Freelancers have many ways in getting a job. Some often use websites or social media to find a job or endorse their services to potential clients. Others check job search engines or other similar sites. A few rely on connections or word of mouth to get others aware they are offering their services.
Nowadays, freelance marketplaces or freelancing platforms are the go to place for freelancers to find clients, get jobs and get paid. Two of the most popular freelancing platforms today are Fiverr and Upwork. Both sites have a huge number of users and present a lot of advantages. But, which one is best?
To find out, here is our review of Fiverr and Upwork to see which one is best.
Fiverr started its operations in 2010 and features a marketplace where people can purchase online services or sell them in the case of freelancers. Usually, the services include translation, writing, graphic work and programming. Each job offered in the site is called a “Gig” and can range from $5 to $1,000+ in price.
What we liked about Fiverr
1. It is a Stable Income Source
If you manage to secure several gigs and clients, Fiverr can be a great source for a stable income. Sure you only get $5’s worth of work, but if you get a lot, it can still make a difference.
2. It has Sure Paying Customers
Fiverr checks all the clients that requests tasks from the site so their freelancers know they will pay every gig correctly.
3. Fiverr Encourages Clients to Give Tips
For every client that uses the site, Fiverr encourages them to leave a tip for their freelancers. Clients do agree to it most of the time and some can be very generous as well.
4. Bidding is Easy at Fiverr
Fiverr makes it easy for freelancers to get a client by matching their profile with the gigs that need it. Freelancers can even make their profiles trustworthy by making sure they get positive reviews from their clients. This will make new and potential customers get them as their work.
What we didn't like about Fiverr
1. Gigs have Low pay
As their name implies, most of the gigs offered in the platform start around $5. It can be quite rare to look for a higher paying gig.
2. Fiverr have a high commission deduction
For every transaction made with the platform, there is a 20% automatic deduction from Fiverr which doubles as their cut.
3. Fiverr Oversees Everything
The Fiverr team is always on standby to watch everyone’s activities. Some may find this unnerving because they can shut down the freelancer’s account without warning. You also cannot do anything when they decide to close down or raise fees.
4. Freelancers Cannot Speak to Clients Outside Fiverr
Fiverr does not allow freelancers to reach out to clients outside the platform. While this is understandable due to the platform’s messaging system, it disables you from marketing your services properly and you can’t tell your clients that you are moving to a different place to offer your services. Fiverr has your clients on their line and they will know if you are trying to reach out to them.
5. It is Hard to Get a First Gig at Fiverr
Like other freelancing platforms, Fiverr can make it a problem for new users to get new work. Freelancers have to work with the platform’s guidelines when they apply and get gigs, which can be difficult to work with due to timezone differences and work changes.
6. Quality Matters
If you are able to get a gig, you need to tackle it ASAP because you only have one shot when you get a gig.
7. Payments Can Take a While
When freelancers finish a gig with Fiverr, it will take them a bit to get their money. Usually, payments take 14 days before they release payments.
Meanwhile, Upwork is a merger between two freelance marketplace sites oDesk and Elance. It started its operations in 2015 and currently considered as the largest freelancer marketplace in the world. The marketplace allows clients to interview, hire and work with freelancers or agencies that use the system. It has a messaging system that also makes it faster to get work done, as well as a time sheet application sow freelancers can show how long they do projects. Prices per proposal can start from $5 to $1,000+ depending on the nature of the tasks available.
What we liked about Upwork
1. Upwork Combined oDesk and Elance’s Clients
Since it combined two freelancing platforms in one, Upwork has a big client population. This guarantees to freelancers that they will be able to find all sorts of clients through the system.
2. Easier to Contact Clients on Upwork
Upwork’s messaging system is extensive and it comes with an app so you can contact clients wherever you are.
3. Certified Freelancer Profiles on Upwork
Upwork recently introduced a “Top Rated” feature which indicates that the freelancer’s profile is highly reviewed and verified.
4. There's a Wide Variety of Available Jobs
If you are looking for a variety of jobs, Upwork has them in the site. If you built a good freelancer profile, Upwork themselves will send you clients that matches your skill set. Users can even find the specific job they are looking for by using the search filters. It will even let you look for the salary you want.
5. Easy Payment
When you finish a job, it is very easy to get paid. Freelancers have an option to select how they wish to be paid – from Paypal to Bank Transfers – and it is very fast. They also do not charge a high fee for payment options.
What we didn’t like about Upwork
1. There is High Competition
With the merger of two freelancing platforms and the inclusion of new users, Upwork does have one of the most competitive freelancer markets. As a result, freelancers need to improve their profiles to get clients.
2. Job Openings Pay Less
While the site offers a lot of job openings, most of them are low paying jobs. Some of them have a fixed price of $5 per task.
3. Upwork Has High Commission Fee
For those looking for a higher pay, Upwork may turn you off because it charges up to 20% commission fee per job. As a result, if you got a $100 gig, you will only get $80 due to the commission fee deduction.
4. Freelancers May Find It Difficult to Get their Profile Accepted
For new Upwork users, it can be difficult to get your profile accepted by the system if Upwork’s team spots anything wrong.
5. It Can Be Difficult to Secure a First Gig
New users will also find their first few months in Upwork difficult because you will need to provide reasons why people should hire them. There is also the fact users cannot apply for many gigs all at once or else they will lose their “60 connects” they are given every month. These connects are needed to apply for jobs and you will need to pay if you want more connects.
6. The Site May Be Down a Lot
Since the site uses two different platforms that have been merged together, there will be times Upwork’s pages are down due to high user volume or maintenance.
Both Fiverr and Upwork are great places to get work if you are making a career as a freelancer. Both do have their pros and cons and it is up to you to determine which one you will use for your freelancing gig. If you are starting small and wouldn’t mind building up your budget, Fiverr is the place to start. If you are looking for something extensive and will be good for a long-term use, Upwork is something to consider.
Remember, before you hit the Sign Up button for both these sites, check reviews about these sites and consider your freelance style before you go for it. You will also need to try both out before you decide if it is worth your effort. Good luck!