Fee: Upwork charges a sliding fee based on your lifetime billings with each client:
- 20% for the first $500 you bill your client across all contracts with them
- 10% for total billings with your client between $500.01 and $10,000
- 5% for total billings with your client that exceed $10,000
There is also a small fee to submit proposals. Each proposal requires a certain number of “connects” to apply. Each connect costs 0.15.
UpWork is a popular freelancing site that works with freelancers and clients from a wide range of industries. One of the main pros of UpWork is the diversity of opportunities. You can find projects for entry-level, intermediate, and expert level freelancers. There are a large number of projects and opportunities posted each day, but there is also stiff competition. When working on UpWork you’ll want to specialize and create a strong portfolio in your specialty, as more general entry-level positions do get a lot of proposals and often people undervalue their services on UpWork. You can submit proposals for one-time or ongoing projects.
They do offer the Upwork Payment Protection and all business is conducted within the site. You can complete contracts, timesheets, and invoices directly through UpWork, and your earnings will be protected so you do not have to worry about not getting paid when working for a new client.
Clients rate freelancers on UpWork, but you are also given the option to rate clients. This helps freelancers identify whether clients will be easy to work with.
Fee: Fiverr keeps 20% of each transaction.
Fiverr gives freelancers the option to provide services for a flat rate. Don’t worry, you can make a lot more than $5 on Fiverr! You can set service package rates from $5 up to $995. You can set three different levels of packages for your service with tiered pricing.
You can find jobs in digital marketing in a number of digital marketing specialties including social media marketing, SEO, Content Marketing, Strategy, E-commerce, Influencer Marketing, Web Analytics, Email Marketing, and Web Analytics.
One of the benefits of Fiverr is quick payment. You don’t need to follow up with clients on invoices. Fiverr will transfer the payment to your account as soon as you complete a gig and deliver the final product to the client. Fiverr also encourages clients to tip!
Fiverr can be a great way to try out freelancing, as you are selling a set deliverable and not creating ongoing contracts (though you can certainly get repeat customers). This is good if you want to try out freelancing and fill your spare time rather than having set commitments. There are people who dedicate full-time hours to Fiverr, but that won’t happen overnight.
Freelancer operates similarly to UpWork; clients post jobs or projects and freelancers are able to submit proposals for consideration. Freelancer allows you to add up to 20 skills to your profile, with a large number of skills to choose from under the sales and marketing category. A paid account will allow you to add even more skills.
They also have a time tracking feature with the option to include screenshots of your work as well. Freelancers can also agree on project milestones with clients and be paid out a portion of their earnings at each milestone. This comes in handy for large fixed-rate projects. All payments and client communications are handled within the site. Freelancer.com offers a very low fee to freelancers compared to many of the others on this list.
Freelancers can also join contests on the platform. This allows freelancers on the site to showcase their work, build their portfolio, and generate positive reviews. If you win the contest, your project may be purchased by the contest holder.
Online Geniuses Job Board
You can also find freelance opportunities right here at Online Geniuses! Our job board features a variety of opportunities in the digital marketing space. Utilize our search feature to find positions that are a fit for your skillset. The job board includes jobs from top companies posted directly on Online Geniuses and also includes relevant digital marketing listings from Indeed.
Online Geniuses Talent Network
Fee: Free. Paid members do receive promoted profiles with increased visibility.
Creating a profile on our talent network can help you showcase your skills to companies looking to hire freelancers! You can set your rate, list your primary skills, experience level, and location. Instead of building a whole new portfolio on the site, you can link to your existing portfolio as well as your website and LinkedIn.
There is no cost to sign up for our talent network, but you will need to join Online Geniuses if you haven’t already. There is a 30 day vetting period to ensure that everyone joining are real people with a genuine interest and experience in digital marketing.
One of the best parts of our talent network is that we don’t take a cut of your earnings. Any leads that you get through the talent network are yours and you do not have to pay Online Geniuses a percentage.
Fee: $59.99 per month.
LinkedIn Profinder is a freelancing platform within the professional networking site LinkedIn. They offer a variety of freelancing categories. The two relevant meta categories for digital marketers are Marketing and Writing and Editing.
This one is easy for most people to get started on. You probably already have a LinkedIn profile so you don’t have to go through the hassle of building a completely new profile for this site. LinkedIn does however review your profile to check your qualifications. They’ll look at your job history, recommendations, headline, and published content.
Along with your paid ProFinder membership, you will receive access to premium features on LinkedIn. These include free access to LinkedIn Learning,15 free InMails, and access to your LinkedIn profile’s viewing history.
Fee: Guru does take a percentage of your earnings on its platform. The exact percentage will depend on what level of plan you have on their site. If you have a free account, Guru will take 9% of your earnings. There are 4 paid account tiers with the highest being the Executive tier for $49.95 per month and lowering Guru’s split to 5%. Paid accounts allow you to submit more proposals per month, link to your personal website, and send premium proposals.
Even at the highest fee rate, Guru takes a lower percentage than many of the big freelancing sites. It operates similarly to the others. You sign up, build your profile, and browse client postings, then submit proposals to jobs. They also offer recommended postings based on the skills that you list. The free plan allows you to submit 10 proposals per month, and if you join with a paid membership you can submit up to 50 bids per month.
Guru also offers a SafePay option. This allows you to request that the client deposits funds for the project to Guru. Guru will then hold the funds and transfer them to you once the work has been completed and approved. This lowers the risk of working with new clients.
Fee: Not disclosed. Freelancers will get their full agreed-upon hourly rate, Toptal does not disclose to the freelancer how much it is billing the client on top of that.
Toptal is a great freelancing site, but it is geared heavily towards Developers so this one won’t work for everyone. It also has an extensive vetting process before you can be approved as one of their freelancers.
The 5 step process includes:
- English language and communication interview evaluation.
- In-Depth Skill Review
- Live Screening
- Test Projects
- Continued Excellence
This is by far the freelancing site with the largest barrier to entry on this list. However, if you are approved it can be quite lucrative. They advertise themselves as taking only the top 3% of freelancers and the clients are willing to pay for top talent.
Fee: They use a tiered fee approach based on lifetime client billings similar to Upwork’s fee schedule.
- Over $7000 3.5%
- $350 – $7000 7.5%
- Below $350: 20%
PeoplePerHour is a UK-based freelancing site that offers both remote and location-based freelance opportunities. They work with clients and freelancers from around the world. There is an application process to join and you are not guaranteed to be approved, but if you are you’ll have access to a wide variety of digital marketing opportunities with international clients.