Platform versus private freelancing

Wooded park with one walking path that splits into twoEarlier this month, I talked about the best platforms for freelancing.  I want to follow that up by taking a look at whether you should look at platform freelancing at all, or go with private freelancing from the get-go. Spoiler alert: both have an important role to play in your freelancing career!  Want to see how they compare?  Keep reading!

Why choose platform freelancing?

From restrictive rules to hefty fees or commissions, platform freelancing doesn’t seem to have a whole lot going for it at first glance. But, there are some serious pros to consider. 

  • It’s a great starting place: A freelance platform is where I got started in my career.  I found that it helped me really get my feet wet as far as making sure that I, you know, actually wanted to do this.  As well, there is no website fuss. Just a simple management system that they take care of you. 
  • You don’t need to specify a niche: Most platforms encourage artists to be broad and help customers however they ask.  While this may be overwhelming at first, it’s a blessing in disguise because you don’t have to specify a niche and can instead experiment with a little bit of everything to see what you like and don’t like. 
  • You get to learn how to deal with customers with low risk: Customer relations are a lot of work and some things will require you to learn the hard way.  Having that happen with the protection of your platform minimizes blowback and also often involves room for learning too. 

Why choose private freelancing?

Just the thought of private freelancing makes most people sweat. You need to plan for website hosting and pricing and then marketing and SEO. Why would anyone possibly consider going private for their needs?  This, too, has some great pros!

  • You can set your own prices and rules: Since there are no guidelines to follow, you can set your own prices and even things like payment plans or cancellation rules and requirements.
  • You can get specific and charge more for it: Once you’ve developed skills and preference in a niche, you can fine-tune your services to that category and then charge more for the specialized service.  This also shows how professionally trained as a freelancer you are, too. 
  • You can learn from your platform experience: If you’ve done some kind of work on a platform, you can use any and all of that for private customers. For example, learning how to deal with a bad customer or a tricky project, etc.  Take it all private and use it to be more professional. 

So what’s the verdict?

There are people on both sides and that’s the cool thing about being self-employed and freelancing in every category. But, here’s my two cents’ worth.  

Start out on a platform. Learn everything you can in customer relations, the tricks of the trade and even pricing, and then take it private and start bringing in the big bucks.  Not only will you know that you are only taking a small risk instead of a huge life-changing one, but it’s also nice to know where your parameters are. 

Thoughts?  Differing opinions?  Want to share your own personal story?  Share them below!

Business content writing

Kelterss View All →

Kelterss is an experienced freelance content writer and a published author based in New Brunswick, Canada. She writes website content, blog posts, and product descriptions for customers worldwide. Kelterss specializes in writing about mental health, fitness, and dog behaviour. Freelancing since 2014, Kelterss has earned over 3,200 reviews and has a 4.9/5-star rating.

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