By Rosalind Kent, Owner of Freelance Parents Network.
If you are thinking of becoming a freelancer you may already be lucky enough to have lots of industry-specific contacts and mountains of work just waiting for your attention. Or, like many freelancers you might find that work does not fall so easily into your lap.
If you are new to freelancing and just starting out then you will inevitably have come across a plethora of websites that offer you the chance to bid for freelance roles in your chosen profession. A quick search of the net brings up a wide variety of these sites from eLance and Freelancer based in the USA, to Peopleperhour, one of the few UK-based freelance job sites.
These large ‘job auction’ websites are mostly global platforms, and as such will have a wide and interesting range of jobs from around the world. However, they will also have a wide and interesting range of freelancers registered from around the world.
In terms of diversity this is great, but may not be so great for everyone in terms of pay. Freelancers from different economic climates will have very different ideas of what constitutes a decent level of pay, and as these websites are based on a bidding system, lower bids will inevitably attract more attention from hirers.
You are not just competing against low bids from around the globe, but also bids from inexperienced individuals who are using these sites to gain that vital experience to add to their CV or portfolio. Again, they might be willing to do work for very low sums of money just to get their foot in the door.
If you are a professional with years of experience behind you it may well around to not be worth your while to even sign up to these websites, as you are likely to be undercut from all angles. Many experienced professionals will not join these websites for that very reason. Despite this, these sites remain very popular and freelancers of all kinds sign up in the hope of finding work. It makes sense to be on the look-out for new sources of work at all times – every freelancer knows that there will inevitably be months where jobs are hard to come by!
However, not all freelance job sites work in the same way. Freelance Parents Network does not rely on this bidding system and which allow freelancers to apply for jobs based on their level of experience and suitability for the role. Employers post their jobs with us because they know they are going to be putting their role before highly qualified, professional freelance parents who wish to continue working flexibly around their family life. The vast majority of our freelancers are based in the UK, although we have had job requests from abroad, including New York, and because of this our Network is slowly becoming more international.
So, if you are looking for extra freelance work then sign up to Freelance Parents Network, for free, to see if there is an opportunity out there for you.
A version of this article by Rosalind Kent was originally published on the website Freelance Advisor