Over my last few posts I have been talking about contracting and why I personally like contracting. There are two main ways of finding work as a contractor either through recruitment agencies or via freelance websites.
There are many of these freelancing websites, Upwork, Freelancer (UK), PeoplePerHour and Toptal. Sometimes I have shied away from these sites and they are usually swamped with developers offering very cheap services that I cannot possible compete on, full websites for £100 or a complete mobile app for £250. Now I’m not to sure about the quality of the work that these offer would receive, but I can see how a client with a small budget can be tempted with offers like these.
For me to use one of these sites at the rate I’m looking for I need a site that both has a high number of users and has a high level of entry. So the clients who look for freelancers on this site know that the quality of developer they are looking at is at a high standard, and they are willing to pay for this high standard.
One site I have looked into that fulfils these two requirements I have is the Toptal Web Developers group who, on their website, say ‘hire from the top 3% of freelance web developers’. The main reason I like Toptal is that there signup process is very thorough, you have to complete a signup form, give examples of work and even write a blog post about them, which is actually a good idea. Because sitting and writing out your thoughts on why you want to signup to Toptal makes you really think through the process and what you are looking for from a freelancing website.
I’ve seen a fellow Ionic developer Julien Renaux who is on Toptal, I contacted him via Twitter to see if Toptal was a good service, he said that it is and he has had no problems with it.
So if you are looking to become a contractor/freelancer and want to find work from places other than recruiters (who are still a valid and useful resource) then one of these Freelancing websites maybe an option.
Here are some links to podcasts where people have spoken about how they have succeeded using one of these freelance marketplace websites: