The new face of freelancing

It’s been a challenging few months for small businesses, self-employed entrepreneurs and freelancers. The news has been overwhelmingly bleak, with reports of hospitality, food service and the entertainment industries bearing the largest brunt of closures and trading pauses.

A strong resolve

What is often missed, though, are the many ingenious ways in which small traders and the self-employed have stayed afloat in this time. They’ve found silver linings from the circumstances, as Gali Arnon highlights: ‘Despite the challenges, we found that over three quarters of workers surveyed in the UK agreed that working from home has allowed them to take on more freelance work. Four in five freelancers agreed that working from home has made them more productive. Freelancing has suddenly become a very legitimate option for many workers in the UK.’

Gali is the CMO of Fiverr, a global platform that connects businesses with talented freelancers according to their skills, budgets and project deadlines. The platform has seen record numbers of new freelancers joining and creating new gigs this year. ‘It is clear that people are turning to Fiverr to explore new income sources as they have more time at home and as global unemployment increases,’ Gali adds.

And for small business owners needing to suddenly and repeatedly pivot, Fiverr proved a convenient way to attract the right people to get the job done: ‘Small businesses increasingly relied on Fiverr to help them move online, or to improve their online presence if they had one already. There was a 319% increase in searches for “dropshipping”, a 205% rise in businesses searching for front-end development skills, and a further 133% increase in those looking for help with app development.’

Next-gen teamwork

Seeing this rapid, large-scale digital transformation that so many small businesses were taking on – and noting that many of them needed help getting online in the first place – Fiverr launched The Shift in August. A one-stop shop of resources and case studies, The Shift contains all the tools and information that a small business needs to take their first steps into the world of digital trading. From the very first hurdle of building a website, to guides on digital marketing and search engine optimisation (SEO), Fiverr’s network of freelance professionals has been helping small businesses move online quickly and efficiently.

Following on from the success of The Shift, the company launched Fiverr Business in September, a modern digital collaboration environment built for the remote working generation. Fiverr Business is a subscription-based service which allows small businesses to collaborate effectively with their freelance workforce, using a project dashboard that aligns internal teams to external talent. Task updates, approvals and budgets can all be tracked through the platform, making it easier than ever to bring the best minds of the freelance world into a small business team.

How businesses fared

Tools like The Shift and Fiverr Business were critical in bringing businesses online, optimising data and expanding their reach to audiences who are excited about supporting independent brands. Here’s how two businesses brought freelance talent in to guide their transformations.

Finding new roots

For Rooted, a houseplant company in New York City, Fiverr’s services helped them pivot their entire business model. Pre-pandemic, Rooted’s primary focus was on business-to-business sales: they provided houseplants and plant maintenance services to offices and commercial spaces around the city. But with the indefinite closure of office spaces came an urgent need for the Rooted team to reassess their priorities.

Calling on Fiverr’s directory of freelance illustrators, software developers and experience designers, Rooted shifted to become a consumer-facing business in a matter of days. Freelance creatives helped the Rooted team design a “Find Your Plant” quiz for consumers, blending the brand’s unique tone of voice with external HTML design expertise. To build out its digital brand presence, Rooted also commissioned custom illustrations from freelancers on Fiverr to bring their online shop to life.

Read more about how Fiverr supported Rooted here.

The pandemic has forever changed the way that businesses are built -- companies need systems that are designed to engage with freelancers.
from Gali Arnon, CMO at Fiverr
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What’s your bread and butter?

Alongside houseplants, baking grew exponentially last year. Former event planner Danielle Lemieux used the opportunity to start growing an online community around her favourite hobby: breadmaking.

She started small, launching a YouTube channel under the name Bread in Captivity in late March. Seeing the monumental rise in people searching for sourdough baking tips, she knew she was on to something. She came to Fiverr to build a team that could help her get to where she wanted.

Through Fiverr, Danielle has been able to grow a digital presence beyond her YouTube channel. She brought in freelance expertise for website building, SEO strategy and German translation to grow Bread in Captivity to new audiences. Danielle even commissioned a music producer and composer to create a custom jingle for her channel, using a short clip of her humming. As a result, Bread in Captivity has seen a 75% increase in views.

Read more about Danielle’s experience with Fiverr here.

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