9 min read

Ready To Join a Freelancer Services Marketplace? What You Need To Know

What is a freelancer marketplace? And what are the benefits of getting on board? Here's what you need to know to start making your content dreams a reality.
Ready To Join a Freelancer Services Marketplace? What You Need To Know

Companies are turning to freelancer service marketplaces for their various business needs. But what is a freelancer marketplace? It's an online platform connecting clients to a global pool of freelancers. Freelancers also get to work with new brands from anywhere in the world.

There are many different types of marketplaces. Here are some of the most common ones:

  1. General Freelance Marketplaces: These platforms offer freelance services across different categories, including design, writing, programming, and more. Examples include Upwork and Freelancer.
  2. Niche Freelance Marketplaces: These platforms cater to specific industries or job types, such as photography, music, or legal services. Examples include 99designs (for graphic design), SoundBetter (for music production), and LegalMatch (for legal services).
  3. Remote Job Boards: These platforms specialize in remote job listings, which can include freelance opportunities and full-time positions. Examples include FlexJobs, Remote.co, and We Work Remotely.
  4. Freelance Management Systems (FMS): These platforms provide a complete suite of tools for businesses to manage their freelance workforce, including project management, payment processing, and communication tools.
  5. Contest-Based Freelance Marketplaces: These platforms allow clients to hold contests or competitions to find the best freelancer for a particular project. Examples include Designhill and 99designs.
  6. Gig Economy Platforms: These platforms offer on-demand freelance services such as ride-sharing (Uber, Lyft), food delivery (Uber Eats, GrubHub), and home services (TaskRabbit, Handy).

Storyhunter is unique as we are a hybrid platform. We are a marketplace home to 42,000 freelancers who offer 60 services in more than 190 countries. And we offer an FMS solution, facilitating communication, project management, and payment processing between the client and the freelancer. Let's dive into everything you need to know about freelancer marketplaces.

What are the benefits of a freelancer marketplace?

We’ve all been through the hassle of asking everyone in our network for a referral for a video project, Googling “documentary filmmaker in…”, and endlessly scrolling through professional video production groups on Facebook. There’s an easier way to meet your content needs: the freelancer marketplace.

You can search for top creative talent worldwide using a freelance marketplace

Here are some of the upsides of the freelance marketplace.

  1. Diversity of Services: You can find freelancers offering a wide range of services including videography, production management, directing, production crew, producing, writing, talent, audio, editing, styling, photography, live streaming, digital design, and social media. If you’ve got a content production need, the freelancer marketplace often has the solution.
  2. Global Access: You can access talent from anywhere in the world. Whether you want to commission a production company in Jakarta or build out an entire crew in Rio de Janeiro or hire a DP in Timbuktu – you can make it happen using a freelancer marketplace. For example, online automation tool Zapier, headquartered in San Francisco, California, used Storyhunter to find a top-tier production company in the UK to produce and film a customer testimonial. Similarly, online genealogy platform MyHeritage has hired Storyhunter professionals in 22 countries to create dozens of engaging customer testimonial videos, saying the platform is “awesome and convenient for fast turnaround global productions.”
  3. Cost Effective: A freelancer marketplace often offers a more cost-effective solution compared to hiring a full-time employee. Clients can pay for the services they need on a project-by-project basis, without the added costs of benefits, payroll taxes, travel, hiring fixers, translators, etc.
  4. Different Payment Methods: Payment automation is all about using technology to send payments quickly and securely. Relying on just one method may not be practical, as payment systems can vary widely across different regions. Additionally, each payment method may be subject to unique regulations and tax laws, requiring specialized knowledge to navigate effectively. By providing multiple payout methods, clients can help ensure freelancers get their payment on time and offer more flexibility in case issues arise. Some of the payment methods Storyhunter offers are PayPal, Venmo, Global ACH, Domestic ACH, Payoneer, and wire transfer.
  5. Quality Assurance: Many freelancer marketplaces can ensure the quality of work delivered by freelancers using systems such as ratings, reviews, and dispute resolution. Storyhunter has a team to resolve disputes, but even before clients engage with freelancers, we vet all freelancers by requesting work samples and verifying the contact information of a commissioning editor for at least one project. This thorough process allows us to maintain a high-quality network of media professionals.
  6. Independent Contractors: Freelancers are independent contractors, meaning they are responsible for their own taxes, insurance, and other legal obligations. (Storyhunter assists with project management and payment). Clients do not need to provide benefits or pay for other employer-related expenses.
  7. Communication: We recommend all project expectations, updates, and deliverables be communicated via the Storyhunter message thread so that both parties can easily access the paper trail on the project page. Once a project has started, we encourage clients and freelancers to communicate however they want, whether on Zoom, a phone call or by email. After these communications, we suggest leaving a summary of the project expectations, dates, and deliverables on the Storyhunter thread. Learn more about communicating production delays, project cancellations, and payment issues here.  
  8. Environmental Impact: Freelancer marketplaces can reduce carbon footprint. They allow for remote work, reducing the carbon emissions associated with transportation. Marketplaces also slash the carbon footprint from long-distance travel by allowing companies to use the platform to discover and hire local freelancers.

What are the drawbacks of the freelance marketplace?

There are also potential downsides to take into account:

  1. Lack of control: Clients may have less control over the freelancer’s work process and schedule, and this can be especially true if the freelancer is located in a different time zone or has many other ongoing projects. We advise setting and communicating the deliverables and deadlines in the official project thread before getting started. Storyhunter has a decade of experience, and we provide production guidelines and checklists to help make the process more efficient.
  2. Security Risks: There is a risk of security breaches when sharing sensitive information with freelancers, especially if the freelancer is located in a different country with different data privacy laws. Make sure to establish clear data security protocols and only share information on a need-to-know basis.
  3. Quality concerns: Many freelancer marketplaces have systems in place to make sure the quality of work meets client standards, but there’s a chance of receiving subpar work. To maintain our high quality network of media professionals, we vet all incoming freelancers. We ask for work samples to see the quality of work each freelancer produces. For at least one work sample, we require contact information of the commissioning editor to verify the work. Before starting a project, we encourage clients to:
  • Take a look at the freelancer's profile, work samples, and past reviews
  • Check the "Your Info" tab on the freelancer's profile to see if your colleagues have left internal notes about the freelancer
  • Go on the freelancer's website to see other work not showcased on their Storyhunter portfolio
  • Write a standardized first message to all applicants asking them for examples of similar work to the project, social media and portfolio handles, an equipment list, a quick overview of their rates, and any other qualifying questions (for example, insurance, drone license, etc.)
  • Set up a call with the freelancer to go through standardized questions and to clarify and confirm all project-related details
  • Make sure to have a "production guidelines handbook" for all company projects written out before starting any projects. These guidelines can act as the bible for all your company's content work and help avoid miscommunication with freelancers (Having visual examples of what shots should look like are helpful.)
  • Have a plan for "on-the-day" communication, ensuring you have a clear line of communication with the freelancer while they're on the job.

What services can you find on a freelancer marketplace?

You can hire freelancers for any story related project. We offer 65 content production services across 15 categories, including videography, production management, producing, writing, talent, audio, editing, styling, photography, immersive/spatial video capture, digital design, and social media.

How much does it cost to hire a freelancer?

Brands often ask, "How much will it cost?" when considering video production and assume that more videos with less money is best, but quality over quantity matters. Spend your budget on fewer, high-quality videos for a better brand image.

The answer to "How much does a video production cost?" is not so simple. It depends on the type of video, the filming location, equipment quality, and even the talent you use. A big-name company's commercial could cost over $500,000, but a branded documentary may only be $5,000.

Every creatives’ rates will vary, but these are the standard day rate charges for the most common crew members:

We break down everything you need to know about video production costs and how to save money every step of the way here.

What’s more, marketplaces add a service fee on top of project costs. When you are creating a budget for freelance work, make sure to account for the service fee. It will help you avoid unpleasant surprises and ensure a smooth and seamless collaboration with freelancers.

What are the payment options available on freelancer marketplaces?

Freelance marketplaces have got you covered with their Freelance Management System. This all-in-one solution lets you hire and oversee your freelancers on a single platform, making it perfect for media companies, global brands, NGOs, social media platforms. You can easily onboard freelancers, handle payments, manage billings, and ensure timely delivery of projects - all in one place.

Storyhunter in particular has partnered with industry leaders Hyperwallet and Payoneer, allowing us to offer multiple payment and currency options including bank transfer, wire transfer, Venmo, Paypal, and prepaid debit cards. If you are a freelancer, learn how to set-up your payout method, and if you’re a client, here’s how to quickly pay your freelancers.

What should I look for in a freelancer’s portfolio?

An example of a freelancer profile on Storyhunter

The first thing to look for is work samples that support the service you are looking to hire for. The work samples towards the top of their page are the projects they are most proud of, so check those out to get an idea of the freelancer's quality and style.

Second, if you are a travel company, for example, that wants sweeping drone shots of the Mediterranean coastline in Turkey or vineyards in Argentina, check the freelancer’s equipment list to see if they have a drone.

Third, check out their bio to better understand who they are and the work they are most proud of. What stories is the freelancer interested in covering or passionate about? Do they have experience with the topic you are looking for? For example, it may not be the best match if you want someone to shoot music videos, but the freelancer has only showcased corporate testimonials.

When working with freelancers, consider legal factors such as clear contracts, proper classification, and intellectual property rights. These steps can help ensure a successful collaboration.

Storyhunter provides a platform where clients and freelancers can work together, exchange messages, negotiate, and establish a legally binding contract for services provided by the sellers (freelancers or production companies) and the buyers (clients). The terms of service can be found here, and once a project is agreed upon, the buyer and seller can sign a contract on the platform. This contract may be the default Independent Contractor Services Agreement provided by Storyhunter. It is important to note that clients may have their own separate agreements with Storyhunter that are distinct from our terms of service.

You can read more about our platform rules and integrity here.

In conclusion

In the old world, businesses depended on agencies to handle one or two major advertising campaigns annually. But times have changed, and the approach won't cut it anymore.

This realization has led businesses of all sizes to adopt an "always-on" approach to advertising, focusing on continuous production rather than sporadic campaigns. And those who don't adapt to this new way of working risk being left behind in the race to stay relevant and competitive.

The Freelancer Services Marketplace is critical in helping businesses adapt to this new reality. Brands now have access to a vast pool of talented freelancers and can engage in constant production without worrying about overburdening their internal teams. Freelancers, in turn, benefit from a steady stream of work, helping them grow professionally.

Freelancer Services Marketplaces have revolutionized how businesses and freelancers work together, and this is a win-win for everyone involved.