Buying Freelance Services on Fiverr: Talent on Tap, or Money Down the Drain?
If you’re a small business owner in 2020, you probably don’t need reminding that we’re living in a gig economy. Freelancing is booming, and if the recent figures are anything to go by, talented digital professionals are eschewing traditional in-house jobs, and plying the markets alone, on the hunt for work.
When asked about their future employment plans, 30% of the UK talent pool said they’d be happier going-it-alone online, rather than working for a bricks-and-mortar company. In the USA, that figure jumped to a staggering 44%.
That means one thing, and one thing alone:
Hiring freelancers is no longer the preserve of the penny-pincher, looking to save cash by outsourcing work to a third world country, it’s now just the reality of running a professional business in 2020.
The Rise of Fiverr
If you’re running a company that needs to tap into that growing gig economy, you’ve probably started to sift through the various digital work platforms that have sprung up over the last ten years.
Sites like Upwork and Freelancer.com are industry staples, but what about Fiverr? For many, the site has an amateurish reputation that dents its credibility. For others, it’s a place to find fresh talent on tap.
So should you risk using Fiverr for outsourced, freelance projects? Or is it too great a risk? Here’s the lowdown on the micro-work platform taking the freelance world by storm:
Forget the Five Dollar Name…
Fiverr began life as a place where people that were strapped for cash offered their services for just $5 a pop. The site is still loaded with these amateur jobs, and a quick browse turns up some truly weird and wonderful offerings:
For instance: This man will scream your name into a bush for just $5. Seriously.
Yet, in recent years Fiverr has seen a huge influx of real professionals, freelancers who are hungry for success, and keen to take advantage of Fiverr’s slick interface and massive user base.
With the addition of Fiverr Pro in 2017, the platform has become a thriving hotbed of professional online services. A place where you can hire a PA, have a website built and even get your accounts managed.
How Fiverr Works:
Fiverr is very simple to use. Type in a search, or simply browse a whole category and you’re presented with a list of “gigs” that match your criteria.
“Gig” is the term used by Fiverr to describe a job listing that a freelancer has created to advertise their services. Typically, a user will have several gigs, all advertising a very specific task within their chosen niche.
From that point, it’s as simple as adding a gig to your shopping basket, noting down any extra details about your project, and then making a payment. The freelancer then receives a notification to start working, and your project will be completed before the agreed deadline.
Is it Trustworthy?
In a word, yes.
Fiverr relies heavily on social proof to vet its freelancers. When you look at a gig listing, you’ll see both the number of positive reviews a seller has received, as well as their “Level” on the platform.
To attain status as a “Level 1” or “Level 2” seller, or even the coveted “Top Rated Seller”, freelancers on Fiverr have to adhere to specific performance metrics, and pass a certain threshold of fulfilled orders and earnings.
It’s also worth noting that sellers with consistently poor performance will quickly get demoted to a lower level, and even banned from the platform.
Finally, for extra peace of mind, when you purchase freelance services on Fiverr, the transaction actually takes place between you and the site itself.
Once your project is finished, and you’ve marked the order as complete, Fiverr then uses your cash to pay the freelancer (and takes a cut in the process).
In essence, Fiverr is like a Craigslist for Freelancers, but with the added security of a ratings system and an Escrow-like payment processor for keeping your money safe.
If you have any remaining concerns about the quality of work being done on Fiverr, then look no further than Fiverr Pro. The service was launched in late 2017 as a way of attracting top talent to the platform.
Fiverr Pro works on an application process. Freelancers can apply at any time, and will go through a very rigorous vetting process, that in the end earns them the coveted Pro badge next to their gig listings.
Only the top 1% of applicants attain Pro certification, and prices for Pro gigs reflect this.
Let’s Talk About Price:
Speaking of that Pro certification, it’s time to address the elephant in the room: The price of services.
Imagine for a moment you’ve commissioned a freelancer to design a logo for your business: They’re a Top Rated Seller with hundreds of fantastic 5-star reviews to their name. Yet, when you receive your finished design, you’re left disappointed.
Who is at fault here?
Did you pay $5 for a logo expecting it to look the same as the one your rival commissioned for $5,000 at a leading digital agency?
Can you see the problem?
When it comes to finding quality freelancers that you can trust, you’re going to have to pay the right money. Doing your research on the average price of services is a must before you commission a project. There’s no such thing as a free lunch!
Fiverr For Business
In one final nod to Fiverr’s willingness to be taken seriously as a “proper” freelancing platform, the firm recently introduced “Fiverr for Business”.
Fiverr for Business upgrades the user interface for small to medium businesses, so they can hire multiple freelancers at once, track projects more accurately and share a single account for payment purposes.
It’s a small upgrade, but shows a real commitment to making the platform more professional, and gives an idea of where the company is heading.
In time, it might well be possible to outsource an entire company’s creative output to Fiverr freelancers.
Fiverr hasn’t quite shaken off its early $5 low-value budget service image, but we feel that’s a little unfair. The platform continues to go from strength to strength, and with the addition of the heavily vetted Fiverr Pro certification, it’s becoming even more of a safe bet for finding amazing freelance talent.