CoWorks: Connecting Buyers and Freelancers Through Social Media

There are 42.6 million people working as freelancers in the United States — how do they connect with good clients, and how do potential clients find freelance workers they can trust?  New platform Coworks looks to answer both questions by using social networks to link freelancers with businesses and buyers.

The idea is to find “word-of-mouth” recommendations using the power of online social media connections.  Instead of glancing through hundreds of recommendations from random people, buyers are now connected to freelancers that have already worked with one (or more) individual(s) within that buyer’s social network.

For freelancers, it’s an opportunity to gain reliable clients  — according to Coworks, 77% of freelancers have experienced client nonpayment during some point in their career.

“Rather than providing buyers with an overwhelming amount of unqualified freelancers as many services have done, Coworks recommends only high-quality freelancers based on connections within the buyer’s own network.”  The pre-existing connection – through social media – “helps to foster a relationship of mutual trust right at the outset.”

Coworks screenshot

Coworks focuses on four key categories of freelancing jobs in the creative sector: writing and translation, design and illustration, photo/video, and web/apps.  In addition to connecting freelancers and buyers, the platform also provides tools for posting, bidding, profile promotion, social network invitations, billing, payments, workflow, taxes and VAT.

Coworks calls itself “the first and only” online platform of its type.

“Traditional online freelancing solutions provide buyers with literally thousands or even millions of freelancers to choose from,” says Jill Gutierrez, Community Manager at Coworks. “At Coworks, we focus on personal connections and recommendations. The most comfortable and successful path to finding freelance resources has always been asking friends and colleagues. Coworks takes this important concept and combines it with an online platform that makes working together easier for everyone.”

Has anyone tried Coworks — were the recommendations helpful?