I recently gave myself a deadline to finally switch my career path. In case you were wondering I have 96 days left to make it happen!
Since I have no experience writing professionally, I’m not sure how do-able getting a full-time gig in 100 days is so I’m starting my quest by searching for freelance jobs.
The first site I came across was outsource.com. There are lots of categories for freelance work such as Admin & Customer Support; Design & Media; Management, Financial & Legal; Sales & Marketing; Web, Software & IT; and Writing & Translation. There are subcategories for each and the Writing subcategories seemed like it was exactly what I was looking for so I excitedly created a profile.
It was fairly easy to create a profile and I was ready to get started after a couple of minutes. Searching for projects is really simple and Outsource even sends you emails when new projects come up in your selected subcategories. I thought this was great because instead of having to spend lots of time searching for projects, they would come to me. This was going to be a piece of cake!
I was wrong.
After reading through an interesting project, I decided to submit a quote. I mean, how else would I get a paid gig?
I set my price, I wrote a message to “introduce yourself and describe why you are a great candidate for this project” just like Outsource told me to. I hit the “Send Your Quote” button and I was feeling like a million bucks.
But then, all of the sudden, roadblock! You have to buy credits in order to send quotes for each project. The number of credits you have to spend on each project depends on the budget set forth for that project. I get that Outsource has to make money somehow so I’ll chock it up to having to spend money to make money.
Things got stupid real quick. As a first-time quote-sender, you have to purchase a minimum of a 6 month membership. The options you get are to get 20, 30, or 40 credits a month. Credits roll over at the end of the month if you don’t use them so that’s kinda cool but guess how much those memberships cost you? 20 credits each month will set you back $101.94, 30 credits will be $137.94, and 40 credits will cost you $161.94.
So before I even have the opportunity to simply submit a quote, I have to shell out over $100. That doesn’t even mean it’ll be accepted!
If I want to submit a quote to a gig that pays $500-1,000, I’ll have to spend 7 credits. That means I can only submit 2 quotes a month for this kind of a gig at the lowest level of membership.
Landing 1 of these gigs would net me at least $500 so then, and only then, would it be worth it to pay for the lowest level of membership.
But I don’t like the combination of someone who has no prior experience with freelance gigs that can only submit 2 quotes a month. Those are shit odds. And they aren’t in the favor of the freelancer.
This is a great way for Outsource to have a high barrier of entry so they can weed out those freelancers who aren’t as serious and it makes the freelancer think they have a shot of landing a gig if there are only a couple of submitted quotes instead of a shit ton.
But still. Outsource isn’t worth it for a freelancer starting out. Especially since I’ve only spent $15 so far.
Bad news if you’re looking for a freelancer for your project too; you’re still going to have to pay. Outsource isn’t the way I’m looking to go so I’m not even going to bother figuring out what this would look like.
Remember how I thought it was cool that Outsource would send you emails when new jobs come up for the subcategories you chose? Well, that got old real quick. Their emails would flood my inbox and it was more annoying than helpful. It felt like spam real quick and complete desperation on Outsource’s end.
Bottom line: If you’re just starting out and are looking for freelance opportunities, don’t waste your time with Outsource.com. Your money is better spent elsewhere and all you’ll get is an inbox full of opportunity that you have to pay for and that’s just not cool.