10 reasons I created my own marketplace
Please raise your hand if you’ve ever felt personally victimized by UpWork/Elance.
I feel those raised hands.
When you first register, you’re feeling good. You think to yourself, “This looks easy-to-use. Let’s post a job, and see what happens.”
So you post your job — which you aren’t totally sure has the right description — and boom… You’re hit with 30+ proposals in less than 10 minutes. Too bad 90 percent of those proposals are poorly constructed templates, filled with grammatical error after grammatical error. In fact, these people couldn’t even spell your name right.
After you’ve downed some Excedrin for your pounding migraine, you decide to go against your good judgement, and you decide to give one of these non-templated responses an interview and then a test job to complete. Half of the test job turns out well, but then the faceless freelancer disappears for the other half — with your money.
When you email UpWork’s support — nothing — dead silence. Does anyone even work at this company, you ask yourself?
Honestly, I don’t know myself.
What I do know is faceless marketplaces, like UpWork, aggravate me to no end, which is why I’ve created my own, full-stack marketplace, comprised of my favorite, hand-picked freelancers.
Here’s 10 reasons why I created my own full-stack marketplace and one bonus must-know.
1. Most people don’t know what they need.
As a serial freelancer, I know that most clients think they need one thing, but really need another thing. Or they know they need to meet X goal, but they don’t know the most cost-effective and quickest way to meet that goal.
This is why I created my marketplace with pre-packaged gigs, as you can see below.
2. Marketplaces, like UpWork, are faceless conglomerates.
Whether you’re a freelancer or a person hiring freelancers, UpWork seems to be MIA — all the time.
Remote work feels lonely, stoic and distant on UpWork. The conglomerate makes it virtually impossible to learn more about your client — or your freelancer.
In fact, 99.9 percent of the time you don’t even know the name of the company or person posting the project you’re submitting a proposal to.
It’s also exceptionally difficult to connect and build solid, lasting client relationships on UpWork.
Many UpWork clients just want someone to do precisely what they say when they say it. See example:
3. Everyone has their guards up.
Because everyone has read the Elance/UpWork horror stories, everyone has their guard up on the platform, so they don’t get screwed by the other party. This means tense, transactional relationships from day one. Is that really the type of relationship you want to have with your freelancer?
UpWork shields project posters’ information and faces, leading to matter-of-fact commands and sometimes abusive and rude behavior from clients and/or freelancers.
This was a real job post by an established UpWork client account. You won’t believe it…
5. Too much noise.
UpWork is one of the most competitive freelance marketplaces on the Internet. In 2014, UpWork reported it had a supply of 9.3 million freelancers and a demand of 3.6 million registered clients, who posted 2.7 million jobs.
In addition to spam, there’s too much noise. On a place like UpWork, you can get as many as 30+ proposals in ~30 minutes. Do you really want to go through 30+ [crappy] proposals?
I didn’t think so. That’s why I allow you to purchase your package, and trust me to connect you with the perfect expert for your job.
Stop wasting your time going through horrible proposals, and start getting your projects completed ASAP.
5. U.S. freelancers are affordable too.
Only 23.9 percent of UpWork’s freelancers are U.S. based.
Most clients go to UpWork or Elance because they have a tight budget. Often, they’ll end up spending more money than they would’ve had they just paid a more experienced freelancer the first time around.
Trust me, I’ve been there; it sucks.
6. Marketplaces should be curated.
Marketplaces should be mutually beneficial relationships between freelancers and clients. Unfortunately, that’s often not the case.
One of the biggest issues with big marketplaces is poor project completion rates. Why do you think UpWork boasts all these big numbers, but NEVER its project completion rates? Because the numbers are poor.
With a more curated marketplace — that doesn’t allow anyone and their mother to join — you get better quality work at more affordable prices.
I’ve personally handpicked the freelancers you will work with on my marketplace, which makes me confident project completion rates will be high.
7. No guarantees.
Marketplaces should also stand behind the talent they advocate for by hosting their profiles, but conglomerates, like UpWork, don’t.
Good luck even trying to get through to support. I’ve never heard back from them — that’s for sure.
I even include my own personal phone number and email address, which I respond to personally, on my site.
8. They just don’t care.
To them, you’re just another $, and soon, there will be another.
There’s no story. No passion. No support. No faces. Nothing. Zilch. Marketplaces, like UpWork, only care about their shareholders.
I have no shareholders.
I’ve been a struggling freelancer before, and I’ve been a struggling client before. Because I’ve been on both sides of the table, I will ensure there is nothing but mutually beneficial relationships on my platform.
9. It’s hurting all of us.
UpWork isn’t helping the U.S. economy. UpWork isn’t helping our youth. In fact, they’re helping no one but themselves.
By bringing outsourcing back to the U.S., we’ll allow skilled freelancers to inject money back into our economy.
10. UpWork isn’t a long-term solution.
The overwhelming majority of job posters are not on these marketplaces to build their talent pipeline of future employees, but rather to get redundant tasks completed as fast as possible.
Some of my freelancers are looking for recurring work and/or full-time employment with the company of their dreams. This is never the case on UpWork.
BONUS: Most of my freelancers are Millennials.
There are 83 million Millennials currently. We’re 26 percent of the entire population. We comprise 35 percent of the workforce, and by 2020 we’ll make up 46 percent of the working population.
(You’re considered a Millennial or member of Generation Y if you were born between 1982–2000 — give or take a year.)
If you’re trying to sell to Millennials, who better to do your marketing than a Millennial?
Not only do you get their minds, but you also get their networks. Here’s an example.
Millennial Mary has a combined network of nearly 10,000 friends, fans and followers, who she influences.
Let’s say Mary writes blog posts for you. Of course, she’s going to share her articles— on your website — with her large network of Millennials. By promoting her work, she promotes your company yet no one knows you’re advertising.
Now, that’s what I call a mutually beneficial relationship.