When I was freelancing full-time, I imagined what would have been helpful for me to find more work, to connect with other freelancers, and to help others getting started or struggling. I was frustrated with what was already available, especially when it came to finding work. So I compiled what I liked and didn’t like, wrote out a plan, and got to work.
Indie Experts is a community of people working for themselves to connect with others to help build their business.
Why am I building Indie Experts?
As a freelancer I would often get asked if I knew someone who did X or Y, if I could suggest someone who would be good for a specific project and is looking for work. Other times I would get an inquiry from someone looking to work with me but I was busy for the next month and couldn’t take it on, but I also didn’t have a person to pass them off to that could take on the project. And there were also times where work dried up and I felt like I was scrambling to find something but didn’t have anywhere to turn for help. I think these are pretty common situations for every freelancer out there and is only a part of why I’m building Indie Experts.
What’s the plan?
I’ve got a lot planned out already and the more I talk about it the more ideas come up. I’ve got features planned out for the future as well as possible monetization options to sustain it. But right now I believe the MVP should be a directory of profiles, the ability to search it, and a place for people to set their availability and how to contact them. This alone sounds very basic and I tend to think “it needs to be more”, but there needs to be people on the site in order to build a community. This directory of profiles and the initial newsletter signup should be a decent gauge of interest at the start.
In the future I’d like to improve on profiles a lot to include more details about the individual, what they’ve worked on, etc. I also believe adding the ability to endorse others will be a very important part of the site, especially to solve the problem of not knowing who to pass inquiries to. Other ideas include a reddit-esque discussion board, job listing board (no bidding!), teams for grouping together individuals that work well together for larger projects, and a listing/profiles for companies that work with freelancers.
The biggest challenge for me is thinking beyond the web industry. I’m not building this just for people who work in the web industry. I’m building this for any self-employed person. The thinking behind each piece needs to be useful and beneficial to everyone.
I’ve got a good plan written up right now and I’m executing it. I don’t know how it will grow or how users will mold it but I’m excited and believe it will be incredibly useful! If you’re interested and self-employed you can sign up for the newsletter. I’ll be publishing updates there, looking for feedback, and giving initial access when it’s ready.