Toptal freelance marketplace is becoming a perfect option for top talent and high-end businesses. Want to succeed as a freelancer? Here are our tips.
Freelancing is on a boom. It is augmenting with great speed. New entrants – businesses seeking professionals or freelancers providing services – are continuously activating profiles on freelance platforms.
Although 2020 had been a catastrophic year for the world, out of adversity came opportunity. By the end of 2019, who could have thought that people worldwide would be confined to their homes only, but it happened — the outcome? 22% increase in the US’s freelancing market.
The stats are staggering, and the trends are encouraging. We can see people turning towards specialized freelance platforms such as Toptal.
The Toptal freelance marketplace claims to select the top 3% of talent from the world. The company backs its claim with a rigorous screening process to maintain quality.
The freelancer platform is more popular for software development, graphic designing, and project management. You can find some useful tips regarding entry and survival in the Toptal freelance world in the upcoming text.
Tips To Enter The Toptal Freelance Marketplace
As stated earlier, Toptal is a niche freelancing marketplace. Initially, you may not feel hopeful as the number of entrants keeps dropping at each stage of the evaluation process.
However, people do end up being a part of the competitive platform, and they perform exceptionally well.
With other benefits of working with Toptal, the top benefit is the Toptal freelancer salary. You can earn huge sums of money using this highly sophisticated freelance platform.
You can find some common tips on different Toptal reviews from freelancers. Most of them seem to be agreeing with one of Abraham Lincoln’s quotes:
Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four in sharpening the ax
The whole process of entering and surviving in the Toptal freelance space requires preparation. Let’s take a look at what each step of the process demands:
Work On Developing Excellent Communication Skills
An information-based form is the entry point for the Toptal freelance platform. After that, if the company deems it right, they ask for an interview through Skype. One of the representatives from Toptal takes the interview, and here comes the challenge.
The interview is not about how well you can perform as a freelancer, but it gauges you based on how well you can handle communication. It checks your English speaking skills, which doesn’t mean that you should have impeccable grammar or a native accent.
They check you for how coherent you are with your thought process and how well you can define your abilities without losing your mind.
The tip here is to work hard on developing clear communication skills, even if you hated it being a freelancer who didn’t have time to communicate.
The interview requires you to come out of your comfort zone and speak, so work for it before working on the skillset.
Practice What You are Striving For
The next step is the skill test which includes evaluating the skill you are trying to enter Toptal with. For example, if you are a developer, sharpen your skills by coding as much as possible after the interview.
There’s a popular phenomenon that the top talent at the Toptal freelance space is 10X. These people are ten times more productive than the average lot.
While this may only be a myth, to stay at par, be at least twice as good with what you are striving for.
Whether it is programming, designing, or project management, pick courses that can lead you to the path of learning. The tip here is to set a goal of at least learning one new thing per day relevant to your field of expertise.
See Related: How to Hire a Developer Online [Step-by-Step Tutorial]
Give Your Best Shot in the Project Delivery Phase
If you have successfully entered this phase of the selection process, you will get a chance to work on a project. The project deadline is usually between 2-4 weeks, and here you have to develop a real-time, full-fledged project.
The developers may be asked to develop an app with all its front-end and back-end details, such as the user interface and the DBMS, or sometimes the deployment and testing, so be prepared for some real-time assessment.
Designers, they may be asked to develop interfaces or a basic design sketch of a website. At this stage, you must prove your experience and skillset with all your vigor. The tip here is to meet the deadlines without failing at any project step.
Tips for Surviving on the Toptal Freelance Platform
Congratulations on entering one of the most sophisticated freelance marketplaces. It is time to gear up for the projects to come.
Remember that you are competing with the best 3%, and it will not be easy. There’s no way you can let the spirit of learning and preparation go down and meet what the client expects in a freelancer.
If you do so, the chances of survival in the Toptal freelance workplace can get bleak. So, here we go with some survival tips on Toptal:
Develop a Stellar Profile That Speaks for Itself
Now that you have entered, your journey at Toptal starts with your profile and your face on the Toptal freelance website.
It’s true; your profile picture is your identity on Toptal. So, whether you like it or not, you have to show off here – a picture of you smiling with confidence and all the positivity in the world.
The next thing is your expertise. Remember the first tip of clear communication? It applies to your profile as well.
Give each detail of your experience working on different projects. Find people who can vouch for your expertise and keep an hourly rate that feels just right to the people you wish to work with.
To set an hourly rate, you can take help with Freelance Hourly Rate Calculator.
The tip here is not to underestimate and not to overestimate as well. Just pick up what your level of dedication demands. The more skilled you’re, the higher you can demand.
See Related: Determining a Budget for Freelance Web Developer
Keep Reviewing the Job Board
Now that the Toptal freelance platform’s profile part is all set, head over to the job board. You will most likely find suitable jobs with the decent search options that Toptal freelance workspace provides.
If you find a job that feels relevant to your experience, contact the recruiter in charge of the project, who will then ask you for the facts that can help you secure the job. The recruiter in charge then forwards the facts and your profile to potential employers.
Do you see it? Face value is important to secure a good job. The tip here is to maintain an updated profile excel in interviews and with all the past and current projects you’re working on. It can lead you to hook potential clients better.
Be a contributor to the Toptal Blog.
Toptal blog regularly takes contributions from freelancers. If you have already gained experience on the platform, your contribution to the blog can highlight you as a bright freelancer.
As a blog contributor, you can establish yourself as an authority in your niche. For example, as a software developer, you can write about new tips for upcoming developers or career advice for others.
Although this tip is not for those freelancers who have just started, it can still land you some good clients.
Be a Team Player and Let Your Peers Grow With You
With virtual teams and even virtual companies taking the freelance marketplaces by storm, it is crucial for survival to become a team player. If you’re a part of the Toptal freelance space, you will most likely work with virtual teams.
Remember the 10X concept? It is better adaptable for teams. The teams that work to gel better can prove the 10X idea right. However, a single member can sabotage the productivity chain with the wrong input.
For example, a developers’ team working on a project can efficiently distribute the coding process among peers. That will eventually lead to better performance.
The tip here is not only to gel with the team members but also to make them grow with you. Give them opportunities to learn if you have the edge over them in a particular aspect. Learn from them as well and grow together.
See Related: Best Freelancing Tips for Beginners
The freelancing market is thriving, yet very challenging to keep up with the influx. There are millions of skilled people who are continuously working to develop their skills to match ideal freelancer compensation.
Even with the fierce competition, the digital world is abuzz with new jobs now and then. The advantage of a specialized market such as Toptal freelance marketplace is its instauration.
Other than that, the Toptal freelance rates are much higher than any other freelancing platform, so who can ignore those extra bucks?