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Kristian Charles Williams

Kristian Charles Williams

May 10, 2023

5 Great Online-Platforms for Freelance Creatives 2021

5 essential websites to help you find more freelance work in 2021

5 Best Platforms for Freelance Creatives 2021

It's awesome being free. So it's awesome being a freelancer. It's a gift being creative. So having the time to be creative is like a Christmas day on repeat.

However, finding work that will pay you a salary for your time and freelance creativity can be tough (certainly before 'mother internet' blessed us with all her 'social branches' of connectivity anyways!)

Freelancers are turning their creativity to 'gig work' to showcase their skills and keep the bailiffs from the door. Even before lockdown, reports showed that Britain’s booming gig economy had more than doubled in size over the past three years (2017,2018,2019) and accounted for a staggering 4.7 million workers.

Characteristics of those in the gig economy (Dept of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy 2018)

One snapshot of the gig economy in Britain (from a poll of 2,235 UK residents, aged 16 to 7) found the number of working-age adults who had worked for an online platform at least once a week had more than doubled, from 4.7% (2.3 million workers) three years ago, to 9.6%, (4.7 million) today.

Characteristics of those in the gig economy (Dept of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy 2018)

So seemingly it is all about the freelance jobs UK! Up to one in seven working-age adults (about 7.5 million people) have worked via a gig economy platform at some point.

Characteristics of those in the gig economy (Dept of Business, Energy and Industiral Strategy 2018)

In 2021, there are so many platforms online offering creative gig work it can sometimes feel like a bit of a minefield and knowing where to start (and with whom to sign up for freelance work) is often an incredibly daunting prospect.

Enter TAXO'D (*TAXO'D enters the room, removes the 'cloak of invisibility' and declares) 'Don't worry my ol' muckers, we got you covered!' And we really have. Below, we have taken the time to assess and shortlist the 5 best online platforms for creative freelancers in 2021:

1. twine

Based out of Manchester, twine connects companies to a network of more than 195,000 creative freelancers working across graphic design, animation, music and film from 179 countries. Looking for online freelance jobs UK? Then twine certainly ticks all the boxes.

People or companies needing work done can use the platform to write a project brief and secure talent to create quality audio-visual content including logos, pitch deck design and explainer videos. Freelancers can build a portfolio in twine, find paid work and connect with other creatives from across the globe.

twine has heaps of potential hirers looking for:

  • Editors (freelance editing jobs UK)
  • Illustrators (freelance illustration jobs UK)
  • Graphic Designers (freelance graphic design jobs UK)
  • Photography Jobs (freelance photography jobs UK)

There are no upfront costs to post your freelance profile and monies are all handled by twine. twine will collect the money from the employer once they have agreed on a freelancer and then release the money to the freelancer (less their fee) on completion of the job.

We have found twine go above and beyond to try and support the freelancers here. They are excellent at sending email alerts on any new job postings suiting your search criteria and they even go as far as offering a 'freelancer toolkit' which includes details (and discounts) to numerous products and services:

  • Project Review Tools for freelancers
  • Offices for freelancers
  • Invoicing Tools for freelancers
  • Productivity tools for freelancers
  • Credit support for freelancers
  • Legal services for freelancers
  • Pensions for freelancers
  • Career Support for freelancers
  • Accounting tools for freelancers
  • Banking for freelancers
  • Time tracking tools for freelancers
  • Project Management tools for freelancers
  • Creative tools for freelancers
  • Insurance services for freelancers
  • Business admin for freelancers

If you are a freelancer illustrator, animator, design, musician we at TAXO'D strongly suggest heading over to twine and start getting your profile set up!

2. The Dots

The Dots is a community platform for creatives and aims to make the creative industries more open and diverse. It now has over 300,000 members which include 10% of the UK’s creative market.

It appeals to a vast range of creators, entrepreneurs, and freelancers looking to juggle jobs. More than 10,000 companies and brands also use The Dots for project sharing and hiring. Its community can be accessed online and through its mobile app.

The platform uses algorithms to personalise recommendations for its clients and prospective employees. Members can use The Dots to list creative projects and tag those involved such as editors, photographers, freelance stylist jobs UK, journalists or engineers. Posting projects allows other creators to source each contributor accordingly.

Like twine, The Dots really do care about the freelancers within the community they are looking at developing and offer extra services and products:

  • Online courses
  • Insights and feedback from collaborators

If you are an artist or designer or have a creative mind we at TAXO'D strongly suggest heading over to The Dots and start promoting your creative talent!

3. The Mandy Network

Mandy are the world’s largest creative community of actors, film and TV crew, theatre professionals, child actors, voiceover artists, dancers, singers, musicians, models and extras.

They are a global, dynamic digital career hub for creative talent around the world and help professionals find work in TV studios, on movie sets, in training institutions, events, concert halls, theatre companies and art collectives.

On their platform, The Mandy Network assists freelance performing arts jobs UK with networking you to the correct employer: helping casting agencies cast, linking art directors with cinematographers, and bringing lighting designers to dark stages. Once again, they seem to support their freelance community across the arts and media sectors by championing their members and enabling them to take control of their careers and introduce producers, casting directors and HR managers to the best talent for their projects.

The Mandy Network go above and beyond assisting freelancers find work and employers find the right employees; Mandy offer additional services for freelancers which include:

  • An active Forum
  • Notices and Events (hosting events and inspiring collaborations)
  • Members guides and input from the community

If you work in or behind the scenes of the creative performance arts industry or the film and TV industry then we at TAXO'D strongly suggest heading over to The Mandy Network and start getting your profile set up!

4. foap

When it comes to freelance photography jobs UK, foap enables photographers and videographers to earn money from selling their photos and videos. Foap describe themselves as: 'We are you: creative professionals in pursuit of authentic visual content that performs for your brand - and nothing but. We are foap: your customised visual-content platform powered by creatives for creative professionals.'

You can quickly (and for free) sign up for an account with foap and build an image database on foap by uploading your best photos and videos, then sit back and relax (well actually it's best to keep uploading!) until a person or brand steps up and purchases them. Once your photo or video is purchased, foap splits the remuneration for you. (The higher quality photograph or video you upload, the higher the remuneration.)

This online platform will showcase your talent to a worldwide audience and gives you 50% of the profits for each photo you sell.

If you have an abundance of high-quality images and videos that would showcase a brand or be in demand on blog, then we at TAXO'D strongly suggest heading over to foap and start getting your profile set up!

5. Upwork

Upwork is probably one of the biggest freelancing platforms and they encourage freelancers to sign up and create a profile, showcasing their portfolio and highlighting their skills. Likewise, they encourage clients (business owners etc) to post jobs on that require the skills of a freelancer.

The spectrum of jobs to choose from on Upwork is very broad owing to them being one of the original players in the sector. Hence, clients are diverse and spread out worldwide. You can therefore seek work outside your geographical area (ie if you are a freelance writer you are not limited to freelance writing jobs uk) which increases your chances of getting hired.

Getting paid is simple and secure and they track your hours and bill the client automatically. There are two types of contracts – hourly and fixed price and it’s your responsibility to ensure that every time you work on an hourly project that the time worked is recorded. Once your working week is over, the client has 5 days to dispute any time recorded. If there are no disputes the money will be whacked in your Upwork account which you can then withdraw.

Joining Upwork is free for freelancers. Like with most platforms, Upwork charges a service fee which is a percentage of your earnings.

If you specialise in any of the following sectors:

  • Web (freelance web design jobs UK)
  • Mobile & Software Dev (freelance programming jobs UK)
  • Design & Creative (freelance design jobs UK)
  • Admin Support (freelance typing jobs UK)
  • IT & Networking (freelance IT jobs UK)
  • Writing (freelance content writing jobs UK)
  • Customer Service (freelance customer service jobs UK)
  • Sales & Marketing (freelance sales jobs UK)
  • Translation (excellent for freelance translation jobs UK)

then we at TAXO'D strongly suggest heading over to Upwork and getting your freelance profile set up!

Why not let TAXO'D tax return app for freelancers handle all of your tax woes?

We provide an end-to-end tax solution for all freelancers and most self-employed tax payers. Record as you go, know what you owe and file direct to HMRC. No Green Form. No More Accountants. All from your phone or desktop.

TAXO'D is a salary tax calculator. You record as you go (on your phone or your computer) day by day, throughout the tax year. As the weeks unfold and you are actively recording your income and expenses. With TAXO'D personal tax app - you will see in real-time displays the tax and National Insurance that you owe.With TAXO'D tax return software know exactly what tax you owe and when you owe it. Simple.

TAXO'D mobile tax tool does away with the need for an accountant, saving you further money and time. If you are earning money independently and responsible for your own taxes then sign up today. And find out why TAXO'D is the best self assessment software for freelancers and contractors.

Tax Sucks! Spend less time and money on it with TAXO'D tax filing app

Disclaimer: This is simply a guide and should not be treated as tax advice. Contact HMRC directly if you need tax advice.

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TAXO'D blog Author

Kristian Charles Williams

Head of Growth, Partnerships & Mugician

A freelance human and one that resides in creative industries. For the best part I have been an independent musician and a (not-so-independent) composer.

TAXO'D.  Beautiful, simple, award-winning, end-to-end accounting solution for freelancers. Record as you go. Know what you owe. Tax return, done. TAXO'D.  Beautiful, simple, award-winning, end-to-end accounting solution for freelancers. Record as you go. Know what you owe. Tax return, done. TAXO'D.  Beautiful, simple, award-winning, end-to-end accounting solution for freelancers. Record as you go. Know what you owe. Tax return, done.
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