The World of Freelancing and Outsourcing

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While freelancing has been around for a long time, the Internet, like it has done for many things, has opened up a world of opportunities for freelancing, both in terms of those looking to do freelance work, or those looking to hire a freelancer.

Hand in hand with the notion of freelancing is outsourcing, particularly your personal tasks. Tim Ferriss, author of the wildly popular 4-Hour Workweek, helped popularize the notion of personal outsourcing. Here’s an interesting New York Times article about Tim and the idea of personal outsourcing.

Since that time, numerous applications have been developed to support freelancing and outsourcing. I thought it would be personally useful  to have a list of such sites in one place, so I thought why not share the list with others, and so that’s what I am doing here.

  • Elance – with Elance you can either hire a freelancer or provide services as a freelancer. It’s quite eye-opening to browse through the many categories and look at the variety os skills that people provide, from around the globe. The site provides ratings on the freelancers as well as how many jobs the freelancer has completed through Elance. Note that i 2014, Elance merged with oDesk and in 2015, oDesk was relaunched as Upwork.
  • Get Friday – is your personal virtual assistant. We will help you offload your time consuming and tedious tasks, leaving you to pursue more important things. GetFriday can undertake any task, business or personal, that does not require our physical presence.
  • Fiverr – is the world’s largest marketplace for services starting at $5. A service offered on Fiverr is called a Gig®. Gigs on Fiverr are offered for a fixed, base price of $5 (also referred to as one Fiverr). Whenever you see ‘I will _for $5″, it means the seller is offering a Gig for the fixed price of $5. Like Elance, people can be either buyers or sellers on Fiverr.
  • TaskRabbit – just tell TaskRabbit what task you want done, from home cleaning to furniture assembly to waiting in line, and it connects you with local “taskers” who are fully vetted and insured and will complete the task for you.
  • 99designs – is the world’s largest online graphic design marketplace. For more than seven years we’ve been connecting passionate designers with customers who need quality, affordable design services. If you are looking for a new logo for your business or need help designing a new t-shirt, 99designs is your place to go. You submit your design requirements, and then 99designs sends your proposal out for bid, and then you get to choose which one you are going to go with.
  • freelancer – Post any project you need done and receive bids from our talented freelancers within minutes. Compare their proposals and price, then select the best freelancer to complete your project. Like other services above, freelancer offers the individuals to either hire a freelancer or to be the freelancer.

There are many other sites out there, such as peopleperhour and guru, but odds are if you are looking for help completing a task, you will find the right person on one of these sites. On the other hand, if you  are looking to share your talents as a freelancer, then the above sites will put you in front of millions of users who may need your services.

If you would like to read another interesting article about the future of freelancing (from 2011), here is a U.S. News and World Report story.

One of the takeaways is that there is no excuse now for not getting things done. If you are an entrepreneur whose skill set is in product design, then you don’t have to worry about how to best use social media to market your product. You can use one of these sites to find just the right person to help you get things done. And if you are looking for a way to transition out of a full-time job and be your own boss, then these sites offer you the opportunity to provide your services and to build up your client base.

I’d like to see if I could sell one of my accounting lectures for $5, but I’m afraid I’ll find out that my knowledge isn’t worth that much…

 

 

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Jim Borden

Accounting Prof. at Villanova; happily married for 30+ years; father of 3 outstanding young men; vegan; interests: fitness, creativity, education, blogging, social media.

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