Upwork vs Fiverr | What Are Freelancer Sites Good For?
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- Finding Freelancers
- The Upwork Approach
- The Fiverr Principle
- Choosing a Freelancer
- Upwork Freelancer Are “Keen” For Any Job
- Job Posting Tips
- Throw that Application in the Trash
- Message a Freelancer
- Hire a Freelancer
- Fiverr Freelancers Are More Specialized
- Navigating the Freelancer Index
- How Do You Find a Freelancer Who is Actually Good?
- Hiring and Paying Your Freelancer
- What Can These Freelancers Do?
- People on Fiverr Will Endorse Anything
- Upwork Contractors will Do Your Homework
- Learn How to Be Good at Fortnite
- Hire a Virtual Assistant on Upwork
- A Fiverr Artist Will Draw You As...
- Are Freelancers the Future?
- Additional Resources
- Related Posts and Articles
Freelancers can be a huge boon to your business, particularly if you are just getting on your feet and don’t have much in the way of full-time employees yet. They are also great for short-term or specilized jobs where you don't necessarily need to keep a full-time employee.
There are many websites that give freelancers a platform to sell their services, but the two most prominent are Upwork and Fiverr. This article will compare the two sites and discuss some of their most valuable uses.
[Pictured Below] Just a simple freelancer trying to make his way in the universe.
One of the key differences between the two platforms is that Upwork and Fiverr take more or less opposite approaches when it comes to locating freelancers for your job. On Upwork, freelancers bid on your job, while on Fiverr you approach a freelancer directly.
The Upwork Approach
On Upwork, you start by simply posting a job. This job post includes an array of information, including a description of the work to be done, areas of expertise that the freelancer should have, your budget for the project, and so on. It’s always a good idea to request a cover letter with the application.
Once your job is posted, freelancers will submit bids on the project. It is up to you to go through applications and find the right one for the job. You are also able to direct message these freelancers, as well as invite specific freelancers to apply for your job.
The Fiverr Principle
Fiverr, on the other hand, takes a different approach. Rather than giving you a place to post a job and having freelancers bid on it, Fiverr essentially acts as a freelancer directory. From the website’s homepage you can peruse different marketplace categories (and subcategories) to find to view freelancer profiles and find someone fitting for your project.
It is only after you have chosen a freelancer that you submit your order and project details to them.
Choosing a Freelancer
There are many skilled freelancers on both platforms, but there are also countless people who are terrible and only exist to disappoint you. Here are a few strategies for finding competent freelancers on Upwork and Fiverr.
Upwork Freelancer Are “Keen” For Any Job
I’ve personally spent a lot of time on Upwork and have a lot of experience sorting through applications. There is a tried and true formula for locating good competent workers on the platform, and it typically involves wading through dozens of subpar applicants to get there.
As a rule of thumb, any applicantion that uses the word “keen” or the phrase "proficient in English, both written and oral" should go straight in the trash.
Job Posting Tips
First of all, I always recommend that you make your job posting short but accurate, and give the majority of your specifications to the freelancer after they’ve applied to work with you. This may seem counterintuitive, but too many details tend to make freelancers doubt themselves and dissuade them from applying.
It’s also a good idea to post your listing in multiple job categories, or across multiple days. Upwork does not limit the number of times you can post a job, and this tactic ensures that you have a wide variety of applicants to choose from.
Throw that Application in the Trash
Next, you will need to sort through applications, and specifically the cover letter sent by the applicants. Many Upwork freelancers are ESL, and reading a sample of their writing is the best way of knowing if their English skills are sufficient for your content writing job.
Cover letters provided by freelancers should be in response to your specific job posting. However, many Upwork freelancers have a standard cover letter that they spam job listings with. These are easy to spot because they're typically incredibly generic and don’t concern your specific job posting.
These generic cover letters are a bad sign, because they show that (1) the freelancer doesn’t care about your job in particular and (2) they are not confident enough about their writing skills to craft a cover letter on the fly. Throw those applications in the TRASH.
How to politely reject a freelancer:
Message a Freelancer
Good cover letters should be competently written and actually respond to your job post. Message these applicants to discuss the job and get a better idea of who they are as people and what their skills are.
This handy guide features many more tips for making your Upwork job posting and choosing good freelancers.
Hire a Freelancer
Because the majority of them are overseas, Upwork freelancers tend to not be too expensive, though of course it depends on what kind of work you need done. If you have a good feeling about a freelancer, go ahead and open a contact for them.
Upwork’s milestone feature allows you to get a sample of their work on your project before funding the entire thing, which can be very helpful for ensuring you get the quality you need.
Don't be afraid to repost your job if you don't find anyone suitable the first time around. There are good freelancers on Upwork and it is worth it to find them!
Fiverr Freelancers Are More Specialized
One thing you’ll notice about Fiverr is that many of the freelancers tend to offer more specialized and often novel services. For example, this guy is a Toad impersonator. That said, there are many people that offer more standard or practical services as well.
Navigating the Freelancer Index
In order to find your ideal freelancer, the best place to start is the Fiverr homepage. You can either use the search bar or use the “Explore the Marketplace” option.
The marketplace features eight different categories, including Graphics & Design, Digital Marketing, Business, and so on. Each of these in turn have many subcategories which you can use to hone in on the freelancers with the expertise you need.
If you are looking for an absurdly specific service it can be difficult to find an appropriate contractor on Fiverr, but otherwise it is pretty simple. You may even find a service that you didn’t even know you needed.
How Do You Find a Freelancer Who is Actually Good?
After finding a potential freelancer to hire, you can view the samples on their channel to appraise their quality of work. However, sometimes freelancers will post only their best work as examples and the product they actually deliver is nowhere near as good.
Because of this, it’s also a good idea to look at a freelancer’s reviews and see what other people are saying about them. Aside from written reviews, all freelancers have an aggregate rating (out of five stars) from all the people who have rated them. This can be a good indicator as well.
Hiring and Paying Your Freelancer
Once you’ve found a good freelancer, go ahead and hire them! When Fiverr was first launched the big hook for the website is that all services were just $5. While this is no longer strictly true, many freelancers still offer a service for a base $5 (or other insubstantial amount), but also have more expensive packages available.
Of course, some freelancers that only specialize in large and complicated projects, like programming or ghost writing novels, for example may have much higher starting rates. It all depends on what you need done.
If possible, it can be a good idea to purchase a small $5 or $10 package from a freelancer before committing to a substantially larger order. This allows you to get a personalized sample of their work without needing to shell out loads of money.
What Can These Freelancers Do?
The freelancers on Upwork and Fiverr can do virtually ANYTHING (collectively, that is). Provided you take the time to find the appropriate freelancer, you should be able to have any (legal) job completed using these platforms. They can do content writing, data analysis, programming, video editing, and so on. Here are a just a few examples of tasks you can get done.
People on Fiverr Will Endorse Anything
One of the most well-known services on Fiverr is the voice over service, in which you can hire someone with a fine voice to record a testimonial or message of your choice. While there are a good deal of “Male American” voice overs available,
You’ve probably seen some of the Fiverr “voice over celebrities” from time to time. Big Man Tyrone is one such icon.
Unfortunately, one of the all-time great voiceover artists, VoiceOverPete, was unjustly banned from the service on November 6, 2018. Nice job, Fiverr.
Upwork Contractors will Do Your Homework
Have you ever had homework that you didn’t feel like doing? Upwork contractors can do it for you! Regardless of the subject or level of the work, there is a freelancer somewhere on the platform that will agree to do it.
When having random internet people do your homework, I would always recommend that you ask for it back in advance of your deadline so that (1) it isn’t late and (2) you have time to edit it for grammar and style before passing it off as your own work.
Technically, you aren’t allowed to post academic work on Upwork, so be sure to always specify in your title that they it is a “sample essay” for your “blog.” Works every time.
Learn How to Be Good at Fortnite
Do you want to be able to pwn noobs in Fortnite? Do kids today still say “pwn noobs”? There are freelancers on Fiverr who you can hire to teach you the Fortnite basics, coach you in Overwatch, build you a Minecraft server, or fulfill basically any other video game related task for you.
Hire a Virtual Assistant on Upwork
Upwork, as opposed to Fiverr, is the place to go for more long term projects. This includes projects with multiple stages (or milestones) as well as finding real virtual employees. I’ve personally hired half a dozen VAs that worked for me consistently for over a year.
I would recommend that for long-term, hourly-paid employees that you move communications and payments off of the Upwork platform, however. Again, like most of my Upwork suggestions, this one is technically not allowed, since Upwork wants payments to be made through them so that they can receive their fee.
So, just be careful who you offer to pay on PayPal and you should be fine (a guy tried to get me banned one time).
A Fiverr Artist Will Draw You As...
If you look for long enough, you’ll find an artist on Fiverr who specializes in drawing people as [insert specific niche thing here]. It could be you as an anime character, a cartoon caricature, a handsome member of the Kong family, a Funko Pop, a veggie from VeggieTales, a Berenstain Bear, you in a medieval setting, and so on.
Are Freelancers the Future?
Due to freelancer websites like Upwork and Fiverr, it has never been easier to find someone to do a one-off task or project for you. Both platforms have very talented people on them, as long as you’re willing to put the time into wading through tons of other freelancers to find the one who is right for you.
Best of all, due to the milestone system on Upwork and the different package prices on Fiverr, you are typically able to hire a freelancer without much risk to yourself, and keep working with them if you appreciate their talents. While freelancers aren't a replacement for committed, full-time employees, they can definitely be a good resource for your growing company to have.
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- The Top 5 Ways to Make Money on the Internet (If You're Completely Incompetent)
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