The GIG economy is reshaping the job culture in the world. Employment is undergoing dramatic changes, and the future of work is freelancing. It is estimated that half of the workforce will be freelancing in the future. There is a thin line between opting for freelance work and quitting your hectic nine-to-five job and becoming successful at freelancing.
It is evident, the model of employment is being replaced by Freelance marketplaces that showcase talent and allows them to offer their services to clients all over the world. According to this research presented in an infographic, Americans are spending more than 1 billion hours per week freelancing, 56.7 million Americans did freelancing in 2018 and 61% of Americans are choosing to freelance as compared to 53% in 2014.
Despite the fact that the freelance lifestyle brings more anxiety, people still love it because it offers a better balance. Freelancers acquire skill training in lieu of current market trends and in-demand skills. The rapid growth of the internet in the world is prompting freelancers to choose to freelance over full-time employment.
The abundance of freelance jobs online is encouraging people to work from home. Freelancing is fun, it is freedom. It allows you to work at your own pace, choose your own work hours instead of strict office timings and it enables you to unleash your true potential. If you have a skill that is in demand, you are organized, and know how to get a job done, you can become a successful freelancer.
Who can be a freelancer?
Anyone with a digital skills can choose to freelance. If you know how to design and develop websites, write content, do video animation, develop mobile apps, and know QuickBooks or AutoCAD, you can make good money offering these and many other services in demand on different freelance marketplaces.
The process is simple. A freelancer typically searches for contractual jobs on freelance sites. If they find a project placement matching their skills, they bid on that project. If the client likes their proposal, they hire the freelancer, and both agree on the payment terms mutually. Once the project is completed, the freelancer hands over the project files, get paid for the work and in the end, the client gives feedback about their experience of working with the freelancer.
This model of work started in the late ’90s with the emergence of Elance and IT Moonlighter. Elance later joined hands with another freelance marketplace called ODesk before eventually becoming one freelance marketplace called Upwork. IT Moonlighter changed its name to Guru and is still in business. With the y2k bubble, the demand and popularity of the GIG economy were rapidly rising and it was evident, that is going to be the future of work.
Why Upwork is the best freelance marketplace?
Upwork (a merger of oDesk and Elance) is by far the largest marketplace for projects. It has projects posted about almost any expertise and skill. The website features big projects as well as small projects known as short-term projects. Upwork is a perfect leveled playing field for new freelancers as well as seasoned freelancers who have been freelancing for years.
As a freelancer, one needs to understand how to bid on projects and present their service. Bidding is a response to a project placement which typically shows the solution to the client’s problem, and how long it will take to complete a project along with the previous portfolio.
As a freelancer who has done a lot of projects on different freelance marketplaces, made over one million dollars in sales, I believe Upwork is the best freelance marketplace.
My opinion is purely based on the balance between the number of projects and freelancers. You do not find thousands of freelancers bidding on every project as is typically the case with other freelance websites. Because of so many projects posted every minute, the website strikes a perfect balance as a matchmaker, giving equal opportunity to every freelancer.
If you have a particular skill the client has requested in a project placement. If you are backed by a similar portfolio as mentioned by the client, you are in a chance of being contacted and eventually hired for a project.
All you need to know is how to create an impressive profile on Upwork, and how to bid and win projects on Upwork. The formula varies from client to client and from project to project but eventually, it all gets down to your skills and your portfolio. If a client likes your proposal and your portfolio, you are all game.
The website has a great help desk, and customer support services and also has a mobile app to keep you in instant touch with your clients and their messages.
What puts Upwork Ahead of the curve?
In a vow to make Upwork the best website for finding projects and talent, Upwork is going to introduce some changes in May, next month. Starting in May, ‘FREE’ accounts will no longer be given the mandatory 60 free Upwork Connects. Freelancers will not be able to bid on the projects as a basic members without paying a fee. It is a great step, it will ensure the quality of the website and only serious freelancers will be offering their services. The price of a single Upwork connection will be 15 cents (US$0.15).
Freelancers with the badge ‘rising talent’ or ‘top rated’ will be given some free connections to bid on the project. This is a reward for their freelancing skills and ability to win projects. Once you are an established, successful freelancer on Upwork, if invited to bid on a project, you won’t be charged for that bid.
One of the challenges of freelancers in the freelance marketplace is an inability to win a project in a highly saturated cat race. On UpWork, the new pricing system will protect clients from an onslaught of time-wasting, and bad job proposals and only qualified freelancers will run in for the competition.
This is a win-win situation for both stakeholders and eventually, a talented freelancer will not only cement their place in the marketplace, and grow their profile but will also be able to make good money too.