Gig sites provide a platform for job seekers to find the right gig and help them connect with clients. Whether you are looking for short-term gig jobs to earn some extra money or want a full-time freelance job, you need somewhere to start your search.
An increasing number of people is looking for gigs, some in addition to their full-time jobs and some trying to make a living out of them. Some like doing more than a few gigs at a time while others stick with only one.
In any case, finding the right gig can be a time consuming and tiring task, especially if you are new to the scene. This guide covers some of the best gig sites that make the whole process of finding and getting paid for gigs easier and briefly discusses the basics of get started.
What is a Gig or Gig Job?
Gigs or gig jobs can be defined as temporary, one-time or part-time jobs and are common in the field of IT and creative design. Almost all of these gig jobs can be done remotely without physical interaction between the freelancer and the client. Since gig jobs are done remotely, finding such jobs is also an online endeavor. Gig jobs can be charged on an hourly as well as on a lump sum basis.
Advantages of Gig Jobs
Freelancing and gig jobs offer you the freedom 9-to-5 jobs just cant. It’s a great way to earn a decent amount of money and discover new development opportunities. You can work on multiple jobs from the comfort of your home while remaining open to new professional opportunities. This means you are not tied to one particular job and can switch between them if things are not working out well.
Disadvantages of Freelancing and Gig Jobs
Freelancing isn’t just about signing up and creating a profile on popular platforms. It takes time and effort to get noticed and find a gig that matches your experience (and client’s budget). Freelance or gig jobs are not as secure as regular jobs, while you also don’t get other perks and benefits usually associated with full-time jobs such as health insurance.
Important Things to Consider Before Starting a Freelance Career
Understand Your Core Competencies
Finding the right gigs require you to take some time and make a list of your core competencies and skills. This helps you filter out the jobs that are most relevant to your past experience and qualifications. Note down every responsibilities or skills related to your past jobs, even small DYI projects such as developing or maintaining your own website.
Your availability for freelance work might be limited if you plan on keeping your part/full-time job. Keep your own schedule in mind before applying for any gig. While most gig jobs allow you to work in flexible hours, some jobs are time specific such as customer services gigs. You also need to make sure you have enough time to complete work without compromising on quality.
Be Ready to Learn and Develop New Skills
Freelancing is a diverse field and although your skills might match most of the relevant gigs, some would require you to develop new skills. One should be ready to develop new skills like learning a new programming language or mastering a new graphics designing software in order to stay competitive and find more gigs.
Commit to Delivering Great Work
Getting gig jobs is just part of the story. What really matters is delivering quality work on a consistent basis and getting positive recommendations from the clients. This not only helps build a great portfolio, but also results in repeated work from existing clients. Making a great impression is essential in freelancing as it differentiates you from the rest of the crowd.
Defining the Target Market
Drafting a business plan, even a basic one, helps you better understand your target market. A business plan can actually get quite complex and lengthy, but a basic one should at least cover the 4 Ps.
Product: Your skills or the services you are offering
Price: How much are you going to charge for it e.g. per hour basis or lump sum
Place: Where will you market your services, locally or to international clients
Promotion: How are you going to reach your clients, in case of gig jobs it’s mostly gigs or freelance sites. You can also use other channels such as the social media and personal networking
Start with Platforms Less Competition
While it might sound counter intuitive, it’s worth considering freelance platforms that have fewer registered freelancers. Signing up with the most popular sites such as Upwork and Freelancer means you’d be facing millions of other freelancers, who are probably willing to do the same work at a fraction of what you might be expecting.
Best Freelance and Gig Jobs Sites
Fiverr is a great place for gig jobs seekers to start building a portfolio and provides access to a wide variety of jobs ranging from writing to graphics design and music. Fiverr might not be the perfect platform to make loads of money in the beginning, but it works really well if you are specifically looking for small gigs. Fiverr wins when it comes to the variety of tasks as you can find a gig for almost anything that can be done remotely.
Fiverr is a better option than other freelancing sites if you are looking for quick and short-term work. However, you’d still have to face a lot of competition and climbing the hill would still be a challenge. Chances of getting gigs increase once you have completed at least two or three gigs with good ratings. You might have to settle down on lower-than-usual rates to get some jobs in the beginning, but that totally depends on your line of work and expertise.
Upwork (formerly oDesk, merged with Elance.com) is a major freelancing platform that provides access to both short-term and long-term freelance jobs. Upwork is one of the oldest and most popular freelancing platforms with millions of freelancers onboard and has become the benchmark for outsourcing boards.
This also translates into fierce competition, but if you have the right skills and perseverance, Upwork can be a great freelancing platform in the long-run. The main cost of doing freelance work on Upwork is the commission or fees Upwork charges freelancers (20% of the total amount for the first $500).
Freelancer is might be a better option than Upwork if you are just getting started and looking for medium-sized deals. Number suggest its world’s largest outsourcing platform so be ready to face hundreds of candidates competing for the same job.
TaskRabbit’s primary focus is on in-person tasks, which can overlap with virtual tasks. The platform vets workers (called Taskers, mostly local people) and performs background checks. People can post requests for assistance with a variety of tasks and chores, which can be anything ranging from moving boxes to making deliveries. TaskRabbit works well for people who are looking for flexibility and local gigs, but doesn’t has much to offer when it comes to ‘usual’ remote jobs such as IT, graphics design and writing.
The platform matches requests made by clients with Taskers, who are willing and able to perform those tasks. Fiverr on the other hand allows the job seekers to post their gigs so clients can browse through available options and select the freelancer they’d like to complete the project.
Toptal is a skill-specific platform for software developers, finance experts, designers and project/product managers. That’s why you should only sign up with them if you are highly skilled in one of these fields. You have to go through initial screenings and interviews before making it to the job boards. The platform provides access to rewarding freelance jobs if you are a seasoned professional (after clearing the screening processes).
PeoplePerHour connects small businesses and individuals who need immediate help with freelancers who want to work on an hourly basis (from the Hourlies section). The client can also use Hourlies to see if the freelancer is a good fit for future projects and extend invitations for future work. In addition to Hourlies, you can also bid as you would on other freelancing platforms i.e. bidding on jobs and submitting proposals (and hoping for a positive response).
HubStaff allows clients to specify their project and requirements and finds the best match for them by screening freelancers and working with contractors. One major benefit of HubStaff is that it’s free for freelancers to use, meaning you won’t be paying hefty commissions on each project.
- Jungle Scout Market
- 99 Designs
- Freelance Writing Gigs
- College Recruiter
- And even Craigslist
The idea of working from the comfort of your home at your own terms is pretty great, but many fail at their attempt to becoming their own boss. That’s mostly because of half-hearted attempts as freelancing requires dedication and commitment. Risks of job insecurity and uncertainties can be scary and to make the matters worse there is no secret formula to becoming a successful freelancer.
You need to put in time and hard work to succeed in a highly competitive online job market. Signing up for a freelance or gig jobs platform is just the first step. Starters should ideally seek platform with less competition and higher customer base, which makes it easier to get gigs. You should not just limit to the platforms mentioned above as there are other skill-specific platforms that can be more rewarding.