A couple weeks ago I was sitting on the sidelines at my son’s little league baseball game, when I struck up a conversation with a set of parents sitting next to me. During the course of the conversation it came up that Dave and I had started our own business, and the woman mentioned that she had tried to start her own business but was scared of all the scams she found when looking for work at home opportunities. With no second thought, I took out my notebook, wrote down the names of the freelancing sites we had used to get Sutton Creative Studios off the ground and gave it to her. This is not the first time this scenario has played out in my life.
It struck me this morning that I used to be scared to give these names out, mostly because I was afraid we were going to miss out on work opportunities if any of these individuals got the work first. Now this is my last concern, as we have more than enough work to keep busy. Despite the fact that our rates have steadily increased, work inquiries keep coming in. Honestly, my current concern is turning down a job that we should keep while we look for reliable individuals to add to our team.
So today, I offer the gift of knowledge to all you budding entrepreneurs who are looking for ways to spread your wings and take off on your own. Sharing is caring, and I want to see others achieve as much success as we have.
Following is a list of reputable websites where you can look for work and try to expand your happy client roster:
- Elance.com – Subscriptions are available at a variety of different levels, ranging from “Basic” which is FREE and allows 40 proposals/month to “Large Company” which is $40/month and allows 100 proposals/month. Submitting to different categories, i.e. “Design & Multimedia” is one category and “Admin Support” is another, requires payment of an additional charge per month, however if you are well-versed in multiple disciplines it is worth the investment.
- oDesk.com – Very similar to Elance, subscriptions are free however proposals are limited. The free subscriptions seem to attract the attention of applicants from overseas outsourcing companies, which drives down the rates drastically. Don’t worry, however, as there are clients who overlook the $3/hour proposals in lieu of native employess in their own time zone.
- Freelancer.com – I will admit, I am not as well-versed with freelancer.com because I did not find as many opportunities (for me) there as I did on the previous two sites mentioned. For those in “Design, Media & Architecture”, however, there are a lot of opportunities posted. You just need to beat out everyone else who is submitting proposals.
- Mycroburst.com – Mycroburst is a great site for designers looking to grow their portfolio and build their reputation. Clients post the project criteria and designers submit their take on the solution. This can range from web design to logos, corporate identity packages and more. On the down side, designers can spend a lot of time working on a project they are never hired for. On the up side, if you win a project, you already know what financial value the project had and are paid in close to real-time (pending there are no revisions needed).
- Fiverr.com – If you’re willing to work for $5 a gig, Fiverr is the place for you. Contractors post a listing stating what they are willing to do for $5, and customers choose whether or not they want to buy from you. **I strongly encourage you to read ‘Three Signs You’re Undercharging for Your Services’ before adding your services to Fiverr.
Please comment below or contact us if you have suggestions on other sites you would recommend!
Kim Sutton is the Managing Partner and Chief Everything Officer of The Sutton Companies, including Sutton Strategic Solutions and Sutton Creative Studios. She is a graduate of The School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Interior Architecture.
An avid reader and passionate learner, Kim is constantly researching, studying and developing business improvement strategies. When it comes to client work, Kim especially enjoys helping her clients develop innovative marketing strategies and sales funnels, particularly when they are using Infusionsoft to automate all the heavy lifting. To find out how you can further develop your company’s marketing and automation strategies schedule a 1-hour Business Boost Strategy Session by clicking here.
In her free-time, Kim cherishes the time she gets to spend with her husband, Dave (her business partner), and five children. She also enjoys reading, knitting, writing and playing video games.
Get a copy of Kim’s FREE guide, “10 Top Tools for Small Businesses” by clicking here.