Most people misunderstood the concept of “Freelancing.” They thought that they have to work on freelancing websites to be a freelancer such as Upwork, Fiverr, Toptal, etc. But it’s not only the case.
If you want to develop & establish your career as a freelancer, stop depending on freelancing marketplaces.
Some people do it as their part-time job. On the other hand, some other people do freelancing as their full-time job, and this is their main source of living.
Why you should not work on freelancing websites?
In this post, I will talk about full-time freelancers and why they should not depend on freelance websites, and how they can establish their careers as a freelancer.
All the freelancing websites/marketplaces are overcrowded. It takes a huge time to land your first job and very hard to get jobs regularly.
There is huge competition for downgrading the prices and getting (begging) reviews.
Marketplace commissions & long time clearing period
Big amount of marketplace commissions (generally 20%), long time wait to get the fund in your hand (normally 14 days clearing period).
After you complete a project on a freelancing website, you get 80% of the order and the freelancing website gets 20% as their commissions.
Also, you don’t get the fund immediately and even after completing the order. The fund is added to a clearing period. And it generally takes 14 days to release the money.
Unwanted disputes and revisions
It’s obvious to receive disputes over some of your orders. A few of them may be legit disputes but there are also scammers who make disputes by intension. I came across many different cases like this both on Fiverr & Upwork.
Most importantly, the clients are always correct in freelancing marketplaces. Many buyers don’t want to understand ‘Scope & Out of Scope‘ and ask for many revisions which do not worth of freelancer’s time.
If you go through any dispute process, the freelancer never wins.
I can list down 50 more reasons but you got the idea & understood the environment. But I will talk about more this topic later in this article.
Where exactly you should work as a freelancer?
Don’t get me wrong! I never told you to stop working on freelance marketplaces. I said, “Do not depend on them”. That means, do not rely on them, do not trust them completely.
You can work on freelancing websites when you find/get a job without much trouble. If a client sends a message to you, just follow up with them and try to make a conversion on the marketplace. But do not hang on with finding jobs on freelancing marketplaces.
Everyone wants to establish their career. It’s not so easy and that’s why most freelancers give up. They lost huge time, effort, and energy.
Be your boss and take full advantage of freelancing
But if you put your most effort into your website, it will help you to grow your career with consistency and help you to get clients regularly.
Use your website for freelance work instead of depending on marketplaces. This is the most reliable & efficient way to become a successful freelancer.
You’re the boss of your website, no one can hijack your reputations or ranks from your website.
It takes a lot of time & effort to become a reputable freelancer on marketplaces. Most of the freelancing marketplaces have level or rank systems such as rising talent, level 1,2, top-rated, etc.
There is no guarantee you will be in the top position always. A single refund or order cancellation may drop your rank.
How to start your freelancing website?
Freelancing refers to working independently. So you don’t have to wait for sine-die to get orders on marketplaces.
Your job is to create opportunity, and not wait for the opportunity. So go ahead and buy domain & hosting today, and start building your personal website.
Your website does not need to be super fancy or gorgeous. Just make sure people can feel comfortable reading the text, the information is helpful, your site is easy to navigate, and works well on mobile devices. That’s it!
Content is always powerful and it has the topmost priority to your clients/visitors and web crawlers. So put your highest effort into the content.
Protip: Never bring clients from freelance marketplaces to your website. It’s against terms of service & ethically not right. So be aware of it.
Should you do marketing for your freelance marketplace profile?
Simply no. Because you’re almost paying them 20% commission for driving clients to you.
Instead, you can do marketing for your own business website if you’re are capable & curious enough. At least it will help your business to grow.
Most of the freelance marketplaces will tell you to share your profile & service catalog on social media. That means they are encouraging you to do marketing for their platform.
And that’s why we see many unsmart people popping out on social media with their crazy links. Don’t do it because it’s not professional and accepted by other people.
How much time does it take to get clients from your website?
Normally 6 months. Do not just sit there after creating your freelancing website. Keep posting on your website/blog regularly. At least 2 posts per week and every post should cover a full topic.
If you follow the above guideline, you may start getting clients organically from your own website after/within six months.
To sum up, to establish your freelance career, do not depend on freelance marketplaces. To establish a career & become a successful freelancer, work for your own business & website. Do not leave the freelance marketplace completely until your freelancing business website is established.