According to Freelancing in America 2017, a study conducted by Upwork and The Freelancers Union, just over 57 million Americans freelance either full time or part-time. This number is anticipated to grow to 86.5 million by 2027.
With this shift in the economy, freelancing websites are fast becoming the hub for future work. To give you a head start on the platforms leading the charge, here are the top 5 freelancing websites on the web today.
Upwork is the 800-pound gorilla when it comes to freelancing websites. Born out of the amalgamation of Odesk and Elance, two of the leading freelancing platforms up to the time of their merger, the platform today hosts over 5 million clients and 12 million freelancers.
The platform boasts an impressive 3 million jobs worth $1 billion posted every year. For clients, the platform offers simple project management tools while for freelancers, there is a slew of features to assist in finding and securing jobs.
QuiGig is the new kid on the block poised to challenge the larger incumbents in securing freelancers and clients. Still in its infancy, the platform is designed to combine the features of TaskRabbit with those of Upwork, an interesting hybrid approach that would make it easier for freelancers to score jobs. Additionally, the platform allows for online and offline projects, something that platforms like Upwork do not offer.
Freelancer is a marketplace founded in 2009 and based out of Sydney, Australia. The platform has been on an aggressive expansion plan in Southeast Asia and Europe acquiring smaller marketplaces to broaden its footprint.
Freelancer, like other similar marketplaces, offers a competitive bidding system that allows clients to get the best service at the lowest price. As of March 2016, the platform is available in 44 global regions, in 34 languages, and with 21 currencies.
Fiverr launched in 2010 with a then-novel business model of pricing all services on the platform at $5. This proved to be an effective bait for people looking for freelance services resulting in the meteoric rise of the platform.
Over the following years, the platform went on to add additional payment tiers, so freelancers could earn more than the $5 base fee. Today, the platform differs from other major freelance marketplaces due to its focus on prepackaged freelance offerings, rather than the competitive bidding model.
PPH is a company founded and based in the United Kingdom that serves the greater European region. With offices in the UK and Greece, the platform is relatively smaller than the rest of the platforms but does offer unrivaled access to the European market.
Mostly used by small businesses and startups, the platform utilizes the same competitive bidding system other major platforms use. One interesting feature of the platform is how freelancers can package their services in “Hourlies”, or services they offer by the hour.
With global work moving towards the online and freelancing model, these platforms will doubtless play an increasingly significant role in the future of work. What can be predicted is a greater consolidation in the industry as well as a deepening of services offered across the platforms.