So you’ve decided to become a freelancer…congratulations! You’ve just joined the ranks of more than 57 million enterprising small business “owners.”
But once you’ve decided to hang your shingle, you realize that the first thing a freelancer needs is work. While referrals and personal contacts are always key in growing your business, job boards can provide a smart option to ramp up your business fast.
They immediately put your name out to the world as someone who is ready to work, and instead of sending out dozens of cold emails to what can seem like a black hole, the people on the platform are also looking for someone to do the work. Or in the case of job boards, you can search by any number of criteria to find a job that suits you.
Every platform has its own personality so it can take a while to find the right one for you. Here are 41 we have rounded up that will give you more places to start than you ever thought possible.
General Professional Jobs
As a freelancer, part of your goal might be to work at home in your pajamas.. With Flexjobs, you’ll find a curated list of professional-level remote and flexible jobs that you can guarantee are legit.
This one is a no-brainer because it takes your LinkedIn profile, which you’ve already created, and matches you with potential clients looking for your services. You’ll get an email alerting you that you’ve been selected to offer a proposal, and you can send it off, including your own price quote.
Yes, most jobs pay $5, but don’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it! If you’re a whiz at creating taglines or just want to boost your portfolio with some logo design work, go ahead and offer your services here. They also have a different platform called Fiverr Pro for more involved projects.
One of the best-known job boards, Upwork allows you to create your profile, then potential clients will contact you after Upwork matches you based on your skills and experience.
Set up your resume and WorkMarket will use its algorithm to match you with the opportunities that are right for you. They boast 3,500 assignments a day being doled out via their platform.
Yep, Craigslist is a place to do far more than offload your old VHS tapes. While it’s hard to verify the jobs and there can be lots of low-paying offers, there are often hidden gems just waiting to be discovered.
From massage therapy to landscaping to dog grooming, Thumbtack is a marketplace for virtually any service you offer. Local “buyers” go there to find a pro to fill their need, and your background and rates will pop up.
Create your own personal business page and let people find you, or search the available listings. The jobs are nicely categorized with names like “Family” for nannies, house cleaners and tutors; or “Health and Fitness” for trainers, coaches and nutritionists.
Come for the company reviews, stay for the jobs. This job board allows you to sign up for alerts that will send appropriate jobs your way, either that are in your area or allow you to work remotely.
Top Talent – get it? This professional-level website bills itself as the top 3% of freelance talent, from software developers to finance professionals. Think you have what it takes? If so, you could be matched with top companies looking for interim talent.
This freelance website covers everything from sales and marketing to legal and administrative. Search by hourly or fixed price jobs in each category.
This company is known for its “deep dive” newsletters that cover 13 different verticals, but along with your industry trend report comes a few jobs in each email. Check them out for freelance potential.
Despite its name, there are plenty of “fixed price” projects on here as well. You can also search by experience level, meaning that “expert” jobs will offer more money, making it easier to find what you’re looking for.
From accounting to programming, you can browse the listed projects in a variety of fields. While this has fewer projects, it also has fewer freelancers who have created profiles, making it potentially less competitive. (At $7 for the base plan, it might be money well spent.) Potential clients can find you or you can bid on projects.
This site only has paid-for placements ($299 for the month) so that often tends to attract a serious customer. Sign up to receive jobs in fields like programming, design and marketing sent to your email.
Surely you’ve seen this one before…it’s a job site aggregator with a multitude of listings. Patiently picking through can yield some good stuff so give it a try. Jobs tend to have very thorough descriptions which can help you decide if it’s a proper fit before applying.
On this site, employers can post jobs themselves, search for freelancers, or let LocalSolo do the matching for. You, the freelancer can be contacted all those ways in addition to searching for jobs yourself. LocalSolo also sends freelancers a curated email that’s sent when a job matches your skills. Most of the jobs are for creative work, such as writing, photography, web developers, and more.
Create a profile for virtually any small business and Bark will send you leads that might be of interest. If something grabs your attention, you pay a small fee, called a credit, and Bark will send you the contact information. Credits are $1.50 and contact info is priced at 1 to 20 credits.
Specialty Sites – Housing Industry
With the tagline “Home is Where Our Heart Is”, this site focuses on small businesses in the housing category, and tends to attract a qualified customer browsing the services. The list of services offered is vast — from pest control to solar panels.
This subscription service for home-related services will email or text you qualified leads. You can show your skills reach customers as they are ready to buy. In the event you receive bad leads, you’ll get refunded, minimizing the risk of using Porch.
This pro-matching service offers a host of support modules to help you find out the most popular projects along with an online library with advice on building your business.
This site took the social media industry by storm as homeowners flocked to it to find ideas and compare projects. It’s a great place to connect with savvy customers who know what they want. Build your free profile and then start adding idea books, answering questions and more to connect with customers.
Specialty Sites – Writing
Unlike some other sites, you don’t need to upload your own profile to be matched. Just browse the board and apply to the ones that suit.
Yep, sounds pretty similar but is yet a different platform. This one also lists jobs that are easy to search by writing, editing or other functions.
Another job board, this one lists the pay before you even have to click on the description, which can be helpful if you’re looking in a certain range. They rank them from “low pay” to “professional” so it’s easy to find the right category.
After browsing posted projects, you can submit a proposal and a bid. You can see right up front the average bid and how many there are to decide if it’s worth your time.
Props to this daily newsletter that sends you 20 or so jobs curated from other boards, broken out by copywriting, proofreading, grant writing and content writing. It’s handy because you know you’re not clicking on the same job twice since they are new each day.
This site offers more ways to browse jobs than most, allowing you to search by salary, date posted or industry. Note that many of the jobs are full time.
Similar to JournalismJobs, most of these are full-time but there are a few freelance ones among them. The site is a treasure trove of other helpful information though, including tips on how to pitch editors and more.
Specialty Sites – Creative
You don’t actually have to meet your customer which is unusual for photography freelancers. A client uploads details of the photographs they want and you submit them. In addition you can upload photos to a stock site, where you get paid when they are downloaded.
Search by state to find jobs in your area. Job postings are free, which means you’re not sure what you’re getting often, but it’s easy to search to find something that might be suitable.
This is what’s known as a “contest” site so companies will start a “contest,” either for design or idea brainstorming, and then you can offer your ideas. They’ll pick their favorite and if you’re the winner, you’ll get the prize money – and hopefully the start of a wonderful client relationship.
For creative professionals only (the art type), this invite only site will take a look at your portfolio and if accepted, you’ll have access to the job listings where you can indicate if you are interested.
Whether you specialize in logos, branding, packaging or more, this site will connect you with businesses that need your services. The site itself will rank you as entry, mid or top level when you apply.
This site is for creatives of all stripes, whether you’re a storyboard artist, game designer, fashion stylist or a more typical photographer or graphic designer. Search by field and location to find appropriate jobs. You can also post your work and find inspiration from others.
Don’t even get us started on the clever name. This application-only site matches small businesses with web developers and designers for one-time projects and fantastic rates of $50 to $100 per hour.
Specialty Sites – Other
This site boasts it offers the top 2% of freelance developer talent. Send a link to your portfolio and LinkedIn and if you’re hired, then you’re ready to be “hirable” by tech companies.
Want to pick up shifts in restaurants here and there? Pared pairs you with food service jobs for everything from prep cook to catering event staff.
This state specializes in tech (think engineering and app development) but also has some writing and product management and marketing type jobs available. It’s easy to search by full-time or freelance, and you can also get a daily or weekly email newsletter.
Focused mainly on tech, this site also include some financial services and energy-related jobs. The advanced search function lets you drill down within different skills and keywords and geographic locations.
Advanced search jobs
Here’s a tricky way to find a bunch of job postings curated just for you. In your search bar, type in inurl: and then a description of the type of job you’re looking for, such as inurl:write-for-us. It will return jobs based in your area.
So with these 41 online platforms and job boards as a start, you can feel confident that you’ll be able to find freelance work fast. And then, you can move on to the fun part — getting it done. And the even more fun part — getting paid.