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  • Writer's pictureChristopher Cialone

As a Freelancer -why I choose to forego sites like UpWork...


While Upwork and similar freelance platforms can be useful for finding clients and projects, there are certain reasons why a freelance web developer in New York City such as myself and so many of my fellow devs might not consider them the best option:


**1. High Competition:**

Platforms like Upwork have a global pool of freelancers competing for projects. As a result, the competition can be intense, making it challenging for a freelance web developer to stand out, especially in a densely populated and competitive market like New York City.


**2. Pricing Pressure:**

Due to the international nature of these platforms, there's often a wide range of pricing. Some freelancers from countries with lower costs of living might offer services at a significantly lower rate than what's feasible for a New York City-based developer. This can create pricing pressure and make it harder to command fair rates for your skills and experience. For 5 bucks we would be surpirsed what developers in other parts of the world are willing to do - but, also keep in mind this may be a good option to sub-contract certain parts of our projects - just a thought here...


**3. Limited Branding and Differentiation:**

On platforms like Upwork, freelancers are restricted in terms of how they can present their unique skills, brand, and portfolio. This limits your ability to differentiate yourself from the competition and showcase your expertise in a way that truly reflects your value as a New York City-based web developer.


**4. Transaction Fees and Cuts:**

Most freelance platforms charge fees or take a percentage cut from your earnings. Over time, these fees can add up and affect your overall income. In addition, some platforms may prioritize clients' interests over freelancers' concerns.


**5. Dependency on Platform:**

Relying solely on platforms like Upwork means you're dependent on their rules, algorithms, and policies. They can change their terms and conditions, ranking algorithms, or even suspend your account without warning, potentially disrupting your source of income.


**6. Limited Control Over Projects:**

Freelance platforms often mediate between clients and freelancers, which can lead to miscommunications and project scope disputes. This can be frustrating for a web developer who wants more control over project details and client interactions.


**7. Reduced Client Relationships:**

Platforms like Upwork encourage transactional relationships rather than fostering long-term client partnerships. Building lasting client relationships can lead to recurring projects, referrals, and a stable income stream – something that might be harder to achieve on these platforms.


**8. Brand Perception:**

Working through platforms like Upwork might not always project the level of professionalism and expertise that New York City clients expect. Clients might associate such platforms with lower quality work or a lack of commitment.


**9. Local Networking Opportunities:**

Being physically located in a city like New York provides opportunities for local networking, attending tech meetups, conferences, and events. These can be more fruitful avenues for finding high-quality clients who value face-to-face interactions.


**10. Industry Standards and Trends:**

Web development standards, trends, and client preferences can vary from one region to another. Being familiar with the specific needs and preferences of local clients can give a New York City-based web developer an advantage that might not be as easily exploited on a platform catering to a global audience.


While freelance platforms can be a starting point for new freelancers to build a portfolio and gain initial clients, experienced freelance web developers in New York City might find more success by leveraging local connections, building their brand, and utilizing more targeted marketing strategies that align with their skills and market expectations. I have built my brand and my business from the ground up, on my own - learning new ways and techniques as I go along, but to be honest this Upwork and all the rest - never even crossed my mind Carpe Diem

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