19 Freelance job sites for landing your first client
You’ve got the skills, now it’s time to find the client. These 19 freelance job sites will help you land the job you want with the flexibility you need.
Best Sites for Freelancers:
With nearly 36% of America’s workforce freelancing, the market is competitive.¹ Simply choosing the right freelance job site can seem polarizing as more sites emerge to service the growing gig economy. Luckily, 77% of freelancers agree technology has made it easier to find freelance work, it just takes finding the right match.² These 19 freelance job sites are designed to make more time for billable work and less time finding clients.
Once you’ve chosen your platform, you have to go the extra mile to stand out in a sea of applicants. Make a profile that’s undeniably better than the next. Consider adding certifications and assessments, freelancer insurance, and a portfolio in your profile to legitimize your freelancing business.
Freelancer is an online network where anyone can post a project of any duration. Freelancers have a chance to bid proposals which will include a brief description of themselves, their profile and skill set, previous ratings, a project rate quote and timeline. A rating system keeps freelancers and clients accountable and increases the potential for future work.
Who it’s for: Freelancers in technical, professional and creative fields.
As an Upwork freelancer you’ll create a profile with your relevant skills and experience. Its algorithm will suggest jobs based on your profile to connect you with relevant opportunities, which are regularly updated.
Upwork works best for freelancers who use the platform often — the more successful jobs you complete, the more visible you’ll be to those hiring (and the lower your service fees will be).
Who it’s for: Any freelancer with talent for tasks that can be done on the computer.
Fiverr get’s its name by offering services that start as low as $5. As a freelancer, you’ll create a profile with the custom services you offer. Similar to Upwork, the more jobs you complete, the higher your rating potential and ability to charge more and land more gigs.
Who it’s for: Freelancers who sell digital services.
Toptal has made a name for itself in the freelance job site market by rigorously screening its candidates through an application process. It boasts the top 3% of all freelance talent by evaluating thousands of applicants every month and selecting the best candidates. Those selected have the opportunity to work with huge brand names like Airbnb, HP and Gucci.
Who it’s for: Front and back-end developers, quality assurance, designers, finance experts, project managers and product managers.
This job search engine functions by allowing job seekers to search by keyword, category, title or company. For example, use the search bar and type “freelance + [insert your skillset]” to find the best results on both contract and freelance gigs for your specific industry. What makes SimplyHired different from other freelance job sites is that it provides a salary calculator, in addition to local job opportunities. Freelancers can use this tool to see how their rates stack up to other freelancers in the area/industry.
Who it’s for: Jobs vary by availability and location, anyone can apply.
There are two ways to win business as a freelancer on 99Designs: through contests or per project work. Freelancers can browse existing contests and create a mockup to submit to the client. The client then chooses their favorites. The finalists will get feedback and have the opportunity to submit a final design. If your design is selected, you’ll receive a percentage of the contest fee.
Alternatively, you can work more traditionally with a client in a one-on-one capacity. Once you’ve negotiated a price, you’ll be paid per project.
Who it’s for: Graphic designers.
Skyword is a platform for individual content creators and full-service production teams. As a freelancer, you create a profile and an editor will select you from a database based on keywords and skills listed. If the database doesn’t have a contributor with the skills needed for the project, Skyword editors will custom-recruit.
Each writer is vetted individually through the platform and the client has the final say on hiring. Payments are processed via PayPal instead of an invoice system.
Who it’s for: Freelancing needs are primarily for writers but the platform also hires graphic designers, videographers, photographers and other creatives.
This freelance job site gives design professionals the opportunity to score work in six different ways. Freelancers can enter design contests, take on one-to-one projects, sell designs in the ready-made logo store or print shop, be hired to create custom logos, or other graphic design services.
For contests, Designhill offers an onboarding process that clients can submit a brief to. From there, designers submit their work and the client assesses it using star ratings. Once a winner is selected, the designer has two weeks to submit all of the required file formats to receive the prize money.
Who it’s for: Graphic, web, and other types of design professionals.
SolidGigs is a freelance job site that requires a monthly membership fee to outsource the task of getting clients. This platform includes different courses and tools members can access. The differentiator SolidGigs claims is the ability to handpick the top 1% of leads and send them to you in a neat little package a few times a week. It boasts that it saves you time searching for clients so you have more time for billable gigs.
Who it’s for: Any type of freelancer.
The PeoplePerHour online platform consists of freelancer profiles and client projects. Once a project is created, the platform uses an AI program to analyze the details and match the client with relevant freelancers. As a freelancer, you can submit proposals to projects that fit your skillset. When a client accepts, the money is transferred to escrow until the project is complete.
Who it’s for: Experts in anything.
Instead of creating proposals and finding clients yourself, Aquent recruits temporary creative talent for legitimate employers. This freelance recruitment service appeals to clients for its previously vetted candidates. As a freelancer, you’ll take proprietary tests and other assessments to connect you with relevant jobs.
Who it’s for: Freelancers and gig workers of all types.
Nexxt is a career network that connects freelancers and contingent workers to companies and recruitment agencies. Freelancing is free through the platform, while corporations pay a fee to list their positions. Submit your resume and apply to the available jobs directly on the site. The platform is not involved after you submit your resume, and the contract is the responsibility of the freelancer and employer beyond the application.
Who it’s for: All job seekers.
FreeUp is a mobile app and online platform that allows freelancers to offer their services at an hourly or fixed rate. The service costs a monthly fee to participate and freelancers must be approved through an application process that includes an interview to talk about past experiences and skills. Once a contract has been accepted, it’s up to the company and freelancer to decide the work specs. After the project is completed, payment is released by the platform which acts as an escrow account.
Who it’s for: Freelancers can offer any number of 85 skills listed on the platform.
14. The Creative Group
The Creative Group is part of the larger full-service recruiting agency, Robert Half. TCG recruiters offer guidance on resumes, cover letters and portfolios, along with training for interviews. Additionally, freelancers have access to online training and on-the-job support. Oftentimes, the short-term opportunities lead to longer-term opportunities.
Who it’s for: Creative pros seeking a job.
There are no fees to apply to jobs on WriterAccess. Initially, you’ll create a profile with your experience, writing samples and a test score. Writers are assigned a star rating between three and six, determined by their qualifications. Opportunities are either pay-per-word or pay-per-order. Freelancers are typically urged to complete at least one client revision and once accepted, payment is released.
Who it’s for: Freelance writers.
FlexJobs is advertised as a job search service for freelancers and flexible job seekers via a subscription. All openings are screened and verified for quality prior to posting. Similar to a recruiting service, the platform offers career advice, resume reviews and skill tests. Unlike a recruiting service, the platform does not place job seekers into their positions.
Who it’s for: Freelancers, telecommuters, part-timers and remoters of any skill set.
The TaskRabbit platform is a task-based platform that pays “taskers” an hourly rate. Taskers set up a profile with skills, pay rates and level of experience. The application then connects local freelancers to everyday people who need help with odd jobs. When a hirer posts a gig, taskers can respond with a quick pitch prior to selection.
Who it’s for: Freelancers who prefer odd jobs like moving, cleaning and handiwork.
Guru is a free, membership-based freelancing site that pays workers hourly rates. The more jobs you successfully complete on the platform, the higher your chance to charge a higher rate. The platform charges a service fee on the lower end of its competitors, at 8.95%. Similar to other freelance job sites, Guru has an escrow model called SafePay where clients submit payment prior to the project start date that is not released to the freelancer until project completion.
Who it’s for: Freelancers with web-based talents like programming and development, writing, design, administration, marketing and finance.
Hireable is an online job posting site that’s free for job seekers to use. Its platform functions with a keyword-driven search bar that freelancers can search for jobs with. The main differentiator is the ability for job seekers to set alerts for specific companies and positions they are interested in and get alerts when availability arises.
Who it’s for: Freelancers and full-time job seekers.
Freelance job sites make finding your perfect client straightforward. With over 50 million active users on the most popular platforms alone, your project is just a strong pitch away. Put your best foot forward when starting with new clients and create a strong profile that showcases your skills, added value like freelancer insurance, and a portfolio of your most successful projects.
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