What is Unicorn Factory?
Unicorn Factory is a freelancer directory that was originally founded in New Zealand, and we are now launching in Canada. Unicorn Factory connects businesses to local freelancers without acting as intermediary. Our dual mission is to make hiring and finding great local talent as accessible as possible, and secondly we want to empower creative Canadians to do what they love for a living.
Last year, we helped over 1500 New Zealand businesses find and hire local designers, marketers and developers. Unicorn Factory New Zealand is now home to 500 freelancers and we hope to grow the Canadian community to be just as great.
How does it work?
Unicorn Factory is a directory of Ontario's best freelancers. It makes it easy for businesses to find and hire local talent for their projects.
Who can sign up to Unicorn Factory?
Unicorn Factory is best suited for people who are serious about turning their craft into paid work. We are looking for people who are creative, but most importantly, people who are willing invest in themselves and their freelance business.
How much does it cost to join?
While we are building up the first few cohorts, Unicorn Factory will be free to join. In the future, we will be introducing membership fees before we will let you know well in advance before we introduce that.Apply to join
Want to join?
Step 1: Apply to join
Create an account and complete the application form. Once approved, you be notified by email
Step 2: Add Case Studies
All you need to do then is add two case studies to your profile.
Step 3: Get Started
Once they have been reviewed and approved, we will publish your profile!
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to be based in Canada?
Am I guaranteed leads?
For obvious reasons, we can't guarantee you any work, but we will make suggestions on how you can be improve your profile if you don't get a lot of enquiries. On average (at least in New Zealand) you will get 1 enquiry for every 100 profile visits and (on average) convert 1 in 5 of those leads into a paying customer. If you fall too far out the realm of that we will get in touch.
I have never freelanced before? Can I still join?
Absolutely! One of the things that gets us most excited is helping freelancers get their first job.
I am not sure how I should price my services?
Don't worry. We have a community forum where we help you answer some important freelancing questions, we will also be supporting you through different education content on the website in the future too.
How much traffic/leads do you get through this site?
Since I am starting here in Canada, I can't tell you for certain how things will go, but I have a plan and if New Zealand is anything to go by then we should do well. In 2019, we got 682 direct enquires through the website. In 2020, we got 2337 direct enquiries. At any given time, we have about 500 freelancers on the site, and how well you do on the site really depends on what you do and how well your profile presented.
How do you eventually plan on charging freelancers?
In terms of the eventual costs... I am not 100% set on a pricing plan yet. My plan was to let it run for a while, get some leads for freelancers and then ask them what they think would be fair. Either way, I plan on having a free plan no matter what. I don't want money to be the thing that holds people back from starting freelancing.
In NZ, I introduced a bunch of little add-ons that I charged for like getting intros to clients who posted to the job board. That was really good because freelancers who didn't need any extra work at any given time wouldn't have to pay. I also make money through the site when businesses want me to handpick them freelancers and I plan on doing some paid partnerships with services that might useful to freelancers like lawyers and accountants.
So, in short, it's still undecided, I will talk to talk freelancers once we get a bit of traction and go from there.
What types of businesses hire freelancers on Unicorn Factory?
Because we are just getting started in Canada, we can't tell for certain who will be using the site most often, but in New Zealand, we have a range of businesses that use our site to find freelancers.
Most enquiries come from smaller local businesses like accounting firms, consultants, yoga studios or early-stage startups. But we also have a lot of agencies and studios that hire our freelancers for their own client projects.
We have also received enquiries from government agencies or larger corporations, but they usually hire very specialised freelancers like Webflow Developers, UX Writers or Poster Designers.
A big contributing factor to getting very specific clients to reach out is to write your bio in a way that appeals to them. A few New Zealand freelancers have done that successfully for Health startups or business coaches.