23rd November 2017
Many industry veterans and employers consider freelancing to be the new normal in future. Stakes are high that in all likelihood it will live up to these expectations. At least that’s what the current trends seem to indicate. The emergence of the start-up culture in India and its subsequent popularity has boosted the demand for the country’s freelance population - a growing community of qualified and skilled professionals who offer their expert services to a diverse portfolio of global clients in the capacity of independent consultants and who choose to work from the comfort of their homes or any other location of their preference in lieu of location-bound full-time jobs.
These days, plenty of opportunities exist for freelancers in the form of interesting and high-paying projects that seek the unique skills and expertise of such independent consultants. However, spotting such opportunities is not an easy task, especially if you are new to this field and are yet to develop a compelling portfolio for yourself - one that is meritorious enough to help you successfully beat the competition that exists in this crowded space and credible enough to earn you the attention of prospective clients.
If you too are a budding freelancer who is aspiring to build a successful career in this field but unsure of how to land your first professional assignment, then you can seek advantage of the below freelance portals that are a rage among upcoming and experienced freelancers alike. These platforms are much in demand owing to the flexibility that they offer to such professionals by allowing them to bid for the projects of their liking, letting them quote their desired ‘per hour’ or ‘per project’ rates and giving them the freedom to schedule their working hours according to their own pace and personal commitments. All these websites provide individuals like you a one of a kind platform to showcase your repertoire of skills and talents to clients from all over the world and help you bag challenging projects that are exciting and personally satisfying to work on and lucrative enough to compensate for your absence of a full-time monthly salary.
Founded in 2003 and headquartered in Mountain View, California, Upwork is a leading freelancing website that is reputed globally for its impressive client portfolio and its vast pool of multicultural and geographically dispersed talent. A buzzing freelancer marketplace with a staggering 3 million jobs published on it annually, Upwork boasts a mind-boggling freelancer base of 12 million registered users who earn more than $1 billion every year via short-term and long-term projects posted by the platform’s 5 million registered clients.
What makes Upwork click with experienced and novice freelancers alike is its wide range of job categories encompassing work areas as diverse as web, mobile & software development, IT & networking, Data Science & Analytics, Design & Creative, Writing, Translation etc. One can narrow their search to specific categories based on their areas of expertise and leverage the platform’s real-time chat window and time sheet application (Upwork Desktop App) to connect and collaborate with clients and keep a track on their productive hours respectively. The platform levies a processing fee on its clients, which can be charged per payment or as a flat monthly fee. Freelancers too have to pay service fees for availing themselves of the platform’s functionalities and features. Freelancer fee rates vary, depending on the nature of engagement and on one’s total earnings from a particular client.
Launched in 2010, Fiverr earned its name from its vision to aid lean entrepreneurs in scaling up their businesses by helping them source affordable freelance services for as little as $5 per job. With more than 3 million services listed on its site, Fiverr allows freelancers the opportunity to offer gigs at varied prices across multiple domains, including Graphics & Design, Digital Marketing, Writing & Translation, Video & Animation, Programming and Business. While the website is a godsend to its clients who can avail themselves of quality services at dirt cheap prices, it may not come across as a profitable option to talented and experienced freelancers owing to its multitude of low-priced gigs and its high freelancer commission of $1 for every $5 worth of gig sold to the clients.
Truelancer is yet another reliable name in the expanding freelance marketplace. Aspiring to create a community of trusted freelancers, the website features talented professionals with miscellaneous skill sets. Depending on their needs, clients have an option to choose from a vast pool of Logo Designers, Web Designers, Web Developers, Content Writers, SEO Consultants, Mobile App Developers and Programmers among others. Independent service providers can also benefit from the gamut of projects listed under a host of categories. While the platform is free for use for its buyers, sellers or freelancers have to pay a service fee in the range of 8-10% of their billed amount, based on their membership plans.
A relatively new name in the world of freelancing, Contentmart is a rapidly growing content marketplace which is solely focused on providing multilingual content writing services to domestic and international clients. Employing a user-friendly interface that is easy to use and navigate, the platform promotes seamless collaboration between content seekers and content providers via its in-built chat window and through calls facilitated by its support team. As a client, one can shortlist and select writers based on a host of criteria, such as one’s expertise in a particular genre of writing, client reviews and ratings from past work, copywriting level, order acceptance rate, deadline adherence and other individual metrics. Unlike many other freelancing platforms that restrict the number of bids that a freelancer can make in a stipulated time period, this platform does not impose any such limitations on its registered writers - a definite plus for the site. However, as a freelancer, your main disadvantage is the high platform commission rate of 20% that is charged to the writers while free services are enjoyed by the clients.
Another formidable name in the collaborative space, Aileensoul is a unified repository of 5 different categories of services, its ‘Freelance’ profile being one of them. The promising platform aspires to assist people in shaping rewarding careers for themselves by offering them unique career-related services, such as an avenue to look for job opportunities, a profile for recruiters to connect with job seekers, a platform for freelancers to reach out to employers and bag remunerative projects, an opportunity in IT and other business professionals to network & collaborate and a global stage for creative souls to showcase their hidden talents to the outer world.
Apart from equipping one with a variety of career-propelling services under one roof, what makes Aileensoul a great launch pad to kick-start your freelance career is its ‘free for all’ business strategy that makes it profitable for both clients as well as freelancers. Once you register yourself as a freelancer, the portal lets you browse through miscellaneous projects and apply to the ones that best complement your skill sets and pricing specifications. A hassle-free chat service encourages prompt communication between the freelancer and the employer while the robust interface enables an individual to exploit the site’s umpteen freelance opportunities in an effortless manner, without the customary obligations of a service fee or the bureaucratic platform-mediated communication protocols as witnessed in case of other freelancing sites.