I was job hunting when the pandemic hit in March. I had recently finished a contract working as an account executive in an ad agency and was looking to secure my next contract. Perfect timing, right?
I was job hunting when the pandemic hit in March. I had recently finished a contract working as an account executive in an ad agency and was looking to secure my next contract.
Perfect timing, right?
Unfortunately, tightening budgets, redundancies and hiring freezes meant that my job search wasn’t very fruitful and I quickly realised that I’d need to call on other skills to earn an income.
Copywriting was a skill that I’d developed over the years. I’ve always enjoyed writing and as it’s something that can be done remotely, I decided to try my hand at freelance copywriting.
The concept of freelancing was completely new to me. I don’t have any family or friends who are freelancers, nor did I have experience working alone. I was used to working with others in office environments so I knew immediately that I needed to seek out other freelancers who I could relate to and learn from.
While looking for work I came across a wide range of sites that helped freelancers find work, most of which took commission when they matched a company with a freelancer. The Freelancer Club however, looked different. For starters, it didn’t look like a jobs board like the other freelancer websites did. I also noticed that they didn’t take commission but instead charged a membership fee.
Intrigued and curious as to why they structure their price plan in such a way, I had a look through their website and social channels. I’d paid a membership fee for a gym before, but never for a work related website.
The Freelancer Club’s main aim, I quickly learned, is to support freelancers by providing them with the business skills and support they need to apply for jobs on their site or any other freelance platform for that matter. If freelancers find a job through the site, that’s great. However, as job pairing is just one of the many services the Freelancer Club offers its members, no commission is taken. I later learned that they call this approach ‘ethical hiring’. Other services the club offers to members include online masterclasses, workshops, courses, mentor services, resources, a community knowledge base, as well as networking and collaboration opportunities with other club members.
I came to the conclusion that joining the Freelancer Club is like joining a really good gym. If I want to connect with like minded individuals and develop and learn new skills from highly experienced and knowledgeable people in order to get the best out of myself and prepare for new opportunities and challenges, I’d pay a membership fee to avail of such services.
Another reason the Freelancer Club doesn't take commission is because unlike other freelancer websites, a freelancer and a company are not forced to communicate through the Freelancer Club platform once they’ve been introduced. When a freelancer lands a job, they negotiate the rates directly with the hiring company and if they decide to work on more projects together in the future, they don’t have to go through the Freelancer Club either.
As our CEO Matt Dowling recently explained in a Forbes feature article, “The freelancer, not the site, ‘owns’ the client relationship. We’re not a marketplace in the traditional sense - we don't hold money on the site, or take commission, and our involvement ends when we introduce the company to the freelancer.”
I recently took part in my first online networking event with the Freelancer Club called Showcase. I got the opportunity to chat and share my portfolio (which I can curate and host on the Freelancer Club’s website) with some really interesting prospective clients. I also got to network and chat with loads of different freelancers. As someone who’s currently based in rural Ireland, having access to a vast community of freelancers, who I can easily connect with and learn from, is a huge comfort and massively beneficial.
The Freelancer Club doesn’t take commission as it advocates for and accommodates ethical hiring on its platform in addition to providing resources, training, mentoring and networking opportunities to help empower freelancers like me, to forge robust and exciting freelance careers. That, for me, is worth much more than 15 to 30 percent!