community of freelancers working together to curate the best gigs from a team of freelancers who give their top picks for gigs from their research each week. For the cost of $19 a month, you can also take advantage of the freelance course library on SolidGigs, an incredible resource to help you develop the skills you need to get your dream gig all in one spot.
Fiverr is a very popular site for freelance creators who are looking for work to build out their portfolios. On Fiverr, you are able to define what kind of service you offer, and this can be as general or specific as you like - the key is to find the audience who loves what you offer. Once you've made your profile, clients will contact you and pay upfront for your services.
While you can adjust your Fiverr pricing, most services range from $5 to $20. Additionally, Fiverr has a "Pro" status that puts you higher in the search bar. To earn that status, you often need to have a large number of jobs completed with great client ratings. This can lead to freelancers undercharging for their services, which can make it difficult to compete.
Guru is a general freelance platform, so you can search for your dream gig by the keywords that you are interested in, and you'll get a list of offers that fit your particular skill sets. Using that search on Guru can help specialized talent find that perfect fit fast.
One feature that Guru offers is the ability to search for gigs by those with verified payment methods, ensuring that you only spend time capturing real client leads that will pay you for your time on time.
Dribbble is a great place for designers who are looking to apply for gigs fast. They have a huge selection of gigs from all sizes of companies, and you can create a freelance profile with samples of your work for all potential clients to see. Dribbble makes it easy for designers to apply to gigs directly from within their system, making reaching out to new clients a quick and seamless process.
99 Designs is built for creatives who are passionate about sharing their work with new clients. On this platform, you'll enter a “contest” that clients put out for designs, and have the chance to be hired when you win. It's a great platform for designers to get a chance to have their work shine while working with a variety of big and small clients.
Upwork has a global client audience, with about one-third of its users coming from the US. With Upwork, you control how much you make by setting your hourly rate. However, you'll pay a percentage of your earnings on any successful Upwork project on a sliding scale: 20% on all projects less than $500, 10% on projects between $500-$1000
While there are a variety of jobs available on Upwork, software and marketing services seem to be most popular. Remember, platforms like Upwork can lead to "race-to-the-bottom" pricing wars between freelancers, and they take a significant cut of your revenue. So use Upwork wisely.
A top recommendation for tech-savvy freelancers of all types is to consider Periodix, a service using artificial intelligence to sort the right jobs for you. It will give you a list of potential gigs that are tailored exclusively based on your skill sets. If you're curious, take a moment to sign up and get your own personalized list for free.
Each platform offers a unique value for your freelance journey. Ultimately, I recommend using several to get a sense of the types of gigs and client communication you have a preference for.