7 Freelance Marketplaces with a Competitive Edge

7 Top Freelance Marketplaces with a Competitive Edge

Freelance marketplaces offer some great opportunities for companies and freelancers alike to grow their business.

If you’re a startup, agency, or entrepreneur, you can get specialized work done without employing someone full time. And if you’re a freelancer, you can do the work you love without needing to commit to a single company.

There are many freelance marketplaces out there, if not hundreds, but in this article we’re only presenting the marketplaces that are different in some very unique ways.

Whether you’re a freelancer and tired of paying service fees, or a company and only want to hire the top 1% to 3% of freelancers, there’s something here for everyone.

A quick comparison of the marketplaces

Marketplace Freelancer Types Freelancer Skill Fee for Companies Fee for Freelancers Differentiator
99Designs Designers Varies Fees included in project costs None Crowdsourced design
Clarity All Types Medium/High None 15% for every call Phone calls only
Fiverr All Types Low/Medium 5% 20% For small tasks
Gigster Designers, Developers High Fees included in project costs N/A Project managers included
Hubstaff Talent All Types Varies None None Free for everyone
Nubelo All Types Varies 5-10% 20.00€/month for better projects 100% Spanish
Toptal Designers, Developers High $500 down payment plus hourly/weekly project cost $25 payment fee Only accepts top 3% of freelancers

A closer look at the marketplaces

99Designs

99Designs is a crowdsourced design marketplace. It’s great for companies that want many different designs for their idea. It’s risky for freelancers in the sense that you only get paid in full – or “win the contest” – if the company chooses your design.

How 99Designs works in 3 steps

How 99Designs works in 3 steps (source)

For companies: To start using 99Designs you need to prepare a design brief, pick a design package on the basis of your project parameters, then publish your “contest.” After that, the platform’s designers will submit a number of designs. You pick the one you like best.

For freelancers: If you love some professional and friendly competition, 99Designs is your place. However, you shouldn’t add it to your list of marketplaces to earn predictable income. For each project you submit a design, and after spending time on the design you’re not guaranteed to win the project.

Clarity

Clarity connects experts with companies that want quick, actionable, and professional advice through voice chat. Advice is priced per minute, usually starting around $2-$5 per minute.

Search results in Clarity for experts specializing in productivity

Search results in Clarity for experts specializing in productivity (source)

For companies: You can seek help from professionals in all areas of business. When you find someone that seems relevant and trustworthy, request an appointment with them and choose the call time slots that work for you. The professional will then confirm your booking. You can invite up to eight more team members to take part in the session.

For freelancers: If you’ve proven yourself in your field, Clarity is worth adding to your arsenal of moneymaking marketplaces. With companies willing to pay $2/min or more, new freelancers/experts can make $120/hour. However, you must get approved by Clarity first.

Fiverr

Fiverr is a massive marketplace that joins fast-working freelancers with fast-moving companies. If you can work quickly, or need something done quickly, this is a good place to check out.

fiverr-gigs

Search results in Fiverr for freelancers that do WordPress-related gigs (source)

For companies: Fiverr is for when you need a quick fix for a small task that you don’t have the time or skills for. As its name suggests, you can find a cheap and quick solution for a pending job for as little as $5 (plus a $1 service fee). Just be aware that getting high quality output will cost you more than that.

For freelancers: The marketplace is quite competitive but if you’ve mastered a small task it may be worth adding here. And if you can produce results at scale, you might not mind the 20% Fiverr takes off the top of your pay.

Gigster

Gigster only hires the top 1% of software development freelancers and has been used by companies such as IBM, Airbus, and MasterCard. The marketplace focuses on application development.

Comparison of Gigster vs other means of completing application development projects

Comparison of Gigster vs other means of completing application development projects (source)

For companies: When you have a great idea for a web application and want it realized, Gigster gives you access to top engineering talent. Its talent search is assisted by artificial intelligence, but project managers help manage your project once talent is found.

For freelancers: Instead of working as a solo freelancer, with Gigster you get to collaborate with a group of freelancers. The pay is also above average. If you want a break from working alone on projects, this is a good marketplace to check out.

Hubstaff Talent

Hubstaff Talent connects agencies with talent from all over the world and doesn’t charge fees. Unlike many other freelance marketplaces, it doesn’t require you to go through its platform for communication and payment.

hubstaff-talent-search-results

Search results on Hubstaff Talent for content writer (source)

For companies: Hubstaff Talent lets you easily review people’s resumes, skills, portfolios, and payment expectations. You can select among solo freelancers and remote agencies offering complete sets of services. After finding the freelancer or agency you need, you can work with them outside of the platform.

For freelancers: This is a great option for freelancers tired of Upwork’s service fees. After finding a client, you can have the client pay you in the method you prefer.

Track time. Gain insight. Improve productivity.

The Hubstaff time tracking platform helps companies get a full view of what's being worked and freelancers improve their productivity

Nubelo

Nubelo is a completely Spanish language-focused platform and is one of the top choices in the Spanish market.

Search results on Nubelo for companies looking for a freelance writer

Search results on Nubelo for companies looking for freelance writing (source)

For companies: Nubelo works like a matching service. When you post the job you need done, the system searches for the most appropriate talent. Then you select the freelancers you’re most interested in interviewing and hiring.

For freelancers: Instead of simply telling companies you’re interested in providing freelance services, you can also let them know in your profile that you’re interested in full-time roles. Though, to make this marketplace work for you, you must speak and write Spanish fluently.

Toptal

Toptal boasts a rigorous process for selecting the freelancers it features on its platform and only chooses the top 3%. As only senior developers and designers offer their services on Toptal, it’s used by top companies like Airbnb, HP Enterprise, Zendesk, and J.P. Morgan.

Comparison of Toptal vs other means of completing design and development projects

Comparison of Toptal vs other means of completing design and development projects (source)

For companies: If you have a larger budget and want a design or development project done right the first time, this is the marketplace for you. It requires a down payment to get started, but this includes having the Toptal team match you with the best freelancer for the job.

For freelancers: Freelancers need to pass five stages of acceptance including a screening of Language & Personality, an In-Depth Skill Review, a Live Screening, a series of Test Projects, and a demonstration of Continued Excellence.

Which marketplace do you find unique?

Did we not mention a marketplace in this list that you find remarkable? Or which marketplace that we mentioned do you like best?

Tell us in the comments below!