From consultants looking to subcontract design work to campaigns needing to get a website built cheap, the search for freelance help is getting easier.
Fiverr, a platform that connects freelancers to clients and facilitates the transaction, on Wednesday launched a curated storefront where campaigns and groups can access providers for services including banner ad creation, voiceover, video and website production, speech writing and social media marketing.
The new platform will help ease access to on-demand services that may be cheaper than going through an established firm. At the same time, it raises questions about whether it will make it easier or harder for sole practitioners to sustain themselves, whether they join the platform or compete against the providers on it.
Brent Messenger, vice president of public policy and community at Fiverr, said the impetus behind the storefront was a trend of political professionals accessing services on the platform.
“It was big enough to have gotten our attention,” he told C&E. “Candidates for president, candidates for U.S. Senate, Congress and all the way down were making purchases” on the platform.
A search of the FEC database shows that in 2019, 12 federal campaigns list Fiverr as a disbursement for services ranging from voiceover to web design to artwork. The transactions run from $14 to $609.
Employing random vendors isn’t typical of campaigns or groups who tend to transact with known political providers. One concern with accessing a non-partisan, all-comers vendor would be that your rival could also be using the same services.
Messenger said he hasn’t yet seen rival campaigns access the same vendor, and if they did there are privacy protections in the terms of service. “People who transact are required to keep to themselves what they know about the project they’re working on,” he said.
The company anticipates that demand for its platform will expand with the launch of its politics store, which contains close to 100 curated service providers who were already operating on Fiverr.
“This initial offering is a curated group of people, but going forward we’re certainly interested in making that wider and more inclusive,” said Messenger.
Fiverr takes 20 percent from the freelancer’s fee, and there’s a transaction fee on the buyer’s side.
Michael Ceraso, a California-based Democratic consultant and co-founder of Winning Margins, said he started used Fiverr in 2017 when he was working on state races in South Carolina. “You have to build everything from scratch, so you’re thinking about how to make things affordable,” he said. “Fiverr was just the best thing to happen for an organizer like myself.”
Since joining Fiverr, Ceraso said he’s come to rely on several providers who he uses regularly. “It’s about quality of work and turn around time,” he explained. “I have my go-to people now because I’ve built trust and relationships.”
Fiverr isn’t the only platform looking to connect freelance talent with campaigns. LinkedIn on Tuesday unveiled Open for Business, a service designed to help freelancers connect to clients by making a change to their profiles.
“This includes services like political consulting, where you can search for professionals with expertise in areas like fundraising and campaign management,” said Vidya Chandra, group product manager for LinkedIn.
LinkedIn also has ProFinder, “where you can search for professionals with expertise in areas like fundraising and campaign management.”