It can get quite overwhelming to find which of the dozens of freelancing gig sites is best for you. We have done the hard work and put together this list of the top five sites for solo consultants. We are a team of solo consultants in software development, product management, marketing, and user experience design. This list is a result of two month's worth of intensive research to find the best places to find our own projects. We also talked to 50+ independent consultants and got their feedback and experience which is also incorporated in the list. Please enjoy!
Best for Designers, Developers, Finance Experts, Product Managers, and Project Managers
Toptal is known for offering remote work opportunities to freelancing consultants. Its claim to fame is that only 3% of the applicants can clear its rigorous application process. To become part of Toptal, an applicant has to go through a video screening, a 40 minute online test, and a final video presentation. Some of us have tried to clear its application process and failed. We will try again! Toptal has projects for software developers, designers, project managers, product managers, and finance experts.
Best for Data Scientists, Developers, and Management Consultants
Many consultants, who we have talked to in the past few months, found their projects from this site. The majority of the projects posted here are from Fortune 500 companies, PE firms, medium size businesses and startups. You will find a mix of tech, analytics, and business consulting projects on this site. We know some solo consultants who got most of their projects exclusively from this site for 2 years.
Best for Accountants, Data Scientists, Designers, Developers, Lawyers, SEO Experts, and Writers
Sometimes called "the times square of freelancing", good old Upwork has projects for software developers, designers, copy writers, lawyers, analytics professionals, and SEO/SEM experts. It is very competitive to win a project here because of the tough competition coming from professionals outside of the US. A few professionals have shared that one way to improve your project success rate is to target only US based projects and maintain good ratings. A CoSolo member got his first gig from here, (it was a $10k gig!) so it can work.
Best for Software Engineers, Coaches, Designers and more
LinkedIn PROFINDER is quickly becoming one of the best tools for consultants. LinkedIn Profinder matches freelancers / consultants with clients who are looking for a given service. Another plus is that LinkedIn does not take any commission. When there is a service, LinkedIn shares the lead with you, and you take action from there. It is super easy. If you have a focused service that is in their list of services in the website, you could get a lot of leadss from here.
Best for Management Consultants and Marketing Professionals
Graphite has both full-time and contractor jobs, but unlike others that have both, which tend to focus on full-time jobs more than contractor jobs, Graphite has a lot of high quality contractor jobs as well. They are somewhat similar to GoCatalant, but I found their gigs to be of higher quality. In addition, you need to pass their screening process to become a member, which might explain why their projects are of a higher quality. They focus on investment banking, management consulting, marketing, PE, and VC markets.