The Freelance (Gig) Economy is growing exponentially. The numbers of platforms on which companies can list jobs growing by leaps and bounds to accommodate them. That said, to succeed in the world of freelance you must understand how these platforms work.
To succeed and get paid what you’re worth – and more – you first must know how to navigate these freelance marketplaces. Part of navigating them is knowing the rules, how they work. And how to make them work for you.
If you don’t know that, don’t know what’s required from the start – say those who tell us how they struggled because they didn’t know – it will become difficult to reach your goals and the success level you desire.
First – It’s important to visit a variety of freelance platforms to check out the various types of jobs available. Plus to view each platform’s rules and guidelines. Here’s a few:
* Field Nation
* Liquid Talent
As you view the freelance platforms be sure to check out whether they are free or set up membership style where a set fee is charged monthly.
Fees can range from free to $10 and up to $29 per month. Although it’s easy to cancel your membership, you should know how cancellation works when you join.
Here’s an example of Upwork; one of the top freelance platforms:
Upwork.com has 4+ million clients and opportunities for almost any type of professional, regardless their skills and expertise, to join and get hired.
A sampling of projects available on Upwork as of this writing:
* Web, Mobile and Software Development
* Data Science and analytics
* IT and networking
* Engineering and architecture
* Design and creative jobs
* Writing jobs
How does the Upwork platform work?
First you must first set up a Profile:
Consider your profile as an introduction, resume, and personal marketing brochure; one which highlights your career and background. Says Upwork – “It must be complete, well-written, error-free. And provide a friendly, professional-looking photo of yourself.”
Here’s a few of their guidelines:
–Create an outstanding profile which clearly describes your experience, background, expertise and skills.
–Include information on your education and certifications
–Post information about your accomplishments
–Add several recommendations
Finding jobs – here’s what Upwork says:
“On Upwork companies post a concise description of the available job on the job boards. If you’re qualified to complete the job, submit a Cover Letter with an introduction, sharing work experience related to the job at hand along with a brief description of your general expertise. Include a link to your Upwork bio page”, blog, site or portfolio page where your work examples are available.
“Keep your cover letter simple, to the point, with clearly stated facts about your expertise. If a company chooses you, they will contact you.”
“Once a company chooses to hire you, and you agree on a job fee, they must submit that amount to Upwork; where it stays in the Upwork escrow account until you have completed the job and the company has approved.” Many companies use this method. Or, your profile should include information about how you prefer to be paid. Note: It must be – within reason – similar to Upwork’s payment system.
“A company can choose to pay you per hour or per project, whichever they choose.” If you don’t agree, you’ll likely turn down the job. For hourly projects, you – the consultant or freelancer – should bill the hiring company once per week. If a company chooses to pay you for example, $20 per hour, Upwork keeps a 10% commission fee.
Another way in which you can be paid, via Upwork, is through the ‘Milestones’ program. Before starting the work, you and the company must agree to this. This program allows you to be paid in stages. For example – when you reach and/or complete a specific goal. If you prefer to be paid in ‘Milestones’, request to be paid in ‘milestones’ when you send your Cover Letter along with your Bid to the potential client – before work starts. Once the hiring company agrees to this, it’s formally set up with Upwork. Again many companies, looking to hire from these platforms, will have a similar or the same program.
You’ll be paid via Upwork’s secure payment system. Upwork will release funds to you after you have met each pre-set milestone and the hiring company ‘approves’ work done. This system assures you are paid for all work completed and approved.
Toptal (from the list above) is one of the top tech freelance job sites. They require you to test. Jobs on the site include – * Android developers * Html 5 developers * API developers * iOS developers* .NET developers. They also have jobs for creatives. Such as –
* Adobe Illustrator
* Digital Designers
* Freelance Illustrators
* Graphic Designers
* Logo Designers
For these positions, you must provide links to your portfolio as proof of your expertise. You may also refer a potential client to your recommendations as added proof of your work and expertise. Toptal is one of the few companies who require testing.
On the other hand, the PeoplePerHour freelance platform has a variety of ways in which you can discover work you possess the skills and expertise for, as do most of the other sites.
>>1) Search the site for jobs.
>>2) Sign up for daily notifications for specific jobs wanted.
>>3) Send out proposals to companies who advertise jobs you’re interested in; send up to 15 proposals per month.
>>4) Post a video in the “Hourlies” section – post in minutes, get a job in hours. ‘Hourlies’ allows you to add in a quote/bid and photos; hit ‘post’ and wait to receive job hiring requests.
On almost all freelance platforms, you must be a U.S. resident and prove it with some type of verifiable U.S. ID. Every freelance marketplace platform verifies your ID and address. Plus you must have a verifiable U.S. contact number.
On the other hand, you can join and get work from most freelance platforms if you possess what is generally referred to in the U.S. as a ‘Green Card’. Plus you must include a current photo of yourself.
Whether a client wants/needs to message you or vice versa, all freelance platforms have a built-in system for that. In some cases you can also provide a phone number and times when you can be accessed.
All platforms strongly suggest asking for a recommendation once the job is completed. This is the way more jobs come your way – without having to search for them.
Reading the small print:
While each company listed within this report has its own rules, and legal rights, you should review them before joining. Once you sign up or join, these rules become – in effect – a contract.
Legal User-Generated Content and Portfolio Information and Rules for Sites:
In general, each freelance platform supports the fact that any of what is considered ‘user-generated content’ – items uploaded as part of your portfolio – are owned by you (the member).
As with all other scenarios in which you must sign a form of some type – agreeing you understand the rules and what’s expected of you – read the guidelines for each group you decide to join carefully (most freelancers join several).
To succeed and reach your freelance goals you must know what is required of you – from the start.
Jean L. Serio CEIC, CPC, CeMA, CSEOP