As a former freelancer, I know firsthand that working for yourself can be a challenge — not least because finding the right projects can take just as much, if not more, time than completing them. (And then there's the hassle of trying to get paid on time. Ask any freelancer and you're sure to hear stories about checks that arrive six months late and only after a barrage of emails.)
But freelancing can have some perks: Working a side gig can be a great way to generate extra income and accelerate progress on your financial goals. It can also help you test-drive a new career before you make the switch.
So I'm always intrigued by developments that have the potential to make freelancers' lives a little easier. I was excited to read about one of them in Quartz. It's called Konsus, and it's a website where clients can purchase work by the hour from highly skilled freelancers across a range of professional categories.
Clients select an area of work with a designated price, like web design for $35 an hour, and fill out a short questionnaire regarding specifics like project depth and target audience. Then Konsus matches them with a site-vetted freelancer, eliminating the need for quotes, negotiation and résumé review.
This setup clearly streamlines the process for employers but, in doing so, it has a similar effect for the freelancers they hire. By cutting out the back-and-forth with potential employers, Konsus can reduce the amount of time freelancers spend locating projects. Plus, the company also guarantees its best freelancers 40 hours of work each week and ensures they get paid whether or not there are enough incoming projects to support that workload. (When there aren't, freelancers sometimes work on projects for Konsus itself).
It's important to note that Konsus may not be a fit for every type of freelancer. Since vetting freelancers requires so much legwork, Konsus has focused on a select few areas: Powerpoint presentations, graphic design, writing, data entry, web design and research. And because there's no direct contact with employers, freelancers will still need to be proactive about networking through other avenues.