Episode 042

042: The truth about freelance marketplaces

Freelancing websites that offer the opportunity to bid for projects or compete to have your logo design chosen by a company are damaging to the way design is valued. In this episode we discuss our thoughts and experiences with these sites and explain why they should be avoided.

"Designers shouldn’t be expected to do work completing a brief in the hope of being picked to be paid."

Charli


Key takeaways

Clients you find through a bidding process or competition are the wrong type of clients to work with. They’ll have less respect for you and your process than a client who reaches out to you after seeing that you’re an expert in design for their niche.

Most of the time on freelancing sites the client comes to you with the solution, rather than the problem they need you to solve, which means the quality of design suffers. It can also be more difficult to have a back and forth dialogue, resulting in a project that isn’t ideal for the client, or for your portfolio.

If you feel tempted to enter a design competition, put that time towards a side project instead. Set yourself a brief and you’ll have a much more valuable project to show at the end of it.

Freelancing sites negatively influence the way non-designers think the design process works. We should stand up for our industry and encourage each other not to use them.


Show timestamps

00:40 – Intro & catch up

04:15 – Charli’s experience with freelancing sites

07:30 – Why we don’t like these sites

09:30 – The wrong type of client

14:20 – Why these sites are tempting

16:00 – Freelance directories

18:40 – Using your time to grow your profile instead

21:20 – Design competitions

28:30 – Our responsibility as designers

31:50 – Our listeners thoughts


Show links

reasons.to conference

Charli’s YouTube channel

Design Life 013: Attracting clients

Femke’s studio, The Apartment

Brent Galloway’s freelancing sites video


Show credits

Our site: designlife.fm

Our Twitter: @DesignLifeFM

Design Life on iTunes

Our theme tune was created by the talented Camiel van Schoonhoven