Nowadays, most enterprises have moved online or integrated their operations into an online platform. Schools, hospitals, large and even small businesses have moved some of their activities online and, thus, accounts for the rapid increase in self-employed jobs from home.
Online jobs can be delivered on an online platform without necessarily being present in an office setting. Since these online tasks arise often and require different skills to solve, which would cost firms many resources to equip their employees with, there has been an increasing dependence on freelancing.
Freelancing is a sort of arrangement whereby an individual offers their services to a client for an agreed period, and in return, is paid compensation for their services. Freelancing jobs usually take short durations to be completed, but in some cases, long contracts are spanning several years.
This continued reliance on freelance services has necessitated the creation of freelancing sites. These are sites through which potential clients can meet skilled freelancers to complete the projects for them.
As a freelancer, you’ll need to join a freelancing site to access a vast pool of jobs as well as to build your client base.
How to choose the Best Freelancing Site?
Because landing a freelancing project online is a tedious task for any freelancer, be it a pro or beginner, freelancing sites have come into the picture to solve this issue.
The catch here is that as a freelancer, you’ll need to have a thorough knowledge of every freelance site before settling for which ones to ply your freelancing career with. To separate the chaff from the grain, you need to understand the dynamics of operation, features, working, and the fees for each site.
That said, here are some of the factors you need to check out when choosing the best freelancing website to use.
1. Customer Support
Customer service is one of the fundamental pillars of any business in any field. When using a freelancing site, you’ll inevitably run into some challenges. There is, therefore, a need to be assured that someone will hold your hand and guide you out of the situation, no matter how sticky it is. Therefore, you should go for freelancing sites whose customer support has an extensive knowledge base and vast experience to answer all your queries.
To gauge the site’s customer support level and performance, you’ll need to look through online resources and forums for the feedback given by other freelancers using the site.
2. Terms and Conditions
When signing up for any named freelance site, you’ll be hit with a ‘Terms and Conditions’ clause for which you are expected to read and agree. The clause is legally binding, and you, therefore, need to be careful with it. Once you sign the contract, there is no detracting from it.
You need to carefully read through this section and look for loopholes that might be used to exploit your hard-earned freelancing income. Also, check for conditions that you might have difficulties following and, if possible, avoid the sites having such.
The Terms and Conditions should be simple and easy to follow at any given time.
3. Size of Network
As common with large freelance networks, you are often faced with stiff competition from people with the same skill set. Many freelancers will opt to join the ‘big’ networks, and as a result, the site will charge comparably higher commission rates.
Another challenge associated with large freelance networks is the difficulty of navigating their fully packed platforms in search of the right jobs.
Therefore, your safest bet of establishing an excellent and well-paying freelance career lies with the small freelancing networks. This is because you will enjoy lower commission rates and less competition, which is a perfect incentive to flourish your career.
4. Commission Fee
The commission fee that freelancing sites charge is another crucial factor to take into consideration. Commission fees are charged directly on your earnings and thus eat into your profits, and it is something you cannot afford to overlook when deciding on which freelance site to join.
You will need to compare the commission fees across the various platforms you are considering joining. As a rule, never accept to be charged higher commission fees while there are cheaper alternatives. It will also do you more good to steer clear of freelance sites that charge a percentage fee. The main reason behind this is that the more money you make with these sites, the more they take from you.
Best Freelance sites for general freelancing jobs
These are freelance websites having a large market for the various freelance skills in the market. They offer countless exciting opportunities for those involved in the freelance business, be it a writer, developer, Virtual Assistant, marketer, or photographer. These consist of both sites that offer ‘work-from-home jobs as well as those that require on-site work.
If you possess more than one freelance skill, these might be the sites to start and land your first gig because of the vast number of jobs posted on their websites.
- 20% for <$500 USD.
- 10% for between $500- $1,000 USD.
- 5% for >1,000 USD.
Upwork was created out of a merger between two former freelance site giants, namely oDesk and Elance. Upwork is now one of the best freelance sites. This move enabled it to consolidate its strengths and boast one of the largest pools of clients and freelancers.
With over 1.5 million clients, Upwork is the site to find a lot of freelance work. On the other hand, be ready to face stiff completion, and you’ll need to outbid and outshine other freelancers to be contracted for a particular job.
Websites like Upwork have an excellent work pool to choose from. These can either be:
- long-term or short-term projects.
- hourly or pay-per-project work.
- entry-level or expert-level jobs.
To launch your freelance career in Upwork is simple. All you have to do is fill out your profile, set your hourly rate, and be vetted. Once accepted, you can choose to wait for clients to read your profile and contact you or browse through their job list, select the projects you like and then bid for them.
If you can write a great proposal, the chances are that you’ll get hired for the job.
The kind of jobs that Upwork has in its extensive work pool include:
- Customer service
- Mobile development
- Web development
- Virtual Assistant
20% for earnings < USD 700.
7.5% for between $800 to 7,000 USD.
3% for earnings >$ 7,000 USD.
PeoplePerHour is a great site to join for anyone in possession of an in-demand freelance skill. This is because, with its large pool of jobs, you stand a great chance of being spotted by the right client and thus land your first freelance job.
PeoplePerHour is free to join, and all you need is to set up your profile. Create a profile that clearly defines your skills and indicates whether you wish to be paid per hour or project. The next thing is to wait and hope to be hired for a project. A lot of freelance work is available on this portal as well.
The job categories available on PeoplePerHour include:
- Social media management
- Web development
- Software development
PeoplePerHour is easy to use platform. Clients post jobs, and you are matched with clients who have posted a job matching your profile. You are then asked to set a quotation for your work, and if the client approves it, you get hired. Alternatively, you can offer your skills for a fixed price, and in the process, stand a better chance of being picked directly by clients.
FlexJobs Cost: 14.95/month
FlexJobs is the best freelance website for beginners with remote, part-time, and highest-paying self-employed jobs spanning over 50 categories. FlexJobs offer you hand-picked and thoroughly vetted jobs. The site’s team of researchers has analyzed these jobs to ensure their legitimacy.
It is comforting for any freelancer to know that the jobs, positions, and companies they are toiling to apply for are legitimate.
As a FlexJob freelancer, you can also take part in skill tests, read up on tips for informed job searching, and get special discounts. FlexJobs gives freelancers access to their vast resources such as webinars that teach them the dos and don’ts of freelancing and hacks on how to land better clients.
Service fee: 20% of the project
Fiverr is a unique freelancing site in that it works in albeit a different way from traditional freelance job sites. On Fiverr, freelancers have the unique ability to create the jobs they can best perform. This is so unlike other sites such as Upwork and PeoplePerHour, where clients have to post jobs for freelancers to apply for.
Freelancers on Fiverr are responsible for marketing their services to companies. This is best achieved by using keywords bound to appear on different searches to place their services in corresponding categories.
Another unique feature about Fiverr is that freelancers will typically charge USD 5 per project- that is where it got its name. However, this price is not the final price but merely the starting price for the services offered by Fiverr freelancers.
|HOURS ON ASSIGNMENT WITH CLIENT||CONVERSION FEE|
|0 to 499 hours||30%|
|500 to 2,000 hours||15%|
|More than 2,000 hours||10%|
Aquent is a freelance site that provides ongoing work for digital marketing and creative professionals globally. Aquent lists on its website that it only accepts people with 2+ years of work experience, but they still hold their doors open for new graduates.
They offer freelancers the ability to work either remotely or on-site. There are also tons of contract-to-hire jobs on their site for freelancers to grab.
The kind of jobs available on Aquent’s work pool include:
- Video production
- Digital design and content
- Web development
- Mobile development
Aquent reviews a freelancer’s talents, soft skills, technical skills, and work portfolio to create a ‘Talent Profile,’ which helps clients find the right freelancers and employees.
Aquent offers free online courses to train and equip freelancers with practical skills to help them find better-paying gigs. Freelancers can also easily find keywords and locations of their preferred jobs. They can also browse through all the available jobs in their selected area.
Service fee: For fixed price projects, they deduct 10% or $5, whichever is greater.
With over 32 million registered users, Freelancer boasts of a great job pool that has over one million projects available for freelancers at any given time. Landing a job might be more challenging than you think, as many freelancers are ready to work. You’ll need to outshine and outbid all the competition to land those lucrative gigs.
Freelancers can submit up to 8 proposals per month for free, after which they must upgrade to a paid account.
The problem with Freelancer is that you can easily be scammed. You are therefore advised not to take a contract outside the platform.
7. The Creative Group
The Creative Group operates on both full-time and freelance job sites.
With The Creative Group, it is easy to start looking for your first freelance job since all you have to do is upload a resume or LinkedIn profile. You are then matched with opportunities that align with your interest, and you can then submit your application for the job.
The type of jobs available at The Creative Group site include:
- Graphic design
Guru is a great freelancing site for individuals who believe they have what it takes to convince clients to hire them. All they have to do is bid for a job and then send a quotation to the client.
Guru has an excellent search filter. It allows you to refine your job search using specific keywords, skill category, budget type, and specific location.
Remotive is a freelancing site having over 100,000 easy freelance job posts per month. It serves freelancers in fields such as education, engineering, and customer support.
LinkedIn is a great social network for businesses and professionals. This makes it an excellent place for freelancers hunting for their next freelancing gig.
LinkedIn dedicates its services to finding new leads and clients for its outstanding pool of freelance professionals. LinkedIn notifies them through their email to apply for the job whenever a client posts a job that meets freelancers’ expertise.
LinkedIn is regarded as more of a freelancing facilitator rather than a regular freelance site. This is because once a freelancer has established a connection with their new client via the LinkedIn inbox, they can exchange contact emails and phone numbers with them to ensure smooth arrangements about the project.
Toptal careers match millions of freelancers to startups, businesses, and organizations. Toptal has freelancing gigs for people dealing with software development, graphic design, finances, and project management.
Once you join Toptal, your profile will be visible to big companies such as Hewlett-Packard and Zendesk.
As the name suggests, Remote is a freelance site that posts a list of remote jobs anywhere in the world. You can directly apply for the jobs you like from their website.
Nexxt claims to have millions of jobs, hundreds of sites, and thousands of companies, a perfect combo for any freelancer. It also has a tab that leads you to focus on career sites.
Craigslist is popular with employers due to its broad reach and low job posting fees. Freelancers also don’t pay a dime to search for job postings and to apply for them.
Every major city has its own Craigslist board making it easy for freelancers to land local gigs. At the same time, those keen on expanding their opportunities can also use checklists of other cities.
- Working Nomads
- Genuine Jobs
- Cloud peeps
Best Freelance Websites for Designers
99 Designs Freelance Site
Platform fee: 5-15%
15% introduction fee for $500 billed.
99 Design is a freelance graphic designer website that connects clients with designers for different projects. They have jobs for freelancers dealing with logo design, custom illustration, and branding, among other projects.
99 Designs have gained an excellent reputation through its design contests whereby clients send a project brief, and designers submit their designs in a bid to win the project. Finalists and contest winners get their client introduction fee waivered by the platform.
The only shortcoming of 99 Designs is that in as much as the design contest allows the clients to pick the best designers, the freelancer is not paid anything unless their design is chosen.
AngelList is a great freelance site that connects freelancers with start-up opportunities. Apart from designers, it is also an excellent platform for coders. In addition, employers post their jobs for free at AngelList.
Commission fee: 30%.
Envato Studios has some of the best opportunities for designers, developers, coders, and engineers.
Their signup process is simple, and freelancers only need to set up a profile that showcases their work and rates. They then wait for clients to contact you. However, they will have to undergo a review before being selected to join Envato Studio’s community of freelancers.
- Art Wanted
- Design Crowd
- Envato Studio
- Smashing Magazine
- Working Not Working
- Graphic River
Top Freelance Websites for Writers
As always, writing commands a sizeable portion of the freelancing job market, and as a result, is one of the most competitive freelancing jobs.
You can always sign up for a writing freelance career and stand a chance of building a name for yourself if you take advantage of freelance sites and their job postings.
Some freelance work from home sites you should check if you are looking for your first freelancing gig.
Freelance Writing Websites
Freelance Writing Gigs operates partially as a job board and partially as an online resource for writers and even editors.
Freelance remote writing jobs scour all the corners of the internet, looking for the best freelance jobs that suit writers. All relevant results from their search are posted twice a week alongside various tips on improving your writing skills and how to build an excellent freelancing career. You can even apply for freelance editing jobs.
With Freelance Writing Gigs, you don’t pay anything to use their site, and also, you are saved from the tedious task of searching for easy freelance jobs. The only shortcoming is that some jobs on their website are outdated because they only update their job posts twice a week.
Commission fee: 15%.
Contently is a platform that connects brands with writers working on projects such as blog posts, white papers, and case studies. To land a writing gig in Contently is quite simple- all you do is create an online portfolio showcasing your best work and wait for clients to contact you.
Contently has one of the best paying writing gigs with clients willing to pay between $1 and $2 per word. Their main shortcoming is that you’ll have to wait for weeks or even months for your profile to be approved.
Commission fee: Free.
Journalism Jobs cater to journalists in search of their next job. It has a variety of journalism jobs, including both editing and writing ones. The only problem is that you’ll have to sort through tons of full-time jobs before landing your next freelance gig.
Canadian Freelancing Writing
Canadian Freelancing Writing is the best freelance writing site that targets freelancers who are specifically from Canada.
- Freelance Writing Jobs
- Paid to Blog
- Freedom with Writing.
- Morning Coffee Newsletter
- Freelance Writing
- All Indie Writers
- Writer Access
- Blogging Pro Job Board
Freelance Platforms for Photographers
Suppose you are that person who is always found with a camera lens, probably more significant than your head hanging from your neck. In that case, there are freelance sites that will offer you satisfying compensation for your photography work. The following sites are some of the best places to trade your skills for cash.
- Photography Jobs Central
- Journalism Jobs
- Photography Job Finder
- Photography Jobs Online
- Freelance Photographer Jobs
- Get PhotographyJobs
- The Creative Loft
Top Freelance Websites for Virtual Assistants
Virtual assisting has been gaining popularity amongst small business owners. They can easily hire someone to do tasks such as booking and confirming appointments, making travel arrangements, reservations, updating their calendars, and receiving and making phone calls on their behalf.
This individual does not have to accompany them everywhere but conducts these services from any place of their convenience, provided they have a computer and reliable internet access.
Some of the best freelance sites to land a Virtual Assistant job are:
- Amazon Mechanical Turk
- VA Networking
- Assistant Match
- Fancy Hands
- WorldWide 101
Freelance Sites for Editors
If you are the individual who has a knack for rooting out grammatical mistakes that some people might overlook, great freelance opportunities await you. You can sign up for a freelance site and stand a high chance of landing editing and proofreading jobs. Being a proofreader, you must use a copywriting app. Some of the sites dedicated to matching freelancers with clients having editing and proofreading projects include:
- Production Hub
- Stage 32
- Assembly TV
Freelance Sites for Marketing and Salespeople
For people in the sales and marketing fields, having a freelance site to practice your skill for additional income is always good. You can always freelance with the following freelance sites:
- Salesforce App Exchange
- Skip the Drive
- Free Up
Freelance Sites for Customer Support
Although you will find almost all freelance sites have freelance jobs for customer support experts, none are better dedicated to freelancers in this line of business than the following freelancing sites:
- We Work Remotely
- Virtual Vocations
- Support Driven
Freelance Sites for Data Entry
Businesses always have the task of entering data into databases or document platforms. The easiest way they can do this is by enlisting the services of freelancers. All you’ll need to perform these functions is a computer and data program.
The following freelance sites are dedicated to helping freelancers to land data entry gigs.
- Click Worker
Freelance sites for Tutors
For individuals who have a career in teaching or own technical skills that some people are interested in learning, they can start a freelancing career as a tutor. All they’ll have to do is conduct online classes through a freelancing site. Alternatively, they can create a learning video and post them on the site.
Some of the best freelancing sites for tutors include:
- Tutor eye
- TutorPace Inc
Freelance Sites for Translators
For people who have the blessing of communicating in different languages, there might be a way to turn that skill into dollars. You can start a freelancing career where you will be paid to translate from one language to another.
The following sites are the best platforms to ply your trade as a translator.
- Translator cafe
- Translator Base
Best Freelancing Websites for Beginners
If you are new to freelancing, landing your first gig might prove to be more difficult than you thought. However, some freelancing sites are designed in such a way that it favors newbies. They dedicate their services to helping new freelancers to secure their first projects.
The following are some of the best freelancing sites for newbies:
- College Recruiter
The Benefits of Freelancing
The following are the benefits that freelancers derive from their work:
- Freedom to choose your clients.
- Control over workload- since you have the privilege of deciding which jobs to work on and when.
- Flexibility- you get to choose when to work and where to work from.
- Being a freelancer allows you to gain exposure to various jobs and employment companies.
- Freelancing work enables you to enjoy independence from employers as you operate solo.
- Freelancing is a source of income
- Gain more professional development.
Getting ready to apply for a Freelance Job
1. Choose a Niche
Once you sign up for a freelance site, the first few days are exciting, as you will come across various interesting projects to work on and get paid. As you will find, it would be hard to pass on these changes. How can you pass them, yet that is the sole reason you signed up?
With time, you’ll realize that the more you get deeper into your freelancing career, the more you’ll find that you need to be strategic on what work you do and what type of clients you take on. This is because with specialization comes expertise, and with exercise will come the ability to charge more for your specialized services.
Knowing that clients will always choose a strategist over a generalist, it is essential that you wisely choose an area of specialization you are comfortable working on. This enables you to quickly climb the ranks and attain the ‘Pro’ status for the skill you possess.
This decision will give you the chance to land clients explicitly searching for the skill you have. Once you choose the right niche, make sure you specialize and put some effort into branding yourself as an expert in that niche. Even though specialization offers you fewer job openings than being a generalist, it will pay off in the future once you’ve established your reputation.
2. Get clear on the services you are offering
Choosing the kind of services you will provide to your clients is an important decision you need to make early in your freelancing career. It is as simple as defining what you do and what you don’t do.
The good thing about this is that the more specific you are about the services you offer, the better it is for your freelancing career. This is because it helps brand yourself, control potential client’s perception of you, and gives you the golden opportunity to further build and steer your portfolio in the direction of your choice.
It is sometimes irresistible and even necessary to consider the short-term benefits of having a steady workflow by diversifying your work pool by taking up projects from different niches.
However, you’ll need to know that accepting and working on projects that are not geared towards improving your portfolio and setting you on your way to being the best freelancer in your field has consequences. It will not only be a distraction, but it will also delay you from achieving the ‘sought-after’ status in your niche.
That said, if your dream is, let’s say, to be a highly paid copywriter, however tempting a contract to do a website rewrite is, you shouldn’t even think twice before turning it down.
3. Get a picture of what your ideal client looks like.
Since freelancing is in many ways similar to normal working, there are several levels and types of clients you can work with. You need to develop a clear picture of what you expect your clients to be like rather than working blindly with any client you come across.
This helps narrow down clients to the ones you can best work with and help you to pitch your services to the right clients effectively. You can choose to work with small business owners, small startup firms, high-tech startups, or even big enterprise companies.
To come up with your ideal client list, you need to check whether they meet the following conditions:
- It’s a business having challenges that you can solve with your services.
- The business should have the funds to hire you.
- You should be able to identify with the demographic trends of the business’s decision-makers. These trends can be age, gender, geographical location, or even their interests.
Target the clients that can instantly relate to you and the services you offer. This will help confidence around you that you can replicate your results for their businesses.
4. Create a high-quality portfolio
As a new freelancer, you’ll often find that you don’t have a lot of past working experience to show and convince your would-be clients that you are their best shot at the job at hand. A great portfolio will do the trick.
Invest your time and creativity into carving out a great portfolio and carefully choosing what to put into it and how it will display. This is because a portfolio is one of the greatest ways to show your technical skills and convince clients that you are serious about your freelance career.
An ideal portfolio should do the following;
- Showcase your expertise in that field.
- Show who you are.
- Highlight relevant past experiences.
- Include your contact information for potential clients to reach out to you.
The main purpose of creating a portfolio is to inform, spark interest, and convince potential clients that they’ll be better off choosing you for there to technical skills.
5. Make sure you have another source of income
Freelancing is not like a walk in the park. It is not like you to apply for your first job and get hired straight away. The early few days are hard as the income is unsteady and unreliable. It is, therefore, essential that you have another income stream to pay off your bills.
Having another job or source of income rather than relying wholly on freelancing while starting gives you the chance to be selective on what jobs to take and which ones to turn down. It puts you in a position to choose the jobs that will pay enough to justify your time investment. You also get to work on gigs that you are genuinely interested in.
Having no other source of income while starting your freelance career will see you slaving away on boring and poorly paid jobs.
6. Improve your skills
The best way to convince prospective clients that you are worth the price or justify your high rate is to show them that you have the highly demanded skills that they are after.
To improve your skills, be it writing, building WordPress websites, or any other skill, you will need to practice building side projects you want clients to pay you for.
Bear in mind that excellent project examples to show your skills automatically give you an edge over your competitors. This means that you stand a better chance of landing the jobs that you’re applying for.
Another important point worth noting is that highly trained freelancers command a high price tag that clients are willing to pay for. They often get paid more than less qualified freelancers for the same project.
This does not imply that you are disadvantaged for your lack of training in a particular field. There is a way out. Enroll in online classes in that particular field to better equip yourself and get your level with your highly trained competitors.
7. Decide how much you will charge
The rate accompanying your profile, coupled with your skillset, is crucial in determining your perceived value. Make sure you are charging a price that you are comfortable with. A rate that is enough to make a comfortable living out of.
Remember that most clients won’t mind paying higher rates to freelancers who give them a fantastic first impression that convinces them of their ability to deliver high-quality work.
Before setting your price, first, know your Minimum Allowable Rate (MAR). This is the least fee you are willing to accept for your services. This is reached by determining the price worth the actual value you will be creating for your potential clients.
You can always start at the MAR value and negotiate higher pay as you continue seeing your contract.
Send Proposals: The art of setting yourself apart from other freelancers
Every freelancer’s dream is to wake up one day and be able to pursue projects that capture their eye with the confidence that they stand a higher chance of landing the job. To do this, you’ll need to be able to craft out winning proposals consistently.
To win these bids requires you to be unique and to stand out from the crowd. You need a solid recipe to write proposals that address the client’s needs. Needless to say, this will take some time to perfect, but with the following tactics and hacks, you will be able to confidently submit proposals that’ll win jobs in no time at all.
Hack 1: Answer the client’s unasked questions
When clients go through freelancers’ submitted proposals, they are often looking for answers to some interesting questions they expect to have been answered.
The irony is that they haven’t directly asked these questions, but they’ll still want answers. The answers to these questions are important to them and play an instrumental role in hiring or not.
The following are the questions or somewhat invisible questions you must address in your proposal.
Invisible Question 1: ‘Are you able to handle my project?’
Every client wants to know without any linkering doubt that you can complete their specified project. You should not overlook this by thinking that if you show them that you completed similar projects is enough. Assure them that you are dedicated to completing their project.
Remember that sending a proposal and winning the project isn’t the end. The real job is delivering on your contract. Quitting the process midway will not only earn you negative reviews but will also inconvenience the client.
You, therefore, need to understand, respect, and acknowledge this critical aspect of a client’s psychology. Grab this opportunity to assure and convince them to hand you the job.
Invisible Question 2. ‘Are you able to make my life easier?’
You must realize that clients are constantly striving to make their already complicated lives easier. That is why they want to hire you to do a project for them rather than doing it themselves. They are always searching for proactive freelancers that are easy to work with and not another headache to deal with.
Craft your proposal in such a way that it will be a sample or a preview of what working with you would be like. Make it straightforward. You need to get rid of the notion that your proposal is another freelancer’s pitch’.
Since clients will be combing your proposal for such clues, you need to master the hack of showing them bits of what you can do. This is best achieved by doing things like slipping a few relevant examples of your work into your proposal rather than sending a link to your entire portfolio. Most clients will appreciate you going out of your way to save them both time and energy.
Invisible Question 3: ‘Do you care about my goals?’
Clients, like you and me, have goals and dreams of their own. They are outsourcing talent to help them realize their dreams.
Most freelancers have no idea that clients hire based on three aspects, not two. They think hiring decisions are based on freelancer skills and rates and fail to realize the third factor- the client’s feelings towards them.
Clients always yearn to know that you’ll be more than just a technical hand. They’ll want to know that you’ve got their back at all times and that you are willing to go the extra mile in helping them to succeed in what they are doing. This can be done by giving suggestions or informed insights where you deem necessary. Clients would appreciate this, and as you’ll find, some clients would choose you more for your attitude than your price tag and technical skills.
Hack2: Avoid ‘doctored’ proposals
Having a pre-made template that you constantly edit and submit as a proposal for various projects isn’t that bad in that it saves you time and energy. However, this makes your proposals sound generic if you are not careful. This will lead to failing to address the client’s specific needs, and the results can be disastrous. It can end up costing you tens of thousands of dollars in income a year as a consequence of clients rejecting your proposals.
Therefore, the best thing to do is to invest some extra time and energy in cranking up great personalized proposals to go with each job post. It is also advisable to borrow some ideas from past proposals that worked. However, never copy-and-paste a pre-written proposal.
Hack 3: Keep your proposal short and direct to the point
As much as anyone loves a good life story, desist from the urge to input it in your proposal. Rest assured, no client will read it, so you better save it for your grandkids!
Clients are people who have a lot of stuff to take care of. They would appreciate you sending them short proposals rather than huge chunks of texts they won’t be having the time to read. Piece up a proposal that is as short as possible to save the client both time and energy.
Make sure your proposal quickly addresses the client’s ‘pain points.’ These are basically what the client needs you to do for them. This will help convey that you clearly understand the job post and what the client expects from you. They will have the urge to hire you as they will realize that you care about them and are willing to satisfy their needs.
Hack 4: Quickly capture the client’s attention
A proposal is much like a new series you’ve just checked out on Netflix or brought from your local movie shop. If it doesn’t hook you up with its first episode, you will not sit through the remaining episodes. The logical thing would be to discard it and look for another one.
A proposal has the same effect on clients. If it fails to capture their attention quickly, they won’t check out the rest of your proposal.
Hack 5: Add relevant examples of previous work to the beginning of your proposal
The best way to prove to a client that you can succeed at their project is by showing them an example of a similar project you have already done. The conventional way of doing this is by attaching samples at the end of your proposal. However, most freelancers have attained tremendous results by including samples in their proposals.
All you need to do is creatively place a link to your past work in the third or fourth line of your proposal. This will lead the client to check out your samples early on, and they might even decide to hire you without reading through the remaining part of your proposal.
This tactic is not limited to writers only but is also applicable to any freelancer working in any work category. Even for new freelancers who have no past jobs to show for their skills, they can easily create sample pieces of work similar to the client’s project. This will show the client that you have what it takes to succeed at their job. As a rule, never do a sample piece on the client’s specific project, as that would be equivalent to doing the job for free.
Hack 6: Do not limit yourself to the client’s budget
As a requirement for most freelance sites, clients must specify their budget for a particular project. This is always a great guide to what price you will quote for your services.
Sometimes, you may come across a project for which a client has quoted a low amount compared to the service they are asking for. Do not shy away from such projects as you are the one having a better sense of how much your services cost.
If you are confident that your services will add value to the client’s project, don’t be afraid to ask for a higher fee than you deem justifiable. The baseline here is that there is a possibility of quoting a price higher than the client’s budget and getting hired for the job.
Hack 7: Be professional and friendly
As freelancing is all about business and requires utmost professionalism, never forget to be friendly. To start, you can address your client by name if you happen to know it. If you’re working on Upwork, this is quite simple as all you do is just head to the client’s feedback section, and if you are lucky, a freelancer might have addressed them by name.
Also, note that an introduction like “Hello Mr.Client” sounds more personalized than starting with a typical “Hi”. Addressing clients by name enabled you to build rapport with clients, and they will often head straight to your profile to check whether they know you.
You can also send your proposal with a friendly and professional line like “Thank you for reading my proposal” or “Warmest regards”.
How to successfully negotiate your freelance rate?
As with any job, at one point in freelancing, you will need to negotiate your rate. However, it is sad to see that most freelancers are not comfortable doing this, and most of the time, end up settling for a figure less than their actual worth.
Negotiating your rate is that you fear that asking for too much will create an impression that you are greedy and overconfident. On the other hand, asking for far too little would end up in underpayment or appearing to be unsure about yourself. It is, therefore, a requirement that you know your way around successfully negotiating your rate with clients.
To excel in this, you need to follow the following guideline.
1. Know your worth
You will never know the ideal rate you should charge if you don’t know what you are worth. To come up with your worth, you need to consider your education, years of experience, several projects you have completed, and the skills you possess.
Also, the amount of time, energy, expertise, and expenses such as internet and electricity that the project would take. This will enable you to come up with a figure that you will feel comfortable working with.
Have this figure in mind while negotiating your rate, and try as much as possible to settle for an amount worth your investment.
2. Choose how you want to be paid
As a freelancer, you have the option of choosing to be paid per hour or project. In some cases, though, the client is the one who decides how to pay you. The good thing is that you have the power to choose which projects to work on.
If you want to get paid by the hour, you can target projects that pay in that way. If you prefer to be paid a lump sum upon completing a project, then go for projects that use that payment method.
3. Refer to previous jobs
It is easy to base your rate on the size of pay you’ve gotten paid to work on similar projects in the past for continuing freelancers.
For newbies, however, it is a little bit tougher, and you will need to employ tactics such as using the salary calculator to give you a rough estimate of what a full-time or part-time job in that field would pay. You can then calculate your rate while using this as a reference figure.
4. Be willing to negotiate
As with life, you don’t always get what you want. To better position yourself for this reality, you will have to make compromises if need be to ensure that you are not shelved but instead reach an agreement with your client.
To determine whether it is worth accepting a lower rate than what you would like, consider factors such as the prospects the client company has for you, their size and budget, the easiness of the project as well as any other benefits you might enjoy by taking up the client on their offer.
5. Avoid settling or giving in too fast
As much as you would want to be reasonable with a client, you should never settle or give in quickly to their request that you lower your rate. If you feel that you deserve the rate you are asking for, you have every right to fight for it.
Try as much as possible not to take them up on the first figure they throw at you as there is always room for raising it. If need be, settle on middle ground but never accept a rate that you are uncomfortable and unhappy working with.
6. Insist on getting your rate in writing
Even though most clients on almost all freelance websites always give you your rate in writing after you have agreed on it, this is not always the case. Some clients and companies aren’t that much into writing written contracts, and your case to them might just be usual.
However, you need to press them to create one for you, and if they turn down this request, you need to reevaluate and decide whether you are comfortable working with them without a written contract.
7. Seek advice
You always have friends or mutual connections that work as freelancers. Reach out to them and ask them for recommendations on the best tactics to use while negotiating your rate as freelancers, as they might be more experienced than you.
They might even have an idea of which freelance sites pay fair freelance rates and even those currently hiring.
What to do once you land the job?
Once you have crafted your award-winning proposal, got the client to respond to you, and have successfully negotiated your rate, the only thing remaining is for you to close the deal with that ‘It will be a pleasure working with you’ line. The important thing is that you have succeeded in landing that project that caught your eye earlier on.
The ball is now in your court, and all you have to do is deliver on your promise to the client. To ensure this happens, do the following:
- Make sure you deliver your work on time, as no client will put up with late submissions.
- Deliver high-quality work to justify your price tag.
- Do not be afraid to ask clients for clarification on some unclear parts of the project.
If you do all these, you will realize that it would be easier for you to deliver on the client’s ideal project.
You are guaranteed that the client will leave positive feedback on your profile. If you impress them even further, they will not hesitate to recommend you to other clients in addition to being in pole position to be hired should they have another similar project.
Frequently Asked Questions about Freelance Websites
1. What is a freelance site?
A freelance site is a website or platform through which clients who have projects, be it short-term or long-term, find freelancers to work on these projects. It can also be viewed as a platform through which freelancers find clients.
2. How do freelance sites work?
Freelancing websites operate as a link or medium for clients to find skilled freelancers for their projects. They simply bring together clients and freelancers.
3. Do freelancing websites provide jobs?
The answer is a simple NO. Freelance sites do not offer jobs but simply give freelancers a medium for finding work. The various jobs posted on freelance sites are not their own but belong to clients using the site.
4. Who can join a freelance site?
Anyone. Freelance sites have no restrictions on who can join their ranks. As long as you have a relevant skill or service to offer to members on the platform, you are welcome to join. Some sites, however, require you to pass some tests before they can accept you.
5. Which is the best freelance site?
Since various freelancing sites cater to different freelancing categories, it would be unfair to just come up with a list declaring one freelancing site as the best and the worst. It is advised that you join a freelancing site that caters to the freelance niche you want to major in.
Remember to check the freelance site’s online review to see the other freelancers’ feedback about the site and, thus, determine whether it is the best one for you.
For newbies, you can start by joining one of the listed general freelance sites.
6. How do I signup for the freelancing website of my choice?
For most freelance sites, to sign up, the process is as follows:
- Fill in the sign-up form in which you will be asked to create a unique username, set your password, provide a unique email address, and confirm that you read the site’s Terms and Conditions.
- Confirm your email address – when you submit the site’s registration form, they will send a verification email to the email address that you provided them with. The email has a link that you are required to click to activate your account.
- Create your profile -as earlier said, as a freelancer, your profile sells you to new clients by giving them an overview of your skills. Most freelance sites will require you to complete your profile before you can start bidding for jobs. You will be required to upload a photo, create a professional headline, and fill out a summary about yourself and your skills.
7. As an employer, how does a freelance site help me?
The most significant benefit an employer can real from using a freelance site to source staff is that you gain a competitive advantage over your industry competitors. This is because you have access to a highly-skilled global workforce they might even have no idea about.
For small and medium-sized businesses that have a low budget and can’t afford to hire full-time staff, top freelance sites offer you a chance to work with the best freelance staff in the market. All you have to do is post a project and Pzaam! Just like that, you are fully and affordably staffed.
8. As a freelancer, how do freelance sites help me?
Using the best freelance sites enables you to work from the convenience of your home and, at the same time, access a global network of businesses and jobs in your niche of operation. They afford you the luxury of working on what you want, whenever you want, and from wherever you want.
Freelancing sites are an essential part of every freelancer’s career, and since you’ll need them at any point, be sure to choose the one that best works for you.
Happy hunting, freelancer!