Fiverr is just one of the many freelance websites that have become popular in recent years. It’s a relatively new site among freelance portals, as it was launched in 2010. If you are looking to find new clients to increase your current freelance income or just to supplement your 9 to 5 job, Fiverr could be just what you need.
One of the challenges for those of us who freelance is finding and retaining quality clients. If you’re like most freelancers, you have profiles on multiple sites, but rely on one or two sites for most of your work. Part of this is because of the time it takes to keep active profiles and browse job postings on more than just a couple sites.
This is where I think Fiverr really caters to freelancers. Once you create your account and finalize your “Gig” page, clients can easily find and hire you and Fiverr will then send you a notification. Yep, it’s that easy.
Fiverr Review: How Works
With Fiverr, freelancers create essentially ads that indicate the service they are willing to offer along with details that aim persuade the employer to hire them. There is even an option to do a video listing for your services.
Employers or clients can then browse offerings and hire freelancers to complete work, ranging from simple writing jobs to editing, as well as jobs in countless other industries. The user interface is easy to use for both freelancers and clients. Fiverr includes a mobile version as well as an app for Android or iOS users.
Most other freelance sites are set up so that employers post a description of a job and freelancers then spend hours browsing job postings, before sending a proposal or a bid for jobs that fit their skills. Employers can set a budget amount for their project, but many times these amounts are merely placeholders because an employer may not know the going rate for the type of work they need.
This means that employers often get into the habit of looking for the least expensive bid and quality freelancers have to lower their rates in order to compete with other freelancers. Freelance sites include people from all over the world, and workers in third-world countries can easily outbid those here in the UK or in the US. The result is that some freelancers bid at levels way lower than what the work is worth. On Fiverr, the minimum price is as its name suggests: five dollars. This means that the price is low to begin with, but it is not as bad as it sounds.
Get Your Feet Wet
As with most other freelance websites, in Fiverr, you first need to setup your user profile. This includes your basic information as well as specific skills that you specialize in. For each skill, you can indicate whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or expert user. I found it to be a pretty straightforward process and very similar to setting up a profile on other sites. It was definitely much faster than creating my profile on Upwork or LinkedIn, but the process is similar.
Once you’ve created your profile, go ahead and browse the Fiverr categories. Take some time to review profiles of other freelancers in your area of expertise and look at their skills to get a feel for where your services will fit in and what rates you should charge for the work you’re going to do.
No matter what your specialty is, Fiverr has a place for you. Broad categories include the following services:
- Graphics & Design
- Digital Marketing
- Writing & Translation
- Video & Animation
- Music & Audio
- Programming & Tech
- Fun & Bizarre
Each broad category also has anywhere from nine to eighteen subcategories of services listed underneath it. This makes it really easy for you to properly categorize your services and as an added bonus, it makes it quick and easy for clients to find the freelancers who specialize in the type of work needed. It’s a win-win for both sides.
The Great and Powerful “Gig” Page
Once you’ve completed your profile and taken some time to check out your competition, it’s time to create your “Gig Page” and get your services out there so clients can find you. I feel this is an area where Fiverr is really unique. Instead of browsing hundreds of job postings daily for the five that suit your skills and then writing yet another bid proposal and waiting for clients to respond, Fiverr actually lets you set up your service packages so the clients can come to you! This is a real time saver I think for freelancers and probably for clients too.
On your Gig page, you need to outline your service packages with a clear description of what’s included in the price of each package. I found this to be a great feature, much better than constantly rewriting bid proposals every time a client posts a new job. Going through the process of creating your Gig page will also help new freelancers to really think through their service offerings and rates.
You can create just one service package or a trio of packages (i.e. basic, value, and plus). You can determine the names for each package and customize all the details. For the writing/editing categories, there is even a calculator so that clients can input the number of words they need and quickly see what your price would be.
The last thing you do is to create a set of detailed instructions for your potential client so they know exactly what you will need them to provide so that you can get started on their project. This feature really reduces the back and forth negotiation and emails that can often accompany getting started with a new client on other freelance sites.
Connect to the World
As part of your profile settings, Fiverr gives you the option to connect your Fiverr account to your other social media accounts. This is a great way for you to not only share your professional image with clients, but also to let them see a little bit of your personality (assuming you want to let them see that side of you)
If you are just starting out in the freelance world, I would recommend connecting to LinkedIn and perhaps Google, because users tend to be more business oriented and professional. Before linking your Facebook account to Fiverr, I suggest you carefully review your page, your past posts, and your photos. Once you link, clients will have access to your personal posts and you want to maintain your professional image in most cases.
Social media accounts that you can link to Fiverr include:
- Stack Overflow
Cost and Fees
There is absolutely no up-front cost to using Fiverr, which means it’s a great place to test the water if you are new to freelancing. You can even upgrade your membership at no charge to you. Once you find a client who will hire you, Fiverr does hit pretty hard with a 20% fee for each project. This means if you make $10, Fiverr will take $2 right off the top.
Fiverr does have something unique for its membership upgrade that is worth mentioning. Freelancers can upgrade their membership to gain more features, and there is no monthly membership fee like you will find on most sites. This system is actually a way to reward higher level members who have done quality work. Complete orders successfully and maintain at least a 4-star rating for the required time period and your membership is upgraded to the next level. Simple as that.
One thing I didn’t like about Fiverr is that a client can simply “hire” you and send you a notification to accept even if you have never bid on their job. Be very careful and diligent before you “accept” a job from a client because once you do accept, you will be automatically charged the commission fee for that job. I had to contact customer service to have it reversed.
Commission fees are also typically Non-refundable, which means if you are charged a commission fee and then do not get paid by the client, you will lost that money. There have also been reports of users having their accounts frozen and their funds locked. These issues, for me, were a deal-breaker, as it opens you up to financial liability if clients don’t pay you. This is why my time on Fiverr was very short-lived and why I no longer use this portal.
Unfortunately, the customer service for Fiverr falls doesn’t seem to differ much from other freelance sites. The first level customer service can be slow to respond and when they do finally respond, they will simply copy and paste answers from their manual. In many cases, the answers they provide are not at all customized to your specific problem and don’t always make sense.
Fiverr ratings are also inaccurate. Part of this is due to the fact that when clients cancel a job, you cannot leave a negative review. Also, it seems a job can be canceled at any point and the money refunded to the client. My suggestion is that you choose your clients carefully and communicate clearly so that you can avoid the scammers. The scammers are out there just like on any website. It’s a bummer, but not a deal breaker.
I was very impressed with Fiverr to begin with, it offers a unique twist to freelance sites and I feel they cater to the freelancer whereas other freelance sites seem to cater to the clients. If you are new to freelancing or are looking to pick up some new clients, Fiverr is definitely a great low-cost option. If you are more experienced and are looking to take your profession to the next level or simply to plug the gaps in your schedule, this is not the right portal for you.