At the request of many, I decided it is important to understand how freelancing platforms work. I can’t say I have been through all of them, so far I am on 3 popular freelancing platforms; Fiverr.com, Freelancer.com and Upwork.com. There are, of course, many different platforms, do a Google Search, you will discover plenty of middlemen eager to host both the companies and us, the freelancers. And why not? If there are demands, there will always be supply.
First of all, you have to understand, I am not sponsored by these companies and I am speaking from my experiences. However, I do wish that Fiverr.com will feature me as one of their monthly proud and about member (you hear that Fiverr? Haha.)
Here goes the 1 of the 3 Freelancing Websites that I subscribe to: –
I started off with this website because my ex-company used to work closely with Fiverr.com when they first launched their service. Targetted at mostly young adults, with bright vibrant colors. The whole Fiverr.com idea is based on getting people to do a simple task for you for a 5 dollar. Due to overwhelming demands, they have offered not just mere $5 but a drop-down menu, a list of upgrades that a client can choose from.
Here is mine: Translation Services
How does it work?
Basically, I charge $5 for translation for 500 Chinese words. Then I increase to $10 for 501 to 1000 words, $15 for 1001 to 1500 words and $20 for 1501 to 2000 words. For extras, such as urgent work or medical terms translation, I would charge extra, at my discretion with the negotiation with the client. I can also custom my order after talking with my client and understand what he needs.
You may think it is very little for so many words, but you can charge more but you won’t be able to compete with those who are willing to press down their prices. I don’t go for one shot kill, I aim for returning customers. So far, I have a trickling stream of customers from this site but most importantly, it gives me a lot of confident that I am able to earn something from freelancing because this website is one of the easier ones to understand and operate. A big plus is that their payment is pretty quick.
You register for free. But for every $5, they will take away $1. This is automatic. Most freelancing websites work on Escrow system, which means the money will be deducted from the client’s account and held by Fiverr until work is completed and verify by the client, it will be release to you the rest of the money after they deducted their $1. So depending on how long you took to complete the work, that’s when you get paid.
Is it Fair
Yes, you can tell that Fiverr actually advertises a lot and their platform is stable, meaning no sudden downtime of the website. This is important, we need clients to trust the website, the most clients it brings, the more jobs or offers we will have.
A few choices here: Paypal, Fiverr Revenue Card, Bank Transfer and Direct Deposit. You may want to read here to get yourself familiarise with the payment terms you choose.
You asked what if there is a dispute, so far, I am pretty lucky to have great clients from Fiverr. I guess it is the way the company position itself on the market. People with common sense will understand that they can’t ask you for the moon with just $5. If your client is being ridiculous, you can keep evidence of your chat conversation record and send over to Customer Support. Hence, don’t work offline away from the platform, if you do, you don’t get any protection and it becomes he say, you say situation….all for a $5….
Who are your clients?
People want things to be fast, clean and simple. I did my MiddleMe logo with one of the sellers. First time as a buyer! I don’t expect a week’s worth of work or a portfolio design book of 100 logos. I already have the image in my mind, I just need someone execute for me. My clients are professionals who don’t have time for mandate stuff like translation hence they are glad they can offload to me and trust me to do a great job for them.
Who are your competitors?
Know thy enemies and half the battle won by Confusion. Mostly, outsourcing companies who owns a design house and have the abundance of manpower to do a quick logo for 2 hours. Students are big on Fiverr too, due to the fast payment.
Fiverr has a bidding system but I don’t use it often. Basically, clients post their requests, you only get to see the requests if it falls under your specialised area. For example, my service area is translation so I won’t see someone who requests for a website design job. So when you see a job you like under the Buyer Request, you can send in your offer. Depending how attractive your offer is, (yes, the lowest offer price us $5, but be creative!) the client will then reach out to you. Take note that there are only 10 “offers”, meaning you can only bid for 10 jobs a day. This is to prevent people from spamming the Buyer Request Forum with their offers. Frankly, if you are selective, you don’t need all 10 “offers”. Just imagine all 10 requests accepted your “offers”, you’ll have a hell of a time trying to fulfill all your orders in time.
Do you have any questions? Drop them below at the comments.
The next freelancer article will be a review of Upwork.com, stay tuned!!
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