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Show HN: LanceList – A directory of ways for freelancers to find work (lancelist.com)
162 points by wodow on July 21, 2014 | hide | past | favorite | 52 comments

A note to starting freelancers: Stop using these sites as soon as possible. Build your portfolio and figure out how to get your own clients. Giving someone else 20% for finding work is not in your best interests, especially for repeat clients. If billing is too difficult for you to handle yourself, you might want to reconsider freelancing.

People echo this every single time. Let me give a counterpoint. I use oDesk.com for freelancing and I don't have to worry about billing at all. I just log my hours and go on about my day - at the end of the week oDesk automatically pays me, no fuss.

Sure if you live in a first world country find your own clients, but for the rest of the world finding your own clients is not only hard but really dumb. Why work for someone locally for peanuts when a client online will pay you 20 times more?

Anybody who lives in an area where the typical oDesk client will pay "20 times more" than local deserves some respect for merely eking out a living, considering the typical oDesk client pays peanuts for a "first world country."

http://OnSite.io doesn't charge any percentage, it's completely free for both sides. When it does start charging it will be on a SAAS basis for the hiring side.

I don't know how else I'd be able to find work aside from freelance websites. If there were some way to find tasks to do then I'd be more than happy to jump ship, but so far nothing has come up for me outside of freelance sites and I'm not sure about how to "market" myself.

To add on this -- 20% is the least of your worries. I've never had a good experience working with people who I had no connection to. Someone ends up being flaky or tries to take advantage. Referrals are the way to go.

> Giving someone else 20% for finding work is not in your best interests, especially for repeat clients.

And especially since these sites do not tend to attract the very best paying customers.

You might want to add IRC channels also, e.g.:

#freelance #css-lance and ##php-lance on irc.freenode.net where people hang around for chat, if they are for hire.

I often hire for small problems by IRC chat. Just join the right channel to ask some challenging question. Thank those who helped, and pm them, if they are for hire. They already showed that they can do the job, so I only need to convince them to solve my little problem for good money. Instant hire to solve my problem, instead of an official advertisement that I'm hiring, and being flooded by hundreds of application mails.

An interesting point - something I never do myself. Thanks, will consider including after checking them out.

Co-founder of YunoJuno here. I thought I'd chip in on a general point (I won't attempt to answer specifics here as I think that's probably inviting trouble for someone like me, with skin in the game.)

What I would say is that we at YJ feel very strongly that the future of work is freelance. We've (literally) put our money where our mouth is on this belief (not to mention our careers), and so we, and I'm guessing the others in this space, really want to work with the freelancer community to make this happen.

I've been a freelancer (developer), and a hirer (as CTO at various companies), so feel reasonably in touch with both sides of the market, and frankly, neither side functions properly. You (as freelancers) shouldn't be paying 20%, and employers shouldn't be wading through the cr^p that traditional freelancer recruiters put them through[1]. We're all working on making this better.

Whilst we're doing our thing, there are some great competitors in this market, and hopefully they would agree with me when I say please don't give up on us - the world of work is changing, and we're all trying to push it along in the right direction.

Oh, and one minor rebuff - the very best employers in London, certainly, are using online services, whether that be YunoJuno or any of the other sites listed - and whilst the names on the list may change, the migration to online services is inevitable. This is your future, get involved.

[1]There are exceptions to this - some recruiters are good guys - but they take a lot of finding.

Any suggestions what a dev portfolio should look like?

Most of my work is corporate enterprise. I have a side project, so that code I can share, but I don't have an open github or anything.

I decided to answer the question, "What kinds of projects do I want to work on?" I am slowly building a small suite of applications around the answer. In my case, I prefer backend, systems and "thick client" application development using C++ and/or python. I have an interest in moving into finance, so I'm focusing on two projects related to that. I have no idea if/whether it will work.

Regardless, it's pretty clear to me from the numerous times this sort of topic comes up around here and my own experience that the real important question isn't "what kind of portfolio do I need?" so much as "who do I know?". Short of being far less introverted/shy than I am and thus attending meetups, cold calling, or the like, I'm not sure how to overcome that.

I got my first and only gig from the French equivalent of these sites. The time you spend looking for contracts, the time not billed, is what kills you. I was looking for a long term thing, and I was lucky to find a client who shared my point of view.

My client was smart to ask for exclusivity to be removed a year from then. A year later I transitioned to them, getting a 16.66% increase (which is just under the full commission I think).

Anyway, a dev portfolio can be an extended CV where you describe in details what you did on your previous assignments, the technologies you used. This is what I was asked for by the various HR shops that were trying to place me. No github account needed.

Creator here. This is something I wish had existed a couple of years ago when I was starting to get in to freelancing more seriously. I spent a lot of time googling around for sites looking for work.

What should we add? Who have we missed?

Bookmarked to come back once I finish my current projects. A couple of Django sites for Django developers:

  - http://www.djangohire.com
  - http://www.djangojobs.net
  - http://www.djangodevelopers.net
  - http://djangojobbers.com

Just curious if you've had good results from the Django sites? So far I've contacted 3 of the ads over the past few weeks and never heard a peep back.

(Or maybe there's something about my approach I need to improve?)

Can't tell you :( I take a look from time to time but I never applied for a job. Most of my jobs come from referrals from past clients.

Out of curiosity, how did you get your first clients?

The first three clients:

  - I contacted the first trough oDesk and we work together for 1+ year
  - A client saw my personal website when searching for Django developers in my region
  - Another client via LinkedIn

How did the LinkedIn one work? Someone was just searching for a consultant?

Exactly, this guy was searching for a django developer in my city (not too many there)

Thank you for those - I had only encountered one already.

Can add Folyo - http://www.folyo.me/ - to the #creative list.

Good effort on the site; bookmarked for later when it comes time to do outbound. :)

Thanks for suggesting Folyo! The fact that it wasn't on the list already makes me think I'm not doing my job well enough...

Folyo is new to me! I will add it on the next update.

Thanks! Great initiative by the way!

what about workmarket.com

Also new to me - added to our list for an upcoming update. Thanks!

Great list. Maybe http://programmermeetdesigner.com/, though it looks more about finding long-term co-founders.

Which are the best sites for e.g. product managers, rails devs, etc to list themselves on? (Not asking you to tell me, asking you to design the software so I don't waste time listing myself on e.g. 10 sites). Think more of a curated experience than a directory.

That is a great question that I would love to have a solid answer / expert system for. There are so many variables to consider, many of which are hidden/private. It's something I intend to keep thinking about.

What about Railyo [0] (a job board dedicated to Ruby on Rails freelancers) ?

[0] http://railyo.com (my side project)

Looks good! I've put it on the list from the next iteration.

I know the signal-to-noise ratio is REALLY high, but I have some great, repeat freelance clients I found through Craigslist. Some are local and some are remote and they pay market rates.

I'd suggest (especially if you're just starting building a freelance portfolio), create some IFTTT alerts for the type of gigs your looking for in the dozen or so CL cities near you. Obviously, avoid the equity/profit trades and min. wage gigs.

The people that sign quarter/half/million dollar checks aren't posting to YunoJuno.

Get out a meet the people that matter in the companies you want to work for.

Can anyone vouch for any of these sites? Do the curated sites have a lot of hoops to jump through?

Check out "working not working" - feel like that should be included. It's a little different market but they're very good at getting people work.

Thanks - noted it down.

It is decent list, what is interesting for me is discovery of OnSite, I really like this idea. I think it helps that it doesn't charge a percentage.

Is it only for the UK?

We are open to the world, but being based in London, that is where most of the work has been to date.

Remote is an option for companies posting jobs, and we do see them, but not nearly as often as on-site work.

More info here:

http://onsite.io/how-it-works http://onsite.io/faq


You should either take Toptal off that list or mention that their contract is outrageously one-sided with no negotiation.

What's wrong with the toptal contract?

Thanks for this. I got accepted into Gun.io, looks pretty neat! The clients there have some good budgets. Looks like it's time for me to start getting paid properly for my freelance work vs. what you get on the tragedy that is Freelancer.com

is there a site (or market) for Linux sysadmin freelance work?

there is nothing that serves devops/sys admin space.. It would be interesting to see if companies would buy into a market for it.

We are a riskier bunch to hand over root access to random contractors on the Internet.

It's a good point - maybe this is a gap in the market?

There are posts re freelance sysadmins on the big sites like Freelancer.com and Guru but not much else I can find.

I would like to know this too

"fight me IRL or make a pull request" = LOL :)

You're looking for these comments, https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8063358

Once a month one of these sites gets posted to HN.


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