The idea was, that a lot of companies need freelancers for one-off jobs like grafics, banners, texts and landingpages. We wanted to make it easier for companies to find someone for these "smaller" kinds of jobs.
For freelancers there wasn't a place to find these kind of jobs. The big job boards like monster or stepstone were mostly aimed at full service agencies or full-time employment. Also the process to apply for these jobs were quite complicated.
What we built in the end worked as followed:
As a freelancer you would would write a short description of yourself and enter a link to your portfolio. Then you could select what kind of jobs you would like to get (design, copy, programming).
As a company you could select what skills you needed, how big your budget was and in what time frame you needed the job done. Then you would pay your fee and the job would be added to the mailing list.
Once a week all freelancers would recieve an email with all the jobs that matched their skills. Every job had a "apply" button, that send an automatic" introduction link" to the company that posted the job. The company could then look at the profile of the freelancer, click on the portfolio link and, if the liked what they saw, just contact the freelancer via email. The email part wasn't part of our service anymore.
I built this project with my partner Olav Schettler in a week or two.
I saw the same basic idea somewhere and thought that that would be a good project to built quickly. We had an afternoon meeting and planned the basic framework. Olav programmed the backend in PHP and I designed the frontend.
We started with cold emailing agencies and posting on programming Forums, Xing (German Linkedin) and Facebook. We got around 120 freelancers signing up to our service.
In the beginning it was free to post a job, so we got some jobs posted. We also looked at other jobboards and added them manually.
I wrote a post about what I learned while marketing freelancefinder (written in German).
Why it didn't work
We didn't know how to market the service to companies. We knew from our work, that freelancers were needed, but we couldn't figure out how to reach the companies or the person responsible for posting the jobs. We had a database of freelancers, but no jobs to post.