I'm extremely excited to introduce my new side project called lancer.to. lancer.to or "Lancer" for short is a freelance-only job board.
Most job boards usually offer roles more driven around full-time jobs. lancer.to only features freelance roles. These roles can vary in requirements but in general, you won't find any full-time jobs on the website.
Freelance jobs and freelancers are de-valued. Today, huge productized services exist that offer a wide array of contractors for hire. This sounds great on the surface but these platforms commonly earn money per transaction and/or bid that comes out of a contractor or freelancer's pocket. On platforms like this freelancers have had to be extremely competitive to find work. Because of that, they have no choice but to drive their prices down to near zero to get noticed.
Websites like Upwork.com, Fiverr, freelancer.com, and similar marketplaces don't value the freelancer because of this issue (like at all...unless of course, you make them money). It's a shame because it hurts all contractors, not just those on each platform. You need a handful of jobs at a time just to make it worth the fuss.
Across all of these marketplaces, I've noticed two things in common.
- The quality of leads is poor.
- Competition drives down lead quality
I strongly believe that if you provide professional services you should be fairly compensated and respected for the talent/skill/resources you provide. No platform should dictate this.
My goal with lancer.to is to offer freelancers a new place to find vetted work they can depend on. There's no bidding and no hidden costs for freelancers which is another differentiator to other freelance websites out there. Contractors come to the site to post their job listing and get an audience full of freelancers in return. We review every job before it gets published to save freelancers' time and energy.
Today, I work full-time as a product designer but I got my start freelancing. I still take on freelance work on the side where time allows. I like the mix of roles and responsibilities that comes with it.
When in college I got an internship at a local prestigious design agency and had to commute a two-hour round trip. That commute sucked. Ultimately, I didn't feel like the agency was a place I saw myself long-term so I quit. The commute was a big driver in my aspiration to find a remote-first role before "remote work" was more normalized. As I began my hunt I noticed the majority of "remote" roles were often contract roles. Thus began my full-time freelance career.
I live in the central midwest. Locally there wasn't a lot of need for my skillset so you'd commonly find me browsing the web for job boards and listings on various websites. Searching day after day made the idea for lancer.to a no brainer. I wanted what I built a long time ago I just now got around to building it.
There's a long road ahead to get more traction to the site. Marketing will play a big role in Lancer's success. A new blog is in the works as well as experimentation with ad placements on other websites. I'm hoping this app will grow and become a rich resource for freelancers over time. If you're a freelancer on the hunt for more work I invite you to subscribe to the email list to get our job digest delivered to you automatically each week.