Starting a freelance career in Latin America is possible and, although it can be challenging—especially for those just starting out—it could start generating a substantial income almost immediately. For this reason, we have prepared this guide for you, listing the top freelance platforms you can choose.
In the beginning, there are several important things you should consider. Although having a good command of the English language is not strictly necessary, this can help you access more potential clients or generate contracts with higher rates. As for the number of jobs available, while demand for Spanish-speaking freelancers is abundant, there are far more that require English.
It should be noted that, even though it’s possible to achieve success as a freelancer, this will require effort and dedication because—as in any other job— delivering outstanding results to your clients is a process and will also require some effort on your part.
This guide is quite selective because we’ve chosen the top three freelance platforms that have proven to generate good results in Latin American countries. Of course, the list doesn’t end here! At the end of this article, you’ll find other options that didn’t pass our filter. We’ll also share why they didn’t make the cut, so you can make an informed decision.
Practically anything. Are you looking for a full-time job that lasts for several months? You can find that. Do you want to do small extra tasks in your free time? This is also possible, and these types of jobs are usually charged by the hour. In fact, you must take the time to determine your availability so clients can contact you easily.
Moving into the practical aspects of freelancing online, the main types of work offered by freelancers can be summed up in the following categories:
As you can see, there is a wide range of possibilities. The most important thing, at this point, is that you decide which of your skills to make available. Do you have experience editing videos or creating audiovisual content? This is also viable. In other words, you should look for a type of work that does not require you to be physically present with your client and for which you have the skills and knowledge to guarantee excellent quality results. The key is not choosing your services randomly, but rather creating a business in which you can find clients from other parts of the world with whom to work.
In general, it is usually said that that it takes a couple of months—on average—for clients to start contacting you on a freelance platform when you start offering your services. However, the actual time to get clients will depend on several factors, of which the most important is your level of previous experience. If you already have a resume showing your work history and a portfolio of visual examples of previous work, then you are practically ready to start.
If you don’t have a portfolio yet, you can go to Behance, create one for free, and then link it directly to your freelance platforms. In this way, you won’t have to build a new portfolio for every profile you create.
Another significant factor is the amount of time you dedicate to understanding how these freelance platforms work. In the beginning, as everything is new to you, they can be a bit overwhelming, so you must arm yourself with patience and time to read, analyze, and study your chosen platforms thoroughly. After all, they will become the source of your livelihood.
Taking that into account, and after you have completed your first job successfully, the rest will come much easier because you will gain experience that will be reflected not only in the type of jobs you choose to accept but also in the monthly income you will start earning.
We’re ready! Now that you have read this far and have a broader vision of what you need to do before creating profiles on these platforms, let’s get into a little more detail about each of them. We have selected for you these top three platforms for freelancers in Latin America because they are reliable and provide results.
How do these platforms work? When creating your profile, these platforms will allow you to select your skills, and, based on them, they will recommend you available jobs or projects in your niche.
They usually have a free tier of their services and a paid membership that includes additional account features. Paid memberships are usually billed monthly, but free versions might require you to pay a fee to be able to apply for job offers.
Which should you choose? It will all depend on how much time and effort you are going to invest in them. Generally, a paid membership on these platforms can cost between $5 and $20 per month. Individual applications to client projects can cost between $1 and $3 or more, depending on your purchasing project credits in bulk or one by one.
Upwork is the favorite freelance platform on the list. However, it is the only one that is only available in English. While you will be able to find jobs in Spanish easily, you are expected to have a good command of English to use it and communicate with your clients.
How to create your profile? Go to the platform, create your account, and enter the information requested. The more complete and accurate your information is, the better. Keep in mind that this will be your cover letter, so this is where you should use the information from your resume to show credibility.
Keep in mind that Upwork will keep track of how complete your profile is, so make sure that you complete it 100%. You can also take advantage of the platform’s resources to link your portfolio, second language certifications, and professional profiles on social networks and Linkedin.
Do you have your profile ready? Then, you can start applying for job offers immediately.
Payment methods: Once you finish a job, the platform will release the funds that were charged to your client, and you will be able to withdraw them using PayPal or through a direct bank transfer. Yes! Bank transfer works! For example, if you are in Colombia, the platform pays you directly to your bank account and the funds clear in a couple of days.
Advantages: Upwork provides all the tools you need to communicate with your clients. In fact, due to its security policies, you must maintain all communications through them. In this way, they can help you solve any issues. Additionally, the platform is secure, has a blog, and offers webinars and information to help its users learn how it works.
Disadvantages: You need to understand and be able to communicate in English to contact your clients. In addition to this, the platform charges a 20% commission if your earnings are less than $500 per client, and 10% after you have earned above that minimum with the same client.
This platform works very similarly to Upwork, but it is in Spanish and aimed at Spanish speakers. In fact, Workana has been ranked as the #1 freelance platform in Latin America.
How to create your profile? It is similar to the previous platform in the sense that you should make sure the information in your profile is as complete as possible. If you speak English, it is essential that you take the validation test on the platform to have your language skill verified in your profile so clients can see it. The more complete your profile is, and the better organized your information, the better your chances of being hired will be!
Advantages: The main advantage here is that everything is in Spanish and that this is also a very popular platform. Workana also provides security in case of difficulties with customers, so it will also require you to keep all client conversations through the platform. Workana also features a blog and other information channels such as a YouTube channel, in which you can find valuable information.
Disadvantages: If you are new to the platform, it might be convenient for you to pay for its membership because the free account only allows you to apply to 2 jobs per week, which can make it a little more difficult to find good opportunities at first. Speaking of commissions, they will also charge you a percentage, which is how the platform earns its income. You can see more information about the costs here.
“An army of freelancers available all the time!” This is how Soy Freelancer introduces itself on its homepage. It is generally regarded as an excellent freelance platform. However, it is more focused on niche markets such as web programmers, writers, designers, and advertising professionals.
How to create your profile? Creating an account on this platform is simple and very similar to the others we discussed above. Remember that the more complete your personal information is, the better! Likewise, creating a portfolio for clients to see visual samples of your work experience will be essential.
After your profile is ready, you will be able to begin applying to jobs recommended to you, according to your skills. In the beginning, the platform will allow you to apply to only one job per day. If you are promoted to a “Pro” account (which you can achieve by inviting three friends to join), you will be able to apply to many more jobs and get positioned among the best freelancers available.
Payment methods: Soy Freelancer makes payments through PayPal. For El Salvador, payments are made to local bank accounts through deposits or transfers. The banks currently accepted are: Banco Agrícola, Banco de América Central, Scotiabank, Cuscatlán, Promérica, Davivienda, and Banco Industrial”, according to the information posted on their blog.
Advantages: Getting a Pro account here is easy! Also, the platform is in Spanish, so this can be a good option if you don’t have second language skills.
Disadvantages: It only offers a few payment methods, which limits the available options. As for commissions, they set at 14%, with a minimum per project of USD 10.
As we all know, everyone has different rhythms and work ideals. For this, we have compiled a short list of other options you can study and which may meet your expectations. Some of these are:
Now that you have a little more information about the top platforms to freelance in Latin America, the next step is to start studying them, one by one, to find which of them suits your needs best.
Perhaps, one of the best recommendations we can give you is to try at least three of these platforms at a time, so you can tabulate and compare results. In this way, you will be able to find out which of them gets you the first job faster, which one is easier to manage, which suits your payment preferences best and, ultimately, which is the ideal one for you.
Now that you know that working online and doing it from the comfort of your home is possible, remember that the most important thing you can bring to freelancing is your dedication to your work so that you can obtain good results.
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