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Hi I'm Emily Maguire

I'm a UK career coach and business coach for individuals in the creative and entertainment industries and passionate about helping people achieve their career goals. I'm also a top voice on LinkedIn for the Film Industry and a podcast producer and host.

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Emily Maguire UK Career Coach and Business Coach for the arts, creative and entertainment industry

Creative Jobs Search: A Guide to 6 Freelancer Websites to Boost Your Career Success

Updated: May 18

As a new year begins, it's an excellent opportunity to take your job search to the next level. There are a lot of freelancer websites available, but not all of them have great reviews. To help you with your search, I've reviewed and shortlisted six highly-rated freelancer job sites that can connect you with potential clients and job opportunities.

Freelancers websites

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Becoming a Freelancer

If you're tired of working a daily 9 to 5 job or dream of being your own boss, then becoming a freelancer could be perfect for you.

With the rise of freelancer websites and the gig economy, finding self-employed work has become easier than ever before. But, while the opportunities are many, so is the competition. So, it's important to have a plan of action and the right strategies in place to make the best of the opportunities available.

That's why I wrote this article to help get you started and guide you on the best places to find freelancing work so that you can start to maximise your productivity today.

What is a Freelancer?

A freelancer is a self-employed individual who offers their services to clients on a project-by-project basis. They can set their own rates, choose their own clients, and work from anywhere as long as they have the necessary tools and equipment.

Freelancing work offers a great deal of flexibility and autonomy, but it also requires a high degree of self-discipline, networking, marketing and basic business skills. At the end of the day, no one will know about the services you have to offer unless you connect and tell people about them.

With the ability to choose the projects you work on, you will have the freedom to focus on work that you are passionate about, and that gives you the opportunity to develop a diverse portfolio of work, which can help you to stand out and attract more clients in the future.

For those based in the UK, you will need to register with HMRC as self-employed and submit your own taxes every year. This can be done through an accountant or by using online accountancy websites like QuickBooks. Depending on the sector you work in, you'll also need to consider purchasing professional liability insurance.

Tips on How to Become a Freelancer

  1. Clearly understand your skills and strengths so you can focus on correctly marketing yourself and finding clients who need your particular skills.

  2. Be proactive in seeking out work. Actively look for opportunities and reach out to potential clients; this may involve sending cold emails or networking and joining online communities.

  3. Be reliable and professional in your communications with clients. Ensure you promptly respond to emails and messages and always meet deadlines; this will help you build a reputation as a dependable freelancer.

  4. Finally, remember that success as a freelancer takes time and effort. Don't get discouraged if you don't find immediate success; keep working hard and learning from your experiences.

How Were the Freelancer Websites chosen?

After researching over twenty freelancer websites, including Fiverr and Upwork, I've included six, which, at the time of writing, all had a trust rating of 4 or higher out of 5 on Trustpilot and had overall positive feedback from other feedback platforms.

*Please note that all descriptions and details are taken directly from the company's website, and you are advised to use your due diligence before paying or joining any. No endorsement is intended or should be inferred from being listed below.*

Design crowd website screenshot


Trustpilot Rating: 2,277 Reviews; 4.7 out of 5

Cost: Registration is free and DesignCrowd charges a commission of 15% per project.

Description: "DesignCrowd is an online logo design service and marketplace for website design contests and almost any other type of graphic design you can think of... We have a global designer community specializing in all areas of design, including logo designers, web designers, and graphic and brochure designers from the USA, the UK, Europe, Australia, and India. When using DesignCrowd, the entire end-to-end design process is managed within the DesignCrowd website. From brief definition to communicating with designers to receiving your designs and payment - the DesignCrowd marketplace is all you need."

Entry: None. Simply register for an account and get access to their jobs board. DesignCrowd will create and maintain a designer portfolio for you to help sell you to potential customers, which is a great option for those just starting on their design career journey.

Design hill website screenshot


Trustpilot Rating: 3,271 Reviews; 4.9 out of 5

Cost: Free. No service fees.

Description: "Designhill is the world's leading creative marketplace that caters to the creative needs of businesses of all sizes and individuals alike. You can source high-quality designs from a global community of professional designers and buy unique products."

Entry: None. Create a free online store, and it's free to join their marketplace. The disadvantages are that the site is vast, and you will be competing for projects against a high number of other candidates.

Flexjobs website screenshot


Trustpilot Rating: 1,802 Reviews; 4.6 out of 5

Cost: FlexJobs starts at $2.95 for a 14-day trial.

Description: “FlexJobs was created in 2007 to provide a trusted, more effective, friendly, and overall better way to find professional remote and flexible jobs. We were founded by job space pioneer Sara Sutton after she had been looking for a flexible job after starting her family. She realized that millions of others were just as frustrated by the ads, scams, and inefficiencies on other job boards that wasted her time in finding a good, flexible job, so she decided to create the solution she was looking for."

Career Sectors Include: Computers, Project Management, Software Development, Marketing, Human Resources, Writing, Business Development and Education and Training.

Entry: None, but FlexJobs does require a subscription to fully access the jobs, and they don't make finding the subscription fees easy. It seems, after some research, that the yearly fee is $71.40, which works out to $5.95 per month. You can also cancel your trial at any time, and it states all postings are vetted.

Freelancer website screenshot


Trustpilot Rating: 12,906 Reviews; 4.5 out of 5


  • Freelancers are free to sign up and create a profile, and free members receive initially 6 bids per month.

  • The fee for a fixed price, awarded contests, and hourly projects is 10% or $5.00 USD, whichever is greater.

Description: “ is the world's largest freelancing and crowdsourcing marketplace by number of users and projects. We connect over 70,538,363 employers and freelancers globally from over 247 countries, regions and territories. Through our marketplace, employers can hire freelancers to do work in areas such as software development, writing, data entry and design right through to engineering, the sciences, sales and marketing, accounting and legal services.”

Career Sectors Include: Web Development, Photography, Teaching and Tutoring, Writing and Content, Design, Media and Architecture,

Sales and Marketing, Education, Business, Accounting, Human Resources and Legal.

Entry: None; anyone can join. However, you do need to be careful, check companies out, and always check the ratings from previous employees.

People Per Hour website screenshot


Trustpilot Rating: 5,057 Reviews; 4.0 out of 5

Cost: Commission starts at 20% and decreases with the more you earn.

Description: “PeoplePerHour started in 2007 with a pen, pad and telephone. A lot has changed since then, but our goals remain the same: connect clients to our community of expert freelancers who are available to hire by the hour or project; provide flexibility to work when it suits you, outside the archaic 9-to-5 day, and enable people to live their work dream.

So far, we’ve connected over 1 million clients and freelancers and paid over £100 million to freelancers.”

Career Sectors: Technology and Programming, Writing and Translation, Design, Digital Marketing, Video, Photo and Image, Business, Music and Video, Marketing, Branding and Sales, Social Media.

Entry: Freelancers create an account and complete a profile which is then reviewed before approval. Once approved, you'll need to receive adequate feedback within a 3-month qualifying period. This means at least 2 pieces of work with positive reviews. If you fail, you can extend the qualification period by paying £13.95 for another 3 months. If you pass you remain in the marketplace for free.

Toptal website screenshot


Trustpilot Rating: 1,670 Reviews; 4.8 out of 5

Cost: No fees. Freelancers set their own rates, and Toptal says they don't take a cut.

Description: "Toptal is an exclusive network of the top freelance software developers, designers, finance experts, product managers, and project managers in the world. Top companies hire Toptal freelancers for their most important projects."

Career Sectors: Software Development, Design, Finance, Project Management, Graphic Designers.

Entry: To become a member, you need at least 2-3 years of relevant experience and will have to pass a lengthy screening process, which takes a few weeks to complete. Only 3% of applicants are accepted onto the platform.

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