Many a freelancer dreams about finding location independent jobs these days. After all, working remotely promises the ultimate freedom. And, be honest, that is certainly one of the reasons why you became a freelancer, right?
What’s in it for you:
- Get started as location independent freelancer and score your first gigs
- Find jobs that pay well, and turn them into long-term cooperations
- Learn how to avoid price wars and be ahead of the competition
Employee Or Entrepreneur
First of all, you need to decide whether you want to work remotely as an employee or incorporate your own business. Neither is better or more valuable than the other. The choice solely depends on your personal character and preferences.
Note: This guide was specifically tailored to location independent business owners. In case you prefer working remotely as employee, we recommend to read Remote Work 101: Why, How And Where To Become Location Independent.
World Traveling Entrepreneurs (aka Digital Nomads)
World traveling entrepreneurs (often referred to as digital nomads) have received a lot of attention and afflux of late. Incorporating a company has never been easier, and can actually be done entirely online these days.
Whether you indeed do travel the world or prefer to work from your couch doesn’t make a difference here. The point is that you run your own business over the internet. No matter where you are.
To become a location independent entrepreneur, you need a lot of discipline. After all, there’s nobody forcing you to get out of bed or your hammock. So make sure you have enough drive to kick yourself in the buttocks when necessary. In case you lack this drive, check the above mentioned article on remote working for employees.
To set up a legal entity which is as flexible and location independent as you are, consider incorporating a company in Estonia. It can all be registered and managed online.
The Benefits Of Working From Home
The benefits of working from home are manifold. As location independent freelancer, you can work from anywhere in the world, so long as you have an internet connection. You may be lounging on your balcony or tanning by the beach, wearing your pajamas or your swimmers. Or nothing at all. Location independent lifestyle rocks.
With most online jobs, you can also set your own work hours. If you become a freelance writer, nobody cares whether you craft incredible copy at 6am in the morning, right after lunch or in the middle of the night. You can balance your work around your life, not the other way round. Whether you’re single and want to party all night, or have children you’d like to spend the afternoon with – a big benefit of working from home is that you can make it happen.
Another big plus is that you can determine your own income. You can go all in and reap the rewards, or take it a little easy if money isn’t the most pressing issue. Usually you get out what you put in. Working from home means you can decide whether you’d like to invest your time into earning money or prefer to spend it with family, friends or in happy solitude.
Hence the main benefit of working from home is that you can decide on your preferred work life balance.
Just be aware that this could turn into a con if you overdid it. Remember to rest. It makes you more productive. Design your dream lifestyle today, then there’s no need to wait for retirement.
Related: My digital detox experience. Or: How I could have earned 75k.
Now all you need to know is where to get those location independent jobs. But no worries – we got you covered.
How To Get A Location Independent Job As Freelancer
There are hundreds of articles out there on how to find location independent jobs. Finding them is the easy part. Which is why we will show you not only how to find, but actually how to get them. And, lucky you, with a bit of preparation this is actually a lot easier than you might think.
Truth is, the vast majority of work can be done with nothing else but an internet connection these days. At times, a telephone might come in handy, too. Whether you’re planning to work from home typing, consult clients from a Colombian café or answer emails under palm trees in Bali – the choice is yours.
Note: In case you have done your homework already, are fully set up as freelancer and are only looking for the best platforms to score location independent jobs on, skip the following step and head right down to The Best Websites To Find Location Independent Jobs. If you are still in startup mode, keep reading.
The Three Steps To Becoming Location Independent
Scoring location independent jobs may sound daunting at first. In the end, everybody wants one, so they must be incredibly hard to get, right?
In fact, all you need to follow are three simple steps, and -boom- you’ll see your location independence lurking around the corner. All of these steps can be completed in one single day, if you have at least one sellable skill and a can-do attitude.
We highly recommend to start taking these steps today.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.
Step 1: Choose A Location Independent Profession
To start working remotely, you obviously need to earn your money with a profession that qualifies for remote work. If you are a hair stylist (and want to remain one), you might not find break-through success with trying to work location independently. Same applies for plumbers and car mechanics. And a whole lot of other location dependent professions.
However, if you are good at copywriting, programming, want to become a virtual assistant or have any other skill(s) that can generate an income online, you are already set to go. Determine the skill you want to market primarily, and keep reading. If in doubt, ask friends and family for advice what they believe you are good at.
Note: There also have been hair stylists known to become location independent. In that case you’ll need to move away from physically styling hair to rather sharing your experience and knowledge online. It all is possible.
Step 2: Create Your Professional Online Presence
Your own website is the crucial first step to set yourself apart from your competition. When working location independently, the world wide web becomes your home. Make sure you feel comfortable here.
No matter what your plan of action is – if you decide to work remotely, you need to have a professional online presence. It is basically your digital business card, and you want it to be good.
Use your website to introduce yourself, share your work experience and portfolio and, of course, your contact details. People hiring location independent freelancers want to get an impression of who you are. This builds trust, and trust is a very valuable currency in the online world.
In case you don’t have a website yet, don’t worry. Launching one is a lot easier than you think. Follow this guide to create a website in 2 simple steps, and you’re good to go.
As you may also want to represent yourself and your skills on various social media platforms, but without wasting too much time doing it, here is your guide on how to automate social media presences – for free!
Step 3: Get Your Location Independent Job. Rule The Web.
Now that you’re all set up and prepared for success, all you need to do is score your dream jobs. We have compiled a list with the best portals to find location independent jobs, so you can dive into things head first. Just don’t forget to be a responsible location independent freelancer.
Be warned that on most websites you will be up against a massive load of competition. As we are talking about remote work here, your competition can be scattered all over the planet. This of course includes residents of countries with fairly low living costs, who are very likely to bring on a price battle you don’t want to participate in.
Avoiding Price Wars
To avoid working for pennies and ensure you earn enough dollars to actually enjoy your location independent lifestyle, we have collected a few handy tips and tricks to outsmart the competition. If this is of interest for you, please read How to become a Freelancer and crush the competition.
As avoiding price wars and crushing the competition works pretty similar for all location independent jobs, we highly recommend you read this rocking resource, whether you are a virtual assistant, copywriter, photographer, programmer, designer or anything else. You, your bank account and your resulting lifestyle will all love it. Your competitors won’t.
Sounds like a massive ‘their’ problem.
Finding Your First Jobs As Fresh Freelancer
In case you are just starting out as a freelancer, your main challenge is to build up a reputation. Having your website up and running certainly scores you bonus points, but big ticket gigs not quite yet.
To get there, you will need to do some groundwork. Be prepared to start with a few short, low-value gigs to collect positive feedback and reviews. Once you received a few recommendations you can go and hunt after the long-term projects.
There is no elevator to success. You have to take the stairs.
To find your first gigs, you can basically offer your skills on almost any of the outsourcing websites like Upwork out there. Which one (or how many) you choose, is entirely up to you.
To find the perfect platform for you, you may want to play around with four or five to get started, then decide which best suits your needs.
Less Platforms = More Benefits
Once you found your favorite job platforms, focus on one or maybe two, and work these in a bit more detail. This way, you can build up a reputation in one space, instead of having dozens of profiles with few or no reviews.Another benefit of concentrating on one or two remote work websites is that you generate your income in one place, and not scattered all over the web. This way it is a lot easier to keep track of your performance.
Lastly, many platforms charge less commission the more you earn. Make sure to profit from that!
Note: Two is probably a good number, since it is risky to have all credit cards in one backpack (aka all eggs in one basket). Our picks are PeoplePerHour and Guru, so make sure to give them a shot.
Alright, let’s get down to the fun part. Here are the major platforms to find remote work opportunities on. All you need is check them out and start ruling the web.
PeoplePerHour is our best bet when you’re looking for location independent jobs. It is super simple, and currently probably the most trustworthy source out there to find remote work.
Since PeoplePerHour specializes on Freelancers, you can create a beautiful profile here and collect trustworthy reviews. Your first step to hunting after those long-term gigs!
Getting Started As Freelancer On PeoplePerHour
You can set your profile up for free, as well as send out 15 proposals a month. For further proposals you need PPH credit. But if you send proper proposals, 15 should score you enough to do for a month. In addition, you can post ‘Hourlies’, basically a post to offer your skills at a fixed price.
To get started, simply check their three ways to sell your services.
The Pros Of PeoplePerHour When Looking For Location Independent Jobs
PeoplePerHour is professional and charges fair commissions. Their interface is easy to use, all processes are very straightforward, and they are open about their pricing. No hidden agenda.
There are tens of thousands of employers looking for skilled freelancers on PeoplePerHour, so make sure to show them your face.
As demand creates supply, there’s also a healthy competition out here. Some consider this as a con, others as a challenge. The choice is yours.
The Con Of PeoplePerHour When Looking For Remote Work
One thing to be aware of is that most of their customer service is fully automated. Even when trying to contact them on Facebook you only get automated replies. In case you ever need support, make sure to email them directly on support.at.peopleperhour.com.
Apart from that, there are no real cons we can think of. So far, PeoplePerHour always worked like a charm for us.
Costs Of Using PeoplePerHour As Freelancer
PeoplePerHour charges 15% (+VAT) on the first 280 USD you make a month. Every further dollar costs 3.5% commission only. If you’re making 2,000 USD a month, PeoplePerHour keeps 102.2 USD of that, which is about 5.11% (+VAT, depending on your business set up). We find this super fair. And: If you make more, the percentage decreases even further.
As stated, try to generate as much of your location independent income from as few platforms as possible. It will save you some of the money your work for.
GO! Find location independent jobs on PeoplePerHour today.
Guru, same as PeoplePerHour, is a very reputable website with rising popularity. Now is a good time to get started.
Getting Started As Freelancer On Guru
Becoming a Guru is super simple. Set up your profile and apply for jobs. Don’t rely on employers approaching you – be pro-active. The second section of their ‘How it works’ article is for you.
If unsure, check out the remote jobs on offer first. To apply, you will need to register.
Pros Of Guru When Looking For Location Independent Jobs
Guru is certainly a good website to find remote work on. From registering to applying for jobs, all steps are self-explanatory and very easy. The commission they deduct is a little lower than what PeopePerHour will charge you – especially when you are just starting out. Once you’re generating real income, commissions are very similar.
Cons Of Guru When Looking For Remote Work
There is a small cost of 2.5% involved for employers and buyers. Hence some buyers might opt for PeoplePerHour instead of Guru, making the variety of remote job offers more attractive. If unsure, simply sign up for both PeoplePerHour and Guru and see which one you prefer.
Guru’s customer service mainly consists of its community. Once you learned a trick or two, make sure to participate in the Q&As to help fellow startup freelancers. They will appreciate it as much as you currently appreciate help from experienced mentors.
Costs Of Using Guru As Freelancer
Since Guru charges a small fee to employers when paying an invoice, they only deduct between 4.95%-8.95% from your earnings. The costs depend on your membership account.
In the basic (free) version, you will get charged 8.95%, and can bid on 120 jobs per year. That’s ten a month, to make it sound less impressive.
The full membership benefits and costs can be found here.
Again: The more you streamline, the better off you’ll be.
GO! Find location independent jobs on Guru today.
Facebook is the cure for everything. If you’re after fulfilling your dream of a location independent lifestyle, Facebook is a great way to start. And, best of all, it’s completely free. But there are drawbacks as well.
Getting Started As Freelancer On Facebook
Check out the numerous digital nomad and location independent lifestyle groups, such as the Digital Nomads Startup Community.
Participate in conversations and let your expertise and knowledge shine through, or bluntly offer your skills in a new thread. First option is certainly preferred by the community members – and hence more successful.
As most likely you spend time on Facebook each and every day anyway, make sure to work the groups regularly.
The Pros Of Facebook When Looking For Location Independent Jobs
The two big pros are certainly that everyone is familiar with Facebook. Surely you do have an account already, so you don’t need to sign up anywhere and get used to a new interface. Almost everybody we know is on Facebook, so the potential for finding remote work is huge.
Also, as stated already, Facebook is completely free to use.
The Cons Of Facebook When Looking For Remote Work
The Cons are that you cannot just spam every conversation with your website link to find remote work. You need to offer valuable content. Finding a job is not just click and wait, but usually takes time and effort to build up a reputation in the community.
Second drawback is clearly that you can easily get distracted and end up looking a cute puppy videos instead of remote job offers. So do yourself a favor and track your time!
Lastly, please be aware that Facebook is not a typical job searching platform. It hence doesn’t offer any kind of buyer’s nor seller’s protection. You need to build up a high level of trust before you can expect to get paid for anything.
Unfortunately, it is also difficult to collect trustworthy recommendations. People can rate you on a page you create, but most potential buyers may believe these reviews are simply written by friends.
Costs Of Using Facebook As Freelancer
As stated already, using Facebook as well as searching and applying for jobs is completely free. However, as mentioned in the Cons, you will pay with your time. Calculate for this, and make sure the equation doesn’t turn negative.
GO! Find location independent jobs on Facebook today.
Craigslist, as you probably know, offers pretty much everything. Amongst others, it does offer location independent jobs, too. As Craigslist is sorted by location, look on the Craigslists of major hubs, such as New York City, Bangkok or London to find remote work opportunities.
Getting Started As Freelancer On Craigslist
Nothing is easier than getting started on Craigslist. Simply head to their main site, choose the location of your liking, and start searching for jobs.
Be aware that, quite often, people looking for help don’t necessarily specify that the position they offer can be fulfilled from anywhere. Make sure to not just overlook a job offer because it doesn’t specifically state ‘location independent’ or ‘remote work opportunity’ in the description. Read the description, and get in touch in case you believe things can be handled remotely.
Pros And Cons Of Craigslist When Looking For Location Independent Jobs
Big pro is certainly the huge supply of jobs. And, same as Facebook, it is completely free. You won’t even have to create a profile to send applications.
The major con is that finding location independent jobs can be very tedious. Since Craigslist specializes on location specific offers, it can be difficult and very time-consuming to source through the myriad of job postings to find something suitable. Again, make sure to track your time when looking for remote work here. Time is your most valuable asset in life. Don’t waste it.
As with Facebook, also be aware that again there is no buyer’s or seller’s protection offered. And, yeah, trying to boast with reviews on Craigslist sounds rather dodgy than trustworthy.
Minor con is that the interface is everything else but beautiful. (Then again, it’s efficient, and that’s what it needs to be.)
Costs Of Using Craigslist As Freelancer
As stated, Craigslist is entirely free to use. Just please do monitor the time you spend!
GO! Find location independent jobs on Craigslist today.
UpWork was formed when Odesk and Elance joined forces in 2015. Since then, it is arguably the largest outsourcing platform on the planet, and hence an excellent place to find location independent jobs. However, please be warned that their fees are almost as gigantic as their user database.
Getting Started As Freelancer On UpWork
By now you know the drill: Sign up and apply for jobs. Handily, UpWork even highlights interesting jobs for you according to the information you provide in your profile. Their introduction on getting started can be found here.
Pros And Cons Of UpWork When Looking For Location Independent Jobs
As mentioned, UpWork most likely offers the largest user database amongst any outsourcing website out there. Hence, the chance of finding a job here is incredibly high.
On the downside, the competition is huge, of course. And they recently raised their commissions to now be the highest on the market! (For all optimists: These high commissions mean that many other freelancers are leaving UpWork behind – more jobs for you.)
Costs Of Using UpWork As Freelancer
The commission UpWork charges is, as mentioned, the highest on the market. They will take 20% off the first 500 USD you make, 10% until you reach 10,000 USD, and 5% for every dollar earned above 10,000 USD.
Please note that these commissions are lifetime commissions per client! In case you have 20 clients paying you 500 USD each, you still end up paying 20% commission for each and every dollar you sweated for!
In case you decide to concentrate on one single client, the commission you pay decreases to a fair 5% after a while. But let’s be honest: If you achieve this work volume with one single client, you will have left behind any 3rd party platform a long time ago.
GO! Find location independent jobs on UpWork today.
Fiverr is a good platform if you’re good at mass production. As the name suggests, bidding starts at five dollars here, so be prepared to not get rich with your first project. Fiverr advertises a price range for projects between 5 USD up to 10k USD, but be warned that most employers come here looking for a small, cheap gig.
Getting Started As Freelancer On Fiverr
Okay, we’ll repeat it again. Create a profile and go.
Pros And Cons Of Fiverr For Home Workers
Fiverr is a good place to get a feeling for the market. You can easily detect which skills are in demand and which aren’t. Since most projects are rather low-value, many employers start their search here.
Fiverr is also a very well-known website, and people understand that succeeding here requires a lot of skill and hard work. Listing Fiverr experience on your website certainly won’t hurt.
The clear con is that most job postings won’t offer a massive profit margin. Also, since employers rather look for a cheap and quick fix, few offer ongoing remote work opportunities here. And what little you earn is further derogated by Fiverr’s commissions.
Costs Of Using Fiverr As Freelancer
Fiverr keeps a hefty 20% commission of your earnings. No stacking. Stay clear of investing too much time here. But maybe give it a shot for ‘market research’.
GO! Find location independent jobs on Fiverr today.
Freelancer carries the red lantern in this list, since, in all honesty, it features the worst payment system we have ever come across while freelancing. In fact, they even deducted money from us just for accepting our first project!
In case you have a talent to write proper business plans and implement smart payment systems, we see a huge opportunity for you here.
Getting Started As Freelancer On Freelancer
In case you’d still like to give it a shot, create a profile and start bidding. Be aware that many competitors bid automatically these days. To get attention, you either need to write highly appealing applications, or look into bot-bidding as well. 8 bids per month are free, afterwards you’ll need a membership.
Pros And Cons Of Freelancer When Working From Home
Pros are the large variety of online jobs you can apply and get hired for. Since Freelancer has been around for a while, many employers trust it.
Cons again include a massive competition. And a payment system so strange you should actually get paid for trying to understand it. Here it goes, in a nutshell. (Despite saying nutshell, you already see the ‘Costs’ section is a lot longer than with all other websites, don’t you?).
Costs Of Using Freelancer As Freelancer
Employers pay 3 USD or 3% when paying for a project, whichever is higher. This can be handy for freelancers, since it discourages low-value projects.
Do not bid for low-value projects, since Freelancer charges either 5 USD or 10% commission of the project value, whichever one is greater. So in case you completed a 10 USD project, they’d keep half of that (and charge the employer an extra 3 USD).
Freelancer only offers 8 bids per month for free. For further bids you’ll need to become a member, which costs you 29,95 USD per month and allows up to 300 bids a month, amongst other perks. First month is free. Again: Should you go for it, pool your location independent job search to few platforms, to get the most bang for your buck.
Be warned that Freelancer charges you when accepting a project, not when completing it. Which is why we got charged when accepting our first project, without ever having earned anything. Further details and exceptions can be found here.
Oh. And there’s a fee for deposits, which we cannot find reference to anywhere in their statements. We found this to be approximately 5%, but to date we are not entirely sure when or why it is charged and what for. If you have any insights on this, please let us know in the comments.
The only thing you might want to consider using Freelancer for is when working on hourly projects. The fee here is a flat 10% (plus 3% for the employer) and is only deducted upon payment. Apart from that, we highly recommend to stay clear, and search for remote work opportunities elsewhere.
GO! Find location independent jobs on Freelancer today. (Or maybe not?)
There are of course hundreds, if not thousands of other sites that you may want to search for online jobs on. Many sites are specialized, only catering for a certain niche. We have listed the above platforms since they offer a broad spectrum of remote work opportunities, and are hence the most interesting for the majority of world traveling entrepreneurs.
However, as you have hopefully already determined your strengths and are clear on what kind of job you are after, feel free to try you luck on the following sites:
Constant Content: https://www.constant-content.com
Content Mart: https://contentmart.com
Fotolia (by Adobe): www.fotolia.com
For sure there are huge numbers of further websites out there to find remote work, so please let us know in case we missed a good one.
Last Step: Do It!
Now you know all the resources you need to work from home and earn sufficient income to finance a location independent lifestyle. How much or how little you decide to work and earn is of course up to you. All you need to do now is get started.
It’s your life. Don’t waste it.
To help other remote workers, please add your comments, thoughts and hacks below. Or join our Facebook discussion on working remotely.
We wish you all the best of success. More time to travel. And more money to spend.