In this article you will see how Freelancer works, some of the problems for members….and why they get so emotional!
It is strange how the awkward truth can be so funny! Watch the 2 minute video further down to see what I mean.
Freelancing is an exciting concept for those who want to earn from home or from anywhere in the world.
I started out as a true freelancer many years ago, not through an agent, but true – submit- scripts – to – editors – style of freelancing. Freelancing can be lucrative but it’s a long road to success and if you use an agency you may never get anywhere.
Owner; Matt Barrie Find out more.
Cost; Free To Enlist / Fees Apply
What is Freelancer.com?
Freelancer is an online outsourcing agency that connects writers to jobs. The majority of projects on Freelancer are ‘one offs’. They also list a small amount of manual labor, local jobs.
Why is Freelancing so popular?
Outsourcing is in high demand and very cost effective for employers.
For example, if a business team doesn’t have a specific skill or they need many hands for a short period, outsourcing can quickly gather qualified people.
Outsourcing allows the employer to keep permanent staff numbers to a minimum and reduces costs in a number of other ways.
Freelancers on the other hand, do not get the same workplace entitlements of a traditional employee. So the employer saves on outlays of superannuation, annual leave, sick leave, maternity leave, insurance, recruitment and training costs. Even the cost of office space is reduced, making outsourcing profitable.
You might get Repeat hires at Freelancer if the hirer and hiree are mutually satisfied. The freelancer goes on to work regular full time hours for one employer. Unfortunately the payments remain under the Freelancer banner, so you still get no entitlements.
|An estimated 53 million people in the US are freelance workers.
This figure includes the self employed in traditional service businesses.
Approximately 4 million are Freelance Workers specifically associated with the creative sectors.
Why would you do freelance work?
- The main benefit is working from a home or location independent.
- You can save a lot of wasted time and cost spent on commuting to an office.
- Flexibility with your schedule.
| Freelancer.com exceeded 20 million registered users in July 2016.
This includes freelance workers and employers.
What jobs are offered on Freelancer.com?
Seriously, you will find project work in just about any field on the Freelancer site! Freelance Content Writers, Freelance Photography Jobs….. Take a look at this list below or check out the entire list of jobs at Freelancer.
- Software Development
- HTML , PHP, CSS
- Internet Marketing, SEO
- Software Architecture
Digital Freelance work is spurred on by the burgeoning numbers of internet users and their need for technical assistance to compete in ever growing online business world. Freelance employment for knowledge workers, technologists, professional writers, IT and media workers has never been greater.
Freelancer.com has posted
over 9.65 million jobs in total.
Who Can Use Freelancer?
Anyone who has a skill to help someone else complete a job. You don’t have to be the top expert in your field, but that works too. Some of the projects are quite simple, if you know how. But they are difficult for people who don’t know how. An example is formatting this page..it’s kind of easy for me, but anyone who doesn’t know how to operate WordPress would be completely lost.
No matter what language, skill, technical, professional, or creative field you work within or need done, it is represented at Freelancer. It is a truly open market.
What About Earnings?
You can earn a good income by freelancing depending on your skills and confidence to promote yourself. A confident approach will always have more appeal to your prospect….similar to a traditional job application.
Freelancer.com is like an auction for skills with freelancers making bids on jobs. You need to decide what you are willing to accept for your work. If you have superior skills in an unsaturated field you can obviously charge premium rates.
Your skills are valuable, charge accordingly.
How Does The Freelancer.com System Work?
If you join Freelancer as a worker, you will complete a profile outlining your skills and areas of expertise, qualifications and expected rate of pay. (There are many, many more steps to joining… more on that later).
- The hirer will invite people to bid on their project . They will browse through the relevant profiles, comparing qualities and searching for a good match to the project, eventually selecting the perfect freelancer for their needs.
- There is a chat line to help the hirer and the freelancer to clarify exactly what the assignment entails.
- Meanwhile, you are notified when projects that match your skills are posted.
- You review all the details of the project, including the time frame, budget, fixed price or hourly rate and exactly what skills and tasks are required. Some hirers require progress reports.
- Once you are clear on the terms of the assignment you place a bid for the job.
- The hirer will choose the winning bid. The cheapest bid does not necessarily win the job.
The hirer’s decision is also based on your profile qualifications, reputation, certification and your success rate of completing previous assignments on time and budget.
- Payment is suspended in trust and distributed when the hirer reports they are satisfied with the work. For larger projects and amounts there is the Milestone Payment System where funds are released to the freelancer as stages of completion are reached. Find out more about Freelancer Payment Methods here.
- After the project is completed the hirer must give feedback on a worker’s performance. Feedback is published on your profile. Your profile ends up much like a comprehensive resume.
- Of course the payment will be minus any fees associated with using Freelancer.com. Reductions to the standard fees are available as optional upgrades for a number of different project conditions, as in repeat hiring and full time hour hires.
Why some Freelancers Get More Work than others.
- Number one reason is they bid frequently. Another way to get more assignments through Freelancer is to take advantage of their Bid Upgrade options and Sponsored Bids. Find out more.
- Experienced freelancers ensure a full understanding of the tasks before bidding. If you execute a task incorrectly it will effect your feedback, your payment and your profile for future work.
- Most employers are time poor, so a concise bid and precise terms regarding delivery time and cost is essential for winning a bid.
- Prompt response to employer communication is vital to freelance success. Freelancer.com now has an App for iOS and Android to keep you connected wherever you are.
- A well presented portfolio encourages prospects to hire a suitable candidate. The profile builder has a simple portfolio upload section. Be sure to protect your published works with a watermark.
- Successful freelancers tend to offer very competitive bids and are accurate about their capabilities.
- Those who have taken the Freelancer Skill Test Exams get a badge on their profile for each subject and level which confirms their ability. Exams are available for a variety of skills eg; SEO and English. Badges help them earn 50% more according to Freelancer.com
What Are the Fees At Freelancer.com?
My Basic Overview.
You can check the full schedule of fees and conditions here.
Freelancer website will show fees in the currency of your country . Here they are reported in Australian Dollars.
Freelancer is free to sign up but it is not free.
Skill Test Exam Fees; are $5.50 for a one off exam or $5.45 per month. When you opt for monthly payments, you are eligible to sit as many tests as you like. This way you accumulate a badge collection representing your certification in selected fields. Dots below badges indicate your level of achievement. These are added to your public profile.
Are the Freelancer Skill Tests legitimate?
Here is what Chris W reported on medium.com…if it wasnt’ so ridiculous it would be funny
“I took their basic numeracy skills test so I could add something else to my profile to show to prospective clients. Their tests – or at least the ones I looked at – cost $5.00 plus a processing fee of around $0.42. Here’s an actual question exactly as it appeared on the test I took: “John eat 2 pieces of apples a day. Now, is Thursday, but he remembered the his apples left after eating apples during Monday are 30 pieces after that, he gave the half of all his apples to her daughter. How many apples left, if today is Friday after eating the two pieces of apples?”
Transaction Fees; for Credit Card, PayPal or Skrill are $0.30 AUD + 2.3%
Sponsored Bid; is 2% of bid amount (minimum $4.00 USD maximum $50.00 USD).
Arbitration Fee; for a Milestone dispute is $5.50 or 5%, whichever is greater.
Maintenance Fee; User accounts that have not logged in for 6 months will incur a maintenance fee of up to $11.00 AUD per month until the account is either terminated or reactivated. Details here.
Taxes; Australian residents are subject to 10% Goods and Services (GST) tax. All prices on this page include GST.
Membership Plans; Please see the dedicated page here.
Fixed Price Projects Fee; is 10% or $5.50 AUD, whichever is greater.
Hourly Project Fee; is 10%.
PLEASE READ THE LIST ABOVE CAREFULLY. ** These costs are unavoidable. **
Freelancer is free to sign up, create a profile, select skills of projects you are interested in, upload a portfolio, receive project notifications, discuss project details with the employer, bid on projects ( free members initially receive 8 bids per month) and enter contests. Optional bid upgrades may be purchased to promote a bid.
For Fixed Price Projects, if you are awarded a project, and you accept, we charge you a small project fee relative to the value of the selected bid, as an introduction fee. If you are subsequently paid more than the original bid amount, we also charge the project fee on any overage payments.
For hourly Projects, the fee is levied on each payment as it is made by the employer to you.
Any Problems With Freelancer.com?
It would be unrealistic to expect zero complaints about a company with over 20 million subscribers. Only Freelancer.com can say how many complaints are received and resolved.
Having said that, I feel that I should outline the nature of complaints I have easily found on public forums, but cannot substantiate. From my own experience, I agree with some of the complaints listed below.
- Personal Identity Security – Freelancer.com prides itself on having a rigorous verification process. It certainly has a lot of hoops to jump through when signing up. Verification steps include Facebook, LinkedIn, Mobile, email. Then you create an account using your PayPal or other banking details, which they hold and have access to as fees arise. You must provide a copy of your Passport, Driver’s Licence or a Utility Invoice.
While all of these steps are easy enough to do, such a compilation of sensitive information puts Freelancer.com in an enormous position of trust and responsibilty to protect the user’s information. Some freelance workers, including myself, are uncomfortable enough they decide to freelance in other ways and maintain their own security and privacy.
In Australia there is legislation ‘The Anti Money Laundering Act’ requiring certain financial bodies to obtain client proof of identity. This may or may not apply to the service provider Freelancer.com.
- There are complaints about money withdrawn from PayPal accounts without the agreement or knowledge of the freelancer.
Most of these issues arise because people have overlooked the terms of membership. The fees are very clearly stated if you take the time to find them all. Please see my brief list of fees and charges in the official links.
- Customer service complaints revolve around difficulty in making contact, delays or failure to respond, unhelpful and unpleasant staff.
- Confusion prevails for some freelancers where their accounts have been suspended, whilst holding large amounts of money. Workers say they get no explanation about the suspension and no easy contact to resolve the issue. Perhaps this is where the Arbitration Fee kicks in, if the problem relates to milestone payments.
- Some employers are bad at describing their project, slow to respond and in some instances don’t ever award a bid. This wastes a freelancer’s time and bids (8 per month). In some of these instances freelancers have paid extra money ($1.10 AUD each) to have their bids highlighted for better exposure.
- Difficulty withdrawing funds from Freelancer.com. Get help with that below.
- Difficulty closing a Freelancer.com Account. Get help with that below, too.
Help; How to withdraw money from your Freelancer account.
- Log in
- Hover over YOUR BALANCE (top right )
- Select WITHDRAW MONEY
- Choose your withdrawal Method (some methods are not available in some countries.)
- Complete the details
- Click WITHDRAW FUNDS.
Help; How to cancel Your PayPal Billing Agreement In 3 Simple Steps.
- Log in to Freelancer.com
- Go to Your PAYMENT & FINANCIALS page
- Go to PAYMENT METHODS section
- Click on the X next to your PayPal account.
Best Takeaway Tip? Read The Fine Print!
Freelancer.com has an comprehensive list of conditions which you must understand. Here are some examples;
- A 15 day holding period applies before first moneys are released, for security reasons (quote).
- Wire Transfers incur a $15 USD fee (in and out).
- Withdrawals are processed twice per week, with lodgement deadlines.
See Freelancer.com help with service difficulties and conditions of payment here.
Why do some members get so fired up about Freelancer?
It is just too complicated! Fees are all over everything you do. Every one is making money off the worker. The worker gets the least value from the service…..sound familiar?
- “Freelancer.com is destroying my life!”
- Steve Freelancer “Tell NASA to boycott Freelancer” petition
- Visual Commando – “Freelancer The BIG SCAM will smoke away your money”.
- VC got so mad he Spanish subtitled this classically accurate South Park video about Freelancer.com.
Is Freelancer.com really A Scam?
No, Freelancer.com agency is not a scam.
Everything they do is legal and legit. It is up to you to read the fine print
Freelancer.com is a technical solution to connect jobs and skills. Users on both sides of the hire pay for the service. Fees are clearly described.
What do others say?
I have affiliate marketing colleagues who have also worked with Freelancer.com. My colleagues are mostly expert scam sniffers who don’t hold back when they smell something fishy! The low- down from them is this…
Freelancer.com is a difficult way to earn because of the high fees and low bids. Affiliate marketers are earning better money elsewhere. See their comments here.
Is freelancing a good way to earn your freedom?
Talented people from poorer countries stand to gain the most from Freelancer.com. They can charge a much higher rate to overseas clients than what they can earn in the home country. Western hirers are willing to take advantage of the lower international bids for what is otherwise very expensive work in their own countries.
The problem with the freelancing method is it keeps you tied to an hourly rate or the fixed price rate. You will only ever earn that much per hour/project.
Freelancing vs affiliate marketing.
You sign up with an agency like Freelancer.com and pay the associated costs (listed above). You bid for a job. You do the job. If the buyer likes it you get paid, minus agent fees or you rewrite and then get paid. Then you find another job to bid on.
Affiliate Marketing Simplified
You get your own website. You write stories and product reviews. You add affiliate links. When someone buys a product through your link, you get paid a percentage. Your article stays online getting viewed by more and more visitors. Every time they buy, you get paid
Jonathon the Freelancer example;
Think about Jonathan for example. He is a freelance SEO dude. He sets his rate at $20 dollars per hour. He will only ever earn as much as he can bear to work…40 hours per week, 50 hours per week, 60? 70?
So, in the end, Jonathon is still tied to a desk and a tight schedule. He gets pressed to bid lower to compete and is forever searching for more projects to bid on and hopefully win.
My affiliate marketing example;
Two years ago I wrote a 2000 word review about a great product. I became an affiliate of that company and put my affiliate link into the article. Every day approximately 30 people read my review and some of the readers buy the product at $499. I get paid 33% = $165.
Yes it took me a few hours of writing, maybe 6 including research. That one particular article, written once, earns for me over and over again. perhaps for years. Like all affiliates, I have dozens of articles working for me.
Clever affiliates are reinvesting their earnings to outsource articles through agencies like Freelancer.
|Freelancer.com has its own Affiliate Program Open to All Members. Find out more. Referrals are earned by placing Banners with embedded ID links onto your websites and social media. Commission is 100% of the associated project for 100 days. Note; This is only for B2B advertising, not to freelancers.
P.S. I am not affiliated with Freelancer.com.
Owner; Matt Barrie.
Cost; Free To Enlist / Fees Apply
My Final Opinion
Freelancer.com is not a scam. It is a Legit Business. The main risks with Freelancer.com is;
- you may end up being undervalued for your good work.
- it is one of those ‘Big Brother’ accounts.
- you must read the fine print.
My experience with Freelancer.com so far is this… I am not comfortable with giving so many of my personal identity details to an online entity. I draw the line at my Passport and other Photo ID being stored by a third party. Identity theft is a complication I am not willing to risk. Therefore, I can never be a member.
I am not suggesting Freelancer.com will misuse my personal details. It’s the ‘crooks’ I worry about. Storage of these details is open to abuse.
Want a better way to use your skills online? Find out more here.
(without having to surrender every last detail!)
See what is my number one recommended way to earn your freedom online.
I hope you have a clearer idea of Freelancer.com through this review. I am very interested in your feedback. Please drop your comment below and share this article with the people who need to know.
Go far, go well, from Janelle.
Founder of The Cashed Up Nomad.com Earn Your Freedom Online.
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