3

Either my google is not working or my only resource for clients is a handful of websites. Before you reply with your addition, I've seen:

  1. upwork.com (elance gone; odesk gone)
  2. guru.com
  3. peopleperhour.com
  4. truelancer.com
  5. djangojobs.com
  6. freelancer.com

I recently asked for a source to find clients. The answers I got were some form or other of quoting one of these web sites. My questions is: how is it possible that there's only a handful of these web sites most of which can be skipped just looking at the content. Is IT freelancing really that uncommon?

3

No it is not uncommon. There are a bunch of leading freelance websites that have invested heavily in their infrastructure, marketing, legal set up, financial set up and staffing. They have age, size and market share on their side and they all do a pretty good job in one way or another. The challange with a site like this is to get a good number of freelancers, to do that you need jobs posted. To get jobs posted, you need a good number of freelancers. It is like a catch 22 and until you meet the critical mass of both, you have nothing but an empty, non performing website. So it is a difficult market to enter.

Also, most freelancers avoid sites like these because of the 20% taken by the site. So as soon as possible, freelancers move off these sites when their reputation and client base grows.

Also, the prices these site quote are quite simply ridiculous in the extreme. One example I saw was for a website design and build, plus a food ordering and online delivery system, plus an admin for staff to run the food outlets from, plus an app to do the same but via geo location on android and apple, plus restaurant table booking, plus another app for waiters to take orders to tie in with the ordering system. Sounds like a great job eh, fabulous customer, tons of demands, tons of requirements, big project you might suspect. They were offering UP TO $500. I mean, honestly, I would not design or build a brochure site for that money.

Can you imagine the pile of crap they would get for $500 if you tried to do all the requested stuff.

Anyway, so yes, there are now big players left in a mature market, the numbers really show the difficulty of entry and competing to get any sort of market share.

Paul.

1

It's not at all uncommon. I can only speak for Europe, but I have never ever felt the need to go to one of those sites, they're horrible. 95% of IT freelancers here get their job through either their network, via their website or other marketing they set up or via recruiting firms.

Especially banks and other large corporations have 'preferred suppliers' who only work via a number of suppliers including recruitment firms that go out to find the correct profiles. I think TEKsystems is quite big in the US as well. I just send them my resume and hook me up :)

1

I've never used any of these sites. I receive all of my work as a result of connections in my network. Those connections think of me when they have opportunities because of my reputation. Because my network is a key source of employment I am very careful about who I network with. I know a lot of people but do not network with people whose work I would not unhesitatingly recommend. This protects my integrity and my reputation and helps me find clients who know I am capable as much because of my past work as because of the quality of people I "hang out with."

  • So, it sounds to me like one needs to be business-wise social in order to be a successful freelancer. – user6035379 Oct 10 '16 at 18:38

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