Catalant formerly HourlyNerd, is a job platform for skilled freelancers who can consult on anything from logistics to marketing
Expected pay: $100+ per hour (You set it)
Commissions & fees: 25% – 30% added to client’s bill (not taken from freelance pay)
Where: Nationwide (remote)
Requirements: MBA or significant experience in your field
Catalant is a marketplace for skilled freelancers in nearly any job category, from accounting to tech. The site uses software to help companies describe what skills they need. It then uses the same technology to search through its database of 80,000 registered freelance experts to find the right experts for the job.
How it works
Freelancers sign up and upload a resume. They’re then asked to get more specific about skills and experience to boost the chance of finding a project. You are also encouraged to create a “service offer,” with a price range.
What’s a service offer?
Let’s say you’re a marketing and communications expert. Your service offer might be to develop the marketing campaign for a new product. This may include positioning the brand, creating customer journey maps, and detailing an advertising budget. You set your earnings expectations and time line for that project.
You can also offer a la carte services — crisis management consulting at $300 an hour, for instance. The idea is to give Catalant more information about what you feel comfortable doing so it can better match you to paying clients.
Fees and pay
There’s no cost to create a profile on Catalant. But, if the site matches you to a job, Catalant will add a 25% – 30% mark-up to your rate as a site fee. If the buyer likes the proposal, but doesn’t like the total price, the freelancer and client are encouraged to negotiate. Catalant does not cut its fees.
The downside of Catalant? The site’s fees are substantial. Additionally, the site’s terms stipulate that if you find a client on Catalant, you are not allowed to take a job for that client outside of the platform for at least a year. That prevents you from giving the client a better rate by simply cutting out the middle-site.
On the other hand, Catalant works with Fortune 500 companies that have enviable budgets, so you may find better-paying clients here. And, since the site is designed only for experienced professionals, no one expects bargain-basement prices. Although freelancers can compete against one another here, the competition is generally not about fees — it’s about what any given individual can bring to the table.
“The lowest price almost never wins on our platform,” says Catalant CEO Pat Petitti. “Our clients don’t care about cost. They care about speed and quality.”
Working with Catalant also gives you access to the site’s tools and research, which is a significant benefit.
That makes Catalant a much better place to advertise your services than sites like Upwork and Freelancer, where freelancers bid against one another for jobs. On these other sites, small jobs are common and rates are sometimes laughably low.
No chasing for checks
Importantly, too, Catalant makes sure that freelancers don’t have to wait to get paid. The site’s basic contract spells out a payment formula, which is agreed to by the client and freelancer in advance. Once a job is complete, Catalant pays the freelancer the agreed-upon amount. The site handles collecting the fees from the client, so you don’t have to wait.
Catalant will not bar you from signing up if you’re a lower-end freelancer. But the site’s clients are looking for true experts. If you have less than stellar experience, you are likely to be overlooked. Only about half of the site’s freelancers are “active,” according to a Catalant official.
That said, if you have deep experience in logistics or tech or marketing or manufacturing or…(you name it), this may be a great place to advertise your availability for flexible work.