Fiverr isn’t a public relations firm in the traditional sense. Instead of offering distribution packages, Fiverr is a place where professional freelancers gather online to offer their services in a variety of fields, like audio recording, professional blogging, and writing and distributing press releases. On the site, these posts are called “gigs.” Since Fiverr opened for business five years ago, it has amassed an enormous following of buyers and sellers.
- Ordering process
Fiverr offers a number of impressive features.
- According to its website, Fiverr is a "marketplace for creative and professional services," not a firm. All gigs begin at $5, as the name suggests, but sellers are left to determine their own prices for whatever extras they provide.
- Each freelancer's page features an "Order Now" link. From there, clients may select additional features-like minimum word counts, one day delivery, distribution to news sites, and accompanying whiteboard animations-for an additional cost. These features and their costs vary from freelancer to freelancer; what one seller might offer for $20, another might offer for $50.
- There are two simple steps to the ordering process: after choosing a package and paying online, buyers input their information and wait for the seller to respond. From there, Fiverr lets buyers and sellers communicate via a simple messaging app.
- Many sellers on Fiverr offer search engine optimization in addition to release writing, but the kind of optimization depends entirely on clients' requests. Sellers are generally willing to accommodate.
- It's usual for freelancers to offer some degree of targeting. For example, one may distribute press releases by geographic area, while another may target certain websites. Whatever targeting a buyer needs, a seller on Fiverr is sure to offer it for a reasonable price.
- Each freelancer's page includes his or her average response time, average completion time, customer ratings, and how many orders are in the freelancer's queue. Some sellers respond in as little as an hour, while others may take up to 24 hours. Top-rated sellers tend to have shorter response times, and a top-rated seller on Fiverr may have anywhere from 1,000 to more than 5,000 reviews.
- The Fiverr website is easy to navigate. The main page includes a search bar with predictions to help clients sort gigs according to their needs. There is also a detailed gig directory with categories and subcategories. Clients may further refine their searches according to three subsets: "High Rating," "Recommended," and "New."
- Fiverr offers a free, beautifully designed mobile app for Apple and Android that lets users buy and sell gigs and communicate with each other on the go.
- The Fiverr website has a forum and a blog, each with a distinct purpose. The forum includes tips for buyers and sellers, a "suggestion box" where users may post constructive criticism, sections to share experiences and commiserate with others, and a page of Frequently Asked Questions. The blog includes information about up-and-coming creatives, the latest technology, and common computer troubleshooting.
- Review system
The following are potential drawbacks to using Fiverr:
- No top-rated seller offers analytics, presumably because they lack the infrastructure.
- While the Fiverr forum is comprehensive, it is also host to issues with space, attention, and spamming. Buyers frequently complain that sellers spam support pages with their own gigs, and the sheer magnitude of posts makes it difficult to find and respond to relevant questions. The search bar at the top of the page is of little help.
- What makes Fiverr a thriving, fast-moving market economy can also make it a nightmare for anyone seeking conflict resolution in the mess of queries, as oversight is limited in all social and financial transactions. For sellers or buyers struggling to find a solution, contacting Fiverr directly will often yield better results than searching the forum.
- According to the Fiverr forum, the review system is prone to abuse. Miscommunications and even personal vendettas may skew customer reviews unfairly.
- With so many professionals offering the same service for the same price, choosing just one can be difficult. This can be mitigated slightly by refining searches further, but buyers are still faced with more decision-making than traditional PR firms allow. This may be ideal for confident buyers, but for the first-time users that Fiverr targets, the choice may be overwhelming.
The Bottom Line
Fiverr hosts many truly excellent professional writers, whose services would certainly cost more than $5 in other market settings. It is well suited for the budding entrepreneur looking for cost-effective media exposure, but the low, low price and relatively few features are not ideal for everyone.