Report: Where do freelancers find customers?

November 13, 2023

Freelance Business has published their anticipated report on Where do freelancers find customers, which we collaborated on with Na volné noze, The Indie List, and a dozen other freelance communities.

The results are not statistically representative for the overall freelance economy. However, they are valuable enough to dispute an often-repeated claim about the growing importance of freelance platforms that serve as intermediaries between individual freelancers and their clients. The responses from 434 freelancers across 58 countries suggest that the significance of online platforms as a source for freelance work remains low. The top sources were, quite typically, based on social relations:

  • 54% from existing or past clients
  • 45% from recommendations by friends, family or colleagues
  • 35% from social media
  • 20% from their own website or web presentation
  • 17% from direct pitches to clients
  • 15% from freelance platforms (such as Fiverr, Upwork, etc.)

“Low Platform Engagement: A mere 14.7% of freelancers have secured clients through freelance platforms in the last year,” concludes Elina Jutelyte in the report. Arguably, only a fraction of that ~15% rely on freelance platforms as their primary source of work, potentially reducing their actual market share to the lower single digits. This is also in line with past research, as summarized in the talk European Freelancers & Where to Find Them.

For more detailed insights, read the full report.

Share or discuss: LinkedIn Facebook X (Twitter)

More news

Let’s stay in touch

We monitor countless quality sources on freelancing and choose only the best content to save your time.

Subscribe to our monthly Freeletter with a curated selection of world-class freelance news and subscribers-only content + get our free PDF guide How to become an international freelancer right now as a new subscriber:

Your privacy matters: We won’t share your email address with anyone else and you can cancel your subscription anytime. Also, we do not store anyone’s IP address nor do we track who opens and reads our newsletter.