Working with a Fiverr freelancer is different than working with one of your employees – and not just because you can often get great results for an insanely good price. For starters, your employees are right in the same building as you and you probably even see each other every day.
A freelancer, on the other hand, is out of sight and might be far away and a complete unknown to you. Plus, they're used to working on their own, or on teams that can change every day. All this means that you need to use different strategies to cultivate your relationship with your freelancers.
You've got questions about how to understand freelancers so you can help them deliver great results. And we've got answers that will help you get inside their heads.
Look at a Fiverr freelancer's profile and their average response time. No employee or freelancer will be on call 24/7, but the average response time is a good starting place. Remember to take time-zone differences into account.
For many projects, time-zone differences don't matter, but if you need to be in near-constant communication, ask a doer if they keep working hours similar to yours. Remember that freelancers often work unusual hours! Just because they're in your time zone doesn't mean they keep the same schedule as you.
Fiverr profiles give you a lot of useful information up front. You can see if the various gigs they offer include the complete service or product you want. This is where the Fiverr doer defines who they are, their experience and education, language proficiency, and what they consider to be their top skills.
Read those over just like you would read a job application or cover letter and let that guide you. Peruse each gig they offer. Equally important to the easily visible price are the specific details of what is included in the gig for that price. The gig itself will show samples, but you can also view their portfolio to best judge if their style speaks to you and your business.
Start by sorting sellers by their rank. From Level 1, to Level 2, to Top Rated, to Pro, rank easily defines experience and popularity in the Fiverr community. Other revealing factors include how many customers are in their queue, how many “favorites" they have received, and how many reviews they have.
While experience and popularity are good indicators, the best way to gain insight is by reading the reviews they received, especially noting how the doer reacts to receiving poor reviews. Some doers see criticism as a way to learn and improve. Others may strike you as being inflexible or difficult to work with.
When reading lower-rated reviews, try to fairly assess if the Fiverr doer was truly at fault, or if they really did their best and the client was being unreasonable. A client hires a Fiverr doer to accomplish what they can't, which can mean a client doesn't fully understand the freelancer's work process.
Bad reviews often come from these misunderstandings. Finally, use your judgment. Sometimes people enter a deal with misunderstandings or unrealistic expectations. Some negative experiences happen because a freelancer gets in over their head or can't deliver in a timely fashion.
Save yourself aggravation in the long run by being as specific as you can about what you want. If you let the Fiverr doer simply guess, they might get it wrong – and that can cost both of you time and money. If you give vague or no guidance and then later reject what they offer, they might take the rejection badly since they worked hard to meet your expectations. That's a bad start to a working relationship. If you can't be extremely specific from the beginning, communicate with the freelancer to brainstorm ideas and reach a starting point together.
Keep some things in mind about the psychology of freelancing. There are many reasons why people choose to freelance, but most of them want to feel free to work on their own terms. They believe that their experience gives them credibility and they don't want to be micromanaged. That said, address concerns promptly – don't let them escalate. But choose your approach carefully. Ask for explanations or clarifications, rather than simply saying "You go this wrong." Learning more about their process might actually help you appreciate their creative decisions and final result.
Also remember that freelancers are protective of their reputations and livelihood. Ultimately, they want to earn a positive review – and future business from you and other clients. That's why they're willing to go the extra mile to make the relationship work. Keep those good-faith characteristics in mind.
Danijel Rodic - Fiverr Customer Relations Team Leader
"Stay in touch with freelancers until the project is completed, just like customers do when they buy a product in a store or anywhere else. For some reason, buyers sometimes spend their money and leave the order as it is which results in complications afterwards"
After receiving the completed work, respond as soon as you can to let the freelancer know you approve of the work and acknowledge the completion of the project. The sooner they receive this message, the sooner they can free up time for other clients. That makes you a more appealing client to work with in the future. This is also a good time to mention if you want to request another job with them. It's possible the Fiverr doer will be willing to negotiate more on future projects with you by creating a Custom Gig with pricing and service tailored to your needs.
Definitely praise them if you liked their work. Give honest feedback on the quality of the finished product, the aspects of it you particularly liked, the value of the pricing, the turnaround time, and the ease of communication. Fiverr doers genuinely appreciate honest feedback, as it helps them learn what is working well in their process. Include the same spirit and tone in your public review, in order to help other buyers hire their services. Many freelancers will, in turn, leave a review of their experience working with you, proving to other Fiverr doers that you can be trusted.
To get the best out of your relationship with freelancers, you need to be clear about what you want while also keeping in mind what they want and need to be productive and successful. Remember, the best way to manage your freelancer is to give them the information they require, to keep the lines of communication open, and to trust in their professionalism to do the rest.
What other questions do you have about the freelancer mindset? Do you have other tips for getting closer to what you want from your freelancers the first time? Share your experience in the comments below.