Finding Freelance Work: Fiverr Review
What is Fiverr.com?
For any seasoned freelancer out there with an abundance of clients, a wealth of work and an established reputation, you will probably have never come across Fiverr.Com.
As its name so finely suggests, it is a platform for sourcing and enlisting work with a simple rule: Everything costs a fiver.
So from graphic designers to copywriters, you can find a huge range of weird and wonderful tasks folk are willing to do for $5.
And maybe that sounds great... maybe you're thinking "Fantastic" - but as with anything, it comes with some pretty big downsides.
I'm going to take you briefly through the pros and cons of using the website from both a buyer's point of view, as well as a freelancer's point of view.
Fiverr for Buyers
The first thing I suggest you do, is take a look at the site. A quick browse is all you need to tell you that the site is pretty packed with amateur providers selling pretty dead-end services.
From time to time you might stumble on an article writer who hasn't properly researched professional industry freelance writing rates, and is offering a surprisingly high quality of work for a surprisingly low amount... and you might also find the occasional bit of talent with graphic design for the same reason. But the main thing you'll find, is people who are not used to working in a professional market.
Having said that, there are a few providers who use Fiverr as a promotional tool for their professional services, and although you might not get much from them, it'll only cost you a fiver to try them out.
Perhaps the most unique selling point of many of the Fiverr.com 'providers', is the odd jobs on offer. For example, you can find a Hollywood star from Pirates of the Caribbean on there willing to film himself as Jesus, reading out your 30 second script... you can find several people offering to be your 'virtual girlfriend' on Facebook for X amount of days.
These are interesting to browse, but not really valuable for business.
(Having said that, you can check out this Jesus video here... if nothing more, it's worth a laugh)
This cost me $5
Fiverr for Sellers
If you are a professional freelancer, your first impression might be: Stay Away
Having said that, if you approach Fiverr with a little bit of tactful thinking, it can be a useful tool.
For example, as a freelance writer, I have listed a number of jobs on there I'm willing to do for $5. And really, any job for $5 is not worth my time... but the jobs I offer are so small, they serve as nothing more than a sample of my skill set - and on many occasions, buyers have come back with much bigger projects for me to tackle.
There are 2 distinct pro points to using Fiverr:
- You set your price. Yes, you also set your price in the real world... but every project is determined on however it is you determine it (learn more about pricing your services here) - whereas with Fiverr, there is no negotiating or calculation. You simply work out exactly what any specific listing entitles the buyer to, then you list it. If they want it, they buy. If they don't, they don't.
- Spreads your name. If you don't have a huge reputation already, Fiverr does help to get you heard... but is it really a good thing to be known as someone who offers your services for a Fiverr?
There are more cons than there are pros, and although this doesn't mean you should discount Fiverr as a platform to offering your services, it does mean you should be careful how you approach it.
- Automatic Acceptance. Once somebody orders a 'gig' (as they call it), that's it - the job's started. In the real, professional world, you would normally assess whether or not you're willing to take a project on. With Fiverr.Com however, there's no protection to prevent people looking for work in industries that clash against your moral code. This can be overcome by clearly detailing in your description exactly what you are or are not willing to do.
- Poor Buyers. With a name like Fiverr.com, it's apparent that most buyers on here are on budget and unprofessional. That doesn't mean you can't find the occasional gem, but it's rare... as a general rule, most buyers are cheapskates looking for little more than slave labour
- No Pro-active Marketing. Unlike other freelance job boards such as Elance.com or oDesk.com (which both have their own set of pros and cons), you cannot browse projects on Fiverr.com - not really anyway. You're pretty restricted to just sitting and waiting for an order to roll in. OK, so people do from time to time submit requests for work, but it's really not worth investigating these and creating a bespoke quote for the sake of a Fiverr.
It's worth noting that if you 'level up' (Oh God this sounds too much like a Role Playing Game), you are given 'permission' to offer 'gig extras' - basically the ability to list add-ons to your 'gigs' which cost the buyer more. Although these are useful, they annoy me as I like to set the prices I like without needing permission. It's all a bit condescending... but if you're playing their game, you've got to play their rules.
Fiverr.Com: A Brief Conclusion
In a nutshell, if you're looking for a fantastic new way of sourcing freelance work then it's not worth trying.
If you're happy however to work out a set of professional services you're happy to provide for $5, then create an account and cast your net... but don't expect great things, and certainly don't expect a high quality of buyers.