The gig-economy is here and as the numbers show – it’s changing the way we work, recruit talents to teams, get projects completed, and literally do everything.
Today, professionals can easily get connected to businesses seeking their skill-sets without having to do as much as just setting up their profiles on freelance marketplaces.
Here’s where freelancing platforms such as Fiverr comes in. They’re at the core of the gig economy, providing secured transparent space where both buyers and sellers can conveniently carry out transactions.
On these freelance websites, buyers can work with freelancers offering diverse services in the form of gigs – the beauty of these is that one can easily find sellers offering literally any kind of services.
From web design to graphic creation, from web content writing to Ghostwriters. No matter what your needs are, there’s someone offering the services.
It’s not uncommon to find services such as these offered by sellers on the platform:
“I will have your logo or message painted on my back with body art technique and take high res photos for $5.″
“I will post a video to your Facebook saying whatever you want.”
“I will create a WordPress site for your business.”
You may wonder what it is about Fiverr that makes it the fastest growing freelancing platform and how Fiverr works.
First, is the transparency of the whole process. Potential buyers can easily go through the profiles of freelancers as well as the services they offer, where they are from as well as the reviews of past buyers.
Just as you know, these reviews play a crucial role in swinging buyers to deal with a particular seller.
Additionally, prospective buyers can also decide to work with a freelancer who is ranked higher or lower depending on their budget. Sellers are categorized as New Sellers, Level 1, Level 2, and Top Rated Sellers.
Each level is determined by the number of sales the freelancer has made along with other parameters such as quick delivery of orders, high or fast response rate, good reviews from past buyers, etc.
Many sellers have gone on to build a reliable and sustainable business using this platform. But in spite of this, many people are still in doubt whether working on Fiverr is worth it or not.
A bit of history
In 2010, Shai Wininger came up with a unique concept to start an online marketplace for people to buy and sell digital services at a low, fixed minimum price.
The digital services would be offered on the two-sided, buyer-seller platform and covers services such as graphic design, writing, translation, transcription, video editing, programming, voice-overs, etc.
The services – called “gigs” were pegged at a minimum price of 5 USD, from which the name “Fiverr” was coined. However, sellers can offer premium services aside from their basic gigs via “gig extras” and the prices of these gig extras would be at the discretion of the freelance contractor.
The Fiverr website was launched on February 1, 2010, and has its global headquarters at Tel Aviv, Israel.
Over the years, the transaction volume on the website has grown by more than 600% since 2012. By early 2012, it was hosting approximately 1.3 million gigs and at the end of the same year, more than three million services were offered on the gigantic platform.
The website – Fiverr.com – has continued to gain traction and is presently listed among the best 100 most popular sites in the United States. It is also ranked among the top 200 websites in the world since 2013.
Fiverr received a seed investment from Cubit Investments to the tune of US$1 million. By May 2012, Fiverr was able to secure additional funding of US$15 million from Bessemer Venture Partners and Accel Partners, thus bringing the total funding investment to US$20 million.
The iOS app was released in the Apple App Store in December 2013 and its Android version in the Google Play store by March 2014.
In August 2014, Fiverr announced it has raised US$30 million in another round of Series C funding from Accel (formerly called “Accel Partners”), Bessemer Venture Partners as well as from other investors, thereby bringing the total amount of funding it has received so far to 50 million US dollars. The funding or resources were used for promoting and upgrading to a more refined version as well as to continue its global expansion.
Despite its seemingly smooth take off, Fiverr had its own tales of lawsuits and challenges.
One of such lawsuits that made the news was the legal action launched against them in October 2015 by Amazon the largest electronic commerce and cloud computing company.
The e-commerce giant alleged that sellers on the Fiverr platform numbering up to 1,114 provide or sell fake product reviews on the United States version of Amazon.com.
Fiverr did nothing to dispute the allegation; however, countered that they have worked extremely hard to sanitize its online marketplace and removed the offending gigs offering such inappropriate services.
After another round of funding – Series D which was led by Square Peg Capital and Qumra Capital – Fiverr now has a total funding of US$110 million.
Following the end of another successful round of fundraising, the organization announced the expansion of its online marketplace to give room to sellers who would like to offer and price “productized services” at more than the customary $5. Sellers can upsell these services at will, with Fiverr still collecting their 20% commission on each transaction.
How big is Fiverr?
Fiverr has grown over the years and has over 200 offices scattered across the globe – apart from the main headquarters in Tel Aviv – in Chicago, New York, San Francisco, and Miami. The platform, according to CEO and founder, Micha Kaufman, generates nearly one million transactions every month. The CEO stated that Fiverr is more of an e-commerce company than a labor marketplace.
Fiverr started with amateurs and people who needed to supplement their incomes. But over time, the platform started attracting professional freelancers, small as well as mid-size business buyers who were willing to purchase services done by experts.
As a matter of fact, three-quarter of buyers on the platform are companies or firms that have seen and understood how valuable the website could be for their respective marketing objectives.
Most of them usually follow a sequence: purchase a logo for their brand or have a business card designed for them. Then they look for sellers that build websites and writers to provide, grammar-free, search engine optimized content for their site. Then such companies will need someone to create a demo video that showcases the efficacy of their products.
Thus, businesses lean on the expertise of the vast pool of sellers working on Fiverr for their marketing and branding-building efforts.
Buyers and Sellers’ Testimonials
The major advantage of working on Fiverr is that you can make an additional income doing simple tasks that you love. It’s almost like having a hobby and having someone to pay for it. It doesn’t get better than that. However, some sellers on the platform work full time.
Here are the benefits of using Fiverr according to sellers’ testimonials:
- Clear and neat website design that is easy to use and navigate
- Fun and active community with a compassionate forum
- Make lots of money carrying out something you love
- Transparent and clear concept
Sellers on the platform can earn a fair living selling their services on the website. Communication with the customer service on Fiverr is both conversational and friendly. For the most part, they handle issues from sellers in a timely manner, though once in a while, customer service may become inundated with requests for support.
At such times, delays may occur. But they will surely follow up to ensure that whatever issue a seller has is resolved amicably.
Sellers can withdraw their earnings from their accounts via a PayPal account or by crediting their Fiverr Revenue Card (issued by Payoneer in partnership with Fiverr). Sellers also have the options of transferring their earnings to their local bank accounts as well by making use of the “Direct Deposit” option (this is only applicable for Fiverr sellers who reside in the United States).
Buyers have found profound success with using the Fiverr platform for their personal and business needs. With nearly five million gigs posted on Fiverr, it can sometimes be a daunting experience for buyers to wade through all those gigs in search of a service they require.
The best option is to get sellers to come to them and that is why the Buyers Request section was created.
This is the section where Buyers can post the services they need and sellers can contact them by pitching their gigs. Buyers are left to decide which seller they would like to work with hence making it a lot easier for buyers to connect with the right sellers.
The secure chatting platform between buyers and sellers is one of the most impressive features that Fiverr has rolled out. Not only can buyers and sellers communicate privately and effectively, but also every detail of the project remains strictly between the buyer and the seller.
Buyers’ payments on Fiverr are protected, so regardless of the payment method, Fiverr assures Buyers that their financial data is secured. This means that the information of Buyers will never be compromised in any way. They can, therefore, pay for any gigs they are interested in via credit cards, PayPal or any other means of electronic payments.
After an order is delivered by the seller, a buyer has the option to leave reviews based on the quality of the work received and their experience. They can rate their experience on a scale of 1 to 5.
A majority of buyers on the Fiverr platform have had positive experiences, have connected with skilled freelancers, and are growing their businesses without spending a fortune.
Also, the platform is user-friendly with an easy to navigate interface that makes it pretty hassle-free for users to connect with service providers.
Is Fiverr worth it? My honest answer is yes, this is especially true for individuals starting out with freelancing and businesses bootstrapping. Since for the freelancer, Fiverr does all the marketing and promotions and sends buyers hence one can quickly start earning from their skills.
For the buyer, they are able to receive topnotch services without having to spend a truckload of money.