If you’re a sole proprietor or a small business, then you might benefit from checking out a freelance marketplace to hire services or to provide your own.
If you’re not already familiar with freelance marketplaces, these are websites where people can hire professionals on a contract basis to complete certain kinds of work, and where professionals can advertise their services. Examples of these sites are Guru, Upwork, Freelancer, 99designs, Envato Studio, and SEOClerks, but there are dozens more. Both parties benefit from conducting business in a safe environment. In return, the marketplace takes a percentage of each transaction.
Some of these marketplaces are geared for specific industries while others are all-encompassing, but in general, they can be used for tasks in writing, translation, design, software development, IT, analytics, engineering, sales, marketing, legal, accounting, administration and consulting. So if your business is in need of one of these services, or if you offer one, registering for the free or paid versions of these sites may be worthwhile.
Benefits for Employers
Pay For Only What You Need: As a small business owner, you may not have the budget or the need to hire a copywriter, designer, developer or administrator full-time. You may not even need to hire them part-time. You may only need help on an as-need basis, for varying hours during the week, or just in certain seasons. This is when hiring a freelancer can be your best option. You’re outsourcing some of your work so you don’t have to do everything yourself, and you’re getting professional services without having to worry about things like vacation days or healthcare benefits.
Lots of Talent in One Place: When you register on a freelance marketplace, you don’t have to spend hours scrolling Google search listings for someone who fits your needs. In many cases, the talent will come to you when you post the job, and then you’ll get to pick from a pool of applicants who you’d like to hire.
Can View Histories of Contract Workers: When searching for a contract worker, it can be hard to tell who’s actually experienced and who’s just talking a good game. With freelance marketplaces, you can get a pretty good picture. Depending on the site, you may be able to see how many jobs they’ve completed, how much money they’ve made, client reviews, and test scores that measure their industry knowledge.
Secure & Easy Payment Options: Working on a freelance marketplace means you don’t have to worry about which contractors accept which types of payment methods. Instead of paying the contractor, you pay the marketplace however you choose, which then pays the contractor once the job is complete.
Tips Employers Should Know
Benefits for Freelancers
Can Advertise Your Skills: When you make a profile on sites like Upwork and Guru, it’s visible on search engines too, so someone in your community could be looking for a software developer, a virtual assistant or a blogger in the area, and then they find you. You then have the choice of conducting business on or off the marketplace.
Easy to Find Work: Increasing your SEO, creating a content marketing strategy, and joining your local chamber of commerce are all great things you can do to help you gain clients. Unfortunately, these methods can take weeks, months, or even years to really pay off. With freelance marketplaces, you can bid on a job today and start work tomorrow.
Bigger Client Base: Unless you’re in a very specific industry, a business that searches for contract services isn’t going to see your website if they live in a different state. At least, not unless they type your business name into the search bar, and even then, depending on where they’re located and how many other companies have similar names to yours, they might have trouble finding you. When you’re part of a marketplace, people from all over the world can see your profile and hire you for their services, making your client pool significantly greater.
Trust in Transactions: Because employers are required to dispense their funds into an escrow account before a project can begin, you can take comfort in knowing the client is serious and has the means to pay you for your services. Should a problem regarding payment arise, many of these sites have some kind of mediator or informal court system to help sort everything out.
Tips Freelancers Should Know