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

Expected pay: $150+ per hour (You negotiate your rates)

Husl$core: $$$$

Commissions & fees: 25% – 30% (added to the client’s bill)

Where: Nationwide/Worldwide

Requirements: 18 or older; MBA or significant experience in your field; pass a screening; disclose conflicts; barred if ever guilty of a felony or any offense involving dishonesty or fraud.

Catalant 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 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.

Like other consulting platforms, you are barred from engaging in work that presents a conflict of interest between your current or past employers and from disclosing any proprietary information about consulting clients that you work with through Catalant. This site also bars you from giving investment advice. And you must maintain your own errors and omissions insurance.

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. Additionally, payments get a little slow starting in 2023, paying experts roughly 60 days after work is complete. 

Catalant clients

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 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 chase clients to get paid. Freelancers are paid every two weeks, roughly 60 days after a job is complete. The site handles collecting the fees from the client. Notably, until January of 2023, the site paid faster — roughly 30 days following an engagement. 

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: WorkingNotWorking, FlexProfessionals, WAHVE, GLG, Maven, and Zintro.

Updated 12/19/2022