This Day On The Street
Continue to site
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Creative Freelancers Bid, and Sites Take a Cut

CHICAGO ( TheStreet) -- Does your company need a fresh look for the New Year? While overhauling your website and marketing materials might seem like a daunting -- and expensive -- project, online talent-scouting sites have made hiring freelancers easier and more affordable than ever.

Two factors have helped increase small businesses' access to creative talent. First, waves of layoffs at advertising agencies and media companies have left thousands of designers and copywriters out of work -- and looking to take on freelance projects. At the same time, there's been increasing interest in crowdsourcing, the concept that the "wisdom of crowds" can be used to solve problems.

Those trends have led to a new take on the temp agency: websites that match companies with workers on a project basis. Businesses post what they need done and what they're willing to pay, then watch the offers to work come in.

The plus for small businesses? You get access to a worldwide network of creative types, which is especially valuable for companies outside of major urban areas. Another bonus: The sites take care of all legal paperwork, so you won't be stuck haggling over intellectual property rights.

Here's a quick guide to the most popular sites by kind of job:

Graphic design
The recognized leader in this field is Essentially, the site allows you to offer an online design contest: You complete a written description of what you're looking for and what you'll pay, and submissions are posted for everyone to see. You rate each idea and offer comments and suggestions so designers can adjust their proposals accordingly. At the end of a designated length of time, you chose a winner. You have to prepay your fee (to show you're serious), and 99designs takes its cut from that payment. Recently, companies have been paying $250 to $500 for a company logo and $1,000 and up for website redesigns. works in a similar way, but allows for more confidentiality. (The current website of the powerful Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives was designed as a CrowdSPRING project.) The company charges a listing fee of $39-$199, plus a 15% commission on the price you pay for the project. The more you pay, the more privacy settings you can activate, so competitors won't know what you're up to.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
AAPL $124.75 0.00%
FB $80.78 0.00%
GOOG $524.05 0.00%
TSLA $206.79 0.00%
YHOO $44.45 0.00%


DOW 17,826.30 -279.47 -1.54%
S&P 500 2,081.18 -23.81 -1.13%
NASDAQ 4,931.8150 -75.9760 -1.52%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs