Freelancing

A Detailed Guide on Fiverr/Upwork/Freelancer

If you want to do freelancing, check out this article to learn more and find all about the various freelancing platforms in...

Written by Laiba Bukhari · 8 min read >
freelancing

Freelancing is an enticing activity. As soon as you hear of it, you just want to jump right in and start earning some money. But wait, before you begin, first you need to learn the answers to some of the very important questions, for instance, what are the accessible platforms for freelancing, which one suits you the best, so on and so forth. Though freelancing itself has no set rules, it is always better to get familiar with the rules, requirements and responsibilities of the various platforms available for freelancing. 

This article proposes the best three generally well-known and regularly-utilized freelancing platforms. These platforms are the best you will find for freelancing. They all also have their own mobile apps available. When choosing a platform, while some people utilize numerous freelancing platforms simultaneously, it is suggested that as a beginner you should pick one platform to begin with. When you have a solid presence on that one platform, conquering over others won’t be a problem for you. 

Now lets begin!

Fiverr

Background

Fiverr, launched in 2010, is the world’s largest freelancing platform for digital services. It was founded with a concept of providing a digital marketplace for anyone to buy and sell services. It enables sellers to sell service in an area of their expertise and buyers to browse the selection of freelancers offering those services and place orders. 

Services included

The main service categories offered on the site include Writing, Translation, Graphic Design, Video Editing and Programming. Each service offered is called a “Gig”.

Earning

Fiverr’s services start at US$5, and can go up to thousands of dollars with extra gigs. 

It is important to note that, 

  • all purchases up to and including $40 are subject to a service fee of $2, and
  • all purchases above $40 are subject to a 5% service fee.

In short, when you begin selling on Fiverr, $2 will always be subtracted from your earning per gig which goes to Fiverr for providing you the platform.

Pros of Selling on Fiverr

  1. Easy Selling
    It is genuinely easy to sell items on Fiverr! Account creation takes less than ten minutes. It’s easy to use. You need to update your profile, add a bank account, verify for auto-transfer, add a Paypal account and get started by creating some good descriptive Gigs. You can make your living if you are committed to providing excellent service.
  1. Fiverr Seller Levels
    Fiverr Seller Levels allows you to get rewarded for your work by getting a level up over the tier system of Fiverr for outstanding work. The level-up gives you extra visibility and a service upgrade package which allows you to entirely customize your offer which otherwise was offered for $5.
  1. Earn Money Through Passion
    As a freelancer, people make thousands of dollars every month. If you are a dedicated individual working with discipline and passion, you will earn a lot more than a regular job employee.

How it works

  1. Sign up and Create A Gig
    Sign up for free, set up your gig, and offer your work to the global audience. It is important to create your gigs professionally and offer best prices. Initially you may have to compromise on your pricing to earn an audience and some positive reviews, but that’s okay. Additionally, take a few skills tests to show potential clients that you have the skills to do the job. For some gigs, like writing, some tests are mandatory to take and will be displayed to you before publishing your gig. 
  1. Deliver Great Work
    Look for buyer requests and send them your offers. Get notified when you get an order and use the system communication platform to discuss details with the customers. Respond to requests as early as possible and always deliver work on time or at least before threshold. The earlier it is, the better. Due to an understandable reason, if you do get late for submission, it is better to always inform your client beforehand in a professional way and they might willingly accept your request.
  1. Get Paid
    Payment is transferred to you upon order completion. When it’s time to deliver the project, you can ask for a five star review and rating for your work.

Earning without Skills

If you are not the creative kind and lack skills, you can still make money with Fiverr in two ways:

  1. Learning skill-based courses offered on the Fiverr platform: When you complete a course, it gets automatically reflected on your Fiverr profile. Now, you can sell the service with an authority because you know the subject.
  2. Become a Fiverr affiliate and refer Fiverr gigs to other businesses: Having a blog and a social profile on LinkedIn and Instagram will come handy for this.

Fiverr Pro

Fiverr Pro is a different upgraded version of Fiverr available for verified professional sellers aiming to meet the needs of Fiverr business buyers. It doesn’t matter if you are new to Fiverr or are a long-time Fiverr seller, you can apply for it as long as you are a professional freelancer on Fiverr.

Upwork

Background

Upwork, formerly Elance-oDesk, is a global freelancing platform where businesses or individuals connect to conduct business. In 2015, Elance-oDesk was rebranded as Upwork. Their office is based in California, USA. The full name of the platform is Upwork Global Inc. 

On Upwork, three million jobs are posted annually, worth a total of US$1 billion, making it the second largest freelance marketplace in the world.

Services included

Upwork also offers the same services offered on Fiverr, main categories of which include writing, translation, graphic design, video editing and programming.

On Upwork, “Connects” are tokens used by the freelancers to submit applications and apply for jobs. Each new application requires 1 to 5 connects (zero is required if you’re invited or rehired by a client).

Earning

On hourly contracts, you’re paid by the hour making this a preferred option when your project requires flexibility. On fixed-price contracts, you’re paid a fixed amount for a project deliverable, or set of deliverables.

Upwork also charges freelancers a service fee based on the total amount billed to a single client. You pay,

  • 20% for the first $500 you bill your client across all contracts, 
  • 10% for total billings with your client between $500.01 and $10,000, and 
  • 5% for total billings with your client that exceed $10,000.

Pros of Selling on Upwork

  1. Streamlined Hiring
    On completing your profile, upwork will highlight ideal jobs for you. Upwork’s sophisticated algorithms highlight projects you’re a great fit for. You can also search projects yourself and respond to client invitations.
  1. Top Rated And Rising Talent Programs
    Enjoy higher visibility with the added status of prestigious programs.
  1. Do Substantial Work With Top Clients
    Upwork pricing encourages repeat relationships with clients. You can easily get long term contracts with your old clients. Get return and referral clients. The greater the success you have on your previous projects, the more likely you are to get hired by new clients on Upwork.
  1. Multiple Payment Options
    All invoices and payments happen through Upwork. Count on a simple and streamlined process. Choose a payment method that works best for you, from direct deposit or PayPal to wire transfer and more.
  1. Hourly And Fixed-price Projects
    For hourly work, submit timesheets through Upwork. For fixed-price projects, set milestones and funds are released via Upwork escrow features.

How it works

  1. Sign up and Select a Membership Plan 
    First sign up. Then pick the membership plan that best matches your needs. You can always change your membership plan later.
  1. Create Your Profile
    Fill out as many fields as possible to create a profile that highlights your skills. Elaborate on your experience and indicate your desired hourly payment rate. Profiles will not be visible on Upwork until they are completed and verified. Additionally, you can take a few skills tests to show potential clients that you have the skills to do the job.
  1. Set Up Your Payment Option 
    To get paid, inform upwork how you want to receive your earnings. There are two different fund transfer methods and you can set up either one or both of them. Setting up both is recommended.
  1. Use Upwork Messages 
    Collaboration is made easy on Upwork when you use Messages. Organize and manage discussions, communicate in real time with your clients, and sync and share deliverables. 

Earning without Skills

One can still earn on upwork without any skills and expertise by performing tasks such as writing reviews, making on-demand comments, typing, translating etc. You can always acquire new skills along the way. Doing these small jobs will help you learn how to deal with your clients, how to take orders, checking payment methods, what to say to a client etc.

Upwork membership plan

Upwork basic membership is free of charge and provides all the functionality you’ll need to use Upwork for your business. But for those who want additional premium benefits, Upwork offers a paid Freelancer Plus membership option. It includes Upwork Payment Protection, plus 10 additional Connects per month (for a total of 70), the ability to roll over up to 70 unused Connects to the following monthly billing cycle, freedom to buy extra Connects, and visibility into what others are bidding on the contract.

Freelancer

Background

Freelancer is an Australian crowdsourcing marketplace website founded in 2009. It allows potential employers to post jobs that freelancers can then bid to complete. Its headquarter is located in Sydney, Australia.

Services included

They are selling all the services similar to ones on other platforms. There are over 750 work categories in the Jobs page and you will certainly find one that matches your skills. The most popular ones are: Website Development, Graphic Design, Logo Design, Marketing, Writing and Mobile App. These services are usually sold at a high price.

Earning

This depends on your Membership type. 

  • The fee for fixed price projects is around 10% or $5.00 USD (at least 3%). 
  • There is a 15% fee for freelancers who are working on assisted or preferred projects.

In addition to above, you must know that,

  • on the “regular” projects, you pay a 10% fee the moment you accept an awarded project, not when you get paid. 
  • On the assisted project with an invitation, you don’t pay a 15% fee when you accept a project, but rather when you get paid for your work.

Bidding is free.

Pros of Selling on Freelancer

  1. Job Availability
    Outsourcing is one way for employers to grow their business without spending too much and saving on things like equipment, work space, etc. One of the selling points of Freelancer.com is getting the job done for less cost, so more employers are convinced to post jobs on the site. Freelancer.com provides cheaper quotes for most jobs which benefits the employer thus more employers opt for freelancer.com when looking for outsourcing a job. 
  1. Time Management through Time Tracker
    Flexibility in work hours is one of the perks in working as a freelancer. Freelancer.com has a feature called ‘Time-Tracker’. Time tracking through the app is mainly used for tracking hourly projects. The app is controlled by the employee, who then can take screenshots of the hours worked as proof to be sent to the employer.
  1. Costs
    Freelancers have control on how much they want to get paid through their bids. Freelancers can choose to get paid either hourly or through set milestones when working for a job with fixed payment.
  1. 24/7 Support
    Their support system consists of real people who are available 24/7.

How it works

  1. Sign Up and Set up Your Profile
    Set up an account. Create a complete and presentable profile reflecting your personality, resume, portfolio, and skills. Certain projects require your profile to reflect certain skills, so the more you have listed, the more opportunities you get.
  1. Find Projects And Start Bidding
    Find the projects and contests you want to work on by going to the Jobs or Contests page. In the jobs page, you’ll see suitable projects open for bidding. For contests, you simply submit an entry.
    Note that, before placing your bid, write a compelling reason why the employer should pick you over everyone else. 
  1. Make an Agreement and Begin Working
    Come to an agreement on the needs and requirements with the employer in terms of project scope, deadlines, and milestone payments, and create a signed agreement to seal the deal. After that, start working. Use the built-in chatbox to converse with your employer. Maintain your timeline, budget and communication responsibly.
  1. Get Paid And Earn Five-star Feedback
    Get paid after successful project submission and easily withdraw your money via PayPal Wire Transfer, Moneybookers, or your nominated local bank account. Receive a five-star feedback by submitting high-quality employer-satisfied work. Positive feedback is always a great addition to your portfolio.

Earning without Skills

  1. On Freelancer.com, there are plenty of job categories. Identify the area which you have some knowledge on. If there is sufficient demand for its service, start bidding on it.
  2. Identify your keywords and target audience.
  3. Deliver something valuable for free as part of the quote. Typically, this should be about 10% of the final contract value and must be valuable to the customer.
  4. Bid on a high volume of jobs and work very hard on your CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization)
  5. Deliver quickly and with exceptional quality.
  6. Scale by adding additional products or upselling.

Freelancer membership plan

Use membership upgrades like the Annual Plus Membership to help you earn more by getting more bids per month which will increase your work volume and therefore income.

Conclusion

Freelancing is a great business model that allows you to get started with virtually no overheads through a bit of time and passion. In a freelancing career, the biggest plus is that you can work independently, which is why freelancing is considered a free profession and most people prefer to follow it as a career.

If you are interested in learning in more detail about freelancing, useful tips and tricks and secrets to succeed on any freelancing platform without spending any money on membership plans, receiving high income, and making freelancing a professional career for yourself, you can enroll at Airschool’s Become a Freelancer course today and receive knowledge from the expert full-time professional freelancer herself; Asra Rizwan. You can find more detail about her by scrolling down here.

Written by Laiba Bukhari
Laiba Bukhari is an engineering graduate deeply passionate about content writing and blogging. She is also a former USA Exchange Student. Laiba quotes "I achieve my work goals through hard work, passion, research, skills, and perseverance." Profile

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