The hardest part about being a freelancer isn't mastering the competencies needed to provide excellent service. It is generally finding decent paying clients.
Many very talented freelancers have a difficult time finding work. Fortunately, it is a lot easier if you know where to look.
Here are some of the best online platforms for freelancers to find good paying work.
Upwork was born after Elance and oDesk merged. While this site has a reputation for having a lot of low-paying clients, you definitely shouldn't write it off. There are plenty of good clients there that are willing to pay quality freelancers reasonable rates.
You just have to be smart about it. You'll need to invest time in building an online portfolio, getting great feedback from oDesk clients and always delivering timely service.
I know at least three Upwork freelancers that get over $2,000 a month off the site.
Fiverr is a site for freelancers trying to sell very low paying gigs, but it can be a great source of supplemental income if you provide quality services that require very little effort. Here are some easy services freelancers offer to make quick and easy money on Fiverr:
Uploading articles to third-party websites they have author accounts with
- Selling their own ebooks at low rates
- Sharing messages to their social media networks
- Resizing images for customers that don't know how to use Microsoft Paint
Many of these services can be completed in under a minute, so you can make a very reasonable income selling them in bulk on Fiverr. One freelancer I have spoken with said that she had months were should would make over $1,000 on Fiverr without working close to full-time. She didn’t usually invest that much effort in the platform, but it was great when she needed it.
You just have to make sure you have something that differentiates yourself. You don’t want to rely on it for more labor-intensive services, such as freelance writing or web design, because the pay isn’t great for it.
Toptal is a great site for freelance web designers and software engineers. Experts from over 100 different countries use the site, so it’s a great place for talented web development professionals to get work.
EssayShark is a niche platform for academic freelance writers. If you can write excellent academic papers, you can consistently make a few hundred dollars a week working part-time on this site.
If you are a freelance writer with experience treating other forms of content, you may still want to look into this site. You just need to make sure you learn how to write technical content and cite sources properly in APA format.
Requirements to Find Consistent Work With These Platforms
While these platforms can be excellent for freelancers looking for work, you need to make sure you have the skills to deliver the value clients expect. Here are some competencies that you’ll need.
Have Well-rounded Skill Sets
Clients using these sites have a wide range of needs, so you’ll have a hard time finding consistent work if you are too specialized. If you are a freelance writer that usually writes blog posts, you may want to learn how to write technical and analytical papers, which includes citing resources. If you are a PHP programmer, you may want to learn Ruby on Rails and other services.
You don’t have to be a master in every service you offer, but you want to have a wide range of skills to pull from.
Clients using these sites generally have strict, non-negotiable deadlines. Make sure that you can meet them before taking assignments.
This can’t be overstated. I have spoken with a lot of people using Upwork and other services that found people simply can’t follow directions.
This is the surest way to get a bad feedback score and not get paid for the work if you aren’t charging hourly.