I’ve been posting job ads weekly and as you may have noticed, I do not take job ads from Upwork (formerly oDesk) or Freelancer. While Upwork offers a ton of great work-from-home opportunities, I do not recommend it to people who are serious with their freelancing business.
I am not saying that they are bad places to find work. They are, in fact, great sources of legit jobs. But I personally avoid them due to the following reasons:
- These online marketplaces are often driven by price, instead of value. If you want to land a job at Upwork, for the most part, you have to lower your rate to be able to compete with the rest who are willing to work for half of what you’re offering just to get the job.
- They monitor your every move. I am not a slacker at work, but I hate the idea of monitoring my every move 24/7. I am a professional and I do not need a software babysitting me to ensure that I do what I’m supposed to do.
- Being hired is extremely tough for new members. When you a have a marketplace that is driven by price and ratings, it is hard for new members to land a job especially when there are already tons of members that have already proven themselves in the form of good ratings. All is fair between applicants when applying directly to clients.
Upwork and Freelancer are actually great platforms. But I think the problems don’t lie within the platforms per se, but rather within the businesses and freelancers, and how they choose to use the platform. Businesses often go for lowest bidders (regardless of quality), while freelancers do not make an effort in providing value (since they got the job for way lower than what they would normally accept).
I choose Craigslist, Onlinejobs and Easyoutsource even though they are riskier because I prefer to find work that is not driven by price nor ratings.
In my opinion, the best freelancers do not need a middle man to do their business. What they want is a direct and lasting relationship with clients who trust them enough not to monitor their screens. The best freelancers build a reputation for themselves and not some rating for a website that you lose when you leave the platform. The best freelancers develop and create new markets, not sit around and wait for a call. The best freelancers are not competing on price in a gladiators’ arena, they charge for the value they add to their clients’ business. They tell their own story like a boss and do not sell themselves short of their potential.
And I know all of that. That’s why I am one of the best.