How can you compete with the freelancer marketplace sites like Fiverr, Upwork, and People Per Hour? One of my goals is to get every struggling writer off those bidding sites.
This should help you begin to get your head around the whole “why would anyone work with me when there’s a bunch of platforms where they can hire someone for pennies?” situation. I think it’ll help you no matter where you are in business.
The competitive advantage of sites like Fiverr and Upwork
People who go to those sites often want the best deal they can get. They view writing services as a commodity. They’re buying a blog post, not paying a service provider.
Easy access, easy evaluation
Some people are looking for easy access and easy evaluation. There’s a whole marketplace of people right there waiting for them. They just have to sift through until they find someone who checks their boxes. Maybe they want cheap, but also maybe they want expensive. They like the reviews; reviews give them confidence.
Some people are looking for financial security. They can send stuff back, dispute transactions, and not face fines or fees. They don’t have to mess with wire transfers and weird stuff like that. All contact happens in a well-defined container and they won’t get scammed.
Notice that many of these platforms cater to the buyers and not the service providers.
Some people want speed. They like having timeframes laid out right there in the terms. There’s ease in this, because they know exactly what they’re getting, and when, and they have ways of fighting back if you don’t give them what they want.
How to beat these freelancer competitor sites like Fiverr
So how do you compete with this? You find ways to give people what they want, without the middleman.
People who want a deal need to see the value you bring to the table. What’s the value in what you provide? If you’re just starting out, value might be price, plus revisions, plus the fact that you’re a native English speaker (if you are).
If people want easy access, the best thing you can do is be easy to find! This is part of why Facebook marketing and cold emailing can be so effective. You’re all up in their faces. Sometimes social proof can be layered in, which is great.
For more on Facebook marketing, see my post “Finding Writing Clients on Facebook.”
If people want to know they’re getting someone good, then how can you show them you’re good? With portfolio pieces and with testimonials from happy clients. If you don’t have happy clients, find other ways to bring in social proof.
If people want to know they won’t get scammed, how can you give them that confidence? You can offer a contract with regular payment terms (not weird stuff). You can present yourself professionally and as a normal person. Again, give social proof that you’re good.
To protect yourself, structure payments so you have half up front and half at the end. Talk about what happens if and when you stop working together.
What you can’t compete with (and don’t want to)
If people want speed, you might be out of luck. Offer the best turnaround times you can, but don’t break your neck. People who think copy can be cranked out overnight don’t value copy and they also likely don’t have reasonable expectations. You don’t want to work with those people.
Putting together a writing portfolio is the 1st step toward establishing a freelance writing career. My course Clips Camp helps you do it efficiently and effectively.
We’ll create a fabulous portfolio that positions you to start winning writing gigs… in just 3 WEEKS. Go to clipscamp.com!