Freelance marketplaces can be useful for both freelancers and businesses. But the current options don’t work for every user. For those who want to focus on domestic freelancers, there’s Freelance US. Learn more about the company and its journey in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.
What the Business Does
Connects companies and freelancers online.
Founder Ashley Rodriguez told Small Business Trends, “We are a freelance marketplace pairing contracted talent with small businesses and nonprofits.”
Focusing on the U.S. market.
Rodriguez says, “We are the first U.S. exclusive marketplace for freelance, the only platform that is Veteran and Woman Owned.”
Business Origin Story
Started after struggling to find a solution that fit her needs.
Rodriguez explains, “I used international platforms for my coaching brand in 2019. And realized how much of a pain it was for me to navigate. I decided the solution was to create my own. I spent all of 2020 conducting market research, and learning how to design the marketplace.”
A successful launch.
Rodriguez says, “For me, the soft launch provided amazing value. To this day, 6 months into the official launch, we have had nothing but positive reviews, feedback, and excitement. Small business owners are thrilled to have a U.S. only marketplace for project work. And freelancers are excited to narrow down, avoiding international competition.”
Hiring a VA to help with expansion.
Rodriguez explains, “I received a large amount of requests and responses in the beginning, that it became overwhelming. I made the commitment to hire a VA to help me with tasks, before I knew whether or not I could afford it. I made the choice to pull funding from my monthly marketing expenses, and direct it toward a VA. And it was the best decision I made – although risky to decrease advertising as a small startup.”
Learn from experts who have done it before.
Rodriguez adds, “I would search harder for a mentor, at least in programming to save me money and time up front.”
How They’d Spend an Extra $100,000
Marketing and outsourcing.
Rodriguez says, “It would help me begin the foundation for a stronger team, and infrastructure. We turned down offers for investment in order to maintain the equity, and opted for a more organic approach to raising money and building our community.”
Building a community of military families.
Rodriguez explains, “We have just under 100 users currently on site, during this community building phase. We will be community building into 2022, and establishing the marketplace as the go-to for U.S. sourced freelancers and small businesses. We have been in the military community mostly, helping military spouses get ready for a career in freelance and helping Veteran owned businesses scale.”
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Image: Freelance US, Ashley Rodriguez