freelancing vs outsourcing infographics

Freelancing means working independently for clients. And outsourcing means hiring other people/freelancers. This is the main difference between freelancing and outsourcing.

As per the definition, “Outsource” means sourcing goods or services from outside. See other differences in the table below:

The person who does freelancing is known as a freelancer.The person who does outsourcing is known as a client.
Freelancer gets paid for work.The client pays to freelancer.
Freelancer needs a proper skillset in a specific field.The client doesn’t need those skills.
Freelancer gives 20% commissions to the freelancing platform (mostly).The client generally gives a 2% – 3% service fee to the freelancing platform.
Reviews matter for freelancers.Reviews generally don’t matter to clients.
difference between freelancing and outsourcing

Why the confusion?


There are companies, small businesses, and individual persons who need full or partial support to get their job done. These are the people who outsource from freelancing websites or directly hire freelancers from their own agency/personal websites like me.

Both these two parties work closely. And some other people who hear these two terms outside are generally messed up.

Also, there are people who are interested or thinking of engaging in this field messing up these two terms.

Freelancing vs outsourcing – which one is the right for you?

If you have in-demand skills and want to earn money from your skills online, then freelancing is the right for you.

On the other hand, if you already have an established business and need additional support from professionals, then outsourcing is the right for you.

Is it hard to start freelancing?

Freelancing does not just mean signing up for an account on the job marketplace like Upwork, Toptal, Fiverr, Flexjobs, etc. The first & topmost important aspect of start freelancing is gaining the proper skillset.

After you gain the skills on a certain level, only then you can start freelancing. Otherwise, you may end up with unhappiness and lose huge time & energy.

From my personal & practical experience, I found freelancing very hard at the starting but once you reached a certain level with a good reputation, freelancing becomes very easy, enjoyable, and reliable.

But don’t get discouraged. I told you the truth so you become proactive and consistently hit the wall until you succeed.

See another post if you want to start freelancing as a web developer →

From where you can outsource good freelancers?

If you’re a client, you can hire freelancers in two different places: freelance marketplaces & direct contact with freelancers. Most freelance marketplaces or websites have lots of categories from programmers to virtual assistance and everything you can imagine.

However, there are other freelancers who work on niche platforms. For example, Dribbble for graphic designers, Texbroker for writers,


Freelancing refers to the task that a freelancer does. On the other hand, outsourcing refers to the task that a client does. These two sound very similar but these are the opposite roles.