Are you tired of working a stuffy 9-5 job? Maybe you want more freedom or want to expand your horizons. Or maybe you are bored with your current job and want to spice up your life. All of that is admirable, but most of all, it is possible.
You can join the world of freelancers in a heartbeat. You can even join an online platform if you do not know where to start. All you should do is do some research so that you can know what is in store for you. To help you on your journey, we have done a quick review on one of those online platforms.
Is Freelancer a scam? Is it worth joining? Why don’t we find out?
How Does It Work?
Freelancer is like Upwork (formerly oDesk) in that it is a popular talent staffing site. They have more than 14 million registered users and 7 million completed projects. Its popularity means that more and more companies are beginning to outsource tasks such as writing, design, software and application development, etc to independent contractors or freelancers.
You can join as a freelancer or an employer, and decide between a free or premium membership. If you choose a free membership, you must pay up to 3-5% of your earnings per project. You also only have 8 bids (every time you apply for a job, it takes a bid) per month before you must upgrade to a paid membership.
Employers make milestone payments into Freelancer’s escrow account, and once they have approved the milestone, you will get paid. The main payment method is via PayPal and you need to link your PayPal account to your Freelancer account.
Freelancer also has their own downloadable time tracker. This can be used for hourly projects and can be paused and restarted by the freelancer. True, it is not the most sophisticated technology and it is a basic tracker, but it is reliable and gets the job done. Regular screenshots are sent to the employer of their employee’s progress.
When you sign up, you must choose whether you’re an employer or an employee. If you are an employer, all you must do is post your project. You enter the project title, project details, necessary skills needed, pricing options and attach the necessary files (if you have any).
If you want, you can always boost your post so that more people see it. Keep in mind that this costs an additional fee. After that you can wait for any applicants, but if you want to be proactive, you can look through freelancer profiles and invite someone to look at your post.
If you are an employee, all you must do is complete your profile. There are some paid tests you can take to make your profile more attractive. Keep in mind that your profile is like your CV, so be sure to insert all the relevant information. Once you are done, you can begin searching for a job.
Once you have been hired, have completed the project and the employer has approved your work you can release your money into your PayPal.
- Legitimate company
Located in Sydney, Australia, the company is backed by influential investors and has a professional management and leadership team. This is not some back-end scam, it is a reliable company that has been in business since 2004.
From freelancer to employer, the process is remarkably simple. They guide you through the process of making your profile, bidding for your first project. They also make it easy for employers to find the ideal freelancer for their profile.
- Large online platform
With so many freelancers and businesses using the site, it has become a gigantic online community. You can be sure that you will what you are looking for when you sign up. Whether you are looking for work or looking for someone to work for you.
- A lot of options
When looking for a new job, you probably don’t want to get hopeful and expect something exciting. But with Freelancer, there are so many different professionals coming together, that you will find many exciting prospects in your field. And when you are bored, you can move on.
- Slow customer service
Freelancer is notorious for its slow customer service. It takes forever to get a response out of them, and even then, it might not be the level of service you would expect from them. Numerous users have complained about this.
- Freelancers need to pay monthly fees
If you want to work, you have to pay. You only get a limited number of bids per month, and if you want to get more, you must pay for a higher subscription. This does not seem right since freelancers are looking to make money not pay money.
- Be careful
When it comes to payment, there seems to be a lot of complaints. Some freelancers have reported being scammed on the site, but Freelancer does not seem to take it very seriously. There is an endless amount of red tape that you need to go through before you get some answers. Some freelancers have reported not getting paid because their profile was “under investigation”.
It seems that on Freelancer, you need to pay for everything. You need to pay to upgrade your subscription, pay a percentage of your earnings, and you even must pay an inactive fee if you have been inactive for a while. As a result, there are high costs involved for freelancers and employers.
Is It a Scam?
Freelancer is a reputable company with legit investors and management teams. It seems to work for 14 million freelancers, and is one of the better-known freelancing platforms. There are some kinks that need to be ironed out, but other than that it is a good site.
You can start your freelancing journey with them, or you can look at similar talent staffing site. Keep in mind that they will also have their pros and cons.
If you like this article, share it! And if you have something you’d like to add, then leave a comment below!