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Overview of foreign freelance exchanges: Upwork, Freelancer, Fiverr

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08.04.2022
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Many Ukrainian freelancers find customers on foreign exchanges. There are good sites in Ukraine, but why not expand the geography? Until recently, our copywriters, developers, designers and other specialists often chose Russian services simply because they know the Russian language. Those who knew English discovered Western services that offer higher prices, broader prospects and the opportunity to work with world-renowned companies.

Currently, cooperation with Western freelance exchanges is even more relevant in view of Russia's aggressive and frankly cannibalistic behavior towards our country. We will talk about three of the most powerful platforms that you may want to work with in the future as a customer or as a performer.

Upwork

Upwork is an American freelance exchange founded in 2014. The developers did not focus on many localizations, so the service language is only one, international — English.

It is one of the largest and most famous freelancer platforms in the world, where employers and professionals find each other to create unique projects. A feature of the service is that it encourages long-term cooperation between the customer and the contractor.

On Upwork, a freelancer can find jobs in more than 70 categories, arranged in an alphabetical directory. There is software development, design of everything in the world, legal consulting, 3D modeling and even job requests for actors, business coaches or audio editors. The site presents all the variety of remote work.

To work on the exchange, you need to create an account by choosing either a client (customer) or a freelancer profile. From Ukraine, most users register as performers, so let's take a closer look at this option.

When creating an account, you need to specify your skills, work experience and the types of orders that suit you (for example, server administration or site development on OpenCart ). Please note that the profile must be filled out in English and only provide real data. Moderators will check your registration and may ask you to confirm your identity with documents.

It is important to create a high-quality description of your offers for the employer, upload a good photo and showcase your portfolio. The account must be filled out as much as possible in all points - this significantly affects the customer's decision.

The platform has very strict moderation, so the profile may be prevented from working or blocked due to violations. Thanks to this, the company maintains a high level of quality.

Over time, the history of your work, customer reviews and ratings will appear in the account.

When looking for an order, a freelancer leaves his proposals under the offers of clients, paying a small amount for each application.

One of the significant advantages of the exchange is secure payment. As soon as the customer chooses the performer, the payment is booked by the system. In fact, the client pays for the work in advance. But the freelancer will receive these funds only after completing the order and the applicant accepting it. When the payment is transferred, Upwork takes a portion in the form of a fee.

The commission is flexible and depends on the amount of the order and the length of cooperation with the freelancer — the longer the partnership, the lower the commission percentage.

As for withdrawing funds, freelancers from Ukraine currently most often use Payoneer, where the withdrawal fee is $1, and the service has its own payment cards. The other advertised options don't really work or aren't for everyone. PayPal currently only makes payments between private individuals for Ukrainians and announces the addition of functionality for businesses in the future (we will wait). And the direct withdrawal of money to the FOP's bank account involves currency control and a $30 commission, so it is convenient only for enterprises with a large turnover of funds.

Upwork is a convenient international exchange where any specialist can find a job. You will have to make an effort to build a reputation for your profile, so you won't be "grabbing stars from the sky" in the first months. In addition, due to the large number of freelancers, it can be difficult to get the first orders, because clients prefer workers with experience and reviews. But after passing the first obstacle course, you will be able to reach a completely new level of work and income.

Freelancer

Freelancer is an Australian freelance exchange that has been on the market since 2004. Unlike Upwork, it has many language versions, and even Ukrainian (although part of the interface still remains in English). More than 50 million users are registered on this service.

Projects are placed in a huge number of categories - there are as many as 1,800 of them on the site. However, consumers often characterize this factor as negative, because it is difficult to understand such a catalog.

The procedure for registering and receiving an order is similar to Upwork - a freelancer creates a profile, fills it with information and starts looking for work, leaving applications under offers from clients.

Among the advantages is the possibility for performers to search for work by language categories, and for employers to find freelancers by region.

Clients can submit not only projects to the competition - there is also a system of tenders. That is, the employer opens a competition on the required topic, and freelancers submit ready-made works, among which the customer chooses the best. You can also choose and hire a specific freelancer without creating a competitive application.

Another interesting feature is the showcase, which presents the best projects of freelancers in different categories.

Freelancer's employer commission is 3% or $3 of a flat-rate order. If the project has several stages or the executor works hourly, a commission of 3% of each payment is charged. The commission for freelancers is 10% or $5, respectively, or 10% of each tranche for hourly work.

There is a very interesting loyalty program for performers — if a freelancer brings a customer to the exchange using his referral link, then in the future all orders from this customer will be charged a 0% commission.

There are also fixed rates for various opportunities - taking an exam as a freelancer, publishing projects with privileged marks ("Selected", "Urgent", etc.) from the customer, signing a non-disclosure agreement, and so on.

You can withdraw earned funds in Ukraine through Payoneer.

In its functionality, Freelancer is quite similar to Upwork, as well as in the transparency of control over the execution of work and payments. The choice between these two platforms is purely a matter of individual taste.

Fiverr

Fiverr is an Israeli platform for freelancers that has been operating since 2010. It is conceptually different from the two previous services, because at the beginning of its existence it had a rather unique idea: to sell any services for $5. That is, if the same Upwork is more aimed at finding long-term cooperation with Internet freelancers (developers, copywriters, designers), and other categories are added as necessary, then with Fiverr the story is diametrically opposite. This is a platform for small orders of any nature (of course, within the limits of morality and the criminal code).

For example, here you can order genealogical research, make a travel plan and even arrange a meeting in any country, or order a video of unpacking parcels.

The job search scheme is also different. Freelancers present their proposals and portfolios, and customers look for performers among them. That is, no monitoring of applications.

The standard payment for the service (which is called "gig") remains $5. Such a price may not seem very interesting to the performer at first glance, but do not be in a hurry to be disappointed. This is rather a tribute to tradition, since the usual rate includes only the simplest package, which is often not enough for the customer. Therefore, every freelancer has a whole set of additional offers. For example, you can actually order a recording of a song for $5, but the work on it will last only 1 day, the length of the track will be only one minute, and even without the rights of commercial use. But a full-fledged work on a song lasting up to 5 minutes, on which a freelancer will spend 2 days and transfer the rights for commercial reproduction to you, is already $50. The widest Premium package is more like what customers usually want, so the main work is done on this tariff.

For both clients and freelancers, the pricing policy is convenient because all "gigs" usually have the same prices, only the set of services that are included in each tariff is modeled.

The commission from the exchange is also fixed — 20%.

There are several language versions on the site, but they all refer to the countries of Western Europe. English will be the most understandable for us.

Withdrawal for Ukraine is similar to Upwork, only Fiverr Revenue Card is offered instead of Payoneer. In fact, it is the same, because the card was developed together with Payoneer and the corresponding account is tied to it.

Fiverr is significantly different from other exchanges and will be of interest to those who offer non-standard services and do not want to bother with searching for orders.

***

The three mentioned exchanges offer high-quality intermediary services between employers and freelancers, they take care of the protection of the parties in the legal field and guarantee safe payment.

Read also: "Contract for creating a website - how to protect yourself during development"

When making a choice, rely on the subtleties of the specifics of the platform that will suit you personally, depending on your profession and skills.


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Author: Bohdana Haivoronska

Journalist (since 2003), IT copywriter (since 2013), content marketer at Cityhost.ua. Specializes in articles about technology, creation and promotion of sites.