Wandering For Money

Sell your Talents (Freelance version) – 4 Freelance Platforms to Start Out With

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4 Freelance Platforms to Try Out

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Got a talent? Want to make money on it (dumb question because duh you do) Is it something you can sell and promote on an app or via another platform? Well there probably is an app or site for that – welcome to freelance.

Freelance speeding off to next job

Freelance Apps and Sites

No matter where you are at in life, you have skills that may help generate some significant cash flow (or a little or none or passive type – point is there’s a chance). Here’s my list of some freelance apps and sites to start out with. This will be part 1  of a series of posts because there are plenty out there and some are more niche. If you are starting out, these are a good few to try out and get some exposure to what this type of work is like.

4 Apps and Sites to try out beginning Freelance

1. Fiverr

  • Available on the App Store and Google Play.
  • As the name implies, you sell your skills for $5. However, this is NOT a hard and fast rule. There are very many success stories of users gaining traction and thus able to raise their prices. Sometimes, quite substantially.
  • What is cool about this app: you are in absolute control of what skill or service you want to offer. Some are very out there so this may be a good place for those of you that are a bit creative.
  • You also decide the price. You can start at the Fiverr $5 rate but you can also opt to set a different one. $5 sound too small? Well, add-ons are a cool feature so you get customers that then decide what little extras they want. Basically a win win here. You have a base rate and just like with the main service, you define the add-ons (although for some categories Fiverr may offer some helpful suggestions to guide you) and the price of adding on this additional aspect. For example, if you post an offer to write a content post of 500 words for $5, you can have a list of add-ons such as $1 for each extra 100 words, $2 for SEO, $5 for a picture, $5 for research, etc. This is purely to illustrate the concept – because, again, you decide the service and the price. Same with add-ons. But this is a neat feature unique to Fiverr and can help boost your income by not scaring away potential clients while still giving the option of providing a little more for a little more $.

Pros and Cons

  • What can be difficult with this site is you do need to promote yourself. It has grown to many users. Since you are defining your job and any extra add-ons, it is entirely up to you here to define what you will do, give a great description, promote, determine base price, include add-ons for extra fees, etc. This may require some research and comparison to see how others are doing.
  • Also, be prepared because MANY are willing to do a lot of work for very little pay and so focus first on getting your first few clients. Otherwise, you are competing against many others that will work for less almost all the time.
  • If this sounds like it’s right up your alley, go for it! And if you can do something pretty unique, you can maybe score some great money for doing exactly what you defined as wanting to do!
  • If you have a sought after skill as well, it’s worth a go to try. Just try to promote yourself too and be ok with accepting low pay at first. That has led some to millions but you have to start somewhere.

2. Freelancer

  • Available as an app via App Store and Google Play. Also, can be used via its webpage.I personally prefer the webpage and find it easier to navigate but the app is still good for searching available jobs and messaging.
  • Popular freelance site.
  • Rundown: you start out searching for applicable jobs and applying. And applying. Clients can also contact you directly.
  • Depending on your skill set, you may face some stiff competition because of the number of users. So it’s hard for newcomers. This is a common theme among freelance platforms.
  • Technical skills such as programming, website development, application development, and SEO services will likely fare better than writing, proofreading and editing – the latter have become very saturated. And you will see extremely low rates as a result.
  • Again it is worth trying out. The most you have to lose is time – but try to temper how much you spend if you are landing no jobs. Getting the first client or first few is difficult but then when you develop a portfolio, it is a bit easier from there. There is no way to predict which freelance site will have those first few clients for you.
  • Note you can pay to be featured. I have not tried this, but it is worth mentioning.

3. Upwork

  • A VERY popular freelance site.
  • As a free member you receive a certain number of “bids” each month which you use to submit applications to jobs. Warning: you complete a resume first which does not take much time if you import from LinkedIn especially, but some applications are also similar to a series of multiple cover letters just with specific questions. Then you may have an interview and then an offer. So a lot of lead time for just potential jobs.
  • Be careful with this site. My experience is there are rules advising not to communicate outside the platform for a very good reason. If someone wants to interview you via Google+, there is no legitimate reason why they cannot interview you instead through the Upwork site. And unfortunately this can cause you a lot of wasted time.
  • Upwork has many different skills tests that freelancers can take. The score and your percentile among others that took the same test, can be posted on your Upwork resume. Note that this is up to you. So if you do poorly, you can choose not to include it. Helpful incentive to try them out and see.
  • I have not tried this personally, but have seen recommendations to ask a friend or family member to hire you for your first job. Just so your profile shows some experience at least. Fact is: it’s hard for newcomers when they are competing with anyone given that the site shows hours worked, number of jobs completed, client ratings, etc.
  • Along the same lines, if you have some channels that allow you to do this, promoting your profile can help get you started. Any jobs completed on this site shows other potential clients you have been hired already which in a sea of anonymity, can certainly help land you more work.
  • Can lead to offers from clients for full time jobs. Also has some postings for contractual or longer term projects.
  • Has an app available but I would recommend sticking with the site as the app is a bit buggy for me.However, if interested, it is available on the App Store and Google Play. The app can be very helpful for keeping up with messages from clients.

4. Moonlighting

  • Available here: App Store and Google Play.
  • Cool app where you can post services you offer and/or search jobs available, which range across typical freelance categories (writing, website development, virtual assistant, tutoring, marketing, etc.).
  • Has both remote and local jobs available. Local jobs may be moving services, mowing lawns, cater gigs, babysitting, etc. So this is a bit different than the other platforms mentioned so far which are all remote-type work.
  • You also fill out a profile which is like a resume. This can help you get discovered among potential clients.
  • Pay is negotiable for a lot of job postings, but the ones that define pay I would say are setting it very fair (and way more than fair if you compare to other freelance options, ahem Upwork).

Some final thoughts

Huge word of caution so you do not get frustrated; set your pay expectations very low in the beginning. And budget for that. Remember- you are an anonymous stranger on the Internet. For a client to trust you and pay you more, you will have to start somewhere to build a portfolio and some feedback. And the rates will not be great at first – and this also has to do with some will accept jobs for next to nothing. They are your competition.

This line of work isn’t for everyone. And can be extremely frustrating. It can also be fantastic if you have the right skill set, marketing abilities, other income at least at first, desiccation, and thick skin.

This is not to scare you. It is what I wish I heard more of when I looked into it. Realistically the popular blogs discussing the amounts they make just won’t be you most likely. Not at first. And know that’s ok! Because would you hire some anonymous stranger on the internet knowing absolutely nothing about them? No ratings. No proven work experience. Well I wouldn’t. So that’s why you have to start out somewhere and be willing to work hard to build this. And don’t lose faith in yourself.

Now you go try!

I will update in further postings with additional platforms and my experiences with them.

In the meantime, try a few out and see how you do. Let me know your experiences!

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2 thoughts on “Sell your Talents (Freelance version) – 4 Freelance Platforms to Start Out With

  1. you know, once i applied to upwork and my profile was rejected. something about them having too many profiles offering the same thing and keeping their services quality services I wasn’t even able to take tests, because i think i needed to be approved before i could do that.

    1. That’s interesting. There are very many profiles on there and to be honest, I cannot tell if the tests helped me too much. I think it is hard at the beginning to get started. My guess is if you tried applying later, they may let your profile through. But if you are competing against that many people, it may not be worth your time. For writing and editing, the rates can be very, very low.

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