During the last decade, many people have got interested in the freelancing work. If you ask from your friends or family you will find at last one person working as a freelancer. According to Forbes, freelancers now make up 35% of U.S. workers and have collectively earned $1 trillion in the past year.
In Iran freelancing is just starting to grow in popularity and we see more freelancers than ever. With the growth of freelancers, we can now see professional websites helping freelancers to get projects without any twists.
One might ask why would someone choose an Iranian freelancing website over a established and well-known foreign player. Well, the first reason would be the lack of access to international payment systems such as PayPal, Visa and Master Card. The other reason would be the language barriers and the preference of working with a Persian-speaking freelancer. However, despite the restrictions, many Iranian programmers and designers are working with foreign freelancing websites.
In this article we’re going to have an overview of the existing Iranian freelancing services and the international ones, and discuss the differences between them.
First, let’s introduce two successful global examples of freelancing websites.
1. Freelancer: Founded in 2009, Freelancer.com, thanks to its great domain name, acquired several crowdsourcing marketplaces and became one of the biggest freelancing websites in the world. If you are a freelancer or a project owner, you can find jobs in various areas such as web design, graphic design or even marketing projects.
2. 99Designs: Founded in 2009, 99Designs is an online graphic design marketplace in which freelance designers connect with entrepreneurs or basically anyone with a graphic design need. Project owners can ask for logo design, packaging design, t-shirt design and so on. Among the different designer’s work, project owners’ can choose their favorite one.
Now let’s introduce some of the Iranian freelancing websites which are more well-known than the others:
1. Ponisha: Founded in 2011, Ponisha is a platform in which entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses can outsource their projects and ideas to Iranian freelancers. According to its blog, over 50,000 freelancers are ready to work in over 400 skills. You can make a bid for a project in different fields such as programming, graphic design, translation and content writing. In 2017, Ponisha launched its own messenger to make the communication between the project owners and freelancers faster and more secure.
2. Parscoders: Founded in 2007, Parscoders is one of the first freelancing services in Iran specific for programmers and developers. The Outsourced projects are in many different fields from software/web applications to quite cheap and small projects. Parscoders also has freelancers from other Farsi speaking countries such as Afghanistan.
3. Anjam Midam: Founded in 2013, Anjam Midam is an on-demand marketplace for tasks and services. In freelancing web services, a project owner posts a project and freelancers around the world can accept the project depending on their skills and the offered price. In an on-demand marketplace such as Anjam Midam, professionals in almost any type of field offer their services to customers.
What are the differences between Iranian and global freelancing websites?
One of the huge differences between global and Iranian web services is their Business Model.
For example, 99Designs makes revenue by creating competition for designers to get a project. According to TechCrunch, 99designs currently makes 90 percent of its revenue through design competitions.
This website allows the designer to compete with other freelancers in contests in order to prove their skills. If you’re competitive and confident in your expertise, it’s a great way to showcase your abilities and attract more clients.
Some of the global websites find a freelancer themselves after finding out about your needs and the required skills and also they provide other kinds of services such as financial modeling and valuation which we haven’t seen in Iranian ones yet.
Freelancing websites in Iran could get more niche and focus on a specific industry. There are websites who have recently started their work on a specific field such as architecture and construction. In this regard, platforms with a focus on college students and recent graduates looking for a freelance job in their field of expertise could help fill in a gap in the market.
In what sectors do you see the potential for Iranians to enter the online freelancing market?