Top Freelance Websites Every Startup Should Know in 2024

As a startup, you’re always on the lookout for cost-effective ways to grow your business. One of the key resources at your disposal is the world of freelancing, where skilled professionals offer their services on a flexible basis. By tapping into this pool of talent, you can efficiently scale your operations without the commitment of hiring full-time staff.

The internet boasts a variety of top freelance websites, each with its own set of features, specialities, and talent pools. These platforms provide a marketplace for finding and hiring individuals who can fulfil a wide range of business functions, such as web development, graphic design, content writing, and digital marketing.

Selecting the right freelance website is crucial for matching the right talent for your project’s needs. Consider websites like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr, which are designed to help you connect with freelancers who have the specific skills you require. Navigating through these websites, you’ll find comprehensive profiles, reviews, and portfolios that can help you make informed hiring decisions.

Key players in the freelance marketplace

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Venturing into the realm of freelancing can be transformative for startups aiming to tap into a global talent pool. These platforms connect you with skilled professionals ready to bring your projects to life.

1. Freelancer

Freelancer is the largest online marketplace for freelancers and companies in need of work. It offers a platform to submit job requests, choose bids, and pay for work through a milestone system.


  • The large global community of freelancers across various skill sets.
  • A competitive bidding system can lead to lower project costs.
  • The milestone payment system provides security for both freelancers and clients.


  • Can be overwhelming due to the sheer number of freelancers and bids.
  • Quality of work may vary due to the lack of a rigorous vetting process.

2. Upwork

Upwork is a freelance marketplace that offers job posting and project-buying options, connecting freelancers with clients across a varied range of industries and specialities.


  • Wide range of skilled professionals across different industries.
  • Easy-to-use platform with a straightforward job posting process.
  • Secure payment system and dispute resolution options.


  • Service fees for both clients and freelancers can add up.
  • May require time to find the right freelancer due to the large talent pool.

3. Fiverr

Fiverr is known for its affordable options and project-based pricing, offering various services structured on a gig-based system.


  • Known for affordable services, suitable for small businesses and individuals.
  • Wide variety of services offered.
  • A straightforward gig-based system makes it easy to understand what you’re getting.


  • Quality of work can vary significantly between freelancers.
  • Limited scope for negotiation and customization in the basic gig structure.

4. Toptal

Toptal is a global online network of top freelance talent, including software developers, designers, finance experts, and project managers, known for its rigorous screening process.


  • A rigorous screening process ensures access to top-tier talent.
  • Specializes in high-end freelance professionals for more complex projects.
  • Flexible engagements from hourly to full-time.


  • Higher price point compared to other marketplaces.
  • May not be suitable for smaller projects or businesses with tight budgets.

5. Flocksy

Flocksy is known for its flat-rate unlimited design plans and has expanded its offerings with the Flocksy Marketplace, where users can engage with vetted creatives on a project-by-project basis.


  • Flat-rate unlimited design plans for consistent creative needs.
  • Vetted professionals ensure high-quality work.
  • User-friendly platform with a wide range of creative services.
  • A money-back satisfaction guarantee for all marketplace purchases.


  • Limited to creative services, may not cater to all business needs.
  • Pricing may be higher compared to some other marketplaces.

6. Guru

Guru offers a secure, flexible, and cost-effective platform for businesses to find and hire freelance talent, with a focus on lower service fees and a wide range of categories.


  • Lower service fees compared to other platforms.
  • Unique WorkRooms feature for easy project management.
  • Variety of payment options, including fixed, hourly, and recurring payments.


  • Freelancers are not as thoroughly vetted as on some other platforms.
  • User interface and experience might not be as polished as competitors.

Each marketplace has its own advantages and drawbacks, so it’s important to choose the one that best suits your project requirements and budget.

Specialized freelance websites

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Specialized freelance websites cater to specific industries and job categories, offering targeted platforms to connect with freelancers who have the expertise you’re looking for, be it in design, marketing, or programming.


99designs is a hub for freelance designers specializing in graphic design. You can launch design contests where multiple designers submit their concepts, and you choose the best. It’s a powerful way to access creative designs and work directly with skilled freelance designers.


  • Access to a large pool of talented graphic designers.
  • Design contests allow for a variety of creative options.
  • Direct collaboration with designers for customized work.


  • Can be more expensive than other platforms due to the contest format.
  • The abundance of options might be overwhelming for some.

Dribbble & Behance

These platforms showcase designers’ portfolios. Dribbble and Behance are where you can discover top-tier talent in design and marketing, review their portfolios, and recruit individuals whose style aligns with your startup’s vision.


  • A vast array of design portfolios to browse.
  • Platforms are well-regarded and attract high-quality talent.
  • Useful for finding inspiration as well as hiring designers.


  • Not primarily focused on hiring, so direct recruitment might require extra effort.
  • Can be time-consuming to sift through portfolios.


On PeoplePerHour, you can find freelancers in various fields, including design, marketing, programming, and writing. This marketplace allows you to negotiate an hourly rate or a fixed price for freelance work, giving you flexibility in how you engage with talent.


  • Wide-ranging job categories for various freelance services.
  • Flexibility in pricing with hourly or per-project options.
  • User-friendly platform for posting jobs and hiring freelancers.


  • The quality of work can vary, as with any large marketplace.
  • Commission fees for using the platform.


FlexJobs stands out for its emphasis on remote work. It’s an excellent resource for job seekers looking for flexibility and for employers demanding high-quality freelance talent. You’ll find opportunities in programming, writing, translation, and more.


  • Curated listings of flexible, remote job offerings.
  • Caters to both job seekers and employers looking to hire.
  • Focus on the quality and legitimacy of job listings.


  • Subscription fee for job seekers.
  • May not have as many freelance opportunities as other dedicated freelance platforms.

Each of these specialized freelance websites offers unique benefits depending on your industry and hiring needs, so it’s worth exploring the options to find the best fit for your startup.

Emerging roles in freelancing

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As the gig economy expands, freelancers will inhabit roles that capitalize on technological advancements and evolving business needs. Particularly, AI and tech, digital marketing and content, and finance and management are domains with prominent opportunities.

AI and Tech

Freelancer roles are rapidly growing within the realm of AI and technology. You can seek AI specialists and software developers for tailored AI solutions or to leverage existing technologies. Projects often require web developers for both front-end and back-end development, ensuring the digital presence is robust and user-friendly. Freelancers adept at navigating software development frameworks allow startups to scale their tech efforts rapidly.

  • AI Development: Machine Learning models, Natural Language Processing
  • Web Development: HTML/CSS, JavaScript, React, Angular
  • Software Development: Python, Java, C++

Digital marketing and content

For digital marketing and content, the need for expertise in specific niches means you can find freelancers with the ability to drive targeted campaigns and create valuable content strategies. Digital marketing professionals adept in SEO, PPC, and analytics, paired with content writers and social media managers, can elevate your brand’s online presence and engagement.

  1. Digital marketing:
    • SEO/SEM
    • PPC campaigns
    • Email marketing campaigns
  2. Content creation:
    • Blogging, article writing
    • E-books, whitepapers
    • Social media content

Finance and management

Finance and management freelancers are invaluable as they fill critical roles such as finance experts, accountants, and project managers. They provide strategic planning, financial analysis, and adept handling of fiscal responsibilities. For your projects requiring financial oversight, these freelancers lay the groundwork for sustainable growth and efficient operations.

  • Finance:
    • Financial planning
    • Accounting and Bookkeeping
    • Budget analysis
  • Management:
    • Agile and Scrum methodologies
    • Task delegation
    • Team coordination and communication skills

Building a strong freelancer profile

Developing a strong freelance profile involves a compelling resume, competitive pricing, and a robust showcase of your work and client feedback. These elements highlight your professionalism and can influence how potential clients perceive your value.

Crafting an impactful resume

Your resume is a concise summary of your professional journey. It should include:

  • Relevant skills and experience: List skills that align with your freelance niche.
  • Certifications and education: Detail relevant degrees or certifications that enhance your credibility.
  • Achievements and awards: Mention any accolades that underscore your talent in the field.

On some platforms, a skills test may be part of your profile. Completing it can demonstrate your expertise in specific areas.

Setting competitive rates

Determining your rates involves careful consideration:

  • Understand the market: Research going rates for similar talent and services within your industry.
  • Hourly vs. project-based: Decide if you will charge by the hour or per project. Hourly rates should reflect your experience level and the complexity of the tasks.

Finance factors, such as taxes and business expenses, should also influence your rate decisions to ensure profitability.

Showcasing portfolio and reviews

Your portfolio is your visual resume and a testament to your work. Structure it to include:

  • Diverse samples: Include a variety of work that showcases your range.
  • Client logos: If you’ve worked with recognizable brands, displaying their logos can boost your credibility.

Client reviews serve as referrals. Positive feedback and high ratings from previous clients can be persuasive:

  • Display client testimonials prominently.
  • Regularly update your portfolio and reviews to reflect your current level of expertise.

Optimizing project management and payments

Female startup founder in front of a whiteboard

Integrating platforms that offer comprehensive tools for tracking tasks, simplifying payments, and maintaining strong customer and client relations is essential for a startup to achieve optimal project management results and secure financial transactions.

Efficient task management

When managing projects, you need a platform that enables you to break down complex projects into manageable tasks. Platforms like Asana and Trello offer an easy-to-use interface with features such as:

  • Kanban boards for visual workflow
  • Task assignments to specific freelancers
  • Deadlines and progress tracking

These tools aid project managers and freelancers in programming and other tasks, ensuring every step is clear and on track for timely completion.

Secure payment gateways

Ensuring transaction security is crucial for maintaining trust between your startup and its clients. Implementing reputable payment gateways like PayPal and Stripe provides peace of mind.

Integrating these gateways into your invoicing and finance systems simplifies the payment process for both clients and freelancers, making it efficient and reliable.

Customer and client relations

Customer service is integral to the success of any project. Using platforms that allow for seamless communication can enhance your relationship with clients and freelancers. Features to look out for include:

  • In-built messaging for real-time communication
  • Ticket systems for tracking customer service inquiries
  • Rating systems for feedback on project completion

Consistent and clear communication fosters a positive environment for all parties involved and ensures that projects align with client expectations.

Choosing Quickly Hire

Quickly Hire stands out as a unique freelance marketplace, specifically catering to the needs of startups and small businesses. Unlike other platforms, Quickly Hire meticulously vets every freelancer before they begin working with clients, ensuring they are fully compliant with legal and payment requirements. This comprehensive vetting process alleviates any concerns you might have about legal or payment issues that could arise during the course of a project.

At Quickly Hire, you can expect:

  • A Team of Industry Experts: Our freelancers are not only experienced but also possess deep insights into the trusted organizations we partner with. They are well-versed in the challenges faced by startups and small businesses, such as tight deadlines and limited resources, and are equipped to handle multiple tasks simultaneously.
  • Global Talent Pool: Our freelancers come from around the world, allowing you to work asynchronously and scale your business faster than if you were to opt for a full-time hire or someone with limited scope.
  • Transparent and Tech-Enabled Platform: Quickly Hire prides itself on its transparency and the use of technology to facilitate easy access and management of your projects, payments, and paperwork.
  • Dedicated Support: Your Quickly Hire project management professional will always be available to support you before, during, and after the recruitment process, ensuring a smooth and successful experience.
  • Established DEI Practices: We are committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in our recruitment practices, ensuring a diverse pool of talent for your projects.

Choosing Quickly Hire as your outsourcing recruitment partner means opting for a seamless experience with access to a vetted pool of multi-skilled freelancers who understand the unique needs of startups and small businesses. Our outsourcing experts are just one click away, ready to help you achieve your business goals efficiently and effectively.


  • Alex McInnes

    Alex is Quickly Hire's content strategist and digital marketer. He's a New Zealand-born, Thailand-residing copywriter extraordinaire. Dad to two beautiful girls, Alex loves playing rugby, reading, and running with his soi dog, Effie.