Can We Reinvent the Concept of Freelancing, or It Is What It Is?

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Freelancing doesn't have what you may call a shiny reputation. Who's to blame? I guess both employers and freelancers. Employers keep pushing the prices to the absolute zero. On the other side, the freelancers themselves in search for work more or less intentionally sabotage each other in terms of low prices. It a mess. In theory and according to the gig economy fans this is supposed to be the employment principle of the future. Can we do something about it? Can we make the concept of freelancing to be a better world for work and especially for decent earnings? Does freelancing need reinventing in the first place?

I don't know, but I know someone who does. I really don't know how familiar you are with what's going on the major freelancing platforms in the world: Upwork and Freelancer. My best guess is that some busy little bees who work there say themselves one fine day, hey guys, the way the things are going right now isn't going to have a happy end, so let's do something about it. OK, maybe I'm too optimistic about the future of freelancing because the good old freelancing pays my bills. Yet, what I'm about to share with your is the first-hand experience. Something is definitely going on. I can't say revolutionary because that would be a too strong word to use. For what is worth, it is important. It is happening on both platforms, so it's not a coincidence. And, it is definitely worthy of our attention.

Upwork Top Rated Program

If you were a huge Elance fan, then you have probably noticed that Upwork is really trying hard to do something about its shaken reputation. For quite some time, we used to associate Elance with quality work and decent prices. oDesk was with all due respect a place where you would go to find more affordable freelancers. Now, Upwork desperately tries to convince that it has taken the best of both worlds Elance and oDesk. Hm, good luck with that.

So, I was more pleasantly surprised when the Top Rated Program was introduced to freelancers. It's not a rocket science. You get this lovely green badge next to your profile. You have to work hard to have good and flawless ratings. In addition, you have to earn a certain amount of money to qualify. To be quite honest, the guys in Upwork were more than reasonable. If I'm not mistaken, something like $1,000 in the last six months. There's some mysterious algorithm calculating your success score. So, you have to be like 90% successful or above. No more five-star stuff, that's for sure.

So, what do you get in return besides this sheriff's badge? Well, to the best of my knowledge not much. Some invitations, but in terms of better fees or more bids, absolutely nothing. Yet, this is an important message and a sign to potential employers that you mean serious business. I wrote a couple of emails to Upwork support team. I had some suspicions that this was a silent introduction of the caste system. You know, the privileged ones and other mortals. Yet, this is something I simply can neither confirm nor deny. Maybe Upwork team treats the Top Rated freelancers differently. Maybe they send them special invitations. I really don't know. As far as I'm concerned a little bit more transparency here would be strongly appreciated.

Freelancer Preferred Program

As a Top Rated freelancer on Upwork I have to admit that the Freelancer's Preferred Program has the same intention to put an emphasis on the quality. So, something is definitely happening. Yet, I have to admit there is a huge difference how these two programs work. In order to become a Preferred Freelancer on Freelancer.com you have to have an impressive five-star working record. Then you have to go through security checks and identity verification process. You also get the badge. So, yes you can be a sheriff here too. Now, let's talk about the differences. These differences actually mean money.

Freelancer.com has these Project Assistants who fly around like the busy little bees restlessly. Now, the catch is that you can't apply for these jobs unless you aren't either a Preferred Freelancer or you get a direct invitation. These Assistants make sure that only the most experienced freelancers are invited. Now, posting new projects for employers is by default free on all platforms. Here, if an employer wants to get a personal project's assistant who is supposed to look for freelancers has to pay something like twenty bucks per project. For a VIP treatment such as this, it's acceptable. On the other hand, if you accept to work on this kind of a project, you have to pay a 15% fee, which is more than a standard 10% on Freelancer. Either way, this is still far better than the 20% fee on Upwork. I qualified and eventually succeeded to become a preferred freelancer on Freelancer.com. Trust me when I say, you are treated and paid differently.

You have your own personal assistant to help while you're working on the preferred project. Also, the employer himself has completely different expectations in terms of pricing. He or she has signed and paid to participate in this program not to find the cheapest freelancer, but rather the best ones this platform has to offer. There were periods of times when I used to work exclusively and only on these types of projects. I didn't feel like a typical low paid freelancer, but a true VIP worker. And yes, the payment was more than satisfactory for the work and commitment I provided.

Are these programs the new and better future of freelancing?

I honestly believe they are. Every service provider in the world of freelancing has every right to earn money as an intermediary. However, I as a user have every right to ask something in return. Right now, I am satisfied with what Top Rated Program on Upwork and Preferred Program on Freelancer are offering to me. I deserve to stand out from the crowd just like any other freelancer with good ratings and the decent quality of work. At the same time, I'm encouraged by the decision of these major freelancing platforms to finally do something about the bad reputation of the freelancing concept. This is supposed to be a true win-win. On the one side, you have employers who can find quality workers if they want to. Of course, they will have to pay for that accordingly. On the other side, you have freelancers who can work on top quality projects, according to the freelance standards, and earn more. Somewhere in between are freelance platforms. OK, they have every right to earn.

To tell you the truth, when it comes to these programs I just don't think about the fees. You find me a potential client. You recommend me. You fight with me to get the job. You help me that everything is OK, and you make sure I get paid. Well, my dear freelance platform, you deserve every single dollar I pay. At the same time, I'm so relieved that I don't have to go through those painful price negotiations. Here, we can talk some serious business and some respectable payments for freelance standards.

So, here's my word of advice to all of my fellow warriors who are also freelancers. You should definitely do your best go get into one of these two programs, or both if possible. I admire warriors who don't have to be freelancers because they are successful and totally independent. Yet, the rest of use should have a decent chance to become these sheriffs with these shiny badges. It's about time for freelancing to stop being a synonym for low-paid and low-quality work. I would like to hear are there any sheriff colleagues just like me out there either on Upwork or Freelancer? Even the warriors who aren't freelancers, but may hire some in the near future, should share their thoughts about these programs. I really think this is an important moment for freelancing future. I was about to say in the history of freelancing, but we just had enough drama about it. It is about time to do something serious about it and maybe reinvent it in this way. What do you say? Is this a news for you or you are already familiar with these changes?
#concept #freelancing #reinvent
  • Profile picture of the author agmccall
    This is a marketing forum. this and most of your posts have nothing to do with marketing. Do you think you could find a forum dedicated to freelancing and post there.

    al
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    Broken promises don't upset me. I just think, why did they believe me?
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    • Profile picture of the author Bill Jeffels
      Originally Posted by agmccall View Post

      This is a marketing forum. this and most of your posts have nothing to do with marketing. Do you think you could find a forum dedicated to freelancing and post there.

      al
      I'm sure this long-winded whatever it is will eventually be moved to the Copywriting Forum.

      We usually get this and the content nonsense.

      Bill

      .
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      • Profile picture of the author agmccall
        Originally Posted by Bill Jeffels View Post

        I'm sure this long-winded whatever it is will eventually be moved to the Copywriting Forum.

        We usually get this and the content nonsense.

        Bill

        .
        I doubt it. Just look at his/her other posts they are all still in the main forum and he/she bumps them on a regular basis
        Signature

        Broken promises don't upset me. I just think, why did they believe me?
        ~Jack Handey~

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  • Profile picture of the author Walt SEO
    As a freelancer I despise both of these platforms. Reasoning? Lack of support, really weird clients and competing with millions of thirld-worlders.
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    • Profile picture of the author neshaword
      Originally Posted by Walt SEO View Post

      As a freelancer I despise both of these platforms. Reasoning? Lack of support, really weird clients and competing with millions of thirld-worlders.
      I guess, it is obvious you find your client elsewhere. That's a legitimate thing to do. I mentioned these changes to witnessed as a good sign that things may be going in a different and much better direction. Regarding your complaints, I can definitely agree with the choice of clients and countless freelancers coming from all over the world. Not sure when was the last time you checked some of these platforms, though. The support has improved a lot lately. So, it's worth a try.
      Thx,
      N
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  • Profile picture of the author David Beroff
    Sure; we can reinvent it:
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    Put MY voice on YOUR video: AwesomeAmericanAudio.com
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  • Profile picture of the author Kay King
    I wrote a couple of emails to Upwork support team. I had some suspicions that this was a silent introduction of the caste system. You know, the privileged ones and other mortals. Yet, this is something I simply can neither confirm nor deny.
    Proof that no one is reading this stuff:

    ... not one about the quote above. You emailed Upwork TWICE claiming they were discriminating? You can't confirm nor deny....because you just made it up.

    Maybe Upwork team treats the Top Rated freelancers differently. Maybe they send them special invitations. I really don't know.
    https://support.upwork.com/hc/en-us/...come-Top-Rated
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    Sometimes people come into your life and they need to stop doing that...
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnVianny
    You are paid for what you value.

    Less value, less payed. If you cannot show how much you value, u get in the mess with the other in the battle of lowering prices.
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  • Profile picture of the author Steve B
    Originally Posted by neshaword View Post

    the freelancers themselves in search for work more or less intentionally sabotage each other in terms of low prices

    Neshaword,

    Don't you think your view of the freelancing industry is pretty narrow and limited to these freelancing venues that you mentioned including Fiverr? I'm guessing that in the much broader global view of the industry, this is but a tiny segment of the overall freelance marketplace. It's the segment you're familiar with and it's the segment that has few barriers to entry.

    There are many very well paid freelancers that don't have to "bird dog" random projects in order to make a nice living. Lots of them pick and choose whatever projects they want to work on next and they are not having to compete against the lower rungs of the ladder simply because their services are in high demand and they are proven producers. Some have large staffs that are part of their "machine" who do research, writing, legal work, engineering, and a host of other support tasks.

    The view of the freelancing world is not dim or changing rapidly except maybe at the bottom rungs of the ladder. The policies and operational changes of the venues you mentioned are not going to change the overall freelancing picture much.

    Just my opinion. I respect your view on the subject at any rate.

    Steve
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    • Profile picture of the author neshaword
      Originally Posted by Steve B View Post

      Don't you think your view of the freelancing industry is pretty narrow and limited to these freelancing venues that you mentioned including Fiverr? I'm guessing that in the much broader global view of the industry, this is but a tiny segment of the overall freelance marketplace. It's the segment you're familiar with and it's the segment that has few barriers to entry.
      You wrote a respectful comment and made a legitimate point. Yes, this was definitely a narrow perspective of a much bigger problem and phenomenon. In a way, I have to admit, it was a little bit selfish to narrow down the entire freelancing industry or the world to only two major platforms. On the other hand, I'm disappointed, but this is my personal opinion, that the changes I have mentioned are treated as trivial, not by you, of course. You didn't even notice them. Guess, everyone pays attention to the things he can benefit from the most. In this sense, I don't have narrow view point problems. I learn and embrace what's going on and especially change in the world around me, even if it's not directly associated with me or my future profit perspectives. Either way, a decent comment or question will always be treated respectfully on my end. Regards, Nesha
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