why I don't find clients on freelance websites


If you’re a freelancer, you’ve probably advertised yourself and what you do on heaps of freelance websites- or at least plan to, if you’re just starting out in the business. As a fellow freelancer, I have done so in the past as well. After all, who wouldn’t?

It seems and looks like an easy way to get you out there, a way to make yourself known and show potential clients what exactly you can do and are capable of learning. Sure, setting up shop on multiple freelancing platforms might be the way to go for most. It might seem super easy and simple- but I really don’t think it is.

Other freelancers might find it suited for them and their needs, but not for me. At least, not anymore- after all of the experiences I’ve undertaken, I have decided to completely cross off posting myself up on online freelancing platforms. In fact, I can say that I completely boycott the notion!

You might be thinking to yourself, but why? Why would you stop advertising yourself on those websites? They’re a great help after all, and you’re pretty much shooting yourself in the foot, and forfeiting possible jobs and clients by crossing out such an option!

It might sound strange, but it really is the case. And if you’re curious as to why exactly, as to what my reasons are…then it is best to read on. I have compiled a list of all of the reasons why I have decided to no longer participate in the concept of posting up my freelance jobs online.

The following are 10 reasons why I don’t waste my time looking for, and advertising my jobs on freelancing platforms.

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1 | It simply takes up too much time

Putting together any application takes up a hefty amount of any individual’s time- you want to make sure it’s perfect, after all! But the thing is, with online applications, there’s a very little chance of getting accepted (for many reasons, which will be explained in the follows numbers).

This means that you will have to spend hours, perhaps even days manually sending your resume to multiple companies, hoping for approval. You might be thinking to yourself: “So what? That’s what you do for most companies, either way.”

But that thing is that it’s different with online applications- you will have to constantly edit and tailor your resume into something that is suited to the specific job you are applying for. You sometimes even have to input certain keywords in order to get noticed by companies- something I will elaborate on, at a later number.

If you think about it and weigh the time spent, sending online applications is definitely the far more time-consuming option.

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2 | Everyone else is also applying online

In this day and age, most people are on their phones, laptops, tablets…on technology, simply put. Especially the younger people- most of who are probably looking for jobs as well. And where do you think they are applying for said jobs? That’s right, online.

There are only so many jobs available on freelancing platforms, and the job to potential employee ratio is incredibly skewed. What does this mean? This means that the competition in the online job market tends to be incredibly intense and hyper saturated!

There’s a high chance that the job you have just spend hours and hours crafting and building a sufficient application form to has already been taken by someone else.

It’s even likely that the next fifty jobs you apply to on the internet have already been taken, or will be taken seconds o minutes before you, as well. There’s a very little chance that your resume is going to noticed by the employer you want, so what’s the point of wasting all your time for naught?


3 | You become desperate

As stated before, the applicant to the available jobs ratio is incredibly skewed. There are far more applicants than there are jobs, meaning most of the jobs you would like to take are likely gone and have been long since taken.

Everybody who happens to be employed usually would like a job as soon as possible. This means that you get desperate. You start applying for jobs that you wouldn’t normally apply for merely because you just want to experience the very concept of actually being accepted for a position.

You’re better than that, and your skills have been worked far too hard for to just stoop down to a position you know you can do far, far better than. When applying for work, even though you happen to be freelance, it is very important to have respect for yourself and your abilities.

Online freelance platforms completely undermine the skills of workers, which is a terrible thing to undergo.

4 | You don’t get to properly sell yourself

When you send out an application form through the use of the convenient world wide web, it might seem easy. It might seem fast and efficient but in truth, it really isn’t. That’s because you’re simply one in dozens or hundreds of applicants, merely a face in the crowd.

When you’re trying to sell yourself online, it can prove extremely difficult because of the fact that the companies will only have your resume or application form to base you on. They will not be able to see you for who you truly are, not like they would in person.

If you have a great personality or a charming way of speech, your potential employers would never get the chance to realize so because there is a wall of technology hindering your path to a job.

If you think about it from a different sort of angle, it’s actually quite a bit dehumanizing- because to online platforms you’re seen as nothing more than a machine who can do specific tasks, and not as the complex individual you really are.


5 | It doesn’t work- but it isn’t your fault

Sometimes, the system of online applications just doesn’t work! Sometimes you’ll be skipped over even though you’re incredibly experienced and could probably complete the job in your sleep.

Why, you ask? That’s because most companies who put up jobs on the internet only look at applications or resumes with certain keywords. And of course, how would you even be aware of these keywords?

Instead of being considered for a position you could very possibly fill out, you get overlooked simply because your resume doesn’t contain the certain secret keywords the company wants.

The system is incredibly crooked, and personally I would never want to involve myself in such a thing ever again.

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6 | Response times are skewed

Because of the fact that you’re dealing with a potential employer through the internet and not in person, you might not be able to get a response when you’d like- which can be really problematic in specific situations. Take, for example, you’ve applied for two jobs and you’re waiting to hear back from both.

One job is slightly better than the other. The first job hasn’t replied to your message yet but the second one has. This means either risking employment for the measly chance you’ll be accepted into your first choice, or going for the employer who contacted first and losing your chance of working for the company you want.

With online platforms, sometimes (oftentimes, really) you’re going to find yourself in certain lose-lose situations.


7 | You’re probably not interacting with a real human

You put so much effort into crafting your portfolio, application, resume, and sending a message to a person you hope to be your employer in the future. Only sometimes, that person you think you’re talking to behind the screen-isn’t really a person.

It’s the norm for bigger companies to have bots, or create programs that will scan through messages, application forms and resumes instead of actual people in order to save themselves time and effort.

These bots simply scan your application form for certain keywords and if they aren’t there- they send an automatic rejection letter! Seems a little heartless, doesn’t it? This means that you’ve wasted your time and energy preparing yourself, and all for nothing!

What’s more, I believe us freelancers are far above having our resumes (which we have worked extremely hard for) simply be scanned and disposed of by something that isn’t even human.

8 | It eats away at self-confidence

Working hard on making sure your resume, applications, and e-mails for your preferred company tends to take up quite a large amount of work and effort. Normally, a freelancer would expect to be rewarded or finally given a job after sending dozens upon dozens of forms to any and all of the jobs in sight on an online freelancing platform.

But the thing is, when it comes to online applications, there’s a very little chance you’ll be accepted, or even considered! That’s because of the large amount of competition you’ll have to deal with, as well as the fact that some listings might have already been around for years!

When you apply online, you’re pretty much working with no guarantee you’ll get something in return. Being rejected and not being replied to so many times can definitely bring you down, and tear up what self-confidence you may have.

This is self-destructing, and another reason why I believe that looking for a job on online freelance platforms is a complete and utter waste of time.


9 | Risk of technical difficulty

Technology can be great, convenient and fast, sure. However, it isn’t a perfect catalyst for online job applications- especially if your internet is choppy or slow. Sometimes, you might find yourself in the middle of writing a very important e-mail to a potential client only for your laptop to suddenly shut down, or your WiFi to glitch.

With things such as my portfolio and resume being of extreme importance to me, I’d rather not risk the loss of anything by placing it online and on the internet. Not only that, but if you happen to come across a shady website, the chances of getting hacked are very plausible.

There is a possibility you could lose not only your freelance portfolio and data, but also some other confidential files such as personal information and whatnot.

10 | There are better options

This is my final and most important reason- the fact that there is a myriad of other available, other better options. These options are things like traditional interviews wherein you can fully showcase your work and personality.

Another is having employers come to you instead by building your own website instead of having to spend hours upon hours applying for jobs you’re not even sure you’re going to get. YOU CAN CHECK THE EASY-TO-FOLLOW GUIDE POST I WROTE ON HOW I BUILT MY FREELANCE WEBSITE AFFORDABLY.

In my opinion, these alternatives are far better than online freelance platforms.


Freelancing and working for oneself can be incredibly rewarding, but it can also be very difficult when it comes to the extremely competitive job market. However, just because us freelancer happen to be in high quantity, that shouldn’t mean we are less than human.

That shouldn’t mean that we should go through a hard and grueling process, draining ourselves and our self-worth when applying for online jobs we have a very little chance of actually getting.

Instead of option for applying for jobs online, look for different ways! Instead of seeking out employers, why not allow the employers to come to you? What you need to do is build up an amazing resume and a place wherein they can view your talents, and your portfolio.

You will be able to sell yourself and your skills far better than if you participated on online freelance platforms. If you want advice from me, I’d say take the switch and push online freelance platforms as far away from you as possible! Save both your time and energy, and look away from the world of online resumes, applications, and freelancing platforms- you’ll thank yourself in the future.

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If you are like me who dumped freelancing platforms already, what other reasons do you have in mind?