What: Catalant, formerly HourlyNerd, is a job platform for skilled freelancers who can consult on anything from logistics to marketing.

Expected pay: $100+ per hour

Husl$core: $$$$

Commissions & fees: 20% – 30% (added to the client’s bill)

Where: Nationwide/Worldwide

Requirements: MBA or significant experience in your field

Review:

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 it’s database of 70,000 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 specify a specific “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 20-30% 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, clients don’t expect bargain-basement prices.

That makes Catalant a much better place to advertise your services than sites like Upwork and Freelancer, where 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. 

Recommendations

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.

Other sites worth checking out: FreeUp, WorkingNotWorking, FlexProfessionals, WAHVE, GLG, Maven, and Zintro.

1/5/2021