During the revamp of the Freelance Success website designer Cath and I had a chat about the Job Search page, and in particular my old link to the website Freelancer.com. Another recent article in the SMH about this portal made me realise that it’s worth a closer look – and even closer crtiticism.
Freelancer.com proudly proclaims that it’s the World’s Largest Outsourcing Marketplace, with $1.1b worth of jobs posted, but it’s clearly not designed to make freelancers a more valuable commodity. The website brags to potential clients that freelancers can be hired “to do your contract work at a fraction of the cost”. Highly skilled jobs such as writing an article or designing a logo are listed for as little as $2 a pop. Even more worrying, some jobs are decided upon by blatant and direct competition without any form of financial reward for the creative work. The website invites clients to “host a contest for freelancers! Judge every entry, request edits and only award the best one or your money back!” Of course freelancing is about competitive pricing and vying for work with your peers. This is not, however, the healthy business model that Freelancer.com promotes. This website is not looking for the best value. This website is looking for cheap. It’s a race to the bottom. Devaluing creative work, and outsourcing to the most exploitable person who will do that work, does nothing for our creative industries or our power as a self-employed collective. It cheapens the fundamental role that we play in our economy, and encourages clients to view us as worthless. We are not worthless, Freelancer.com!
Do yourself a favour. Stay away from this website, and discourage your peers from joining. These are not the clients you are looking for!
Until next time, happy freelancing. Remember to value your work!
Freelancing for Australian (for Dummies) is available in bookstores and via the Freelance Success website right now – visit https://creativeplusbusiness.com/books for more information.