We review Fiverr, one of the most popular freelance sites for clients and freelancers alike. Is this the best resource for finding or offering help?
When I started freelancing, a friend thought that meant I was working for free.
Barring that bit of confusion, freelancing seems to be gaining popularity worldwide.
Freelancers — or independent contractors — are everywhere. A study done in 2018 showed that about 162 million people in Europe and the U.S. are doing freelance work. People are moving away from the “normal” 9-to-5 job structure, choosing flexibility and autonomy over traditional jobs.
Easy-to-use online freelance marketplaces have become a popular resource for potential clients and freelancers alike. These freelance marketplaces have extensive networks of people on both ends of the deal.
As a business, your options are wide open for finding a freelancer for a range of projects. And as a freelancer, there’s the potential to start earning money right away.
Who is Fiverr, and What Do They Do?
Fiverr is a popular online freelance marketplace that allows independent contractors to offer a wide range of digital services starting from as little as $5.
Fiverr’s homepage invites buyers to “find the perfect freelance services” for their business — services ranging from financial consulting to case studies to voice-overs to psychic readings.
You can find pretty much anyone to do pretty much anything on Fiverr.
The platform categorizes freelancers according to their skills and ratings, and gives buyers access to freelancer portfolios. Buyers can also see prospective freelancers’ feedback from previous employers.
Let’s Review How Fiverr Works for Freelancers
Freelancers can create a free seller profile on Fiverr and indicate your skills and specialties. You can offer your services — also known as “Gigs” — at your own rates, and then wait for clients to come to you.
Once hired, you can stay in touch with your new client through Fiverr’s messaging system, which allows you to send files and project updates.
Let’s Review How Fiverr Works for Clients and Businesses
As a business or buyer on Fiverr, you can browse freelancers based on the category of service you need to outsource. You also have the option to search for a freelancer based on keywords.
Once you’ve found a freelancer you’d like to hire, you can click on their offer to learn more and continue to checkout, just as you would purchase anything else online. If you need more information from the freelancer, there is also an option to contact the seller privately.
Fiverr offers a pro feature with vetted and verified “Pros” for buyers who don’t want to weed through gajillions of freelancers just to find someone to write a blog post for them. According to Fiverr, only 1% of applicants are approved for “pro status.”
Fiverr: The Good Stuff
Here are some things you might like about Fiverr:
- Fiverr is free to use for freelancers and businesses. Freelancers can set up seller profiles and “Gig Pages” right away.
- Fiverr Pro (also free) will give you access to a more professional environment. The chances of finding serious, long-term freelancers and clients are much higher in Fiverr Pro.
- Freelancers don’t have to bid on projects. Your job as a freelancer is to create your Gig and wait for buyers to contact you directly.
- Freelancers can set their own prices, including extras and add-ons.
- Buyers can find freelancers for outsourcing almost any project they can think of.
Fiverr: The Not-So-Good Stuff
Here are some things to consider before you buy or sell on Fiverr:
- Many freelancers use marketplaces like Fiverr for “filler” projects. The sheer volume of members could make it hard for some freelancers to be discovered by buyers, or for buyers to find a committed freelancer.
- As a freelancer, if your Gig isn’t set up just right, or if you don’t know how to market yourself, buyers may not approach you. Freelancers have to really sell themselves on the platform.
- Fiverr takes a 20% commission on every sale, no matter how long you’ve been a member.
- Although joining Fiverr Pro is free, very few freelancers are accepted into the program.
Who is Fiverr’s Competition?
Joining Upwork is free, and freelancers get 60 “connects” to bid for jobs. Bidding for jobs gives freelancers control over the type of work they get, and allows them to be proactive, rather than having to wait for a buyer to contact them. However, because of the bidding format, the job often goes to the lowest bidder. Buyers beware: you usually get what you pay for.
As freelancers develop their profile, they can join Upwork Premium, which comes with more support and job recommendations.
Upwork takes a commission from each job, too, but their commission structure rewards freelancers by lowering the commission rate based on earnings tiers.
PeoplePerHour is a freelance marketplace that allows serious freelancers to connect and work with serious clients. It’s free to join, but freelancers must apply and be accepted by the PPH team before they can open an account and create their seller profile, ensuring quality work and professional freelance/client partnerships.
On PPH, freelancers can bid on jobs or wait for buyers to contact them directly — it works both ways. Freelancers are given 15 bidding credits each month, allowing them to send up to 15 proposals to various job postings.
PPH also takes a commission from each job. Like Upwork, PPH’s service fee structure rewards freelancers by gradually lowering the commission rate as a freelancer lands more clients.
Freelancer.com is another free-to-join marketplace, offering freelance services and crowdsourcing to buyers in over 247 countries. Freelancers are given eight bidding credits each month to bid on jobs in the marketplace. I’ll say it again: yes, bidding for jobs gives freelancers control over the type of work they get, but in the bidding format, the job often goes to the lowest bidder. Buyers beware (again): you get what you pay for.
Freelancer.com payments are based on project milestones, and yes, they also take a service fee. Freelancer.com does things differently, though. If you’re a freelancer, Freelancer.com charges a project fee when you accept a project — before you’re even paid — and they reserve the right to charge another project fee after your client pays you.
The Fiverr Review Verdict
Fiverr for Freelancers
If you’re new to freelancing — or if you already have a part- or full-time job and would like to supplement your income — I recommend giving Fiverr a try for a month or so. It’s free to sign up, and you can create your profile and Gig Page fairly easily. Consider signing up for the other three marketplaces I mentioned, too. If you have a unique, valuable skillset and know how to market yourself, you could do great on freelance marketplaces! Just keep service fees in mind when setting your prices.
Fiverr for Buyers
If you’re a buyer with short-term or one-off projects you need to outsource, I recommend checking Fiverr Pro, where you’ll have better chances of finding an experienced, professional freelancer. It may also be worth checking out the other marketplaces mentioned in this post, as well. Keep these things in mind before hiring:
- Freelance marketplaces charge service fees, so you may notice freelancers factoring the fees into their rates.
- Platforms that require freelancers to bid on projects are often sources of bidding wars, where the project will simply go to the lowest bidder. You’ll likely get what you pay for in these cases. For high quality, professional work, you may want to avoid freelance bidding sites.
- While it is entirely possible to find a professional contractor on a site like Fiverr, start by posting only short-term or one-off projects so you can get a taste for the network of freelancers available to you.