Fiverr Community Forum

Statistics, Statistics, Statistics (Yes, forum system, this is the title, sorry if you prefer complete sentences as titles ;))

Fiverr’s newest blog post from today, by Matt Clunan, Director of Brand Marketing at Fiverr, has the topic “8 Ways to save time with your freelance business”.
While it’s always nice to save time, so you have some up your sleeve to splurge when needed, of course, that post has something I found even more interesting than the time saving tips - a nice collection of statistics. Look at these:

  • 56.7 million Americans did freelance work in 2018 (Forbes)

  • 3.7 million more Americans were freelancing in 2018 than in 2014 (Forbes)

  • An estimated 90.1 million Americans will be freelancing by 2028 (Statista)

  • An estimated 40% of the population will be freelancing by 2020 (PYMNTS.com)

  • However, North America only has 4.1% of the world’s freelancers (Inc.)

  • Freelancers are mostly located in Europe (35.5%), Asia (28%), Latin America (29.2%), and Africa (10.1%) (Inc.)

  • Over 50% of freelancers are under the age of 30 (Inc.)

  • In the United States, about 1/3 of freelancers are over 50 (Inc.)

  • The worldwide average hourly rate for freelancers is about $19 (Inc.)

  • 73% of freelancers find work in online marketplaces like Fiverr (Website Planet)

  • 67% of freelancers say the amount of work they found online increased in 2018 (Website Planet)

  • 86% of freelancers work from home (Website Planet)

  • The #1 reason people choose to freelance is the chance to be their own boss (Website Planet)

  • 77% of freelancers say their work-life balance has improved and they have more time for loved ones (Website Planet)

  • 51% of freelancers say no amount of money would convince them to take a traditional job (Website Planet)

  • 80% of freelancers reported an increase in morale (Website Planet)

  • 82% of freelancers reported their stress levels had decreased after going freelance full-time (Website Planet)

  • 79% of freelancers feel as secure or more secure in their employment than they did with a traditional job (Website Planet)

  • 52% of freelancers want more methods for finding clients and work (Inc.)

  • 4/5 freelancers focus on 1 to 3 projects at once (Inc.)

  • Across industries, an average of 24.13% of freelancers spend 7+ hours looking for work per week (Clockify)

  • 48% of freelancers wait at least 2 weeks – 1 month to get paid (Clockify)

  • 43% of freelancers spend at least 4 hours on business management each week (Clockify)

  • 53% of freelancers spend 14 hours or less per week on billable work (Clockify)

Do you find yourself well represented in those stats?

“79% of freelancers feel as secure or more secure in their employment than they did with a traditional job (Website Planet)”
Do they, really? Do you?

“86% of freelancers work from home (Website Planet)”
Do you? I do. If you don’t, where do you work from?

Do you think this here:
“48% of freelancers wait at least 2 weeks – 1 month to get paid (Clockify)”
will mark the end of the recurring forum topic ‘2 weeks clearance period is too long’? But wait, does this mean 52% of freelancers wait more than 1 month … or less than 2 weeks …? :wink:

Really interesting stats triplet:

  • An estimated 40% of the population will be freelancing by 2020 (PYMNTS.com)
  • However, North America only has 4.1% of the world’s freelancers (Inc.)
  • Freelancers are mostly located in Europe (35.5%), Asia (28%), Latin America (29.2%), and Africa (10.1%) (Inc.)"

source:
https://blog.fiverr.com/8-ways-to-save-time-with-your-freelance-business/
Don’t forget to read the actual blog post too, to add to your arsenal of time-saving ways!

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Interesting, @miiila - I, for one, would never want another full time job.

I work from home, my private clients pay on delivery (they agree to this on accepting a quote) and I spend 20 hours+ on work.

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I don’t trust any of the stats I see coming out of any freelance marketplace. For instance this doesn’t really sing with a lot of sincerity with me:

In 2018 Hacker Noon did some digging through raw data released by UpWerk. One interesting takeaway is that in 2017, only 3% of people registered as freelancers on UpWerk completed any actual freelance work:

  • Upwork had 12 million registered freelancers in 2017, implying that only 3% of registered users completed a project during the year.
  • 80% of Upwork freelancers have a college or advanced degree, and 34% have a post-graduate degree.
  • 19% of 2017 GSV was generated by U.S. freelancers (the largest of any country by GSV).

Source.

That same breakdown found that just 86,000 clients make up 80% of UpWerk’s turnover or ‘Gross Service Volume.’

That means that in 2017, just 86,000 people were regularly buying on UpWerk and the money they were spending was going to just 3% of 12 million freelancers. If these figures are accurate, they don’t really suggest that 79% of people using UpWerk in 2017 could feel very secure in their employment. :thinking:

I would believe stats like this if as a freelancer, I got invited to complete a survey along with every other person working on Fiverr, Upwerk, or wherever. However, just like with political polls, I keep getting overlooked. :thinking:

What I believe happens is that stats like those you have referenced are based on surveys of (in the case of UpWerk) the 3% of freelancers actually managing to make a living. It also needs to be remembered that stats saying “40% of people will be freelancing by year X,” are based on numbers of people registering as full or part-time self-employed.

The flip side of self-employment is that it is necessary for most self-employed people to form a business to carry out whatever activity makes them money. However, 80% of new small businesses go caput in their first 5-years of trading.

As for whether I find myself well represented in the stats you’ve quoted:

My stress levels increased.

No way.

Completely not true. For the right price, I’d sell my good kidney.

Nope. This is the reason why I’d have to say my stress levels have inceased.

Well, duh.

I wish.

I could go on, but I guess you get my point. :wink:

I don’t mind people extolling the benefits of freelancing. However, I hate it when people present stats like this and make freelancing look like some kind of yellow brick road to financial Nirvana. It’s not. At least, not without a lot of hard work.

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I put in a lot more than 14 hours per week on this. It’s self employment and as with most self employment jobs, you end up putting in long hours to do all the things you need to do, and to be available to clients, often seven days per week.

I cannot imagine being successfully self employed at only 14 hours per week.

This is a business which you own and take care of it all, without employees usually. That means putting in very long hours.

The good part of that is that you can take off a few hours every day whenever you need to. Or you can be a night person like I am and work until 4 a.m.

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I agree, to a degree :wink: with that, and with the infamous “Never trust any statistics that you didn’t forge yourself.” Even if nobody forged them, they often have weak points, I guess most of us do realize that.

But they are interesting and can inspire interesting discussions anyway.

This one does partly apply to me, depending on which of my non-freelance jobs I compare freelancing to. Compared to one of my former jobs, my stress levels absolutely decreased, I loathed going there, I felt physically sick, I lost a lot of weight because of stress, in the end, I gave notice from one day to the other.
Freelancing is pure bliss compared to the stress levels in that office, which actually was due to some of the staff there. As a freelancer you don’t get anyone bickering and hindering your progress just because they can’t stand to see that someone else may actually be better, more efficient, faster, whatever, than they are, the stress such people can put you under, especially if they are in a higher position, is not to be underestimated.
We often hear about competition on the forum here, but that’s a completely different kind from competition going on within a regular workplace if you have bad luck with some other staff. Okay, there might be some bickering on the forum here too :wink: but that’s different as well. And we can just x out and don’t have to work side by side 8 hours a day for five or six days a week.

Yeah, I totally don’t believe this one either. People do lie, thus, statistics aren’t to be trusted.

:smirk:

I do, it was fun reading, though, I’d have read your take on the other stats too. :slight_smile:


Yes, if anyone can live on 14 hours per week billable work, well done to them.

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I think the 14-hour rule only applies to people who have a nice little passive income generator clunking away in the background. To me, though, that is not freelancing and this is another problem with statistics like these. To me, a Youtuber, author, etc, is not a freelancer. They are self-employed, but they are not actively processing orders for clients.

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Freelancing is actively working away at it, not passive income.

The regular jobs I’ve had have always held me back. I was actually told not to make as many sales as I was making in one job. Another one didn’t want me doing extra helpful things that I was doing such as accounting analytics. They seemed threatened by having someone as able to do so much as I did around them.
I’m a know-it-all. Instead of appreciating that, it was a cause of concern. So I have no choice but to be my own boss.

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Interesting point. I guess you could see the YouTuber’s audience and the author’s readers as their clients, though. There are many who “process orders”, respectively "actively and purposefully film videos and write books for the clients, and not completely without regard to what their audience wants to see/read, I think, so it’s comparable in a way. Many authors write to sell books to their audience and not to win a Nobel prize, many YouTubers carefully craft their videos to cater to their audience, instead of filming just so, as the fancy takes them.

And the fear of losing good ranking on Fiverr seems something YouTubers would be susceptible too, in form of not getting enough views, and the fear of violating some rule or other and ending up suspended or demonetized might be another parallel.


I’m sure that applies to many of us. Being your own boss, the #1 reason according to the stats for becoming a freelancer, certainly enables us to surpass ourselves. :slight_smile:

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Great work at contextualizing the statistics, Cy.

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What about your dog?

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I don’t think Chico could afford it.

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Dogs, I think he has two now. :slightly_smiling_face:

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I agree with all the points @cyaxrex have put here. Freelancing hasn’t decreased our stress levels even it increases our stress levels by sometimes ignoring our family because of very close deadlines.

I don’t think so. Even freelancing is becoming popular but 40% is a big deal.

Maybe because I’m just 18 & when I started I was 17 then.

You can say that because Fiverr is the topmost priority of 90% freelancers.

I don’t agree with this because the competition to find work online has increased a lot because the figures of freelancers are increasing considerably.

Me too :innocent: and this is from the few things in freelancing I love the most.

I don’t think so because we (Video Animators) also receive orders in which we work just 10-12 hours in just one day. And having your own business doesn’t take less than 14 hours per week to manage but the best part is you can take breaks in between. But 14 hours per week I don’t think so.

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I’m rather interested in this one:

77% of freelancers say their work-life balance has improved and they have more time for loved ones (Website Planet)

Has your work-life balance improved and do you have more time for loved ones since freelancing?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Not sure

0 voters

Also, Cy or Eoin, feel free to add a poll to ask if dogs hinder or help your freelancing, your stress levels, whether the dogs’ help is worth the additional costs for treats, etc. Only a thread involving dogs is a good thread, and the quoted blog lacks dog-related stats. :wink:

I agree. However, you also have to remember that you do still have a boss. That boss is the algorithm.

If I was in my old job and a guest tried to pay half their bill, before threatening to call my boss to have me fired, and smear my reputation online, I’d know that my boss/company would have my back.

As we all know, a single impossible to avoid cancellation on Fiverr can throw you to the back of searches and see your income take a hit, no matter how unfair this is.

Let’s say you have real-world problems. Let’s say you are a parent of a chronically ill child in the U.S. or simply have a mortgage to pay. In those situations, I’d consider the stress of being at the mercy of an infallible algorithm greater than the stress of a personal conflict in a real workplace. - The latter, after all, won’t cut your take home paycheck in half or put the roof over your head or the welfare of your dependents at risk.

Freelancing is great for millennials. This is reflected in the stats you reference. However, millennials buy fewer houses, are increasingly less likely to own a car, stay single for longer, have fewer children, and are often burdened by more consumer debt than was possible in their parents day.

This poses the question, is freelancing actually good for society?

Thanks!

You’d be pushing daisies before I’d finished swiping your credit card. :wink:

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The boss is also the restrictions being on Fiverr like the number of gigs allowed (not just the number of active gigs which is also restricted) as well as the algorithms/evaluations.

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Yup algorithm is unpredictable.Suddenly an up phase & next week a down phase.

If we take it in a fun way then we can say it’s as unpredictable as your girlfriend’s or your wife’s mood :sweat_smile::sweat_smile:

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The corporate hierarchy was driving me insane back in my office years. You have a brand manager, a marketing manager, a creative director and a bunch of juniors with career ambitions (x2 because there is your side and the client’s side of this whole deal) standing between yourself and the client while you’re (sort of) trying to communicate with each other.

At least when freelancing, most of the time it’s two people. You can build and shape that relationship how you see fit. My stress-induced migraine has been gone for years. I don’t miss it at all.

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Mh, I guess much of this depends on the specific realities of your non-freelancing job/s and your non-freelancing boss/es.

Freelancing and being able to be totally flexible with your schedule, for instance, can also be a blessing when you need to take care of a chronically and/or acutely ill family member, even considering the stress of maybe having only half the paycheck at the end of a month.
And an actual boss who forces you to do role plays with other staff, like giving you the role of someone who loves fur coats and to defend your love of fur coats against other staff who play the roles of fur coat haters and a journalist moderating and reporting about your discussion, or who lectures staff about BMIs … I’ll take that bossy algorithm over that any day. :wink:

But, of course, the insecurities of freelancing and money for a roof over your head and all that, are a real threat. “Actual employment”, though, is being reported as being less and less secure than it used to be, however, so maybe that fear will soon be prevalent in most working people, not just freelancers … which, of course, isn’t really a good thing.
It’s a pity that people still need to be afraid of not being able to pay their rent and all suddenly, in this day and age. I’m curious to see where all those UBI discussions will go to.


Same.

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Watching a boss make bone headed statements and ignorant decisions that hurt the sales and the morale, knowing it’s stupid and wrong, that was the takeaway from some of the jobs I’ve had.

This offers much freedom to put our own ideas out there unhindered by someone we have to obey.

Particularly if we have a skill that doesn’t have job openings anywhere … fiverr is really a blessing from the universe. For me, it’s a direct manifestation of a spell I cast long ago, which led me to find fiverr.

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