Freelance Job Boards Versus Your Contact List

More than 14.8 million people were self-employed last year, accounting for about 12 percent of the private, nonfarm work force, according to Steve Hipple, an economist with the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Many of them appear to be registered with, an online marketplace for freelance talent in several categories–sales and marketing being one.
According to The New York Times, Karen Swim, 45, of Sterling Heights, Mich., left a successful career in corporate marketing four years ago to write for a living. “I found Elance through a Google search,” she said. “I was amazed. I thought, Oh my God, there’s a whole underground of people making a living, and they’re not going to a corporate office every day.”
If you’re a freelancer, I’d love to hear from you in the comments here. Are these sites worth one’s time? I don’t want to judge from afar, but I’m a big believer that freelance opportunities come from one’s friends, former colleagues and the “natural” contacts one makes in person or online.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. I haven’t looked into yet, having just heard about it a couple days ago from a friend. But I’ve taken a peek at others (eworkmarkets?), and registered with LivePerson.
    My experience with that one is, it’s a waste. I should have known from all the astrology “experts” listed there for hire. Every single time I got an email notification of a new job posting — supposedly someone needing marketing or graphic design help — it was a “job opportunity” in the form of multi-level marketing. Not once, not twice, but every single time.
    I’ve “resigned” my expert status on LivePerson, but will check out elance and others to see which ones might be more legitimate marketplaces for those needing help and those offering it.