Freelance job boards like Upwork and Fiverr have become popular platforms for finding work, especially with the increasing number of people working remotely.
This article will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both Upwork and Fiverr. Additionally, we will provide information on how the Wise Business account can assist with receiving payments and saving on currency transfers, regardless of which platform you choose.
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A brief comparison of Upwork and Fiverr.
A wide range of services are offered, including web design, copywriting, and logo creation. Freelancers create profiles on each platform for potential clients to find and review their work.
Upwork requires additional setup time as it entails posting a detailed project and vetting applicants.
The marketplace structure of Fiverr simplifies the process of finding what you need quickly.
On Fiverr, clients can easily find specific services without the need to post a job.
On Upwork, clients typically post detailed job descriptions and wait for freelancers to submit their applications.
Upwork or Fiverr: Comparison
Now that you know each platform, let's examine how they compare in terms of the key features of a freelance job board.
This is an explanation of how they operate and instructions on how to register.
Signing up for Upwork is more complicated than signing up for Fiverr. To join Upwork, you must complete an application and provide information about your skills and experience for acceptance. On the other hand, Fiverr only requires a quick signup process with no additional questions or applications. Let's go into more detail about the process.
To sign up on Upwork, one must create an account and complete their profile with all the necessary details about themselves and their skills, including education, experience, portfolio items, and more.
To be eligible to apply for job posts, it is necessary to have at least 60% of your profile completed, which includes adding a photo of yourself, providing an overview, including your work history and job title, and having at least one skill tag such as Adobe Photoshop, among other optional sections such as expertise level, language proficiency, and hourly rate setting, that you can explore as well.
After creating your profile, you can begin searching the job board for your first job. If you come across a posting that matches your skills, you will need to submit a cover letter, and your proposed rate, and possibly respond to any questions the client has requested freelancers answer.
To post a job on Upwork, you need to use Connects, which is Upwork's currency. Basic accounts receive 10 free Connects per month, while Plus accounts receive 80. Plus accounts also come with additional benefits like a customized profile URL and the ability to see competitor bids. Connects can be earned or purchased for USD 0.15 each.
Connects are not always necessary. For instance, if a client invites you to bid, sends you an offer, or purchases a Project Catalog project from you.
Competitor bids have been introduced on Upwork as a new feature. They allow you to enhance your proposal and increase its visibility to clients by placing it among the top three. This system functions similarly to an auction, where you can bid Connects to secure one of the top positions.
Fiverr and Upwork have distinct differences. Fiverr operates as an open marketplace for freelancers, allowing for a simpler profile setup and less requirement for cover letters. However, a brief onboarding process is still necessary, where you will need to provide details about your training, work experience, and skills.
After signing up and clicking Become a Seller, the next step is to create a "Gig," which is essentially a service that you offer to clients. Your Gig should include the title of your service, the cost, service type, search tags, and any additional information or images you want to include.
Different packages are available with varying prices, such as the Basic, Standard, and Premium packages. Each package offers the option to specify inclusions, such as revisions, one sketch, specific file types, or other preferences. The expected delivery time can also be stated.
To ensure a smooth process, it is recommended to inform buyers of your requirements before commencing their order. You have the option to select from the provided choices or provide your own. For instance, for logo design, please provide a brief explanation of your product or service and any existing ideas you may have.
After your Gig is completed, it will be visible in the Fiverr search engine, allowing clients to find you based on the services you offer. If a client is interested in your Gig, they can reach out to you for more information and place an order. Additionally, clients will have access to your portfolio, FAQ section, and reviews.
Hiring a freelancer
Both Upwork and Fiverr have different approaches to finding the right freelancer for your needs. On Upwork, you can browse through profiles of skilled professionals and directly contact them or post a job listing for freelancers to apply to. On Fiverr, you will have to search through gig listings created by freelancers and then reach out to them if you are interested in their services.
There are several methods to hire a freelancer on Upwork.
When purchasing a Project Catalog project, customers have the option to buy pre-packaged services from freelancers who have already created them.
To post a job, simply create a job listing and wait for qualified freelancers to apply.
You have the option to search Upwork's profiles of skilled professionals and make direct contact with them if you are interested in their services.
For projects that require long-term support, utilizing Talent Scout to communicate with a recruiter can assist in locating highly sought-after talent.
Searching profiles and purchasing a project is simple. However, posting a job requires additional steps. Upwork simplifies the process by guiding you through each step of the job posting setup. They even provide a shortlist of freelancers you can invite if you're interested, in using data science and AI.
Once you have reviewed all the applicants and made a decision, you can proceed with entering into a contract with your selected freelancer. This contract can be either fixed or hourly.
Both Fiverr and Upwork offer options for booking freelancers, but Upwork provides additional tools and features to support long-term contracts. Once an agreement is established, Upwork offers tools for collaboration, payment, and communication, including time tracking, invoicing, and messaging. Additionally, Upwork allows for the creation of Milestones on fixed contracts, which can be used to break down projects into stages or initiate new projects.
Fiverr offers two methods for hiring freelancers, either through the search function or by posting a request.
Using the search and side filters, users can browse gig listings created by freelancers, communicate with them if interested in their services, and negotiate an offer.
On Fiverr, the gigs typically provide project descriptions and clear breakdowns of fixed costs, ensuring that expectations are established from the beginning. If you come across something that meets your requirements and budget, you can immediately book the gig without any additional steps. The transparency ensures that what you see is what you get.
You have the option to make a request, providing details about the service you require, the category, desired timeframe, and budget specifications, and then review offers and be directed to Gig pages after a period of time¹¹ ¹²
Doing freelance work
One similarity between Upwork and Fiverr is that they are both well-established and reputable job boards. Both platforms have been in operation for several years, with Upwork starting in 2013 and Fiverr in 2010. This has allowed them to develop a large client base and refine their business models.
Are there any differences?
On Fiverr, creatives who can provide fast services like voice-over work, illustrations, or jingles tend to be successful. On the other hand, Upwork is a platform where those who specialize in long-term projects like web design or copywriting can find success.
Upwork is a preferred platform for freelancers seeking opportunities for networking and establishing relationships with clients for long-term projects. The messaging system on Upwork facilitates effective communication with potential employers, enabling freelancers to gain a clear understanding of their requirements before submitting proposals.
Both platforms have freelancer ratings, but Upwork also offers Talent Badges for freelancers. These badges are awarded to showcase expertise and talent and are displayed next to the freelancer's name on their profile for clients to see. The Top Rated Plus badge, for example, requires specific criteria to be met.
Badges can enhance your visibility to potential employers and serve as recognition for your accomplishments.
Fiverr, similar to Upwork, has a system of ratings known as Seller Levels, which are determined by monthly performance. These levels include New Seller, Level 1, Level 2, and Top Rated Seller, each with its specific criteria. A higher ranking increases the likelihood of clients booking your services.
Upwork and Fiverr Reviews
According to TrustRadius reviews, Upwork has a rating of 7.7 out of 10, while Fiverr has a rating of 7.3.¹⁵ ¹⁶
Users on Upwork mention the following as advantages.
The platform conveniently consolidates tracking, billing, and conversations into a single, manageable location.
Good short-term staff replacement
The payment system is simple and secure.
Global talent pool
Ratings and reviews contribute to the credibility of a product or service.
Amazing search tool
However, there are drawbacks associated with Upwork. Here are some opinions shared by users.
Fees and costs associated with freelancers.
Payment is required for Connects to apply for jobs.
It can be challenging to differentiate quality among a large pool of freelancers.
The hiring process can be time-consuming.
Reviews are not required as there is insufficient encouragement or effort to solicit them.
These are some advantages of using Fiverr.
The communication and transaction system is seamless.
Talent has the potential to reach an international audience.
Sellers are rated using a star system.
Clients have the option to create a list of their top-selling products for future orders.
These are some cons of using Fiverr.
Image and description limits
Waiting period for funds
20% commission fee
Websites may present challenges when it comes to navigation.
The security system may create challenges in communication between the buyer and seller.
Now we have reached the crucial step - receiving payment.
To get paid on Upwork, you need to set up a withdrawal method and your tax status. The payment depends on the type of contract you have - hourly, fixed-price, or Project Catalog. For fixed-price and Project Catalog contracts, your funds are released after the project is approved and completed. Hourly contracts are billed every week. There is a 5-day security period for fixed-price and Project Catalog contracts and a 10-day period for hourly contracts. Once the security period is over, you can withdraw your earnings.¹⁷ ¹⁸
There are multiple options available for withdrawing earnings on Upwork, including direct-to-bank, wire transfer, and instant pay for US freelancers. Additionally, Upwork offers various third-party payment vendors for withdrawing USD outside of the US, such as Wise, PayPal, Payoneer, and M-Pesa.
One benefit of Upwork is the inclusion of an escrow system for fixed contracts, ensuring the security of both clients and freelancers. This system holds the funds in trust until the job is completed to the satisfaction of all parties involved.
Fiverr operates on a pay-per-order basis, whereby the client pays Fiverr once the work is completed. 80% of the funds will then be allocated to your account. While Fiverr does not have a formal escrow system like Upwork, there is a 14-day clearing period in place to ensure buyer satisfaction. Top-rated sellers may benefit from a 7-day clearing period.
Once the funds are marked as cleared, you have the option to withdraw them using PayPal, Fiverr Revenue Card, or bank transfer if you are in the US. You can withdraw funds in various currencies, including the Australian Dollar, Canadian Dollar, USD, British Pound, Euro, and Israeli Shekel.¹⁹
However, currency conversion rates may be applicable if you are not withdrawing in USD.
The number and variety of job opportunities.
Upwork has more jobs available compared to Fiverr. It has a larger number of projects posted at any given time. Additionally, Upwork offers hourly contracts, fixed-price contracts, and Project Catalog contracts. The Project Catalog contracts are beneficial for longer-term or bigger projects as they allow you to track progress in one place.
In contrast, Fiverr does not offer a Project Catalog, and most contracts are fixed-price, making it less suitable for ongoing work. However, it does provide a range of 300 job categories for various talents and skill sets.
Upwork vs Fiverr Fees
Both sites have a seamless payment process, but it's important to consider the applicable fees.
On Upwork, the fee for contracts varies based on the job's value. For contracts up to USD 500, the fee is 20%. For contracts between $500.01 and $10,000, the fee is 10%. Contracts over $10,000.01 have a fee of 5%. For instance, if you earn $700 from a project, the fee will be 20% on the first $500 and 10% on the remaining $200. More information about Upwork fees can be found here.
Fiverr charges a 20% commission on all purchases. The withdrawal method and currency you choose may incur a fee of 1-3 USD. Buyers are subject to a 5.5% service fee on the purchase amount. Additionally, purchases under 50 USD will have a small order fee of 2 USD applied.
Advantages and disadvantages of Upwork.
Upwork is a platform that provides a wide range of job and client options, offering more categories, skill sets, and payment structures than Fiverr. However, it is important to note that due to the abundance of opportunities on Upwork, competition can be high, with numerous freelancers vying for each job.