Freelancing can honestly be a career path for those who want to do it on the side or drive to do it full-time. There are different sites that market freelance services and freelancers. It is becoming more common now as there is no responsibility for companies to pay health insurance or paid leave.
It also benefits workers who want more of a work/life balance and other perks of remotely working.
I have entered the freelance world and from browsing online, had encountered ten providers and signed up for several of them. I want to discuss my personal experiences with companies that are a marketplace for freelance services.
UpWork is a website I discovered through a LinkedIn feed. I liked the look of the site and it was easy to sign up. I chose the rate of pay and built a portfolio and a profile. I was collecting unemployment so did not actively apply for positions. You are allotted tokens to use to apply for jobs. I submitted tokens for some, and many of the proposals were never opened. They give you reviews, tips for the rate of pay, and payment verification to see if the party who is hiring is authentic. I submitted proposals and did not see results. I upgraded to the $10/month plan to potentially get better results and visibility. One bid was accepted, and I was messaged that I was moved to the short list. It turned out to be a web design position for two celebrities. I engaged with the hiring person (their photographer), and he had me update my cover letter six times. He had me on the phone for over an hour brainstorming and had me submit questions and ideas in an MS Word document so he could edit it to get me the job. After spending, I would say, 8-10 hours working for this gentleman, I received a blanket rejection message through UpWork. After all of the time this man had me doing this and doing that, he didn’t even possess the human decency to contact me directly.
Fiverr was recommended by a friend who was bustling with blog work. I signed up, and there was no initial fee. I had to set my prices and was allotted five or six gigs. I would see no results and would adjust my gigs regarding features and prices often. I still did not receive work. It seemed unbalanced similar to UpWork. They offer Fiverr Pro, which you apply for and Fiverr determines if you are a Pro, similar to LinkedIn ProFinder. There is no fee, but preferential treatment in what I had seen. I was not hired for one single gig, so I do not know if both parties pay a fee once the work was completed. I canceled my account after two months of having no success. I shared my profile on social media, updated it, lowered my prices, and had no clients contact me.
Izea had emailed me regarding a partnership with Pinterest. I signed up. I had allowed them to post three tweets to my Twitter on 10/12/18 and did not get paid as of yet. I submitted proposals for blog requests and did not hear back. I have not received a Creator Content email in two weeks now. I have an active account, but question why because I have not seen results.
Medium offers the option to write an article and get paid for it, but it needs to go viral to earn. I have not had much luck with that and had a much larger audience on my website.
PeoplePerHour yielded me no results and I signed up from seeing a sponsored social media post. Sharing to my platforms, they would like or retweet, but nothing would come from it.
Writers.work captured me in those dreaded Facebook ads. I signed up imagining a door would open of endless possibilities. It serves a purpose for a writer who cannot invest in a website and would like to manage a page of content. I had no use for it because as you can see, I have my own site.
Freelancer.com required banking information. I was desperate for work and gave the information for payment. Immediately after, my bank shut down my bank account and warned me that I was involved with a fraudulent company. I also was getting many proposals and the offers were false with fake accounts. Clients would message you to SKYPE, and vanish.
Virtual Vocations is a company I had encountered, possibly through LinkedIn. I registered for free. I attempted to apply for a position I was interested in, and it prompted that I needed a paid membership. They offer three different subscription plans ranging from $15.99-$59.99. I never did pay because I was fed up and found no success through the other sites. This company is also very aggressive with their email campaigns. I have attempted to unsubscribe and continue to receive emails. They focus on various vocations, hence the name.
FlexJobs, I had discovered through my Facebook feed since Facebook has this mysterious mind-reading ability. The company has surged in popularity and even host some LinkedIn learning videos. If ProFinder wants to compete with them, they may want to find different instructors and offer variations of courses. That is my observation from the business-minded side of me. They provide free email notifications, which I did not subscribe to and naturally a paid membership is required. They offer monthly ($14.95), Quarterly ($29.95), and Yearly ($49.95). I did not try this service so cannot speak to it and can only state that it is popular and requires payment.
Freelance Writing Jobs directs you to a website that is not the name of the company, but a variation. I somehow was subscribed to from applying to a position on another platform. After researching it, is connected with FlexJobs, which as we know, requires a paid subscription. I was receiving weekly emails and finally was able to subscribe as far as I know.
You need to be careful and do your research. As with every other experience, you have the potential threat of being scammed or spammed.
Many of these services provide free 30-day trials and allow the freelancer to give it a test drive. I can say that canceling these services was not difficult. I only had issues with Freelancer, the company that my bank had called out as being fraudulent.
In closing, this was not worth it for me. If I did pay for a subscription, I received nothing out of it. The communications were either too overbearing or too scant. It is called FREElance for a reason, you have your own freedom.