Top freelancing services in 2021 based on user statistics
Top freelancing services in 2021 based on user statistics
What is freelancing?
Freelancing is considered to be an interesting way of self-employment where skilled individuals offer their services to clients usually on an agreed contractual engagement. The luxury in freelancing is the fact that the freelancer gets to set their own work hours, routines, and even the place of work. Moreover, Freelancers get to work with multiple companies or individuals having multiple contracts simultaneously. You can even start freelancing in your free time while working on a full-time job. Besides, that is how usually most freelancers start freelancing initially.
How to start a freelancing career?
Starting freelancing involves a few key steps to be followed. The first step would be to define your business, or else, determine what kind of services you wish to and are capable of offering as a freelancer. Setting up a simple business idea will largely help you in narrowing down the focus to launch your freelancing gig. The next step would be to build an effective portfolio. A portfolio will help you attract potential clients. Since freelancing offers you the option to decide what kind of clients or businesses that you would like to work with, the best approach would be to find target clients who value your services the most. Once these initial steps are done, you can develop your client base as a freelancer when you have enough confidence and experience. The key would be to maintain a steady workflow building up your rapport.
What are freelancing services or marketplaces?
A freelancing service or a marketplace acts as a hub that connects freelancers and people with various requirements. From a seller’s perspective, talented individuals get to showcase their work and maintain profiles to attract potential clients. Freelancers have full control of advertising their services and products as they wish with their desired pricing strategies. Likewise, the purchaser’s perspective would be to publish their requirements as work orders with details where freelancers can apply if they are interested. Using freelance services has become a popular trend among many companies as it is easier and cost-effective compared to having full-time employees. As mentioned before, maintaining a rapport in the marketplace is highly important as future projects and orders will be depending on the reviews freelancers have received for their past projects. The rating and review system is applicable for both parties service offeror and offeree. Therefore, maintaining quality freelancer-client relationships will be mandatory to get effective usage from these marketplaces.
Popular freelancing services based on recent statistics
Freelancing marketplaces vary from one to another even though they serve the same purpose. Listed below are the top freelancing services based on user statistics provided by Similarweb.
Indeed is considered to be the number one website that offers millions of work opportunities worldwide. The website is quite popular for its instant refresh rate where Indeed adds ten new work opportunities in every second passed. Indeed has a total website visitor count that exceeds 570 million for October 2021 being active in sixty different countries worldwide. Undoubtedly, Indeed ranks number one among freelancers based on these statistics. Moreover, Indeed has a well-built tech suite of products that allows employers to connect with industry-specific talent easier and faster. Flexibility in Indeed’s contract terms is another noteworthy point that makes it stand out from other freelancing services.
Fiverr holds second place in the list by being able to attract monthly users exceeding 58 million last October. Fiverr’s popular positives are its huge database that consists of more than 3 million employers including top players such as Facebook and Netflix. Moreover, Fiverr offers free access to all users including employers and freelancers. However, employers have the option to pay and purchase upgraded packages that consist of additional features such as customized dashboards, talent recommendations, and verified freelancers.
Upwork is well-known for its prominence in long-term contracts. This particular platform focuses mainly on marketing and software development industries; therefore, the majority of the Upwork freelancers are either into marketing or software development. As of October 2021, Upwork has reported 39 million visitors to its website. Upwork consists of a variety of complex projects that freelancers can try based on their interests. Freelancers must undergo a few verifications to be signed up for projects. These procedures are being followed to guarantee the fact that employers are selecting the ideal talent that suits their projects. The feature that enables freelancers to create detailed user profiles with the past projects they have worked on before, video introductions, and descriptions is quite effective in showcasing their expertise to attract potential clients.
Freelancer is quite popular for its straightforward nature and simplified communication system. Even though the monthly visitor count is low as 7 million in comparison to the other marketplaces, Freelancer has managed to be a trusted choice of top companies like Google, Amazon, and IBM. Freelancer consists of a global talent pool of users exceeding 50 million; the freelance marketplace claims that its diversified talent community is equipped with more than 1800 different skillsets. One of the main benefits that employers can experience from Freelancer would be faster responses from talent. It is confirmed that 80% of the job listings posted by employers are received with bids from freelancers within 60 seconds.
Flexjobs is a job portal that focuses on providing remote working opportunities worldwide. Flexibility is the key feature that is most popular among listings posted here. Even though Flexjobs is not designed for freelancers, there is an abundance of freelancing opportunities that can be found in Flexjobs. The website has recorded monthly visitors closer to 3 million as of October 2021. In order to guarantee legitimacy in job listings, each listing is hand-screened before publishing on the job portal. Moreover, Flexjobs ensures trustworthy employment to its users by providing verifications to employers as well. Additionally, quite a lot of user engagement events like career coaching sessions and events related to skills development are promoted in the paid versions.
These requirements may vary from platform to platform where certain freelancing sites are more welcoming towards new freelancers by offering simplified membership requirements that can be easily fulfilled. However, there are some freelancing services that require strict and mandatory membership requirements to join the community of freelancing. Therefore, you must consider the membership requirements and select a platform that offers requirements that can be fulfilled easily if you are a beginner freelancer.
Terms and conditions
Reviewing the terms and conditions provided by the freelancing marketplace should be done before considering to accept any freelance work that might come your way. This section may include important details with regard to statutory requirements for copyright and ownership of your work, information on adhering to timelines and deadlines, project scopes, and various other information that has an impact on the freelancer-client relationship.
Payments, fees, and penalties
How you are going to get paid is equally important to what you are getting paid. Therefore, freelancers should always be clear of the payment structure; whether it is going to be a milestone-based payment scheme or payments are to be made at the very end of the project. Likewise, there can be certain waiting times based on the countries that the work is coming from due to banking regulations. Secondly, it is recommended to discuss and finalize the rates for services upfront or at the beginning of the bid. Another considerable point would be to know about the additional fees and penalties that the freelancing service would charge from freelancers.
Ease of use
Accessibility is another key area that needs to be focused on. Both the user interface and user experience should be equally aligned to expect better productivity while you continuously engage with the platform. You do not want to work with a platform that crashes frequently; therefore, make sure to navigate around and check the look and feel of the platform once you set foot.
Lastly, customer support can be a critical requirement at certain times. Even though all the platforms mention that they are having 24*7 support, you need to confirm how effective this service really is in an urgent situation. Service breakdowns are a common scenario everywhere, but that can never compromise your work deadline. Freelancers should have a responsive customer support service especially when they are chasing critical deadlines.
A few other things to know before starting to freelance
Freelancer work-life balance
Work-life balance is an aspect that equally applies to both normal employment and freelancing. This scenario is wrapped around having enough self-time and spending a necessary amount of time with loved ones. Additional income streams are always known to be tempting; however, a freelancer should strategically define a workflow that can be lead to a healthy freelancing lifestyle. Most importantly, a freelancer must not forget the fact that the sole purpose of stepping into freelancing is to enjoy life in a better way compared to doing a normal job with rigid structures that are stressful.
Working smart instead of working hard, there is a difference
Of course, hard work eventually pays off, but only if the hard work is done smartly. The key is to do continuous research and plan ahead for success. Mastering the art of working smart surely cannot be done within a couple of days. Therefore, invest enough time to think creatively and come up with mind maps. Try different approaches until you find the ideal path that works well for you. Automating tasks that require minimum supervision is a recommended tip. Different projects may need different approaches as projects tend to vary from one to another; which is why adapting continuously based on situations would be a valuable tip.
Setting boundaries in your work
Boundaries are quite significant in freelancing for various reasons. Out of all, the main point would be to have the understanding that you must not set a price tag for yourself; in other words, as a freelancer, you cannot be just valued by an amount of money. Instead, your services should be valued based on their uniqueness. Once a freelancer clearly understands this difference, it will be easy to create an effective pricing strategy. Building up a strong portfolio that has the capability to back up your pricing would be the next step.
Be clear of what services you offer
Being a Jack of all trades and mastering none is not going to end up well in freelancing. Besides, specializing in a field would be beneficial in many ways. Investing your time in perfecting your expertise in the area of your interest will eventually make you an expert in the field. This will be an ideal opportunity to gradually increase your rates for the services offered. In the same way, you will be recognized among your network as an expert in the domain.
Exploring outside platforms
Being a freelancer does not mean that one must only rely on freelancing platforms or marketplaces. Building a promising clientele requires freelancers to think out of the box and continuously search for new leads. As an example, professional networks like LinkedIn are known to have an abundance of requirements in various streams. Likewise, social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram also have the potential to provide useful opportunities to up your freelancing game. Another recommended way that new freelancers can try is to make conversations with experienced freelancers to get practical knowledge about the scene from their personal experiences.
Freelancing is becoming one of the most interesting landscapes that look quite promising. The hybrid work structures and working from home as a result of the global pandemic have influenced a lot of people on thinking about freelancing opportunities. Independence in work is a common thought that brings most freelancers to the industry. The ever-evolving technology is known to be the backbone of freelancing. Likewise, technology has opened doors to various freelancing opportunities allowing individuals to find additional revenue streams.