When I first started my design business I joined a few different marketplace websites as a freelancer like UpWork and 99 Designs. I found I was putting a lot of work into creating designs that didn’t get noticed, couldn’t really win over clients because other freelancers were charging as low as $1 per hour, and didn’t have enough project details or time to back my work by real strategy.
Not only did I notice these things but I also noticed a lot of clip art originating from these platforms which is not ideal for any business.
As a business owner if you’re hoping to get a brand identity created from a freelance marketplace you’ll probably receive an overwhelming amount of responses making it hard to find the right fit, lots of different ideas that may or may not have any sort of strategy, and miss out on experiencing the power of a one on one bespoke design service from a fellow small business owner.
Not only will you run into these issues but you may also be severely underpaying your designer and not even know it.
Speaking from experience, working as a freelancer on marketplaces was very discouraging not only because of the extremely low rates but because of the countless hours that were put into vetting potential jobs, setting up an online portfolio, and making little to no profit.
That being said, I don’t think freelance marketplaces are flat out wrong or completely bad either. I think they are a great opportunity for new freelancers to get their work out there, practice, and make connections. I also think they are a great resource when it comes to hiring for smaller projects like one off illustrations, blog post edits, personal art, etc. I even hired a designer from Fiverr not too long ago to create a fun vintage illustration for my chicken business and was very satisfied with the outcome.
However, if you’re truly ready to invest in your business I recommend working directly with smaller independent designers/design studios to ensure you’re getting original strategic designs that are going to WORK for your business. I’ve found many of my clients especially bloggers will turn to Fiverr/Etsy for one off logos when starting out but later down the road come to me for a full rebranding because they realize they need something more strategic if they want to monetize & grow their business.
So, what do you guys think about freelance marketplaces after reading this post?
Let me know in the comments!
June 16, 2020