How To Build A Freelance Marketplace Like Toptal?

How To Build A Freelance Marketplace Like Toptal?

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The global job market is undergoing a major transition. The growing awareness of work-life balance and the increasing preference for remote work have led to a significant rise in the number of freelancers.

People are leaving their full-time jobs to provide freelancing services to clients across the globe and increase their scope of earning, all from the comfort of their homes. Startups and big corporations benefit the most from this trend as they get to access freelancers with skills that are generally not available in their local job markets.

Due to this changing mindset of companies and the traditional workforce, freelance marketplaces are witnessing significant growth. One of the leading websites in this industry is Toptal, which currently holds around 80.56% market share of the freelance engineering industry.

Let us now discuss what Toptal is, its operational model and revenue model, what features it provides and how you can build a freelance marketplace like Toptal.

About Toptal

Toptal is a freelance marketplace website that connects highly skilled freelancing talent including software designers, developers, product managers, and financial experts with clients from all over the world. It was founded by Taso Du Val and Breanden Beneschott in November 2010. The platform was officially launched in the year 2011.

Within four years of its launch, Toptal became one of the fastest-growing freelancing companies with a 2,861% annual growth and was featured in Deloitte’s 2015 Technology Fast 500™ list. In 2022, Toptal expanded its geographic footprint to 140+ countries, serving over 25,000+ clients. Currently, it is one of the top freelancer marketplaces with an estimated annual revenue of $1.3 Billion.

How Toptal Freelance Marketplace Works

Finding the right freelancer among the plethora of options is quite a cumbersome and time-consuming process. Toptal makes it easier by connecting customers with only highly skilled professionals who meet all their job requirements. Let us discuss the business model of Toptal in detail:

  • The clients can post a job with all the necessary details like the type of freelancer required, specific skill etc.
  • Toptal searches for the best-suited candidates that match the job requirements, and provides a list of available freelancers to the client.
  • The clients can interact with these freelancers to find the most appropriate freelancer to do the job.
  • After choosing the right freelancer, the client can pay the initial booking amount. Then the freelancer connects with the client and starts working on the job.
  • The client is billed for the time the freelancer has spent on the job.

Toptal also offers a free trial period of two weeks, in which the client can assess the freelancer’s work and decide to continue with the same freelancer or find another one.

Offering the Best Freelancers – The screening process of Toptal

Toptal has a rigorous screening process that filters out most of the applications and allows only highly skilled freelancers to register on the platform. This process consists of the following steps:-

  • Toptal conducts a timed evaluation that assesses the core skills of the freelancer. It is a rigorous test that only highly skilled freelancers can clear.
  • The freelancers who pass the skill test are shortlisted for a personal interview where their communication and soft skills are evaluated.
  • After the personal interview round, the freelancer is given a real-world project to complete within 40 working hours. Toptal requires the freelancers to share their screens during this round.
  • The freelancers who clear the above rounds are onboarded on the platform.

Must-Have Features in a Website like Toptal

Every freelance marketplace has some distinct features depending on the niche, target audience, and budget of the marketplace. However, some crucial features are common in almost all marketplaces.

  • Multiple Job Types – You can enable clients to post different types of jobs as per their requirements. These job types can include public jobs, private jobs, fixed-price jobs, and biddable jobs.
  • Admin Approval – The admin approval feature enables the admin to either accept or reject a freelancer registration. This decision is generally based on the qualifications and skillset mentioned by the freelancer. Toptal uses this feature to ensure that only highly skilled professionals can join its platform.
  • Social Sign-up – To simplify the sign-up process, you can provide users with the option to sign up using their existing social media accounts.
  • Freelancer Recommendations – You can incorporate a freelancer recommendation process on your platform to provide freelancer suggestions to customers.
  • Direct Invitation – You can allow the customers to visit freelancer profiles and send them a direct invitation for the job posting.
  • Multiple Payment Gateways – To facilitate financial transactions through your marketplace, you need to integrate various payment gateways according to the requirements of target regions.
  • Advanced Job Posting – The advanced job posting module can enable customers to provide details about the job, including images, required skill sets, and any other attachments.
  • Multi-Currency Support – Providing multi-currency support is essential for expanding your business and targeting a diverse audience. Toptal has also incorporated this feature on its platform to simplify financial transactions.
  • Featured Listings – Including a featured listing section in your platform to highlight the top-performing freelancers will help you to build customers’ trust while boosting the morale of the freelancers.
  • Private Messaging – An in-built messaging facility will help the customers easily interact with freelancers and share attachments related to the job posting without leaving your platform. Toptal also enables clients to message freelancers before, during, and after the job completion.
  • Reviews and Ratings – You can increase the credibility of your freelancers and your marketplace by adding the ratings and reviews feature. It can help clients assess the work ethics, quality of work, and the overall behavior of freelancers.
  • Issue Resolution – An issue resolution feature is useful in cases where there is a dispute between the freelancer and the client after job completion. 

Create a Feature-rich Freelance Marketplace like Toptal

Revenue Generation Model Of A Freelance Website like Toptal

You must incorporate some revenue streams into your freelance website to diversify your income. Some of the common revenue streams of freelance marketplaces include.:- 

  • Commission Charges – You can set your commission on each financial transaction that takes place through your platform. This is the exact model that Toptal uses to generate revenue.
  • Membership Charges – A membership plan can be a great source of recurring income. You can offer different membership packages to customers and freelancers which can provide them with some special privileges and benefits.
  • Featured Listing Spaces – Featured listings are likely to get more customer attention. Therefore, you can charge freelancers to display their profiles in the featured listing space. 
  • Display Ads – The graphics advertisements in the form of banners, images, gifs, videos, etc. are known as display ads. You can generate revenue by displaying third-party ads on your freelance website and charging the advertisers for displaying these ads.  

How To Create A Freelance Marketplace Like Toptal

Building a successful freelancing marketplace like Toptal requires a lot of planning, research, and marketing. Let us have a detailed look at the process of creating a freelance website:-

1. Market Research – Before developing your freelance website, you must assess your target audience and their pain points. You should be familiar with the current trends in the industry. You should also study your competitors’ business models, revenue models, sales, and the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns. These insights will help you in the next stages of the development process.

2. Developing your Freelance Platform – There are two different methods/approaches that you can use for creating your freelance marketplace- the traditional approach and the modern approach. Let us understand what these approaches are:-

a. The Traditional Approach – The traditional approach involves hiring a team of software developers to create your freelance platform. You can also outsource this task to a bespoke software development company. The benefits of using the traditional approach are:

  • Complete Control Over The Source Code
  • High Scalability 

Although the traditional approach is beneficial for creating scalable solutions. it comes with its own set of disadvantages, including:-

  • Huge Development Cost
  • More Time-Consuming 
  • Not Tried And Tested

b. Using a low-code/no-code solution – A low-code/no-code software allows you to build a scalable marketplace using its intuitive user interface, eliminating the requirement of having vast coding knowledge. This software is already created as per the industry standards and can be customized according to your requirements. Some of the major advantages of a low-code/no-code software are:

  • Low Development Cost
  • Time-Efficient
  • Tried And Tested
  • Feature-Loaded Solution

While the no-code solutions are gaining huge popularity because of the benefits that they provide, there are a few downsides to using these solutions. These include:-

  • Limited Control of The Source Code
  • Low Scalability

3. Deploying The Software – After building your freelance platform, you can deploy it on a server based on your choice. Then you can set up and personalize the landing pages per your needs.

4. Freelancer Onboarding – In order to get customers on your freelancing website, you need to onboard some talented freelancers. To attract talented freelancers to your platform, you can offer various benefits to the first few freelancers such as lower commission rates, free featured listings, etc.

5. Marketing – The final step after launching your marketplace software is marketing and promotion. Initially, you may have to rely on paid marketing techniques to increase awareness about your marketplace. In the later stages, you can use the built-in features of your marketplace software such as discounts, offers, and SEO optimization features to promote and market your platform.

How Yogigs Can Help In Creating A Freelance Website Like Toptal?

Yo!Gigs is a fully customizable freelance marketplace software that can help you create a freelance marketplace like Toptal. It is highly scalable and can manage unlimited listings and financial transactions. It is a feature-rich solution that can be used as a base to provide essential features similar to Toptal, including:-

  • Skill Assessment
  • Advanced Job Posting
  • Freelancer Matching
  • Risk-Free Trial Period
  • Multi-Currency Support
  • Reviews and Ratings
  • Personal Messaging
  • Issue Resolution

Unlike SaaS-based software solutions asking for monthly subscription charges, Yo!Gigs can be purchased with a lifetime usage license. It comes with free technical support for up to 1 year. 

How to get started with Yo!Gigs?

Launching a freelance platform with the help of Yo!Gigs is very easy. In just four simple steps, your website will be ready to launch in the market. Let us have a look at these steps:-

1. Get A Usage License – The first step to building your freelance marketplace is to purchase a lifetime usage license of Yo!Gigs.

2. Set Up And Install – After purchasing the license, you can share details of your selected hosting server with us. We will install Yo!Gigs on your server.

3. Configure The Marketplace – After installation, you can configure your freelance website and set up the primary landing pages. You can also choose your country/region of operation, payment gateways to include, email and SMS templates, and the terms and conditions of your platform.

4. Manage Your Marketplace – Now your freelance marketplace is ready to launch. You can manage and market it using the in-built tools provided by Yo!Gigs, including task management tab, advanced analytics and reports, SEO Optimization, etc.

Book a Free Personalized Demo of YoGigs Freelance Marketplace Software


The freelance marketplace industry is booming, and Toptal’s recent success proves the tremendous growth potential for online freelance marketplaces. However, building a freelance platform from scratch requires a lot of time, effort, and resources, and is quite expensive. This is where Yo!Gigs comes into the picture. It can help you easily launch your freelance marketplace at a significantly lower cost. Yo!Gigs is a fully customizable service marketplace solution and can be used as a base to build a successful freelance website like Toptal. Get in touch with our experts for a free software consultation.

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