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Community Manager
Community Manager

Experience with "gig" sites like Fiverr or Upwork?

Have any of you picked up small gigs from sites like Fiverr or Upwork? What was your experience like?

7 REPLIES 7
Helper V

Re: Experience with "gig" sites like Fiverr or Upwork?

@Andy

 

Hi there Andy,

I have not offered services, however I have hired from these sites more then once. If you do offer your services , depending on your services of course let me know!

Never know when something comes up and I and a lot of other folks just assume hire out the job !

I hear some of those folks make very good money on such sites...... but of course this is just hear say.

Wish you well on all your endeavors ! Just posting such a question shows initiative !

Mrsroadrunner Photography
Employee
Employee

Re: Experience with "gig" sites like Fiverr or Upwork?

I haven't used Upwork, but have tried Fiverr and 99 designs.

 

With Fiverr I feel like you only get the "best" when you use the upgrades which ends up coming to $40 - $60 USD at least normally. So for that I would recommend going with something like 99 Designs where yes you'll pay more but you have multiple designers fighting for your approval (payment) and they provide great work.

 

If someone has had a better experience with Fiverr I'd love to hear it, maybe I've just tested out with the wrong gigs.  🙂

Helper V

Re: Experience with "gig" sites like Fiverr or Upwork?

Are you asking about getting paid for services or are you asking about paying for services? I get the impression you are looking to do work and get paid but a reply here seems to think you want to pay for services so it is unclear to me.

 

I have not used any of those services for anything though.

Community Manager
Community Manager

Re: Experience with "gig" sites like Fiverr or Upwork?


@SamHobbs wrote:

Are you asking about getting paid for services or are you asking about paying for services? I get the impression you are looking to do work and get paid but a reply here seems to think you want to pay for services so it is unclear to me.

 

I have not used any of those services for anything though.


The former. 🙂 Was curious if any of our Pros have dabbled in open marketplaces. Though I'd be curious if anyone has contracted out to other people, too - I've done that with designers a few times.

Advocate II
Advocate II

Re: Experience with "gig" sites like Fiverr or Upwork?

I have used Fiverr for a bunch of graphic design tasks and have been quite happy.

I will often hire 2 different people for teh same task to increase my odds of a good result  - it is still very cost effective.

 

I have just inherited some VA/contractors on Upwork that my current client has been very happy with.  I'll be looking  to hire some more for specific tasks (eg video editing)  - we'll see how it goes.

New
New

A comprehensive look into offering "gigs"

Greetings and salutations fellow GoDaddy Pros. I would like to briefly share some insights on the freelance platforms, "Fiverr" and "Upwork." I've sold services on both sites and the experiences  have varied drastically.

 

Fiverr - The Basics: Create "gigs" (services for sale) which can be promoted and browsed by customers. As a seller, you may browse buyers requests and send proposals for the jobs you wish to apply. Sellers are limited to 10 proposals per day.

 

 

more info:

The base of $5 is suggested by fiverr as the default selling price. It is found all over their advertising, "XYZ service starting at just $5!" In principle I understand the idea, unfortunately it appears that many sellers offer services significantly less than the industry standard. Fiverr has become the "bargain outlet" of freelancers. This is also reflected in the buyers posts, which sellers can browse and send proposals to (up to 10 proposals can be sent per day). Buyers frequently list a request with a budget that is simply ludicrous, for example, "web design, budget: $35." Several of the customers I worked with only wanted to pay for an hour but expected a days worth of work. This is in part due to the "cheapness" of culture fiverr has created. Many customers have explained that they've had poor experiences with prior freelancers on fiverr. I too have experienced poor service as a buyer on fiverr. I believe the reason why to be the same I've described here. 

 

Upwork The Basics: Create a profile or portfolio demonstrating your skills and abilities while showcasing previous work. As a seller, you may browse buyers requests and send proposals for the jobs you wish to apply. Sellers are limited to 30 proposals per month (Sellers have 60 "connects" and each proposal requires 2 connects). Upwork is a free platform for sellers with the option of upgrading to a "Pro" account. One benefit of the pro account is gaining an additional 10 connects. Upwork appears to me a more professional network, compared to Fiverr. Of course, this is just my opinion but I have had much better experiences on Upwork. One reason is due to the escrow services they provide.

 

Upwork offers two types of contracts. Fixed priced and hourly. They claim that hourly contracts are guaranteed as long as the seller uses their desktop app for tracking time. I haven't experienced any issues with clients so I'm unable to verify this. One aspect I like about the fixed contracts is the option of using "milestones." Milestones allow clients to divide fixed priced contracts into smaller parts. For example, the first milestone for designing a website may be, "create a homepage." This milestone can then have a value attached, say $80, so that upon completion the freelancer is paid for that portion of work. If the entire contract were $800, there would be $720 remaining and the freelancer would begin competing milestone two. In this way, both the buyer and seller have payment protection and are moving forward together on the same page.

 

There are other options out there as well including, Freelancer, PeoplePerHour, and others I'm not familiar with. I recommend checking out the different platforms and finding which works best for you. It's always a good idea to list services on multiple platforms to increase sales, however I would still focus primarily on one platform. It is important to develop a reputation and portfolio. Obtaining a 5-star rating and cultivating repeat and referral customers will ensure long term success. Upwork offers free tests freelancers can take to achieve certificates that are displayed in their profile. This ensures perspective clients of the freelancers abilities. Other platforms, Freelancer for example, offer similar tests but charge per test. I hope this article was helpful in some way. Good luck and best wishes freelancers!

 

The Freddy

a WEBTeam Developer™
Helper I
Helper I

Re: Experience with "gig" sites like Fiverr or Upwork?

What I'm about to share is from my own experience. Yours could be different.

 

First, a caution. Being on freelance sites can be detrimental to your positioning. Unless you are careful about your pricing, you can accidentally brand yourself as "low budget."

 

Also, the mere fact that you are interacting with low budget marketplaces can seriously hurt your self-esteem. No kidding. Over time, you'll mentally paint yourself into a corner: that you do this kind of work, for this kind of client, for this kind of pay. And that becomes your comfort zone. Since you didn't really intend for this to happen, it is a bad outcome. Identifying and fighting your way out of this condition can be a challenge.

 

I got into freelancing in 2010, and continued to do work through Elance here and there (more about that in a minute) through 2012. After that, things changed and we'll discuss those changes later. Back in the day, competent sorting could filter the few decent jobs there: you could identify who was likely to actually award the project, who could pay what you wanted, and which jobs would be interesting to you. Effort put in generally paid off, and if you were a First World service provider with some real ability under your belt, you could count on say 1 in 10 projects you applied to being awarded to you.

 

Freelancing sites ALWAYS paid less than I would have made if I had gotten the client under other circumstances. The fact that I was in a high buyer traffic area was good; however, the overflow of competition was terrible. Someone was always willing to undercut, simply because their cost of living and comfort zone allowed them to.

 

Now many clients realize that quality costs money. So it wasn't always a situation of falling victim to the lowest bidder. It was possible to land good jobs with good clients. I always asked for 50% up front, 100% if possible, and then milestones if necessary. 50% completion was the simplest and good for short term jobs. I also only took on fixed price projects. It's none of the client's business how long the thing took me to finish--only the value I provided. If I could do it quickly, that's my bonus.

 

Consider: if you have Forensic Accountant #1 who can save you $500,000 on your tax bill, and it takes her 2 hours because she's a genius and experienced, versus FA #2 who's a newbie, gets there but it takes him 6 hours; and #1 charges $1000 an hour ($2000) while #2 charges $500 an hour ($3000)...do you see the problem? Why should the smart person be penalized for their ability and experience?

Fixed price is always better, in my opinion, because it means fixed terms. You can't get part way done and then have the client start moaning about how many hours it's taking and what it's costing them. Fixed price means agreement at the start on the duration and the investment to get there.

One time I had a prospect mail me back that my price was eight times higher than the next bidder, and shouldn't I change mine to reflect that? No. We're not comparing apples to apples. What I do is far more valuable than the less experienced and less able; you are free not to buy.

Another time I won a bid that was six times higher than the next bidder, and the decision was virtually instant: the way I wrote the bid immediately communicated to my buyer that I knew what I was doing, better than anyone else.

Even though these projects are generally lower budget ($2000 or less, usually a few hundred dollars), they can lead to bigger jobs. The guy I wrote this email series for in the last example came back a few months later, asking me to manage a product launch for him. That was into five figures, and outside Elance. I would say this happened maybe one time in eight or ten.

 

I rarely had issues on these projects, but one did go bad. It was a marketing job for ERP software. I rarely took on clients outside North America, Australia, and Europe, but this time it was a Malaysian firm. The buyer contact reported to a higher-up, and even though I had convinced the buyer, his boss was micromanaging. I won the dispute but the money was held up for weeks.

Which brings me to my next point: don't rely on these kinds of projects to make your living.

 

Make them extras. Have a main source of income, and then pursue these leads when you have room. That way you're not dependent on a revenue source that can get tied up, or that you're waiting on for completion (I get 100% payment up front from my corporate clients.) You do not want to be stuck in the mindset that what you do is chase low budget projects. Every sale takes about the same average time to make, so you can spend you time chasing low or larger dollars.

 

Now here's what I observed as 2014 came along: that marketplace started getting really flaky. Nearly all the jobs I bid on were never awarded. Not to me--not to anyone. I still don't know what was going on, but it became not worth my investment of time. I had made plenty of money to pay for a pro account into eternity...but the process of finding and bidding on jobs when nearly all were not being awarded was a waste of time.

 

Then it got bought by Freelancer and absorbed into Upwork. By that point I had long since decided it was detrimental to my image and my self-esteem to keep interacting with that marketplace and others like it, and left.

 

This is the main takeaway I'd like you to have from my write-up: whenever you get involved with a marketplace, you take on its features. You become your customers. How they pay is how you pay. How they work is how you work. How they think is how you think. Do you want this? Consider it deeply. Yes, there may be a steady stream of projects in there--but so too are a crowd of undercutting competitors that you now have to really differentiate yourself from. Are you prepared to do that? Are you prepared to have buyers regard you as just another of a pile of replaceable parts? This mindset leads to rampant discounting and panicky thinking.

 

I have seen people stuck in the low budget mindset and struggling literally for a decade. That's awful. I'd stay away from it entirely and focus on getting clients that you yourself have identified and pursued, where you can get in front of them as a differentiated individual and not just another of the chasing crowd.