A freelancer works for different companies at different times, often on a project by project basis. Being a freelancer is one form of bootstrapping, in that you are generating income as your own solo business with very low overhead and typically no marketing budget. Hiring a freelancer, in turn, is a way for bootstrapping companies to accomplish business goals without bringing on part time or full time employees.
Large global freelancer networks have grown over the past decade. They enable young companies to accomplish extraordinary things at a fraction of the cost, although like most inexpensive tools they require some thoughtful management.
The top 10 freelancer networks are:
- Fiverr (Global Alexa* ranking #431)
- Upwork (Global Alexa ranking #451)
- Freelancer.com (Global Alexa ranking #1,362)
- Peopleperhour.com (Global Alexa ranking #5,623)
- 99Designs (Global Alexa ranking #5,761)
- Amazon Mechanical Turk (Global Alexa ranking #6,706)
- Toptalent (Global Alexa ranking #7,079)
- Guru (Global Alexa ranking #10,920)
- Designcrowd (Global Alexa ranking #21,682)
- Outsourcely (Global Alexa ranking #97,387)
*If you’re not familiar, Alexa (now owned by Amazon) ranks the web traffic of all web sites, both globally and in the US only. It’s a great free way to get a rough idea of how popular sites are, which can be useful if you are trying to assess competitors. Alexa rankings were as of publication in August 2017.