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Using UpWork and Fiverr for Your Small Business

When you run a small business, especially one that operates in a digital space, you are constantly looking for new leads and sales opportunities. It’s a never-ending process, requiring you to continuously feed the top of your sales funnel to ensure you have a pipeline of constant clients to maintain revenue.

Services such as UpWork and Fiverr have made it easier for freelancers to compete in the agency space. At the same time, for small businesses, like Digitiv, it makes things a bit more complex. Let’s get into the good and the bad.

The Good

UpWork and Fiverr are being updated non-stop by people and companies looking to hire freelancers to complete jobs. They are looking for just about every job under the Sun to be worked on from web design to updating broken links on a web page. All things we’ve been hired to do for people.

They both offer a new way to reach potential clients that you may not have been able to find without these sites. The convenience is great. It’s much more direct than an RFP process, and far less stressful than cold calling someone from a random list of contacts.

The Bad

Since Upwork and Fiverr are bringing together talent from all over the globe, they are also bringing together large numbers of people who will perform work for as low as $5 per hour. Particularly with Fiverr, the competition you will face from overseas will price you out of almost every U.S. based job, unless the buyer has indicated they want someone local.

The other pain point is the sheer number of people. The number of applicants a single job can, and usually does, receive is so large, it can be difficult to ensure your submission is viewed. UpWork is capitalizing on this by allowing you to spend more money to boost your submissions. Smart for their business model, but a red flag that there are too many players in the pool.

The Verdict

The freelancer success stories these sites like to highlight and promote are the minority of stories. Both sites are a great way to add an additional sales avenue to your budget sheet. However, we’ve tested both over the last 12 months and can confirm that they are no substitution for cold calls, a social media and email outreach campaign, and of course, the long and painful process of submitting to requests for proposals.

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