You can call them freelancing platforms, online marketplaces or crowdsourcing websites, but their purpose remains the same, and it might not please everyone.
As for me, after a few years spent on a couple of freelancing platforms, I can see I don’t exactly see a bright future for those expecting to make a full-time living out of these only marketplaces.
Here is why I believe that you should invest time in something else rather than bidding…
1: One-project stand
Your chances of establishing a long-term partnership with your clients significantly drop as most jobs are advertised as one-off projects.
2: No rules
The regulation behind crowdsourcing gigs is very little or inexistent, and this is bad for both parties; workers cannot be 100% sure of getting what promised without a physical jurisdiction in place.
3: No credits
Very often, freelancers receive no recognition or credit for their work, and this might result in motivational issues for most.
4: Working for nuts
The pay rates offered are frequently too low and don’t follow any professional standard. Plus, you will be competing against people ready to work for nuts.
5: A lot of confusion
Sometimes your clients barely know what they are exactly after.
This is a good example of a job ad that is far too generic and underpaid: they offer only $8 for an 1850-word English to Italian translation.
No details whatsoever about the file format, niche, content type and so on are provided.
So, instead of wasting your time trying to get 10 quid out of these freelancing marketplaces, I recommend you try the following:
1: Personal Branding
Focus on your personal brand: build & promote your personal website, connect with qualified colleagues and trustworthy business owners, learn new skills and actively look for well-paid projects in your industry.
2: Quality rather than quantity
Being a successful freelancer is not about landing as many projects as you can manage. Rather, it’s more about landing the right jobs for yourself, those significant jobs that allow you to grow as a professional.
3: Quality rather than quantity
Use social networks, in particular LinkedIn, to connect with the right people, and always keep an eye on both online & offline events related to your industry.
4: Facebook groups
Facebook groups might also be useful to grow your network and get new assignments, but only if you pick the groups that are truly relevant to your field.
4: Don’t rest on your laurels!
Actively market yourself rather than passively waiting for the others to find you, and do it regularly and consistently.
Last but not least…you want to be a freelancer, don’t you? Hence, don’t forget to enjoy the freedom that comes with it!