Upwork vs Growth Collective: Which One Is Better?

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Upwork vs Growth Collective: which solution is better suited to companies in search of exceptional freelance talent? These days, hiring freelancers has become an increasingly popular choice among business leaders looking to save time and money. 

Through freelance talent networks like Upwork and Growth Collective, business leaders can access the exact skills and expertise they need according to their specific requirements. Not only do you get to avoid the common overheads associated with hiring a full-time employee, but you can also enjoy more flexible contracts, faster results, and fewer administrative issues. 

Of course, not all freelancers are alike. The platform you choose to find your ideal freelancer will make a huge difference to how likely your project is to be successful. 

Today, we’re going to be looking at two top freelance marketplaces, to help you determine whether Growth Collective or Upwork is right for you. 

Overview of Growth Collective and Upwork

Let’s start by introducing Upwork and Growth Collective. 

Upwork Review: What is Upwork?

Upwork home page

Upwork is a well-known freelance job directory, designed to support both businesses and freelancers alike. The Upwork marketplace was created to make it as simple as possible for companies to find the talent they need, from a selection of pre-vetted industry experts. 

With Upwork, clients create “job postings” in the Talent Marketplace, where they list the tasks, they need to be completed by a freelancer. Freelancers, on the other hand, can create profiles connected to more than 90 available services, such as graphic design and copywriting. Using “Connects”, they submit proposals for the jobs posted by clients. 

Freelancers can also use Upwork to list one-off services they price themselves, such as logo design. Upwork promises proof of quality via the ability to check professional samples before you hire, and a safe, secure hiring process. 

Growth Collective Review: What is Growth Collective?

Growth Collective home page

Growth Collective is a specialist freelance job platform, specifically focused on marketing expertise. While there are Upwork digital marketing freelancers available, Growth Collective goes above and beyond other freelancing solutions to ensure companies are connected to experienced professionals and channel/tool experts. The freelancers Growth Collective accepts in its network has experience working for major companies such as Dow Jones, Google, and Airbnb. 

Growth Collective is committed to listing only the very best freelancers on its website, and has a much more stringent vetting process than most. Part of what makes Growth Collective unique is the approach the company takes to matching clients and freelancers. Clients create a role, and a team of marketing experts work to hand-match the job description to the people with the most relevant experience. 

Upwork vs Growth Collective: Vetting for Quality

Perhaps the most important part of choosing the right freelancer marketplace for your company, is ensuring the professionals on the platform are properly vetted. A good vetting process ensures you’re more likely to get the right person for your task immediately, and reduces the risk of wasted time and money. Here’s how Upwork and Growth Collective approach vetting. 


Essentially anyone can join Upwork and start looking for job opportunities related to their niche. However, there is an option for freelancers to join the “Expert Vetted” group on the platform. Upwork searches through its applicants for those with the highest quality skills, and sends them an invitation for an interview with a talent manager. 

Professionals who are successfully vetted by the Upwork team receive a badge for their profile, so companies can easily define them. Outside of the Expert Vetting option, Upwork also allows clients to list their work history and reviews on their profiles, so employers can do their own research before offering someone a new opportunity. 

Growth Collective

Not just anyone can apply and get accepted into the Growth Collective network. The company offers a premium freelancer service, where only the top talent is added to the network. Growth Collective has carefully vetted specialists from a wide range of marketing specialties. 

Every marketer who joins the network needs to have more than five years of relevant experience, and must complete an extensive certification program, to ensure they’re proficient in the correct tools. 

Further, freelancers submit case studies and verified references to vouch for a freelancer’s experience. When necessary, the team also conducts video interviews and skill assessments to double-check each professional is up-to-scratch with their standards. Plus, Growth Collective consistently checks in with clients to make sure their freelancers are delivering exceptional work and communication quality. 

Upwork vs Growth Collective: Quality of Marketing Freelancers

The quality of freelancers you can get from any marketing platform can vary. Upwork review testimonials generally suggest the Upwork marketing professionals on the platform vary drastically in quality. Alternatively, Growth Collective’s stringent vetting process and accountability often ensures quality remains high. 

Upwork Marketing Freelancers

Upwork is an open platform, which virtually any freelancer can join. This means professionals don’t need a lot of prior experience, and don’t have to go through stringent vetting processes to join the platform. The result is an environment where it’s difficult to know for certain what kind of individual you’re going to have assigned to your team. 

Upwork seems to prioritize quantity over quality with its marketing freelancers. The professionals you hire might not have a lot of background knowledge and could only have entry-level skills. 

Growth Collective Marketing Freelancers

Growth Collective is a lot more discerning when it comes to choosing which freelancers it includes on its platform. The company is committed exclusively to marketing talent, so you don’t have to sort through countless people with the wrong skills before you find someone who’s right for you. 

With Growth Collective, companies instantly get access to the top tier of marketing experts, who have the highest levels of education and experience available. Each professional is stringently pre-vetted and examined to ensure they can deliver the best quality of work. 

Growth Collective vs Upwork: Marketing Roles for Hire

Growth Collective is a freelance job platform specifically dedicated to connecting business leaders with marketing pros. They focus on marketing skills and nothing else. Upwork, on the other hand, hires professionals for more than 90 different potential roles. 

Marketing Roles for Hire on Upwork

The “Sales and Marketing” section of Upwork is where you’ll find the marketing roles you can potentially fill with this platform. While freelancers can possess a wide range of skills, they’re often split into one of eight different categories, including:

  • SEO specialists
  • SEM specialists
  • Social media managers
  • Paid media experts
  • Marketing analysts
  • Email marketers
  • Market researchers
  • Sales representatives

Marketing Roles for Hire on Growth Collective

Because Growth Collective is specifically designed to help businesses find marketing experts, there are a lot more options to choose from. Freelance marketers on the platform are split into different categories based on specific channels and verticals. 

For instance, you can find a freelance marketer for specific tools and platforms such as Webflow, HootSuite, Mailchimp, Shopify, TikTok, Instagram, Snapchat, WordPress, Google Shopping, ClickFunnels, SendGrid, and YouTube. If you can name a marketing platform, there’s a good chance Growth Collective has an expert who specializes in it. 

You can also sort through experts by channel, looking for specialists with experience in email marketing, SEO, paid ads, and growth marketing; or by vertical to find experts in ecommerce, healthcare, non-profit, SaaS, technology, B2B, mobile, and more. 

Growth Collective vs Upwork: Customized Matching Process

Some freelance job platforms allow employers to seek out professionals themselves, while others match them directly to the expert best-suited to their needs. A customized matching process can save you a lot of time in sorting through applicants. 

The Upwork Matching Process

Upwork doesn’t have much of a dedicated matching process to speak of. For the most part, companies are invited to sort through experts in their own time, searching through lists of freelancers and job applicants. Once you post a job, you’ll receive numerous proposals, and it’ll be up to you to determine which freelancer – if any – is right for you. 

While Upwork does add “recommended” tags to some of the professionals who might reach out to you, they’re not guaranteed to be custom-picked for your job. Instead, these professionals are often recommended based on a good track record, rather than relevancy. 

The Growth Collective Matching Process

Growth Collective is a lot more cautious when it comes to ensuring employers get the right professional for their role. Once you’ve defined the job or role you want to fill, a team of experienced marketers will assess the task at hand, and sort through every professional on the platform to provide you with 2-3 options best-suited to you. 

This custom matching process can save you a lot of time, by ensuring you can connect with the right people, and the correct skills straight away. 

Growth Collective vs Upwork: Pricing and Fee Structure 

Close up hand of a business man, male calculating fees

Every business has a budget, even when it comes to hiring talent. Here’s what you can expect to pay for Upwork and Growth Collective. 

Upwork Pricing

The marketplace fee for clients on Upwork is 5% of all the payments you make for fixed price and hourly jobs. For instance, if you’re paying $100 to an employee, you’ll also need to pay an extra $5 to Upwork for facilitating the connections. 

Projects are priced based on an hourly rate in most cases. However, freelancers can sometimes set their own fixed prices for one-off tasks. On the plus side, you don’t have to pay anything until you approve the work you receive. 

Growth Collective: 

While Growth Collective earns a 20% share of the freelancer compensation for each project, this doesn’t have an impact on your price as a client. It’s completely free to use the service. However, you are required to handle all freelance projects within the Growth Collective platform. 

Growth Collective offers hourly, fixed, or retainer pricing rates, with an easy-to-follow structure. Your price will vary depending on the type of work and the level of skill required. Most rates will fall into the following ranges: 

  • Mid-Level ($50-$100/hr)
  • Senior ($100-$150/hr)
  • Executive ($150+/hr)

Once you create a role, Growth Collective will provide you with an instant estimate of the weekly cost you can expect to pay, based on your desired level of skill and time commitment. 

Notably, both Growth Collective and Upwork do allow freelancers to set their own rates. However, Growth Collective has a team of experts on-hand to answer your questions if you’re concerned the cost of a project may be too high. 

Growth Collective vs Upwork: Contract Flexibility

A hired employee signing a contract

One of the best things about hiring a freelancer over a standard employee, is you can access more flexibility in the contracts you maintain with your professionals. A high level of contract flexibility is important for many businesses, as the needs and demands of a project can change. 

Both Growth Collective and Upwork follow the same strategy when it comes to delivering greater flexibility to their clients. You can determine what you need on a week-to-week basis, without being tied into any long-term commitments. It’s also possible to pay a flat fee for a single project, or set up a retainer for longer periods of work. 

Growth Collective vs Upwork: Verdict

Ultimately, both Upwork and Growth Collective offer companies a convenient way to access freelance talent when they need more marketing expertise. However, while Upwork offers a very basic service, Growth Collective is committed to delivering a premium experience. 

The experts on Growth Collective are dedicated to giving you the best possible support when it comes to choosing your ideal freelancer, with custom matching and dedicated account managers. You don’t have to pay anything extra to use the service, and the quality of marketing freelancers is phenomenal. 

Upwork does have some benefits, like a larger volume of freelancers, and the ability for freelancers to set their own rates, but it can’t compare with Growth Collective in terms of quality if you’re looking for marketing freelancers. 

Visit Growth Collective today to find your ideal marketing freelancer. 

Rebekah Carter
Former company
About Author
Rebekah is a dedicated writer with years of experience producing exceptional content for brands around the globe. Her commitment to producing the best possible content means she’s constantly developing new skills and experience.
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