Former airline pilot. Multimedia BA. Entrepreneur with 2 successful failures. Founder at Sharing Academy. In love with marketplaces ❤️
Hi! I am a marketplace entrepreneur myself (Sharing Academy) and have helped dozens of sharing economy entrepreneurs as well (Lendi, Truke, Mentor Alliances...). What worked best for me was convincing the users to become team members.
Our best programming tutor in Sharing Academy became CTO, his best student in the platform became his intern. Another student became head of our customer care department, and so on...
Build a great product, engage wit your users and make them become part of your movement.
There are many ways you can make a low transaction volume marketplace profitable. For instance you can charge not a transaction fee of the low volume transaction, but an exclusive membership fee to join the community, or a lead generation fee, or partner with a strategic partner that sells desired products for your users, etc.
Happy to give you more examples if still interested.
I suggest you pick a freelancer's niche that has difficulties gathering together (either online or offline). Then you create a place where they all can talk and engage with each other to share best practices. Finally you offer them the opportunity to make business in that community.
Let me know if you have further questions.