As the world gets more connected by means of the Internet,the freelance economy has scaled beyond geographical constraints.
More global citizen warms up to the idea of freelancing and more companies explore the option of hiring on-demand workforce.
Among the advantages of freelancing include:
a. Flexible hours
b. More control over who you work with or who your clients are
c. Say goodbye to office cubicles and hello to new and vibrant spaces that you choose to work from.
d. You become responsible for managing your own time, making tough decisions and meeting the deadlines - you are your own boss.
e. Ability to start a profitable business with a low investment
And some of the disadvantages of freelancing include:
a. There will be no steady stream of income and workloads.
b. You will work without employee benefits.
c. You’ll have to look for your own client and projects.
Freelancing means every other day you aren’t working is a day you won’t get paid. Not being able to tap into a resource in search for clients and projects may prove to be “fatal” for a freelancer’s business.
Apart from getting the word around through your personal network, what is the more efficient way to proactively expedite the process of landing yourself in a freelance gig?
To bridge the supply and demand of on-demand workforce, online freelance marketplace such as Elance, Guru and Freelancer have been growing over the years.
In an interview with Evan Tan, Regional Director for Southeast Asia of Freelancer.com, he is confident that the time is ripe for freelancing. “We offer opportunity to professionals, wherever they may be in the world.
"We are in the business of creating partnerships between startup entrepreneurs & small businesses with freelance professionals—there has never been a better time to do this, thanks to the Internet.”
Freelancer.com is founded by the current CEO Matt Barrie. In 2009, Matt stumbled upon a Swedish site called GetAFreelancer.com with about half a million users on it.
“Matt was so impressed after using the service and had a vision that this will revolutionise the way the world works, so he ended up buying the website. He then acquired some ten other small players in the industry and rolled it up as Freelancer.com,” Evan recounted.
Since then, the site has expanded to more than 247 countries and regions.
Evan believes that their site will be beneficial to Malaysian youth, “with about 10% of the segment of the population unemployed,these are literate, skilled people who simply can’t find jobs out there—and this challenge is not exclusive to them.”
According to Evan, this is a challenge faced across the world by professionals within that age range.
“With 700 skill categories available on our platform, Freelancer.com provides an opportunity for the youth to raise their economic status as well as for employed professionals to augment their income,” he added.
When asked about how does Freelancer.com differentiate itself from competitors, Evan said that they have been uplifting the freelancing experience through the integration of numerous features and services, including the recently launched Android app for Android wear, and various websites that Freelancer acquired that aim to educate and empower freelancers and startups.
“For instance, we have Warrior Forum that helps users learn Internet Marketing techniques to grow their business, and Fantero that provides virtual content not just for designers, but businesses in need of quality stock photos, web templates, as well as audio, music, and video files,” he elaborated.
While a large number of Freelancer users come from Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, and the Philippines, Evan said that there’s still a huge opportunity to grow the market in this region, “the key challenge would really be to educate people that this is a viable and rewarding career path that they can take. We also need to educate entrepreneurs on how to utilise and maximise a freelance talent pool to grow their startups.”
To grow the market in this region, Freelancer has been rolling out the website in local languages and this has been proven effective in helping potential users to learn more about the site. “We have already launched languages in Bahasa Malaysia, Bahasa Indonesia, and Filipino, Tieng Viet, and Thai. We have also enabled small businesses to look for freelancers in their particular area,” Evan added.
The top ten projects being outsourced to Southeast Asia on Freelancer.com require skill sets related to: PHP, graphic design, website design, HTML, data entry, Internet marketing, Wordpress, MySQL, CSS and mobile app development.
Over 6 million projects have been completed on the Freelancer platform. “Millions of entrepreneurs have been empowered by our website, and we anticipate that figure to grow even higher,” he projected.
- source: Astro Awani