Have you ever wanted to do something but literally had no idea where to start? Do you ever need to hire someone who is excellent at a particular skill or trade, but maybe you don’t have the budget to hire a seasoned professional? Did you ever want to design an app for your business but had no idea how to program…. or create some drawings for a new addition to your house but didn’t want to go through an architecture firm… or even want to hire a professional photographer for a special event, but didn’t have the budget for a pro to come out for the day…? Fortunately for us, we are living in an age where the internet is in full swing with the entire world available at your fingertips, 24/7/365. We use our phones & computers for just about everything nowadays and this is no different.
If you are interested in pursuing something like I mentioned above but have no idea where to find the right person for the job, I would highly recommend you check out UpWork. UpWork is a site that allows everyday people such as yourself to post your needs for a job or service and freelancers can bid on the job. It couldn’t be any more simple.
For example, let’s say you are getting ready to launch a new website for your new bakery that you’ve started in your own kitchen but have no idea how to go about branding your company. You need a professional logo to tell the world who you are, what you do and show a sense of your style. You could simple Google search “Design my Logo” and you will see tons of free/cheap logo designing services where pretty much everything is a cookie cutter boring version of what you don’t want to use. You then have to scroll through pages and pages of results, only to find out that the full logo is going to cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars to pursue. Or even worse, you individually go from website to website on Google contacting various logo designing companies through their contact pages, asking how much they charge, turnaround time, blah blah blah. Hours later you are still waiting for replies, only to then have to explain to each one individually exactly what you’re looking to do.
On the flip side- there’s UpWork. On UpWork, you create a profile, then post your job, and wait for the requests to roll in.
“I’m looking for a killer logo for my new cupcake business that lets me show the world what I can do. I want to use purple and white as my logo colors, but the rest is up to your imagination. Please let me know your price and estimated time to complete… thanks!”
So you post your job and sit back and wait.
Literally, within hours you will have DOZENS of replies from freelancers from all over the world. The best part… and I mean the best part about it is that the prices are completely all over the place. You’ll have a professional who has been doing this for decades come back offering to do it for $750 all the way down to a college kid offering to do it for $25 so he can get his foot in the door and work up his portfolio. You may even get a response from someone who will do it absolutely for free up front but in return wants 1% of your business! You really never know what you are going to get. The beautiful part about this is that you have complete control over who you choose and how much you pay. Once you have narrowed it down, you get in touch with the freelancer of your choice, hire him and get yourself a killer logo.
I have been an UpWork freelancer for over two years now, specializing in product design and prototyping. I have worked with clients on everything under the sun, from drones to high-heels, kids play toys to orthopedic devices for dogs. I’ve designed toothbrushes, toilet seats (yep, really), and even wearable raincoat holders. I’ve met doctors, lawyers, stay at home moms and hungry new entrepreneurs trying to make it big with their product or idea.
As an UpWork freelancer, you are your own boss. You can bid on jobs you like and stay away from those that seem a bit too unrealistic. You bid on the job, make it happen, and get paid from the client straight through the site. UpWork takes a percentage of the profits but at the end of the day, you wouldn’t have gotten the job without them so it’s best not to cheat the system. Without a doubt, UpWork gave me the confidence and desire to branch out and help customers with product design and prototyping. When things get busy, I don’t visit the site much and don’t take any jobs. When things get slow, I’ll sign on and bid on a handful of jobs. You literally never know what you are going to find on there and who you may work with.
BY FAR, the most interesting job I came across was a 18 year old college kid asking if I could design some sleek glasses with the tiniest LED screen in the world in the top corner so that he could cheat on his math test the following week. He even offered me $5,000 to do it! I tried to think how I could break it to him nicely but at the end of the day, I simply told him that it would probably be much less work for both of us and far cheaper if he simply studied for the test. (Now that I think of it, how did an 18 year old have $5k to blow on UpWork? hmmmm…)
Assuming you aren’t interested in hiring someone to help cheat on your math test, you can find anyone to do practically anything on UpWork. Have an idea? Give it a shot! It literally costs you nothing at all to try and you may just meet some talented people who will help you down the line. On the flip side, if you have some spare time and possess a skill that is valuable to others, sign up as a freelancer! Once again, it is totally free and won’t cost you a dime to get started.
Are you really good at Pinterest and want to help others with their social media? Yep, there’s jobs for that on UpWork. Are you a great photographer but don’t know how to get started? Yep, there’s plenty of those jobs on there. Are you a really good writer and want to write articles for $100 a pop while laying in bed on a Saturday morning? Yep, that too!
In 2018 we are relying on freelancers more than ever in our daily lives – just look at Uber & Lyft. There has literally never been a better time to start your own side hustle or business. Best of all, you set your own hours, choose your own price, and only work with who you want to. Whether you choose to go down the route of hiring a freelancer or becoming one, I highly recommend you at least go check the site out and put a post out for someone who can bring value to your life in some way… who knows where it may lead??
Bobby Watts, Watts Innovations