Braintrust connects skilled tech experts — software developers, designers, and user-experience mavens — with clients
Expected pay: You set it
Commissions & fees: 10% (paid by the client, not freelancer)
Where: Nationwide (remote)
Requirements: 5+ years of technical experience; interview and skills assessment
Braintrust is a fledgling marketplace for all types of tech talent. Built by freelancers for freelancers, the site lets you set your own rate. And you get 100% of the rate you set. Clients pay a 10% platform fee for the connection.
How it works
The site is a non-profit that’s owned and operated by the freelancers who use it. When freelancers sign up, they’re screened by the freelancers who are already in the network. And if you get accepted, Braintrust will encourage you to help screen other newcomers too.
But the bad side of being interviewed by your peers is that they’re busy professionals like you. Some workers say it can take months to get accepted into the network.
On the bright side, the screening process nearly guarantees a congenial workplace. And the site provides an incentive — a cryptocurrency that represents ownership in the platform. But owning a piece of Braintrust does not mean you’ll earn dividends. After all, the site is set up as a non-profit.
Instead, these shares give you more say in how the site develops. You get tokens for screening and referring both other freelancers and clients to the platform.
This piece in BusinessInsider explains more.
Freelancers set their own rates. And they also set their own payment terms. If you want clients to pay weekly; bi-weekly; monthly, or based on hours or progress, you simply negotiate that with your clients.
You are paid through Stipe or TransferWise on whatever schedule you work out with your clients.
Braintrust is new, operating publicly just since mid 2020. As a result, it likely has fewer clients than better-established competitors, such as Upwork, Toptal and Catalant. That said, Braintrust’s fees are exceptionally freelancer-friendly. And we hear few complaints about the platform.
Other sites we like for skilled tech talent: Catalant, WorkingNotWorking and FreeUp.
You can sign up for Braintrust here.
What their users say (from Glassdoor):
Best job I’ve ever had. Autonomy. Flexibility. Growth Opportunities. Ability to have a wide role. Natural start up growing pains, though. Internal communication can be a little chaotic. Documentation is messy. Onboarding needs some work .Compensation isn’t bad, but could be better. No annual raises or performance-based bonuses (currently).
Completely disruptive network that is changing the recruitment game. It is fun to be a part of. Leadership team is approachable and constantly looking for suggestions and feedback.
The onboarding is very slow and takes months.
The Braintrust team and community are an amazing group of professionals dedicated to making real change in the lives of working freelancers (and work in general). Everyone is very driven, yet collaborative, honest, transparent, and all good humans!
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