A complete directory on how to find ongoing freelance work
Looking for new ways to find freelance jobs? In this post, we'll cover the top 18 websites you can use to find your next client.
Running a freelance business is a lot of work. Not only are you working hard to deliver beautiful websites for your clients, you're also putting in the work to actually find those clients. If you're new to freelancing, you may even be putting more work into finding jobs than actually working on them.
Fortunately, there are many different ways to find freelance jobs. And most of them don't require putting on pants, leaving the house, and attending awkward networking events. They also don't require cold calling every local business until someone finally agrees to meet with you. Instead, you can try your luck at one or more of the many websites that offer freelance web design jobs online.
There's no shortage of freelance jobs out there, and there's also no shortage of ways to find those jobs. Although browsing job boards is time-intensive and competitive, it can be an effective way to find work until you get to a place where clients are regularly coming to you, whether that's through inbound marketing, referrals, or both.
Without further ado, let's dive into the top freelance job websites.
Upwork is one of the largest and most popular online marketplaces for freelancers. Given its popularity, it goes without saying that winning freelance jobs on Upwork is competitive. However, with new opportunities posted virtually every minute, there's no shortage of jobs to bid for. Many of these opportunities are low quality (i.e. low budget or unreasonable expectations), but there are plenty of hidden gems as well. Getting started on Upwork is tough due to the competition, however there are many experienced freelancers enjoying a lucrative freelance career through Upwork alone.
Dribbble is a popular portfolio platform for designers and illustrators. It's also a great place to find web design inspiration and get those creative juices flowing. Showcasing your best work on Dribbble could help you get noticed by clients and recruiters seeking out talent on the popular platform. But if you prefer a more active approach to finding freelance web design jobs, check out Dribbble's job board. One caveat is that you need to invest in a Pro Business account to view freelance job postings. However, it could very well be worth it if you're looking to work with top-tier companies that value good design.
Behance is another popular portfolio platform that's owned by Adobe. Creating an account is free if you're already paying for Adobe's design software (which most professional designers are). Similar to Dribbble, Behance is a great platform to share your work, find inspiration, and get noticed by big-name clients. In addition, Behance's job board is rife with high quality full-time and freelance web design jobs. There are no additional charges to browse and apply for jobs on Behance.
Everyone knows LinkedIn as the top social media platform for professional networking. But did you know it's also an excellent platform for finding freelance web design jobs? There are a couple different ways to find work on LinkedIn. One way is to use the built-in job board. A quick search for "freelance web designer" just pulled up over 700 opportunities.
Another way to find freelance work on LinkedIn is through proactively networking with decision makers at companies you're interested in working with. Check out the video below to learn more about finding freelance clients on LinkedIn.
Toptal, which stands for Top Talent, is a selective freelance marketplace where clients can hire the top 3% of freelance talent. With a low acceptance rate, your chances of getting accepted are slim if you don't have much experience. If you are accepted, you get to enjoy the ease of the platform's done-for-you matchmaking process. In other words, you don't need to waste your time bidding on projects because the clients, many of which are reputable brands, are brought to you. One major downside of Toptal is that you're locked into an hourly pricing model.
P.S. Not sure how much to charge for freelance work? Check out this helpful post on calculating your ideal web design hourly rate.
We Work Remotely is a large and no-frills database of remote job opportunities that is updated daily. Unlike other job boards on this list, you don't need an account to browse and apply for jobs on the platform--and it's completely free. To find freelance web design jobs, filter the results by either the Design or Contract category.
SolidGigs takes a slightly different approach to finding freelance work. Rather than browsing job listings on a website, you receive vetted freelance jobs in your inbox multiple times a week. By bringing the listings directly to you, Solidgigs helps you save a bit of time on perusing different websites to find your next opportunity. You'll just have to decide whether the monthly fee of $19/hr is worth it for the convenience. To give it a try, you can sign up for a free 30-day trial for just $2.
Indeed is one of the largest names in the world of online job markets. But did you know it's also a great resource for finding freelance web design jobs? A quick search for "remote freelance web design" just brought up over 2,500 results. That's an enormous pool of opportunities.
DesignCrowd is a contest-based freelance platform similar to the more widely known 99designs. There's one obvious red flag to this type of platform; if your design isn't chosen, you don't get paid. In other words, you're working for free. If you're great at what you do and confident in your skills, the rewards for succeeding on this platform may be worth the risk for you. Alternatively, if you're new to freelancing and aren't fully dependent on it for income, submitting designs to contests could be good practice for you.
Envato Studio is a community of designers and developers with a freelance model similar to Fiverr. Freelancers can submit an application to join the platform and create fixed-fee projects for their services. Clients can then browse the different packages and pick what they need. What are the downsides? In addition to facing off against low-priced competitors, you'll also pay a hefty 30% commission to Envato Studio for every project you book.
Smashing Magazine is an online resource for web designers and developers. In addition to offering tons of valuable free content, Smashing Magazine also hosts an active job board. Job seekers can browse listings for full-time, part-time, and freelance roles and submit applications for free. No account or subscription needed.
Working Not Working is a job and portfolio platform for creatives to share their work and apply for opportunities at top-tier companies like Apple and Google. Since WNW was created by creatives, it's favorable towards freelancers; all platform fees fall on the client. Anyone can sign up for an account, although it's unclear how selective the platform is.
If you're a Shopify expert, consider signing up for Storetasker. The platform connects ecommerce brands with vetted Shopify developers. It's highly selective, with only 5% of interviewees admitted onto the platform. Most of the projects are small in scope and involve making updates to existing sites. If you enjoy building ecommerce sites from the ground up, you may find the opportunities available on Storetasker a bit limiting.
PeoplePerHour is a global, hugely popular freelance marketplace that's been around for almost 15 years. Since it doesn't have much of a vetting process for freelancers, it's become highly competitive over the years. If you sign up, expect to compete with many freelancers across the globe who can get by on much lower rates than you. You should also expect to pay high platform fees.
ZipRecruiter is an enormous job search platform, similar to Indeed, where you can find hundreds of freelance web design jobs on any given day. It's free for job seekers to create an account and apply for opportunities. Once your account is created, recruiters can also find you and invite you to apply for jobs that match your profile.
Did you get into freelancing because you craved the coveted digital nomad life? You're not alone. Especially during COVID, more and more companies are switching to a remote work model. Working Nomads is an online job board that hosts remote opportunities and is branded towards individuals who enjoy the freedom of working from wherever. The interface is simple to use and the opportunities are fairly robust. You can also sign up to receive daily or weekly job alerts in your inbox.
Stack Overflow is the top go-to resource for developers. But in addition to their immense Q&A forum, Stack Overflow also includes a robust job search platform. Although the platform is geared towards developers, there are plenty of front-end opportunities available for tech-savvy web designers. A fun bonus feature is the ability to filter roles by your preferred salary.
WorkGenius is a platform that matches clients with freelancers and manages everything in between. In fact, freelancers don't even have direct contact with the client, which could be a pro or a con depending on how you look at it. The platform assigns jobs to you based on your skills, so all you have to do to find work is accept the projects that are matched to you. You'll get paid within 24 hours of completing the project, and as you get more experience on the platform, you'll unlock better paid opportunities.
In this post, we reviewed 18 different websites you can use to find freelance web design jobs online. Most of these websites are job boards or freelance marketplaces. The primary draw of these websites is that there's no shortage of opportunities that you can easily browse and apply for. The main drawback, however, is that these opportunities tend to be very competitive. In essence, it's a numbers game.
What are some other ways to find freelance web design jobs online? Here are a few top alternatives:
It can take a lot of time and effort to build a profitable freelance web design business. Although there's no fast-track to success, there are plenty of resources and support available to you in your journey. Andrej Hribernik, the founder of Freelance Mastery, created a course called Freelance Mastery to help freelancers like you build a successful freelance business via his proven, step-by-step roadmap. In addition to 12 video modules of training, the course also includes weekly mentorship calls and a wealth of done-for-you business resources.
Click here to learn more about Freelance Mastery and join the waitlist for the next round.
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