For five dollars, you could buy a grande mocha Frappuccino at Starbucks, a Big Mac and 10-piece Chicken McNuggets at McDonald’s, or a completely new website redesign on Fiverr.
Creative marketplaces make it easy to outsource work and hire designers, writers, coders and more for one-off jobs. Between Fiverr, Freelancer, Upwork and other similar sites, there are at least two million freelancers ready for your project, charging anywhere from $5 to $500.
But how do these sites work, and which one should you choose for your project? We were wondering, too—so we decided to try them out. Here’s our first-hand account of using Fiverr, Upwork, and Freelancer, along with the results we got from each marketplace. Plus, we’ll cover some other marketplaces you can try and tips on finding the best freelancers.
The Best Creative Marketplaces
We started with one question: How simple would it be to get promotional graphics made to accompany some of our articles? After looking at dozens of creative marketplaces, we settled on three and went through the entire process—from idea to finished product—with each one.
We asked each freelancer to create a promotional image for one of Zapier’s app roundup articles, like an infographic or comparison sheet. Here’s how the process went on each site, and what you can expect if you choose one of these marketplaces for your freelance work.
What is it?
Fiverr is a global online marketplace where you can buy or sell services, or “Gigs”, for a fixed price of $5. With more than three million Gigs posted, you’ll be surprised at how far your money can go—you can buy everything from influencer marketing to voice-overs to animation and more.
Who’s it for? Small businesses that want a project completed quickly and within budget.
How is it different? Every Gig that’s posted on Fiverr starts at a fixed price of $5—no need to negotiate. However, some Gigs can end up costing a lot more if you choose to purchase add-on services (known as “Gig Extras”).
Searching Fiverr’s pool of freelancers for “infographics” returned 382 results. After scanning through a handful of portfolios and customer reviews, I ended up choosing a top-rated seller, who boasted a five-star rating and 3,076 reviews. I simply clicked a big, green “Order Now” button. I also had the option to upgrade my order with one-day delivery, paying for the source file or commercial use rights.
Once you’ve paid for your Gig, be prepared to provide detailed requirements for your project. For my infographic Gig, I had to provide all the data, copy, and images, including preferences for colors, logos, fonts, and images. Plus, I had to share examples of infographics I liked.
After I filled out the requirements, Fiverr dropped me on a dashboard that showed my order details, my conversation history with the seller, and an estimated delivery date of four days. There was no communication between me and the seller, but the dashboard did change to reflect updated delivery dates.
Two days after paying for the Gig, I received an email alerting me that my infographic was ready. I could download and view the image, and had the option to request unlimited revisions or accept and review the order. If I didn’t take any action, the order would be automatically marked as complete after three days.
The infographic met the requirements I had originally shared, but I needed the final image in a different file format. The seller sent was accommodating and efficient, even though I had requested the file after the three-day window for changes.