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Marketing Insights for Entrepreneurs

The Absolute Best Places to Find Freelancers Online

When you’re starting a new business, you don’t have the means to hire a team of developers or content writers. Thankfully, there are heaps of freelancers out there waiting for work. It’s just a matter of finding them.

When our co-founders were building Grasshopper, they sought out freelancers to create videos, illustrations, blog posts, and more. Despite the fact that we’ve been around for a while, we continue to hire freelancers all the time.

This puts me in a unique position. Not only do I write and manage this blog (hiring freelancers for it), but I also do freelance work myself from time to time. On top of that, I have my own small business that’s hard to manage on my own. I know what it’s like to be a small business owner looking to find an affordable photographer, and I also know what it’s like to be a freelancer looking for that work.

It just seems right that I help entrepreneurs sort out where they can find the best freelancers, and what better way to do that than in a blog post!

Find What You Need

I’ve divided this post into categories to make it easy to find what you’re looking for:

Find Writers

Contently (Our Top Pick)

contently

What it is: If you’re looking for freelance writers alongside a refined editorial process complete with editors, Contently is the platform for you. It can also be used as an editing platform if you’ve already got writers you like.

Pick this if:

Don’t pick this if:

Blogs You Love (Our Top Pick)

Source. HubSpot's Inbound Marketing Blog

Source. HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing Blog

What it is: If you read an article you love, contact the writer. These writers are the experts and their name is already out there! Many of these writers will take on freelance work, even if they have a day job.

Pick this if:

Don’t pick this if:

WriterAccess

wadashboard

What it is: Writer Access can easily hook you up with professional writers, complete with ratings. They also provide analytics and you only have to pay if you’re 100% satisfied.

Pick this if:

Don’t pick this if:

Problogger Job Board

probloggerjobboard

What it is: ProBlogger is a site laden with info for freelance writers, so it’s ripe with writers reading up on best practices and looking for jobs. The site is run by Darren Rowse, a guru for writers and bloggers. You can post a job for 30 days for $50.

Pick this if:

Don’t pick this if:

Find Designers

dribbble (Our Top Pick)

postajob

What it is: If you’re in need of a graphic designer or illustrator, dribbble is the place to go. The platform allows you to easily find talent based on the style you’re going for. You’re guaranteed to find good designers on dribbble as it is invite only. Check out what you get when you search for “modern animals.”

Pick this if:

Don’t pick this if:

Behance (Our Top Pick)

behance

What it is: Behance is a platform for showing and discovering all sorts of creative works. You can search the platform’s Joblist and sort by individual fields, or post your own job. Our CEO turns to Behance to find the latest and most cutting-edge designs on Behance, dipping in to an international pool of talent (his favorites are the designers in Japan).

Pick this if:

Don’t pick this if:

Forrst

forrst

What it is: Forrst is a designer’s enclave for inspiration and support. Top designers post their stuff for feedback and advice. Snag someone you like off the site.

Pick this if:

Don’t pick this if:

LogoBids

logobid

What it is: LogoBids allows you to crowdsource your logo. That is, you say what you want and how much you’ll pay, and designers compete to create the best design. When you choose a logo, the designer who created it gets paid.

Pick this if:

Don’t pick this if:

Find Developers

Stack Exchange (Our Top Pick)

StackExchange

What it is: StackExchange is part of a broader network called Stack Overflow. This is where the best developers “hang out,” so to speak. It might take a little digging, but you can find the best of the best on StackExchange.

Pick this if:

Don’t pick this if:

Guru (Our Top Pick)

guru

What it is: Guru allows you to post your projects, along with your budget, to help you streamline the freelancer process. The interface is intuitive and easy-to-use. There are tons of great developers on the site waiting for work. Guru is a budget option– you’ll be able to find someone who’s relatively inexpensive.

Pick this if:

Don’t pick this if:

Find All Types of Freelancers

Coworks (Our Top Pick)

coworks

What it is: You can use Coworks to find freelancers for design, writing, photo, and web projects. Unlike many other freelancing sites, Coworks doesn’t charge commission. That means you can bring freelancers you already work with on to the site with no charge. Additionally, Coworks is relatively new, and the team will help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

Pick this if:

Don’t pick this if:

Elance & oDesk

elance

What it is: Elance is the ultimate platform for finding all types of freelancers at all kinds of prices and they’ve recently merged with oDesk. Put your funds into an Escrow to protect yourself from paying for so-so work. Like Craigslist, Elance requires wading through the muck, but prices are reasonable and there’s a wide range of talent.

Pick this if:

Don’t pick this if:

LinkedIn

freelancerwriters

What it is: LinkedIn is the professional social media site, basically Facebook for businesspeople. The professional networking site is popular for a reason. Visit freelance groups, make searches, and see who your connections know.

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For Random Tasks

Amazon Mechanical Turk (Our Top Pick)

amazonturl

What it is: Get your tasks done easily and quickly with on-demand scalable work done by people. This is especially good for menial tasks such as compiling lists. For example, you can use Amazon Turk to compile people’s addresses for a mailing list if you already have their names.

Pick this if:

Don’t pick this if:

PeoplePerHour (Our Top Pick)

hourlies

What it is: If you’re looking to complete a specific task—whether it be menial or sophisticated– post it on PeoplePerHour. You can probably find someone to do it. Even though PeoplePerHour is best for random tasks, it can also be used to find illustrators and writers. I found Livia Tostado, the freelancer who created the images in this post, on PeoplePerHour.

Pick this if:

Don’t pick this if:

Craigslist

craigslist

What it is: Craiglist is an online classified system for everything– used furniture, jobs, childcare, and much more. It might take you a while, but many freelancers can be found on Craigslist at inexpensive prices. They’re not always the best of the best, but you can find decent freelancers if you dig around.

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Wrapping Things Up

There you have it– a list of places to find freelancers. If none of these options suit you, check out Freelancer.comSmashing Jobs, Demand Studios, or iFreelance.

  • wootwoot1234

    Any idea where we can find grant writers that we can pay based on grants recieved?

    • http://www.emmasiemasko.com/ Emma Siemasko

      Hm. Sites like Elance and PeoplePerHour have a multitude of people that specialize in grant writing. You can also probably find people on LinkedIn.

      As far as paying per grants received, I think you can achieve that through your creating your own contract with a grant writer. For example, for every grant applied for, they get paid x. For every grant received, they get paid 2x (or whatever you think is appropriate). As long as you’re clear from the get-go about what your expectations are for compensation, you’ll be able to work something out that incentivizes the writer to actually get those grants. Best of luck.

  • Wade Floyd

    Sad you left out needto Emma!

  • Jon Rhodes

    Great resource Emma. I have used ODesk in the past and that worked well for me. I like how you can track that they are actually working when they are supposed to, so you are assured you are getting value for money.

    • http://www.emmasiemasko.com/ Emma Siemasko

      Glad you liked the resource, Jon. Tracking the work the freelancer is doing is a great feature, especially if you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner shelling out serious cash. I have a love/hate relationship with freelance websites– it’s nice that they manage everything for you, but you also have to work with their conditions.

      • Jon Rhodes

        That’s very true Emma – you have to play by their rules. That’s fine if they suit you at the time, but not if you need something different.

        • http://www.emmasiemasko.com/ Emma Siemasko

          Exactly!

  • Dan Willis

    Emma you compiled a pretty good list here! I personally am a fan of a newer tool, mycrowd.com. The tool allows you to peruse talent from ODesk, Elance, etc all from a Chrome plugin so you never have to stop your work flow. It also sync up with Optimizely to allow for better project management while using your freelancers.

    • http://www.emmasiemasko.com/ Emma Siemasko

      Cool. Sounds like a tool worth checking out! Thanks for reading.

  • http://freelancer-coder.com/ ajaniashish

    Got most of things from what I was looking for at one place. Great list of resources Emma, keep up the good work.

    • http://www.emmasiemasko.com/ Emma Siemasko

      Yay! Glad you liked the article. Let me know if you want any more info about finding freelancers :-)

      • http://freelancer-coder.com/ ajaniashish

        Yes sure Emma, will contact you whenever I need your help in finding freelancers. Thanks.

  • http://www.socialbloger.com Robin Clarke

    Hello. Amhappy to have found tis blog to share some freelancer experiences