8 free freelance services sites (With tips for using)

Updated 26 April 2023

Freelancing can be a viable option for working, either as your main source of income or to supplement another job. There are various websites and platforms that exist that help freelancers and clients find each other and facilitate work. If you're a freelancer or thinking about freelancing, knowing some websites to consider can help you start. In this article, we explain what a freelance services site is and list eight free freelance services sites for you to consider.

Related: 12 services examples and what services are: a guide

What is a freelance services site?

A freelance services site is an online platform that connects freelancers with potential clients. Some of these sites specialise in a particular kind of freelance work, such as design or writing, whereas others have a more comprehensive list of options. On sites like these, prospective clients can advertise for work and seek promising freelancers. Freelancers can browse potential jobs and apply for those that interest them. You might have a personal profile as a freelancer that allows you to showcase positive feedback and reviews from previous clients. Some platforms are free, some are paid and others have multiple options.

Related: Freelance work: everything you need to know about freelancing

8 free freelance services sites

If you're just getting started or don't want to commit to regular membership fees, free freelance services sites can be a good place to start. Some of these have optional paid memberships with more benefits that you may consider later if you're happy with the platform. Here are eight examples to consider:

1. Freelancer.com

Freelancer.com is a marketplace for freelancers and clients with various job types. Freelancers can host portfolios of their work for potential clients to see, in addition to applying to any new job postings they encounter. There's a mixture of large and small projects available, while the site has a team of recruitment experts who can offer guidance. The site allows for different payment methods for the work and has a live chat function for freelancers and clients to communicate quickly.

It's free to set up an account on Freelancer.com, either as a freelancer or a client. The site makes its money through fees it charges on projects. Clients can choose to purchase upgrades to their projects to increase their visibility on the site.

Related: How to find work as a freelancer: a step-by-step guide

2. UpWork

UpWork is a similar freelance marketplace to Freelancer.com, since it has a wide range of potential project types. UpWork is free to use for freelancers as it makes its money through percentage-based fees on contracts. Once you have an account on UpWork, you can develop your profile to help it stand out to potential clients. Your profile also displays feedback from previous clients and shows how much you've earned. If you perform consistently well, you can get a top-rated badge on your profile to help you stand out further.

Freelancers can apply for posted work or clients can reach out to promising freelancers to invite them to apply. Applying for a project involves the use of connects, which are tokens that you spend to send an offer. Freelancers receive a certain amount of connects on a regular basis, but you can always purchase more.

Related: How to become a freelance writer in the UK (plus salary)

3. Guru

Guru has a similar system to UpWork. It has no fees for joining the platform, either as a freelancer or client. Guru makes its money from charging fees on invoices, which apply to both sides of the transaction. Like UpWork, there are various project types, including fixed-price, hourly and by project. The site has certain categories of work, namely writing, sales, development, marketing, programming, management, education, legal and engineering.

Like others, Guru features a verification process for freelancers so that employers know who they're hiring for a project. There are paid membership options available that allow freelancers to get more bids and pay lower fees, in addition to other benefits.

Related: How to hire freelancers: recruitment tips and benefits

4. Behance

Behance is a more specialised platform that focuses on design and artistic work. One of its main features is the ability to create a digital portfolio for your work, whereby it acts as a social network for creative professionals. It also has a job list that allows members to receive job recommendations based on their abilities. The work mostly relates to graphic design, web design, animation, illustration, photography and similar artistic work. Although there are limitations on the file sizes you can upload, there's no fee for making a profile.

Related: How to start a freelance illustrator career (with tips)

5. Toptal

Toptal is a platform that specialises in only hosting the most talented individuals. Instead of a normal signing-up method, Toptal has a significant screening process that assesses those who want to join. This includes personality reviews, skills tests, language assessments and other such evaluations. The premise is that Toptal only takes the top 3% of freelancers. This can make entry challenging, but if you get in, there's the potential for considerable rewards and projects from reputable organisations. Toptal specialises in designers, financial professionals, developers, project managers and product managers.

Related: How to become a freelance project manager in 7 steps

6. People Per Hour

People Per Hour is a freelance site that encompasses a wide variety of work categories. Like all the others on this list, there's no fee for setting up a freelancer account on the site. The site's AI system matches freelancers with jobs based on their skills and experiences. As a freelancer, you can customise your profile to make it appealing to potential clients. You can also apply for certification on the site, which can be reassuring for clients.

Related: What are billable hours? (Plus time tracking tips)

7. FlexJobs

FlexJobs focuses on remote and flexible working opportunities, which means freelance work is a significant part of the platform. FlexJobs screens all of the listings in advance to ensure they're legitimate, which can be reassuring for freelancers. It also has a wide range of job categories, in addition to career coaching sessions, events and useful articles. FlexJobs can be a good option if you're also looking for flexible or remote work that isn't freelance. Creating an account is free, but there's a paid membership for getting the full list of features and benefits.

Related: What is the recruitment screening process? And how to do it

8. SimplyHired

SimplyHired has a similar interface to job posting sites. It features employer reviews with postings and is free for freelancers, although employers pay a fee to advertise. It has a search engine for finding jobs, both freelance and full-time. If there's no information regarding pay or salary for a job, SimplyHired offers estimates based on known salary ranges for the work. Some listings take you to an external site, whereas others are available directly. It's also possible to upload or build a CV with the site to facilitate applications.

Related: How to search for remote work on Indeed

Tips for using freelance services sites

Here are some tips to consider when you're using freelance services sites to find work:

  • Profile customisation: Many of these sites have the option to create customised profiles to attract clients. These are almost always a good idea to fill out and update, as they can make the difference between a client choosing you over someone else.

  • Verification: Many freelance sites have verification steps, both for freelancers and employers. In addition to verifying your own identity, it's also a good idea to focus on verified clients when applying for work to avoid scams or unnecessary risks.

  • Feedback: If the platform has the option to give or receive feedback, try to take advantage of this to promote your profile. You can leave feedback for an employer and ask them to return the favour, allowing both of you to benefit from a mutually positive experience.

  • Persistence: It can take some time to get responses when you're just getting started with a new platform. With persistence, patience and an adaptable approach, it's possible to derive considerable benefit from these platforms.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are affiliated with Indeed.

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