Why you should avoid Freelance websites

You’re getting started into freelancing and you’re wondering where to find clients, when suddenly you find yourself signing up on Upwork. It looks amazing: tons of clients are waiting to throw their money at you, you just have to contact them with a good proposal and that’s it.

The dream, right?
Well, the reality is quite different, and that’s why I’m writing this article.

Let’s take a closer look to the cons of using a freelance platform.

  • Since they’re connecting you with clients, they take a cut of your earnings. It may not seem like a big problem, but as time goes on you will notice how much you’re leaving on the table.
  • Most clients are cheap. Think about it: why would a client post on Upwork instead of contacting a freelancer or design agency? That’s right, because the prices on the platform are way under the market standard. There are a lot of freelancers bidding for $10 to $50 for jobs that usually are paid over 10x that amount.
  • On Upwork, they compete on price instead of value. More often than not, the key factor in winning a job on this platform is not the value provided to the client. They’re looking to save money and they’re not valuing their business, so why would you work with someone who doesn’t even value himself? 

As you can see there are different things to consider before starting to work on those platforms.
They may be great if you’re just working as a hobby, or if you’re a student looking to test your skills, but they’re not good enough in the long run.

What to do instead?

Define who your ideal clients are.

Write down a list of potential clients and analyze their demographic. What are their interests? And their habits? You need to know them to produce useful content. Start by looking for the age-range, gender and location, then dive deeper.

Create a blog and share useful content.

Doesn’t matter if you’re a logo designer, a web designer or even a copywriter: sharing your work and process could be insanely beneficial to your business. Writing about your field will not only help other fellow freelancers, but it will help you connect with them and lead to a lot of opportunities.

Build your online presence.

A blog is not the only way to meet new clients and coworkers. There are platforms like dribbble.com and behance.com that allow you to build an online portfolio and take a look to what other designers are doing. Upload your work and interact, show your best pieces and build your audience.

Share your work on Instagram.

Social networks are an awesome way to showcase your skills and meet new people, and what’s better than Instagram if you’re a designer?
Create an outstanding profile and post consistently, the results will surprise you.

Final thoughts.

If you’re serious about your freelance career, avoid online freelancing platforms and build your own client base, it’s way more effective in the long run.
If you’re just starting out and trying to get your feet wet, consider joining those platforms to test your skills and learn how to send a proposal to a client.

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