Where to Find Freelance Tech Jobs
As more tech workers flock to freelance work—whether due to layoffs, personal preference, or for extra income—it’s increasingly important to know where to find freelance tech jobs.
Big freelancing sites are a good place to start, but you should have at least several different places to look to diversify your prospecting and maintain a steady stream of work. Here are some recommendations to get you started.
Tap into your professional network
Speaking from experience, it will always be easier to find freelance work from within your existing network. Share a post on LinkedIn letting people know you’re seeking freelance opportunities, and consider reaching out to a few specific individuals who might need help or who might know someone else who does.
> How to Start a Freelance Business
If you still have a relationship with past coworkers at a former employer, consider contacting them to see if they have any projects they could use an extra hand with. Even if they don’t, they might be willing to vouch for you and share that you’re looking for freelance work with their own network.
Open jobs in the United States
Re-engage past clients
If you’re just starting out as a freelancer, skip ahead. But if you’ve been freelancing for long enough to have a few clients, start a re-engagement campaign. Past customers are the hottest leads!
Start with the clients you enjoyed working with the most and ask if they could use your services again. You might be surprised by how many people respond saying they’d been meaning to contact you but just haven’t had the time.
Best case scenario, you’re providing a convenience. Worst case scenario, they say no.
It goes without saying that you only want to reach out to past clients with whom you had a good experience. Trying to re-engage clients who were difficult to work with or who weren’t satisfied with the experience will only lead to frustration.
Create profiles on freelancing sites
Create profiles on a few different freelancing sites, but don’t spread yourself too thin. It can take some time to set up a new profile, and it’s easier to miss notifications and potential opportunities if you’re getting messages from five different platforms.
But before you create any profiles, consider your niche and the type of work you’re interested in. Bigger freelancing sites that cater to a multitude of professions will likely result in junior-level work where you’re more prone to being outbid by offshore developers. That doesn’t mean you should totally write off larger freelancing sites—just don’t be surprised if you have to do some sifting through job opportunities.
> How to Find (H)opportunities and Get Paid on Nerdly
Maintain a profile on one large site, then hone in on a few smaller ones that market themselves more in line with your area of expertise. There may be fewer total jobs available on these sites, but the quality of available jobs tends to be higher.
The best freelancing sites for tech jobs
|Upwork||General||Large||Free to join, 20% service fee for first $500 in earnings, 10% service fee after that up to $10,000 in earnings, and a 5% service fee for all earnings over $10,0001|
|Fiverr||General||Large||Free to join, 20% flat fee on every transaction2|
Software developers, marketing professionals
|Small||None, keep 100% of your earnings|
|Turing||Software developers||Medium||None, keep 100% of your earnings4|
|Toptal||Software developers, designers, finance experts, product managers, and project managers||Medium||None, keep 100% of your earnings3|
|Braintrust||Software developers, designers, project managers, product managers, other||Small||None, keep 100% of your earnings5|
|Gun.io||Software developers||Small||None, keep 100% of your earnings6|
1. According to “Freelancer Service Fees” via Upwork
2. According to “Start Selling on Fiverr” via Fiverr
3. According to “Talent Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)” via Toptal
4. According to “Do we have to pay to join Turing? Do I have to pay a fee or commission after I get hired?” via Turing
5. According to “How it works — talent” via Braintrust
6. According to “Packages and pricing” via Gun.io
How to vet freelancing sites
Not all freelancing sites are created equal. Here are the qualities to look out for to ensure you join a legit platform:
- Pre-vetted talent. It may sound like a pain to go through vetting before you can start applying for jobs, but pre-vetting works to everyone’s benefit. As a freelancer, this is a good sign that you’ll find work from serious organizations who value your talent and expertise (and are willing to pay accordingly). For employers, it’s a sign of reassurance that they can trust freelancers they hire on the platform to be professional and do good work.
- Pricing transparency. Always look for pricing details before signing up for an account with any site as a freelancer. It may be free to join, but some sites charge exorbitant service fees that can really cut into your total earnings. They most likely disclose these rates somewhere on their website, but they might make it hard to find, preferring to feature grandiose claims about your earnings potential instead.
- A human touch. Quality freelancing sites employ teams of recruitment consultants or talent success representatives who work closely with you to make sure you’re finding jobs and getting paid. They should be available to respond to your questions and concerns and take time to help improve your experience.
Don’t forget about online communities
Outside of freelancing sites, online communities on platforms like Reddit, Discord, and Slack are also good places to look.
Communities tend to be bigger on Reddit—with a subreddit like r/freelance having about 428,000 members—but you can usually find smaller subreddits specific to your location or area of technical expertise. For example, r/devopsjobs and r/awsfreelance are good resources for finding full time and freelance jobs.
Finding relevant Discord and Slack communities takes a little extra effort, but that doesn’t mean they don’t exist. For Discord, check out communities like Freelance Marketplace and devHub. For Slack, try CodeBuddies and #devchat. Also, browse this list on GitHub of tech-oriented Slack communities.
Finding freelance jobs is ongoing work
Whether you freelance full time or for a few hours outside of your day job, being a freelancer is like owning a business. And just like businesses need sales teams to track down leads and generate revenue, freelancers need to work constantly to find work.
This doesn’t mean you need to invest in expensive sales software or make cold calls all day, but it is wise to set aside at least a few hours each week solely dedicated to finding new jobs. Make this part of your routine, and you’ll be well on your way to maintaining a healthy pipeline of freelance jobs.
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