Empowering the Freelance Economy

Budget-driven businesses opt for freelancers; Fiverr sees market cap surge during pandemic

Covid-19 has many business owners on tighter budgets, making online marketplaces, affordably priced cloud apps and freelance gig sites new go-to resources, according to a CNBC report.

At a fraction of typical costs and sometimes even with a few perks thrown in for free, you can get virtually anything you need, from video to SEO or marketing help. The trend is also helping working professionals in every age group and category, especially those looking for a side hustle, said the report.

The companies serving the freelance economy are proof that gig and project-based workers are not just about Uber and Deliveroo. Fiverr, the international freelance platform that caters to the creative, tech and marketing skills force, has seen its market cap grow sevenfold since it went public 18 months ago. The company’s share price rose to 2.16% on Wall Street on Friday of last week to USD153.01, giving it a market cap of USD5.34 billion.

The internet platform, which profiles freelancers and connects them directly with customers and businesses, has seen the business gain additional growth by the Covid-19 pandemic as companies opt for remote working and agile, specialist freelancers and remote teams.

Its service does not come without some room for improvement, according to a Freelance Informer report, which looked into the Fiverr reviews on Trustpilot. The reviews site has reported increasing cases of frustration among freelancers, whereby some felt they were being taken advantage of by both the site’s rating profile system and client’s often expecting freebies. On the other side of the coin, some customers felt equally frustrated by some freelancers adding on too many add-on costs, which they did not anticipate or assumed were part of the project rate.

The Freelance Informer suggests that hiring parties set clear briefs, expectations and realistic timeframes to achieve the completed project or task. By the same accord, freelancers must talk through the brief expectations and manage them with the client.

Any radical changes to the brief should be accounted for in the project rate or any add-on costs. Some freelancers may compromise billing for additional work requested without billing their full price or even offer some services for free. However, as soon as a client starts to take advantage of a freelancer’s time without pay repeatedly, then both parties should revisit the brief and come to an agreement to compensate fairly.

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