TopTal is a community of freelance designers, developers, financial experts, product managers, and product owners. It houses the world’s top 3% of best freelancers that companies and clients can contract with ease. I found the platform very randomly by searching on Google for remote working opportunities which lead me to apply for working at TopTal.

First impressions

I joined the network as a designer in early 2018 and the first thing I noticed was that the platform was very well organized. I had HR reaching out to me with my TopTal contract, the accounts department reaching out to help me set up my payment methods, people responsible for talent skills growth and learning reaching out to let me know of available TopTal sponsored courses. Everything was set up as if I was starting to work at one of the San Francisco-based tech companies.

Flexibility and independence while working at TopTal as a freelancer

When they approved my account, I ended up becoming part of the freelancer network and the marketplace. In it, clients can browse and choose who to work with based on their rates, years of experience, and strength of the portfolio.

The best part for me was that there was no commitment to start working until I felt that I am ready to pick up a new project and yet at the same time, being part of TopTal with an approved account did give me more credibility within the industry as I was still able to link to my public profile when needed.

Working at TopTal, as a freelancer, I am able to decide my hourly rate, how much I’d like to work, and at what times. The important thing for me was after committing to a project to stay focused and deliver as promised.

My first gig

In reality, I didn’t start working through the platform until the COVID-19 pandemic started. With many businesses changing their times and strategy, some of my time was freed up. I had nothing else to fill my time with therefore a part-time gig sounded like a good idea to pass time and yet be productive.

I set myself as available for work on the TopTal platform and within few days, client managers started emailing me about potential interviews with clients and future gigs.

Yes, that’s right! Even if you are part of the network, you get to do an interview with potential clients for both parties to see if there is a match of vision, design style, ideas, etc. As a freelancer, you can decide that a client was not a match for you or a client can decide that they would prefer a different freelancer, but in the end, throughout the whole process, everyone is very friendly and very professional. Even if you don’t end up landing your first gig, there is another potential one that awaits in the platform.

Failing an interview is not the end

I landed my first project with TopTal on my third client interview. The first two were just not the right match. I had only part-time availability at the time and the length of the projects felt too long.

I’ve been working with that same client for almost a year on the same project to what initially was supposed to be a 3-6 month commitment and I have to say – I do enjoy it a lot.

TopTal handles all the legalities, all the paperwork, all the payments, and management. As a freelancer, I was able to only focus on design and building great digital experiences. I could easily say that

Working at TopTal has allowed me to take control over my work-life balance. It gave me the power of full flexibility and freedom.

Professionalism and really great people while working at TopTal

The people I’ve been working with from the network have always been very nice and very professional. I worked on a few projects with TopTal developers and everything has been fantastic. I didn’t have to explain everything in detail, the developers were understanding everything at our first meeting. They took great ownership over their work as any senior person would do.

Is there a key to being successful?

I generally believe that if you are approved to work at TopTal, then you are already successful but at the same time, it is important to remember that it is still a marketplace. You still need to able to sell your services to TopTal clients and convince them why they should hire YOU at that rate and not hire someone else. Doing a few not-so-successful client interviews does actually help. You learn what clients are looking for and how they expect you to sell yourself.