India is home to 24 per cent of all online workers. On top of that, we have the second largest population of freelancers worldwide. What is the reason behind this phenomenal growth? The obvious answer would be the penetration of the internet.
Dig a little bit deeper, you will see the role played by freelance marketplace websites in the growth of the gig economy. They have made talent more accessible, literally at your fingertips.
Two such websites that contributed heavily to the growth of freelancing are: Fiverr and Upwork. In this post, we will compare and contrast the two, to help you decide which one to go for.
A brief overview of the two websites
Formed in 2015, after the merger of Elance and ODesk, Upwork is considered as one of the largest websites for finding freelancers.
They have 16 million freelancers as users from over 170 countries. In 2018, Upwork facilitated over $1.66 billion worth projects.
It is a general marketplace. You can find jobs in all sorts of fields, from software development to architecture.
Fiverr was founded in 2010, Fiverr is the world’s largest marketplace for digital services. Their USP is that they have jobs that start at $5. There are more than 3 million gigs listed on the platform. Moreover, you can find jobs from over 100 categories.
Fiverr is also a general marketplace, similar to Upwork. They cover everything from relationship advice to app creation.
In this post, we will evaluate the two on various aspects to help you decide which website to go for.
Here’s a quick comparison of the two:
1. Job categories
Available on Upwork
Upwork has 103 job categories, which is lesser than Fiverr. This is due to the fact that Upwork is geared towards offering services of a professional nature, while Fiverr also includes lifestyle categories such as relationship advice and family & genealogy.
Available on Fiverr
On Fiverr, you can sell any sort of services as long as they are legal. You have more than 230 categories to choose from.
Fiverr is the clear winner here.
2. Quality of the projects available
On Upwork you can find both short-term and long-term contracts as well as beginner level and highly technical projects.
Fiverr is mostly used by people to find short-term and entry-level gigs.
Upwork wins this one because they have a greater range of projects.
3. Approval process
How Upwork does it
Upwork’s profile approval system is quite strict. Complete all of the steps listed below to ensure that your profile is approved.
- Complete your profile to 100 per cent. Be descriptive and add as much information as possible.
- Be sure to complete a few relevant skill tests on the platform.
- Add your portfolio to your Upwork profile.
- Link your Upwork profile with your social media accounts.
- Submit your Government-issued ID card or passport and Residency verification document.
- Complete a video verification call with an Upwork agent.
It usually takes a maximum of 24 hours for Upwork to review and approve or reject your profile. In case your profile gets rejected, add more details, review all the documents, and submit your profile once more.
Here’s how you can do to get your Upwork profile approved.
How Fiverr does it
Fiverr’s profile verification process is a little more lenient. You will have to complete the following steps:
- Verify your phone number.
- Upload the photo of your government approved ID.
- Upload a selfie of yours.
You have to complete this process if you want to sell your services on Fiverr.
Note: The whole verification process happens on your mobile, so make sure you have an active mobile number.
Upwork’s verification process is not that easy. On the other hand, Fiverr’s approval system is lenient, hence it leads to a lot of fake and duplicate accounts.
4. Bidding process and landing jobs
How Upwork works
Upwork operates on bids. You will have to bid for a project, and then draft a project proposal, set the price, and submit it.
To bid for projects, you need to have something called Connects. They are tokens that you have to offer every time you bid. Most projects will require you to offer up to 1-5 connects. You won’t need it if you are being rehired or approached by a client themselves.
Every Upwork member is credited with 60 Connects at the beginning of a month. Freelancer Plus members get an additional 10 also with the ability to purchase more and roll over unused Connects to the following month.
If you get shortlisted by the client, you will be contacted by the client for an interview. This would be on Skype, Upwork Messages or on Phone. Sometimes, they may even send a test project to evaluate your capabilities.
Should they think you are good enough, they will send you the offer letter. If you are to accept the offer, you will have to create a contract on Upwork.
How Fiverr works
Fiverr works differently from Upwork. Unlike the latter, Fiverr doesn’t follow the job posting system.
Instead, you can create posts around the services you provide, these are called ‘gigs’. Clients can search for gigs, and if they are impressed with your gig, they can order it.
That’s why on Fiverr, freelancers are termed as sellers and clients as buyers.
Here are the steps involved in creating a gig:
- Enter the basic details of the gig — title, type, category, description, tags and keywords, images, and so on.
- Pricing your gig — you can set three tiers of prices and add details for each tier (what your offering will be for each tier, delivery date, revision policy, and so on). Also, you can set the price for your Gig Extras, which are additional services which you are willing to provide.
- Enter the description of your gig, be detailed. You can also answer frequently asked questions, so that you can reduce room for doubts.
- Enter your requirements. It is essentially the list of things that you want from the client to complete the gig.
- Lastly, you can add samples of your work or your portfolio, so that the client can get a glimpse of your work.
Once you have submitted your gig, it will start showing up on relevant searches. If they are impressed by your gig, they will buy it. They might ask you a few questions before they buy. In that case, it will appear in your inbox.
Fiverr also lets clients post jobs with their ‘buyer requests’ feature. If you find them relevant to you, send them an offer. The process of creating an offer is similar to creating a gig. But, this mode of finding jobs is not as popular as the traditional Fiverr one.
Upwork is the clear winner here, as you have control over the whole job search and job application process.
5. Getting Paid
In the case of hourly contracts, you can withdraw your earnings within 10 days of the completion of the billing cycle (every Sunday).
You will have to download their timesheet app called Team App. It tracks your billable hours and also maintains transparency by taking screenshots.
As for project-based contracts, you will have to discuss the payment structure with the client and come up with milestones. For every milestone, the client will prefund your payment which will be accessible five days after the completion of the milestone.
Once you finished the project or completed the required number of hours, the client has 14 days to either approve the work and release payment or to request revisions. If they don’t respond, your earnings will be automatically added to your account.
The status will change to close only when the client reviews the work and pays you.
On Fiverr, every order you take will be marked as complete when the client reviews and accepts the final output. If the client doesn’t take any action, the status will automatically change to complete in three days.
Once the order is completed and delivered to the client, your remuneration will be transferred to your Fiverr account. But, you can withdraw it only after 14 days.
You can set up milestones for long-term projects, but it should be priced above $100.
Upwork is more prompt with payments, besides that the payments are covered under their Payment Protection Plan.
6. Service fees
How Upwork charges you?
Upwork charges service fee based on the total amount you bill each client for. Here are the rates:
Example: If you land a project worth $400 with a client, they will charge you 20% of it. Then, if you land another project with the same client worth $600, they will charge you 20% on $100 and 10% on the remaining $500.
Besides that, an additional 2.75% will be levied as Processing Fee.
How Fiverr charges you?
Fiverr too charges you 20 per cent as a service fee on all projects. But, unlike Upwork, it doesn’t change as you get repeat clients.
Besides that, if you are using PayPal, you will have to pay another 2 per cent while withdrawing the amount.
Upwork slightly edges this one because the rates tend to go down the more you work with a client.
7. List of special features
- Payments are protected by Upwork Payment Protection
- A mobile app that supports chat and file sharing
- Ability to add video intros to your profile and create a visual portfolio.
- Private and public feedback
- Programs like Top Rated Program and Rising Talent Programs
- Payment verification for clients
- Global payment system
- Tiered pricing
- Milestone payments
- Free invoicing software in AND Co.
- Chat securely and share files within the app
- A fully functional mobile app
- Full-fledged analytics section
- Offer additional services with Gig Extra
- Freelancer rating system
On the whole, Fiverr has more features compared to Upwork.
8. Membership plans
Plans available on Upwork
Upwork has two plans available, they are Freelancer Basic and Freelancer Plus. The first one is free for all. While Freelancer Plus is priced $10 per month.
Plans available on Fiverr
Fiverr doesn’t have any subscription based membership plans like Upwork. Anyone can sign up as a seller on Fiverr for free. But, they do have something called Fiverr Pros. It is a special group of high-quality freelancers.
To become a member of this group, you will have to apply separately. Your application will go through an extensive vetting process where they will analyze both your technical know-how and professional qualifications.
Fiverr Pro gives freelancers a chance to work on high-quality projects, earn more, enjoy hassle-free services, and so on.
Fiverr wins this one because you have the possibility of becoming a pro member without paying anything.
9. Withdrawal options
Available on Upwork
Upwork lets you withdraw funds directly to your bank account as well as through third-party vendors such as Paypal, Payoneer, and M-Pesa.
Also, you can set up automatic withdrawal schedules. It could be weekly once, monthly twice, once in a month, and quarterly.
Available on Fiverr
Fiverr lets users withdraw their earnings to their PayPal account, banks accounts, and Fiverr Revenue Card. You can withdraw your earnings after a gap of 14 days from the completion of the project.
Upwork is the clear winner because they provide your more options, releases the fund quicker, and payments are more secure.
What is the alternative?
TapChief is a simpler, and a more powerful way to network, learn and work online. We let organizations collaborate with freelancers for consultations, projects, workshops, training & more.