Freelanced.com was launched in 2010 and is a platform designed to bring together freelancers and potential employers in a more casual environment with a social networking format. Freelancers can use this site for free, or can pay up to $7 a month for basic, professional, or premium benefits. Paid membership benefits include: exposure to more job opportunities, higher inclusion on databases searched by employers, and inclusion on the homepage. For employers the service is completely free to post jobs. Furthermore, employers can browse user directories (in which the order of freelancer appearance is based on their type of membership) or wait for freelancers to apply directly.
The concept is very simple compared to some other freelancing platforms. Freelancers enter their information, create a username and password, and create a customized profile outlining their skills. Users can include portfolios-essentially samples of their work-on their page that can be viewed by other users and potential employers. Similar to Facebook and other social networking platforms, users can add friends, like portfolios (called giving kudos), set up a profile picture, and even give status updates on their wall. Furthermore, they can join groups of other users with similar skills and interests. Thus in addition to making themselves available for potential job opportunities, users can also network and collaborate with other freelancers.
Once a match is made between freelancer and employer, the role of the site is completely eliminated. They don't facilitate payments, and they don't require a percentage of the freelancer's earnings as do some freelancing platforms. In terms of receiving payment, the only thing they do is recommend services like PayPal and escrow.
- Appeal to younger users
- Low membership fee
It's clear that this site wants to appeal to the social media generation. Younger users will find it a breath of fresh air compared to other alternatives that some would consider stuffy and uninviting. Furthermore, users will be happy with the simplicity of the site. It's very easy to find answers to your basic questions-like membership fees and the application process-that some other sites seemingly go to great lengths to hide. The social networking format also provides opportunities for communication between freelancers, which is overall an uncommon feature for freelancing platforms. This could provide additional opportunities for freelancers to collaborate on certain tasks, or for friends of different skill sets to communicate about other potential job opportunities not found on the website.
Another benefit of this site is the relatively low membership fee. In fact, many users may opt to try the service for free before expanding their opportunities through a paid membership. Even the most expensive membership ($7/month) is pretty cheap compared to other pay sites. Furthermore, there are no additional charges for each job application. Additionally, the site will not take a percentage of your pay like some freelancing platforms.
- Amount of applicants
- Casual nature
- Lack of payment services
- Few guarantees
Because the majority of the services of this site can be used for free, it has the potential to be overrun with good and bad applicants alike. This will increase the amount of applications submitted for each job. This could quickly become overwhelming to employers, who don't want to comb through hundreds or thousands of applications to find the needles within the haystack. Furthermore, this could be frustrating for highly qualified users, who may never be found because they'll be buried within a deep pool of applicants. Because employers don't pay any kind of fee to post a job, the site could also be flooded with worthless job postings. While the site does reserve the right to remove any postings or other information that they deem inappropriate, it is unclear if, how, and how often this type of regulation takes place.
Because of some of the issues described above, it's possible that high quality employers and big name companies may look elsewhere for freelancers. The site seems a bit too casual for a very serious, very professional business to first look for freelancers. This may also turn away some freelancers. While casual freelancers will likely flock to this site, it may deter more serious users who fear they are simply joining a mash-up between Facebook and LinkedIn that's full of unprofessional job seekers.
Some users may dislike the lack of payment services by the site. While it's certainly a benefit that they don't charge a service fee or take a percentage of your pay, there's an inherent inconvenience that the site is not a one-stop destination for both finding employment and processing payments.
A final con is the lack of guarantees. While buying a membership guarantees you certain privileges (such as being higher on lists viewed by potential employers) there is no guarantee that your application will be viewed or that you will receive a job-both of which are guarantees offered by some other freelancing platforms. That being said, the membership fees aren't nearly as high as the sites that do have guarantees.
The Bottom Line
Freelanced.com will certainly appeal to more casual users due to its social networking format, intuitive website, and free services. Furthermore, it provides additional benefits to more serious users attempting to beef up their chances of obtaining employment by offering paid memberships. The more casual format may influence the types of employers who post there. Overall, there's no harm in trying out a free membership and networking with other users, but very serious, more professional freelancers may want to look elsewhere.