Best UK Freelance Websites to Find Work in 2024

freelance-websites

In the digital age, freelancing has transformed from a mere side hustle to a viable career option.

In the UK, as the gig economy becomes more established, freelancers have risen as a formidable workforce, driving innovation and offering unparalleled flexibility.

As the freelance landscape evolves, so does the need for platforms that bridge the gap between talented professionals and businesses seeking their expertise. If you're a UK-based freelancer, navigating this range of platforms can be overwhelming.

Freelance websites are platforms that allow you to promote your skills and services to prospective clients, pitch for work and even manage the whole client relationship – from the initial brief through to receiving payment.
The key to success on these platforms is put a lot of time into making your profile look attractive to potential customers – with lots of information about you, your experience, your services, customer reviews and testimonials and so on. It is therefore important to focus your time and efforts on the platforms that are most likely to bring results.

Below we run-through some of the most popular freelance websites as well as some more ‘niche’ and specific platforms for you to consider. If you think we’ve missed out any important websites that you think should be included, we’d love to hear your feedback.

1. Upwork

Upwork stands out as one of the premier freelancing platforms, and the sheer size and diversity of its marketplace are unparalleled. From graphic design to software development, the variety of job categories caters to a broad spectrum of skills.

In terms of payment structure, Upwork operates on a unique sliding fee model. This means the platform's commission decreases as your earnings with a specific client increase. It's a progressive system that incentivizes long-term collaborations between freelancers and clients.

A notable feature is the 'connects' system. Instead of bidding willy-nilly, you use connects, which now come at a minor cost. This not only elevates the quality of proposals but also makes the bidding process more strategic. It's a deliberate move by Upwork to optimize the matching of skilled freelancers with serious clients.

There's a learning curve involved with Upwork, especially if you want to maximize your success rate. But for many, the platform’s features, combined with its extensive job pool, make it a go-to destination for freelancing opportunities.

2. Freelancer

At its core, Freelancer operates similarly to platforms like Upwork, where clients post their project needs and freelancers pitch their services. But what distinguishes Freelancer from the crowd?

The platform boasts a diverse array of projects, meticulously organized for easy search. Whether you’re into graphic design, SEO or copywriting, the platform has a space for your expertise. Additionally, their global reach is impressive; not only can freelancers find jobs in a multitude of categories but also in several languages.

An interesting facet of Freelancer is their contest feature. Unlike traditional job postings, these contests allow freelancers to showcase their skills in a competitive manner, often related to visual or design challenges. Winning not only bags you the prize money but also valuable reviews to enhance your profile credibility.

When it comes to fees, Freelancer takes a 10% cut for contests and fixed projects, which is pretty standard in the industry. And, of course, they offer multiple withdrawal methods for convenience.

In essence, if you’re a freelancer seeking a mix of traditional job postings and creative contests, or if you appreciate a platform that truly embraces global talent, Freelancer should be on your radar.

3. Fiverr

Fiverr reshaped the freelance landscape by allowing freelancers, termed "sellers," to offer pre-defined services or "gigs" at set prices.

Instead of bidding for projects, sellers list their skills, from logo designs to blog writing, and clients, the "buyers," shop for the services they need.

Originating from its iconic $5 gig offering, Fiverr has grown, allowing sellers to price their services according to their value and expertise. This model, though competitive, provides a unique opportunity for new freelancers to establish a portfolio by offering introductory rates, later scaling prices as they gain prominence.

Once a buyer selects a gig, Fiverr ensures a smooth payment process, holding funds until job completion. Upon delivering the gig, the freelancer receives 80% of the payment, with Fiverr retaining a 20% commission.

For those who appreciate transparent pricing, timely payments and a vast audience, Fiverr stands as an innovative platform in the freelancing world.

4. Toptal

Toptal prides itself on being the hub for the elite, representing only the top 3% of freelancers in areas like software development, design, product management and finance.

This exclusivity stems from a rigorous screening process that evaluates everything from language proficiency to project expertise. It's a challenging path, but the reward? Opportunities to collaborate with prestigious clients such as Airbnb, Duolingo, and Shopify.

Those who overcome Toptal's high barrier of entry find themselves amid a network of distinguished professionals undertaking rewarding and high-profile projects. Toptal also ensures smooth operations for its freelancers by offering a dedicated time-tracking and invoicing service, TopTracker.

Payment processes are straightforward, allowing freelancers to receive their full earnings via convenient methods like PayPal or direct bank transfers. For those aiming to stand among the best in their field, Toptal presents a compelling platform.

5. PeoplePerHour

People Per Hour offers a unique blend of traditional freelancing and innovative technology. While clients can post jobs or explore a directory of freelancers, what sets this platform apart is its use of artificial intelligence.

Upon posting a project, the system evaluates the details and connects clients with the most fitting freelancers. As a result, both parties can sidestep lengthy searches, streamlining the hiring process.

Freelancers undergo a thorough application review to ensure quality. Once approved, they can send tailored offers, set their rates and even create service packages for clients to consider.

Billing and payments are embedded seamlessly within the platform, safeguarding against potential disputes.

The fee structure is designed to reward commitment: starting at 20% for the initial $350 earnings, but reducing as the freelancer accrues more work.

For those valuing precision and time-efficiency, People Per Hour stands out as a preferred choice.

6. Designhill

Designhill provides a canvas for creative freelancers to showcase their brilliance.

From logo design contests to long-term branding projects, UK designers can find a myriad of opportunities to showcase their unique British touch.

Regular participation in contests can boost visibility. Furthermore, creating an engaging portfolio showcasing your best works is crucial.

7. LinkedIn and LinkedIn Services Marketplace

More than just a networking tool, LinkedIn has emerged as a robust platform for freelancers.

UK professionals are amongst the most active on LinkedIn. The platform's Services Marketplace is a gem, connecting clients directly with freelancers.

Keep your profile updated. Recommendations, endorsements, and a well-curated portfolio can make all the difference. Engage with your network regularly for better visibility.

8. We Work Remotely

A hub for remote work, this platform boasts a global array of opportunities.

Companies worldwide are keen to work with UK professionals, especially with the time zone advantage for European clients.

Optimise your application by tailoring it for remote roles and emphasise communication skills and self-discipline.

9. Behance

Adobe's Behance is the go-to platform for creative professionals to showcase their portfolios.

UK designers frequently feature in Behance's curated galleries, indicating the platform's recognition of British talent.

Regular uploads and engagement with other artists can increase your profile visibility.

10. SimplyHired

Beyond just a job board, SimplyHired offers resources to bolster your freelance career.

A growing number of UK-based companies use SimplyHired for recruitment, providing local opportunities.

Leverage their resources. An optimized CV and a proactive approach can yield significant results.

11. Dribbble

A haven for designers, Dribbble lets you present your work and discover the latest design trends.

British design, known for its uniqueness, often trends on Dribbble, attracting global clientele.

Engage with the community. Regular shots, feedback on others' work, and participation in challenges can enhance visibility.

12. Guru

With a focus on professional collaboration, Guru offers tools that streamline the freelance process.

Guru's escrow service provides a layer of payment security, essential for UK freelancers working with international clients.

Use their WorkRoom feature to manage projects efficiently. Consistent communication and timely delivery can lead to long-term contracts.

13. Twine

A platform dedicated to creatives, Twine emphasizes quality over quantity.

Twine's curated approach often sees UK creatives getting featured, attracting lucrative offers.

A strong portfolio paired with client testimonials can significantly elevate your profile.

14. CrowdSpring

A creative marketplace focusing on design and naming projects.

British flair in design and branding is highly sought after on platforms like CrowdSpring.

Participation in public projects can help in profile visibility and attracting private project invites.

15. TaskRabbit

Beyond the digital realm, TaskRabbit connects freelancers with local tasks, from handyman services to personal shopping.

Especially popular in metropolitan areas like London, Manchester, and Birmingham, TaskRabbit offers a way to monetize everyday skills.

Prompt responses, transparent pricing, and genuine client reviews can boost your bookings.

16. The Freelance Creative by Contently

If you are a freelancer writer you are probably already aware of Contently, which is a great resource for writers and editors. However, it also has a platform that helps connect writers with businesses looking for their services.

Freelance writers can set up their own portfolio to promote their work across the network and there is a steady stream of ‘gigs’ posted on the site that you can apply to work on.

17. Aquent

Aquent is a dedicated platform for creative freelancers, and aims to match talented creatives with companies who need their services.

Aquent is mostly geared towards creative marketing and digital professionals – everything from content creators and marketers to graphic designers and UX experts.

18. 99designs

If you are a freelance designer, then 99designs is a good ‘boutique’ jobs platform to help you find new clients.

There are over 90 design categories featured on 99designs, including logo design and branding, website design, e-book covers and more – so whatever type of design work you specialise in you should find jobs and projects that cater to your expertise.

99designs also has a strong collaborative element, with freelancers working either directly with hirers or teaming up to work together on broader campaigns and projects.

The pros and cons of using freelance platforms

While different platforms have their own unique features and cater to different needs, there are common pros and cons of using them all:

Pros

  • Diverse opportunities: From short gigs to long-term projects, there's a range of work available.
  • Flexibility: Choose projects that align with your schedule.
  • Global exposure: Work with clients from different parts of the world, broadening your horizons and portfolio.

Cons

  • Competition: Popular platforms attract freelancers worldwide, making some projects highly competitive.
  • Service fees: Most platforms charge a fee, which can sometimes eat into your earnings.
  • Irregular workflow: Especially when starting, there might be dry spells between projects.

Tips for standing out in the freelance crowd

As freelance websites and job platforms become more and more popular, it is important to stand out from the crowd in order to secure jobs. Here are some quick tips to help you get the most out of whatever platform you use:

  • Create a stellar profile: This is your digital business card. Ensure it's comprehensive, engaging, and showcases your expertise.
  • Continuous learning: Upskilling is key. Platforms often offer courses, and investing time in these can elevate your profile.
  • Networking: Engage with fellow freelancers, participate in community discussions and share insights.

Key Takeaways

  • Choose platforms that align with your skill set.
  • Ensure your profile and proposals are tailored for each platform and its audience.
  • Stay updated with industry trends and continuously upskill.
  • Engage with the community. Networking can often lead to referrals and collaborations.

The freelance journey, while rewarding, can be challenging. But with the right platform and approach, UK freelancers can unlock a world of opportunities. Dive in, explore and let your expertise shine on the global stage. Happy freelancing!

Written by

Luke Glassford

Marketing Director

Get a free quote now

Your craft deserves the best protection. With Mode Insurance, you're not just getting coverage -  you're gaining a partner who understands and supports your creative journey.