Not every freelancer is a twentysomething however many college students and those fresh out are building their portfolio as a freelancer. In coworking spaces, coffee shops and home offices around the world, solopreneurs have stopped knocking on doors and cold calling for business in their own neighborhoods and are often working for people thousands of kilometres away.
Canada is ranked (according to Entrepreur Magazine) fourth in the world as far as hiring freelancers (the U.S. is first). We don't rank nearly as high as far as freelance contractors however (About seventy thousand compared to five hundred thousand in India. That means a lot of Canadian revenues are flowing out of our country and productivity is lost. You could cite that Web design, blogging, graphic design is done much cheaper in countries like India and the Phillipines. However there are a number of higher paying jobs from large companies in industries such as Real Estate, Consumer goods and high tech. Elance statistics say the average Canadian hourly rate is about twenty-nine dollars.
The value of hiring a Canadian entrepreneur or freelancer should speak for itself whether it be for Web design, article writing, graphic design or other creative/technical pursuits. Supporting our neighbours, fellow Canadians and new Canadians entering the workplace should be considered of greater value than saving a money on an hourly wage. Not only is it important from the perspective of keeping the dollars in our own economy, it also will help you as far as having more control over the quality of workmanship. The Canadian legal system provides you with more protection when contracting with another Canuck. Not to mention the cultural nuances of articles, your Website or other works.
If you are a freelancer or solopreneur looking to build your portfolio, emphasize the fact that you are Canadian on Websites like Elance, Guru, ODesk and others. Be cautious of sites that charge you fees every time you take a test or that don't provide a measure of protection for you as a freelancer.
If you are small business, or an entrepreneur looking for a skillset that you don't have in your network, look beyond the flea market Websites as sites like YouInc and those mentioned above offer talented people that are looking to succeed in Canada. If you go to a global site, just make every effort to look for the maple leaf and hire a fellow Canadian where ever possible. As tough as it can be to compete in your home town, region or province, freelancers are truly competing on a global stage. For price sensitive customers, it is often a race to the bottom when hiring. For those that hire for value and not just price, everyone wins.