The freelancing industry has seen a boom in recent years. While there are several million freelancers today, Statista reports that we can expect to see 86.5 million U.S. freelancers by 2027, a number that will make up more than half of the total U.S. workforce. This employment shift has proven beneficial for employers and contractors alike.
For example, business owners can connect with quality contractors more easily than ever. Freelance services websites have made the process of finding jobs relatively simple for freelancers, startups, solopreneurs and other independent contractors. Similarly, business owners who need help with copywriting, graphic design, programming, IT or other specialized services can easily find the perfect freelancer online.
Job marketplaces for freelance services provide a platform where individuals get listed and businesses can post projects or browse services.
Each site works a bit differently. Some sites offer free listings, while some charge a fee. Some make freelancers bid on projects; others merely play matchmaker. Some take a percentage of the project value, while still others work with flat rates. Regardless of their methods, all freelance websites serve the same purpose: helping potential freelancers and clients connect.
If you are looking to hire a freelancer for a niche position, find a service that caters to your industry. When you create a job posting, establish the exact criteria you want by writing a complete description. This way you’ll avoid unnecessary back-and-forth communication and can ensure that you employ the right contractor.
Here are 10 popular sites that keep the gig economy going.
If you operate in a creative industry, Behance is a great way to find freelancers. More specifically, the site targets companies looking to hire freelancers in architecture, art direction, branding, fashion, graphic design, illustration, industrial design, interaction design, motion graphics, photography, UI/UX and web design. The site gives freelancers a space to showcase their portfolios, and employers can post available jobs. Since the site is owned by Adobe, you can expect to see some powerful, user-friendly tools.
Fiverr started as a service paying people $5 to do just about anything, but it’s evolved into a legitimate freelance platform where you can find professionals to help with your business or personal projects. Fiverr’s freelance marketplace lets you browse ready and willing professionals, including programmers, WordPress and Shopify experts, illustrators, and even voice-over actors who can do Morgan Freeman impressions. Popular business services include website creation, short video ads, 3D modeling, illustrations, website content, presentation design, video editing, web application, 2D animated explainers and graphic UI.
There’s a good chance you’ve heard of our next pick, FlexJobs, and that’s for a reason. FlexJobs is a reputable service for businesses and freelancers alike. It is set up similarly to sites like Upwork. The service is free to employers and provides access to a skilled pool of freelancers. All freelancers are thoroughly vetted, and you can post a listing to find the ideal candidate with the skillset you’re seeking.
Freelancer.com allows you to find work for your online project quickly and affordably. Freelancers submit bids for your project, and you can view their past work and user reviews to make your decision. We like that the platform allows employers to seek freelancers based on skill or location. It also focuses on a wide range of industries, such as graphic and logo design, web design and development, mobile app development, writing, internet and SEO marketing, data entry, and software development. You can also find other types of freelancers on the site such as translators, financial experts, lawyers, manufacturers and logistics experts.
Guru‘s mission is to connect employers with freelance talent locally or globally, and the site is one of the deepest in the freelance field. It boasts 800,000 employers worldwide and offers a glimpse into how many freelancers are available in each industry. For example, when we searched the site, we found over 315,000 web development and design freelancers, and more than 305,000 program and software freelancers. Freelancers can post their professional profile, select a membership type, get paid safely through Guru’s SafePay payment service and earn a professional services ranking.
PeoplePerHour is a simple platform that allows hirers to browse talent and freelancers to look for jobs. The site allows you to list specific jobs and requirements, and you can also browse freelancers’ profiles and hourly rates. PeoplePerHour is available globally to both small and large businesses.
You may have used TaskRabbit if you’ve needed help assembling furniture, mounting items to your walls or moving. What you might not have realized is that many, if not most, Taskers (aka the people you hire through TaskRabbit) are freelancers. You can do the same if you’re a handy person who prefers independent projects to full-time or part-time work. Just set your hourly rates, location and services, and clients will contact you as needed for one-off jobs.
TaskRabbit allows clients (employers) to tip their Taskers (freelancers) up to 30 percent of their project’s total. Contractors keep 100 percent of their tips.
Toptal is a freelance platform that serviced more than 140 countries and more than 21,000 clients in 2022 alone. It has a rigorous screening process for freelancers — in fact, it typically accepts less than 3 percent of applicants each month. This assures that businesses can gain quick access to the best of the best. This freelance website is ideal if you’re looking to hire a contractor for a high-end position or project.
Upwork contains dozens of categories for you to browse and search for freelancers or contractors for your business. Upwork is one of the only freelance websites where you can find specialized and licensed help, including civil engineers, attorneys and financial consultants. Upwork displays freelancers’ hourly rates and job success ratings. Upwork is free for businesses and freelancers to join. Freelancers can receive a certain number of free Connects per month that allow them to bid on jobs. Upwork takes a 10 percent commission on freelancer earnings.
99designs is more niche than some of the other freelance services we listed. It focuses on design specifically and can put you in touch with freelance graphic designers. This site is ideal if you’re looking for a project manager for a new logo, webpage or product label. You have two options: You can post the job and review applicants, or hold a contest to choose the best design.
Skye Schooley contributed to the writing and reporting in this article.