USA TODAY US Edition
You may find your gig on these platforms
It’s no secret that we are living in a world of side hustles, main hustles, part-time work and multiple jobs. In fact, the so-called “gig economy” grew enormously during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Forbes, now almost 60 million Americans participate in some way in the gig economy.
Still, making your living as a gig contractor requires a lot of self-motivation and perseverance. Even though you don’t technically have a boss to answer to (except yourself), there are plenty of other challenges that come with being a part of the gig economy.
The biggest one? Finding gigs. The gig economy is tough because it doesn’t guarantee ongoing work – that is exactly what the word “gig” implies, after all. That means it’s up to you – the freelancer – to find work over and over again. It can be exhausting.
However, the good news is that finding your gigs doesn’t have to be a job. Knowing where to look for work is half the battle, which is why I’ve compiled this list of six of the best freelance platforms.
It’s hard to beat Freelancer – the name does speak for itself. There are thousands upon thousands of listings on the site. The concept is pretty cool: you get to browse all the listings, click on a project, view its details and budget, and then bid on the gig. Think of it as eBay for freelance gigs.
Freelancer also is nice because it isn’t exclusive to any one category; you can find work whether you’re a writer, editor, graphic designer, assistant, social media expert or whatever is posted.
Unfortunately, because there are many different freelancers competing for a single gig on Freelancer, the pricing on this site is quite competitive. That is to say, you might not make a ton of money this way. It’s great, however, for building your portfolio and being able to work on several different gigs at once.
UpWork is my personal favorite as I have found and hired several excellent gig workers on the site – to make videos, write content, manage social media campaigns and more.
One way that UpWork differs from Freelancer is that you do not necessarily have to bid for a gig (although you can). Instead, the company or person that posted the listing often will reach out to the freelancers they think would be best for the gig. Your subsequent rating will be public on your profile and will affect your visibility to people looking to hire.
Finding a job on Fiverr
Fiverr flips the script – instead of freelancers bidding on your project, the job poster peruses the various freelancers and chooses the one who best fits the bill. As the name suggests, you can get some very good deals here.
If you’re a designer looking for some extra work, this is the website for you. 99designs has a contest element involved: a company will post that they need a new logo for instance, and freelance designers make their submission, and the company gets to choose their favorite. Pretty neat.
Craigslist is one of the first websites to help people find new work, and it is still one of the best to this day. If you click on the “gigs” section under your state, you will find an array of people looking for freelancers to help them out with various projects. Work for photographers, artists, computer programmers, interior designers – it’s all there.
Etsy is the place for you if you’re looking to sell crafts, art, jewelry, etc. Etsy is hugely popular and getting ever more so – in 2020 it had 81 million users.
Yes, the search to find new gigs can be intimidating and at times overwhelming. But if you know where to look, you are already well on your way.
And of course, you can always get help and learn more on my site TheSelfEmployed.
Steve Strauss is an attorney, speaker and the author of 17 books, including “The Small Business Bible.”
The views and opinions expressed in this column are the author’s and do not necessarily reflect those of USA TODAY.