At some point in running and growing your business, you'll discover a task that is either outside of your skillset or simply would take you too much time to complete yourself while running your business. This is where you have the option to hire a freelancer to complete the task.
Today there are a number of trusted online marketplaces to hire freelancers to complete work for you. Let's take a look at a few of the most popular options to help you decide which marketplace might work best for your business needs.
Upwork is probably the most recognized and the most trusted among freelancer marketplaces. If you're looking for a larger or long-term project, or have concerns about the legitimacy of hiring someone you can't meet with in person, Upwork may be right for you.
The process is fairly simple: You post a job on the site and within 24 hours you'll get proposals from individuals and agencies.
You can then make a hiring selection and begin working on the project by collaborating across the platform. Sorting through the proposals can be challenging as you'll want to choose your freelancer carefully. Upwork allows you to look at past performance on other jobs, skills, related experience, client feedback, rate, and timezone.
You can use Upwork's platform to send files securely, share login and password details, and track the project.
Payment and Fees: Upwork allows you to set milestones throughout the project and to pay your freelancer a portion of the project costs as they meet those milestones. There is a 3% processing fee on all payments to freelancers.
Freelancer is probably the platform that is most comparable to Upwork and these two platforms tend to dominate the online freelancer marketplace scene.
Freelancer has nearly three times the number of individuals available for hire than Upwork does. That said, their vetting process is not quite as thorough and thus you'll find you will have to dig through more freelancers to choose one for your project.
Freelancer has a large number of individuals available for hire from developing countries. This often means that you can get jobs completed for a lower cost.
Freelancer allows you to look through client reviews of past projects. For a small additional fee, you can hire a freelancer.com recruiter who will select the best candidate for your job.
Payment and Fees: For fixed price projects, a fee of 3% or $3.00 USD (whichever is greater) is levied at the time a project that has been awarded by you has been accepted by each freelancer you award. For hourly projects, a fee of 3% is levied on each payment that you make to the freelancer.
Guru is similar to Freelancer and Upwork and although it was one of the first online freelancer marketplaces, it is not as widely used as it used to be. Guru allows you to search by skill or location, or post a job posting to receive proposals from freelancers.
Once you accept a proposal or choose a specific freelancer, you and the freelancer you've selected come to an agreement about the scope of work, payment terms, and timeline of the project.
Like Freelancer, Guru has a significant number of international freelancers available. You are able to hire multiple freelancers for the same job, if need be, and manage them in separate "WorkRooms" so they won't know there are others on the same job.
Payment and Fees: Guru uses a program called Safepay which essentially puts the cost of the project in escrow. Generally a freelancer will define a minimum Safepay balance before starting the project. You (the employer) fund the Safepay per your agreement and the freelancer begins work. Once the work is complete, or at agreed upon milestones, you release the money from Safepay. The transaction fee for payment is 3%. If you pay with e-check or wire transfer, your transaction fee is refunded by Guru.
If you're looking for anything graphic design related, 99 Designs is where you should start.
99 Designs has a unique strategy for connecting you with the right freelancer to complete your project. They offer flat rate pricing for many of the most common projects such as logo design ($299), logo and business card design ($449), website redesign (from $599), infographic creation (from $599), product packaging design (from $349), and more.
Once you select what type of project you're looking for, 99 Designs offers two options. They can either help you find and select a designer best suited to meet your project needs or you can start a contest.
If you already have a fairly specific idea about the design you want, you might skip to just selecting a designer. But if you're unsure of what you're looking for in a design and you want to explore different designs and concepts, then starting a contest might be exactly what you need. Your posting allows many designers across the platform to submit their best ideas to you.
Once the contest ends, you look through all the proposed designs and concepts and select your favorite. You'll then hire that designer and work closely with them to complete the project.
Payment and Fees: There is a fixed 5% fee charged for every one-to-one project.
Fiverr allows you to select a freelancer to complete a specific job in many categories including graphics and design, digital marketing, writing and translation, video and animation, music and audio, programming and tech, business, lifestyle, and industry based tasks.
You have the option to either search for a task specifically or check out what is being offered in each category. All jobs start at just $5 (hence the site name). Each freelancer has a rating from past clients and you are able to read their reviews.
Fiverr is a bit more casual and freelancers aren't vetted in any way. They can offer any service they want and you only have the past reviews to go on.
Generally Fiverr can be hit or miss in terms of your results and thus we'd recommend only utilizing this service if you need a small job that doesn't carry a ton of weight. On a more fun note, you'll also find great gift ideas like customized dog cartoons, family portrait illustrations, or get a personalized parody song written.
Payment and Fees: All purchases are subject to a service fee of $2 on purchases up to and including $40, and 5% on purchases above $40.
Selecting a freelancer to trust with any element of your business can be challenging. Luckily, services like those above can make things much easier for busy business owners.
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