Earning potential: 3 stars
Quality of the opportunities: 3 stars
Quality of the platform: 3 stars
Overall star rating: 3 stars
Fiverr started out as more of a GPT site, where nearly anyone could sign up and agree to do all kinds of online tasks for $5, and that is still the core of the site. However, it has evolved into a more robust platform, with more professional-level clients seeking higher quality work for more money, and more professional-level freelancers able to charge more for their work.
While there are still plenty of $5 gigs on Fiverr, freelancers who have invested in the platform, built a good reputation and have good reviews, can command higher rates and get them.
Like Upwork, Fiverr takes a percentage of the pay from every job. Fees on Fiverr are 2% of the total, or $1, whichever is greater. Unlike Upwork, Fiverr also charges freelancers a fee to withdraw their money from the service, which is 2% or $1, whichever is lower.
The huge downside of Fiverr is that freelancers have no opportunity to refuse a job. If you make yourself available to, for example, create a logo for $5, and a client accepts that, you are locked into the job, and then are obligated to earn a good review from that person. This is a big drawback, as the feedback system is critical, and Fiverr doesn’t give you a chance to communicate with the client and reach “a meeting of the minds” in legal terms.
What’s Great About Fiverr
Fiverr has become a huge marketplace for freelancers to find work, with a wide variety of jobs available in a variety of industries. It is particularly known for graphic design gigs. It is simple and free for a freelancer to register, with minimal screening. However, as with every freelance site, the more time you spend building a robust profile and marketing yourself, the more success you will have.
For those who are just starting out in their freelance work, or who want to make quick money here and there, it can be convenient to sign on and do quick jobs for $5. It’s a fast way to build experience and a portfolio, that may move you on to better, higher-paying jobs.
- Huge number of potential clients. Fiverr claims to be the “world’s largest freelance services marketplace.”
- Easy to use system. Fiverr has been recognized for their good user experience.
- Simple way to market yourself and build a reputation
- Scammers. A lot of the clients on Fiverr are scammers, and there are very few quality jobs. It’s known as the site you go to when you want cheap work, not when you want quality freelancers, so it attracts poor-quality clients and gigs.
- No ability to refuse gigs. This speaks for itself. A freelancer should always be able to refuse a job, either because the client is requesting work out of scope, they are too busy, it’s not their core competency… the privilege of being self-employed is the right to say no, particularly when the platform attracts low-quality clients.
- Hostage to reviews. Even more than other platforms, clients can (and do) threaten bad ratings and reviews on Fiverr in order to make freelancers do work that is out of scope. This appears to be a common practice and the platform doesn’t do much to correct it.
Fiverr is recommended for:
- People who are just beginning their online freelancing career and want to quickly get some experience and build their portfolio.
- People with something quirky to offer. Fiverr’s “fun and lifestyle” category gives you an easy opportunity to market art lessons, tarot readings, celebrity impersonations, etc. There aren’t many platforms that bring visibility to this kind of service, so Fiverr is a great way to get exposure for your more esoteric offerings.
- Those with a big social media following. Because you post your offering/gig/service on Fiverr, and people can find and hire you that way, it’s super easy to share your offering/gig/service on social media and encourage your followers to hire you directly.
Fiverr is not recommended for:
- Experienced professionals who give high-quality service and expect high-quality rates. To join Fiverr when your career is already somewhat advanced, and be forced to compete at low rates in order to earn a reputation on the site isn’t a good use of your time if you’re already far along in your career.
- People who offer a relatively common, ordinary service. If you are new to the platform, and your gig is like many others, it is likely that it will get buried so far down that nobody will ever see it.
Tips for Success with Fiverr
Protect yourself by making your gig as clear, specific, and limited in scope as possible. Remember that, if someone accepts it, you will have to complete it, so make the language as exact as possible to describe the terms of work.
Find a “spin” on your services that is unique or unusual, in order to stand out and not get buried in the rankings.
Heavily promote yourself outside of Fiverr. If you have a blog, social media accounts, and other online activities, let people know they can hire you quickly and simply through Fiverr (unless you prefer to save yourself the time and fees and get people to hire you directly). Unlike most platforms, your off-platform activity can have a big impact in your on-platform success.
No platform is perfect, and no platform is perfect for everyone. But Fiverr is a good option for people with really unique, unusual, small services, and for those just getting started working online. I would not recommend investing so much in building your reputation on the site that you are hostage to it; it would be better to get the experience, build the portfolio, and then move on to a different platform with better clients, better rates, and a better review system. Even though some people have huge success on Fiverr, and the platform is trying to attract a higher quality client, it remains a place to start your online freelancing career, not a place to grow it.