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10 Tips to get hired on Freelance Marketplaces

There’s a lot of talk about freelancing and how to get hired on freelance marketplaces.

Some people say these websites are terrible for the industry, and others say you can make a ton of money.

Some say they pay too little, while others say you can travel the world working through them.

But the truth is, they’re just a part of the freelance market. To make the most of them, you gotta learn how to use them right.

These platforms are a great place to start working as a freelancer. You can find tons of clients ready to hire freelancers without spending money on marketing or networking.

But just having an account isn’t enough to get the jobs. One of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking the job will just come to them. But that’s not how it works – you gotta actively look for it.

So, if you’re looking to work on freelance platforms, follow these 10 tips to get hired.

10 Tips to get hired on Freelance Marketplaces
Photo by Thomas Le on Unsplash

What is a freelance marketplace?

A freelance platform is like a digital mall for freelancers.

It’s a place where you can show off your skills and experience, and look for gigs posted by clients who need someone like you.

Clients can also search through all the freelancers on the platform and check out their ratings and feedback from other people they’ve worked with before.

Using these platforms is not free (although there are a few exceptions), but they do offer some perks like help with payments and dealing with any disputes that might come up.

How to get hired on freelance marketplaces?

1. Make your profile pop

Most freelance platforms make you set up a profile, but a lot of freelancers don’t put enough effort into it and miss out on a big opportunity to show off their skills to potential clients.

Taking the time to craft a good profile is worth the investment.

Choose a flattering photo, such as a clear and bright image that showcases your best features. A smiling expression makes you more approachable.

Treat your profile description like a job application letter, emphasizing how your abilities can benefit the client rather than self-promotion.

Be clear about your specific expertise. Narrowing your focus increases your chances of being hired.

Clients are more likely to trust someone who specializes in one area, rather than claims to be a jack-of-all-trades, such as a lawyer, programmer, and house cleaner all at once.

2. Show off your skills online

Having some sort of proof of what you can do is crucial if you want to attract clients, no matter what your specialty is. In the gig economy, it’s not about your resume, but about your actual work.

For example, if you’re a designer, make sure you have an online portfolio showcasing your best designs. And if you’re a writer, your writing skills are more important than having a fancy degree.

But what if you don’t have any work to show off yet? One solution is to create fake projects that address the common problems faced by your potential clients.

Let’s say you’re a designer looking for logo creation jobs for non-profits. In that case, create some fake logos for non-profits. And if you want to develop websites for bloggers but don’t have any real examples, create a fake website for a blogger, and use it as your calling card.

Use these projects as an excuse to demonstrate your ability to solve the problems faced by your potential clients and show them you’re the solution they’re looking for.

3. Don’t just sit around waiting for work to come to you.

The sad truth about being a freelancer is that clients aren’t just going to magically find you. Not at the beginning, at least.

You’ve got to put yourself out there and show them why you’re the best fit for the job.

Sending proposals takes time and effort, especially in the early stages when you don’t have a strong reputation. However, learning how to write good letters is a skill you learn with practice, so the more you send, the better you will become.

Every platform has its own limit on how many jobs you can apply for each month, so make the most of it until you have a solid client base that provides steady income.

Learn to write proposals that resonate with potential clients, and don’t be afraid to put in the work. That’s the key to success on these platforms!

4. Learn to tell the good jobs from the bad.

The project description can give you a lot of insight into the type of client you’re dealing with.

You’ll come across all sorts of descriptions, from vague or silly job postings, to well-thought-out briefs with clear examples (those are the good ones!).

When applying for a project, trust your instincts. If something seems off, don’t waste your time and move on to the next one.

Another thing to consider is the budget. If it’s too low, it’s probably not worth your while. But just because a job pays well, doesn’t mean it’s a good fit either. So, weigh the pros and cons before committing.

Check out the client’s language and communication style, it can give you an idea of their level of professionalism and willingness to work with you.

And always, always check out the reviews and feedback from other freelancers who have worked with the client before. This can give you a heads-up on what to expect from the client.

5. Research your potential clients

Before applying to a project, research the client first. The more well-known the platform, the higher the chances of encountering sketchy clients or those who want to take advantage. Take some extra time to check the client’s profile and ratings on the platform, and do a quick Google or LinkedIn search too. This way, you’ll know who you’re working with and make an informed decision.

Check out the client’s past projects and feedback from other freelancers, to get a sense of their communication style, professionalism, and how they treat contractors. If they have a history of not paying or being tough to work with, best to steer clear.

Don’t be shy to ask questions before applying. A good client will appreciate your effort to ensure the project is a good fit and will be happy to give more info.

Keep in mind, your time and skills are valuable, so choose clients who respect and value that. Doing research upfront can save you time and headaches in the long run.

6. Quality over Quantity

Have you ever thought about the old saying “quality over quantity”? It’s easy to think that the more clients you have, the more money you’ll make.

But trust me, if you go down that road, you’ll soon realize that it’s not possible to do quality work for all your clients. And if you don’t do quality work, your clients will leave bad ratings for you on the platform, which can really hurt your business in the long run.

Even if there are some specializations that allow you to handle many clients at the same time, it’s important to find the right balance for you between your capabilities and the number of projects you take on.

The rates you charge also play a big role in how many jobs you can take on. Sure, you can take on 10 jobs per month at $100 each, but that’s not the same as taking on two jobs for $500 each, even if the profit is the same.

It’s all about finding the right balance for you and your business.

7. Have competitive rates

When it comes to pricing, it’s important to remember that “cheaper” doesn’t always mean “better”. Going too cheap can make you seem inexperienced and like your work isn’t valuable. But if you’re confident in your skills, don’t be afraid to charge what you’re worth. Clients can tell when someone’s pricing is too low.

The goal is to find a balance between your value and what the market is willing to pay. Don’t be afraid to play around with your pricing. Some freelancers may get more work with lower rates, while others do better with higher rates. It’s all about finding what works best for you.

Personally, I’ve found that my sweet spot on these platforms is around $125 per hour. Anything more than that and I don’t get hired as much. But, it’s worth noting that a freelancer with a similar profile to mine wouldn’t charge less than $50 per hour. If I charge any less than that, clients might think that I’m not being honest about my skills.

8. Learn to make good proposals

Your profile’s like your cover letter, but your proposal’s like the first handshake with a client. It’s the first chance they get to see if you’re the right fit for the job. So, if you wanna win that gig, you gotta make your proposal count!

Make sure it’s all about the client, their problem, and how you can solve it with your skills. Show off your expertise by giving some free advice and highlighting how you’d handle their project.

Nothing says you care about the job more than taking the time to really understand it.

And, for the love of all things freelance, don’t make it all about you. Keep the focus on the client and their needs. No one wants to hear about your 5 years as a freelancer or how you’re one of the best on Upwork. Just be real, show your worth, and let your proposal do the talking.

9. Language matters

Language can be a major roadblock for many freelancers looking to land clients globally. The fact is the best-paying gigs tend to be in the US, Australia, and some parts of Europe.

Having solid communication skills in both spoken and written English can set you apart on freelancing platforms. Does that mean if you’re not a native English speaker, you can never get hired? Absolutely not. However, taking the time to improve your language skills is one of the best investments you can make for your career.

There are platforms that cater to specific languages, like Workana for Spanish, but in general, you will find more freelancers than clients on them.

10. Have online interviews

Working from behind a screen is pretty awesome, I mean, who wouldn’t love to work in their PJs with bedhead? That’s the life of a freelancer, right?

But, if you really want to impress potential clients and stand out, having face-to-face interviews through Skype or Hangouts is a must. I always try to schedule a call in my proposals because it’s the best way to show the client that you’re the right fit for their project.

Plus, being able to interview and negotiate with clients in real time is a valuable skill to have. It sets you apart from other proposals and shows that you’re proactive.

So, what do you wanna know about finding work on freelancing platforms? Drop your questions in the comments!

Freelance platforms FAQs

How do I create a strong profile on a freelancing platform?

Include a professional photo, write a clear and concise description of your skills and experience, and showcase your portfolio of relevant work.

How do I bid on a project?

Read the project description carefully, research the client, and tailor your proposal to their specific needs. Be sure to include a timeline and budget for the project.

What sets me apart from other freelancers bidding on the same project?

Showcasing your unique skills and experience, being responsive to client inquiries, and having a strong portfolio can set you apart from other bids.

How do I negotiate pay and project scope?

Communicate clearly with the client about your rate and the scope of work, and be open to negotiation. It’s important to have a clear understanding of the project requirements and your capabilities before making an agreement.

How do I handle disputes with clients?

Have clear communication and agreements in place before starting a project, and always keep a record of your interactions with the client. If a dispute arises, try to resolve it through open and respectful dialogue. If necessary, freelance platforms often have dispute resolution processes in place.

How do I ensure payment for my work?

Always have a clear contract and payment schedule in place before starting a project. If a client doesn’t pay, follow up politely and professionally. Freelance platforms may also have payment protection systems in place to ensure fair compensation for your work.

So, what do you want to know about get hired on freelance marketplaces? Let me know in the comments!

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