Disclaimer: We don't necessarily recommend finding work and clients on some of the marketplaces listed here due to high competition, low-quality clients, commissions deducted from your pay, not being able to grow your own brand, unstable source of income, etc. But it can be a good way to get started for some.
With that said, in Animation Accelerator we have figured out a unique strategy that will help you make the most out of these marketplaces.
In this digital era, there are tons of websites that freelance animators can use to attract clients and find animation work online. But with so many options, how do you know which is the best choice to focus your energy and time on?
Not to fear: this article will weigh the pros and cons of using Upwork and Fiverr, the top 2 freelancing platforms for animators.
Upwork and Fiverr are both very popular with online freelancers, but they have their similarities and differences. Before finding a job on any of these websites, make sure you fully understand what they have to offer.
Upwork was established in 2014 after Elance merged with oDesk to help freelancers and clients work together remotely.
It is the world’s biggest freelance website with 43 million monthly website visitors, 5 million client accounts, and 12 million freelance accounts.
1) Easy to Use
GIF by ABC Network via GIPHY
Creating an account on Upwork is free and easy to do. Upwork is a great option for you if you're new to the field or are just starting out as a freelancer. If you’re at this point in your career, you’re most likely looking to get revenue coming in quickly, and you might not be sure what your niche is yet.
If this sounds like you, Upwork may be a good fit. The site allows you to work with different customers to understand what kinds of services animation clients are looking for and which ones you might be interested in taking on.
It’s also very user-friendly, especially for beginners. It has a visually-appealing interface, is kept up-to-date with the latest jobs, and has easy-to-use navigation that will help you easily find the right job for you.
2) Bid for Your Work
According to The Freelance Effect, in Upwork, you can apply for services related to your animation skills by creating a proposal and naming your rate.
Once you sign up for Upwork, you are required to bid for jobs rather than waiting for a client to send you a message. This gives you control of the kind of clients and works you will get.
3) Optimize Your Profile
Image by Christina via Unsplash
Upwork allows you to optimize your entire animator profile to attract your ideal animation clients. When creating your profile, think about what your ideal clients are looking for in an animator, and make sure you can provide them that and state it in your profile.
You can also upgrade to Freelancer Plus, where you will be given added benefits as a freelancer such as being more discoverable, having insight into your competitor bid range on jobs, and having a customized URL.
4) Opportunity to Earn More
With Upwork, you will have an opportunity to earn more than you might without this resource.
Lauren Melnick says in her YouTube video that once you know the level of animation work, you can provide and the kind of animation clients you attract.
Furthermore, you can weed out low-quality clients and start raising your animation rates to make more money.
1) High Competition
GIF by The Circle Netflix (US) via GIPHY
According to Expert Freelancing, more clients use Upwork than any other freelancer site, which means that clients have the advantage of choice when hiring freelance animators. This gives known freelancers a better chance at getting hired over new animators, which can make for a rough start for newcomers.
2) Account Bans Without Notice
Upwork can ban accounts without prior notice. This can create a big difference in freelancers’ careers, especially if they get most animation clients from Upwork.
3) Deduction From Commission
Upwork deducts 20% of the commission for each new client. This percentage will decrease to 10% once your earnings pass a limit of $500, then down to 5% when your earnings pass over $10,000.
Fiverr was established in 2010 by Shai Wininger and Micha Kaufman to connect clients and freelancers. It is now one of the most popular websites in the U.S. for finding freelance work. The website receives 35 million monthly visitors and has 1 million transactions every month.
On Fiverr, you can offer a wide range of services. Unlike Upwork, clients reach out and buy your gig, rather than you sending a proposal to clients, but you have less potential to earn more..
1) Easy to Use
Bunny’s Pages points out that Fiverr is easy to use and navigate, even for beginners. It doesn't have a huge learning curve, which means you won’t have a hard time signing up and looking for animation work.
It can help you easily find the perfect job suited for you by providing you with a customized search.
2) Clients Approach You
GIF by SpongeBob SquarePants via GIPHY
Your job as a freelance animator is to make an appealing gig. If it’s attractive enough, animation clients will get in touch with you immediately and you won’t have to put forth extra effort to look for clients.
3) Control Your Pricing
As you promote your animation services, you have the advantage of defining your pricing. You can charge per gig or a flat rate per project you complete.
With your gigs, you can offer your buyers different animation work levels that come with different prices. This is a straightforward payment term where you won’t need to converse about hourly rates. Your buyers will pay you based on the level of value you promise to deliver.
You can also add gig extras where you can add value and increase order price. By bundling services, you can get a much higher ROI which you won’t be able to do on Upwork.
1) Deduction From Payment
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Just like Upwork, Fiverr gets payment from both clients and freelancers. Fiverr takes a 20% commission from freelancers no matter how big your animation project is.
If having a relatively large chunk of your payment deducted sounds like a bad time to you, then it is best if you establish a long-term relationship with your animation client and take it off Fiverr.
2) Low-Quality Clients
It may seem like an advantage to have clients approach you, but if you don’t know how to market yourself and your services properly, you may end up with low-quality clients. Matt Laker advises freelancers not to join Fiverr if you haven’t quite figured out where you excel in the animation world yet.
Also, you might get low-quality clients if the clients who approach you are those who are focused on paying the lowest amount of money possible just to get the job done. Freelancermania says many clients on Fiverr can be greedy, impatient, and short-tempered.
Which Is Best for You?
GIF via Unsplash
Both Upwork and Fiverr are terrific websites for freelance animators. To decide which one to use, you’ll need to do some soul-searching..
If you want high-quality clients and control over the kind of jobs you work on, it is better to choose Upwork. But if you don’t want to write proposals for different clients and offer extra animation services, Fiverr might be a better option for you.
However, if you want to make sure you can make the most out of these two platforms and get animation clients as much as possible, we recommend that you try using both platforms. It will widen your reach, allow you to work with different kinds of clients, and of course, earn more money.
If you are interested in learning more about business tips about animation, make sure to get your copy of our free marketing handbook and join our free masterclass.