Fiverr’s Gali Arnon on Rise of Freelancing and Its Impact on Gig Economy

Fiverr’s Gali Arnon on Rise of Freelancing and Its Impact on Gig Economy

Interview by Maja SkokleskaMaja Skokleska
Published: April 22, 2023

Who Is Gali Arnon

Gali Arnon has served as Fiverr's Chief Marketing Officer since October 2017, leading Fiverr’s marketing strategies and helping the company move forward as a brand. Holding an MBA in marketing from Tel Aviv University in Israel, she has gained a vast experience in the industry whose previous experience includes operating as the CEO of Brightcom Group and the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Operations at SimilarWeb, as well as serving in multiple Vice President roles at 888 Holdings Plc.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the shortage of talent are just a few of the reasons that accelerated the demand for freelance workers.

Apart from this growing need for freelance workers, what motivates professionals to go freelance is being independent, achieving higher income, and having flexible working hours.

However, this status comes with certain challenges, and in fact, 56% of freelancers cite finding news projects as a major concern.

Enter freelance platforms — the top channels for project acquisition.

In this interview, we’ll explore the key advantages of hiring freelancers and hear from Fiverr’s CMO Gali Arnon on how the Fiverr platform developed into one of the most successful freelance marketplaces today.

Fiverr logo

Spotlight: Nearly 47% of global workers are freelancers, according to the World Bank. How has the rise of freelancing impacted industries and companies? What are some key advantages and disadvantages of hiring freelancers over traditional employees?

Gali Arnon: Working with freelancers opens up a whole global workforce of specialized skills, crossing boundaries, and reducing the cost and red tape that onboarding permanent staff may bring.

Moreover, businesses can quickly embrace new trends such as AI when they have a flexible workforce with the right blend of core full-time employees, augmented by a scalable, highly skilled team of freelancers.

In an internal Fiverr survey from last year, it was revealed that the top benefits of freelancing include:

  • The ability to work from home (49%)
  • Being your own boss (39%)
  • The ability to choose projects/type of work/or clients (33%)

However, when asked about the perception of freelancers’ contribution to the global economy, it was revealed that 34% of freelance workers feel they are not percieved as significant contributors.

Fiverr launched in 2010 when freelancing wasn't as popular as it is now. How did the platform start? How did it develop into one of the most successful freelance marketplaces?

Fiverr started in 2010 as a marketplace for freelancers to offer their services to businesses.

Since then the company has had a multi-million dollar valuation, more than four million customers, and skilled professionals selling their services in 600 different categories for even thousands of dollars, with earnings that can exceed six figures.

Part of the success comes from the fact we pioneered the way of working that is now the norm; from the very first moment, we revolutionized the way we work together. We created the basis for working remotely, where there are no geographical barriers, giving access to a global, inclusive talent pool that rewards diversity. We were pioneering a Service-as-a-Product (SaaP) model to enable freelancers and businesses to connect, transact and collaborate through an on-demand, eCommerce-like experience.

Over the years we have worked to make the platform even better, adding new categories for each new emerging trend companies out there want to tap into and ensure businesses can find the perfect match for their needs in the shortest possible time, to give talent the tools to offer the best services.

The platform has successfully built a large community of freelancers across a wide range of industries. How do you ensure quality and consistency among these freelancers?

We work in different ways to ensure greater quality in the services provided by Fiverr freelancers. When they join the platform, they are able to sell their services and move forward in their career, from expanding their skills to working with businesses across the globe. In fact, we also have a focus on helping freelancers to improve their skills and build their businesses. To that end, we have the Seller Plus program which pairs talent with a qualified Customer Success Manager who works with freelancers to identify business and growth opportunities.

Additionally, we offer online professional courses, led by the world’s top experts, Fiverr Learn, where freelancers can enhance their skills and be on the cutting edge of new trends. Our Customer Success and Customer Support teams play a crucial role in maintaining a high standard and accessing the best quality talent. To achieve this, Fiverr offers buyers the opportunity to connect with Pro sellers who have passed a multi-layered screening process combining AI and professional hand-vetting. This ensures high quality and professionalism in their orders.

Moreover, with Fiverr Business, a premium offering on Fiverr designed specifically for medium to larger-sized businesses with larger teams and bigger budgets, our talent is regularly evaluated to ensure that high-quality professionalism is maintained.

Fiverr website
[Source: Fiverr]

How do you think advances in technology and automation will impact the relationship between brands and freelancers in the future?

I believe technology will bring the relationship between brands and freelancers even closer. This is because freelancers and businesses need to be at the forefront of continuous trends and technological innovations to keep their services up to date in order to set themselves apart from all the others.

Freelancers are led to dedicate more time to training with new technologies and acquiring specialized skills that sometimes companies may overlook. Brands are relying more on contracting their services for specific projects as it’s more cost-effective and efficient. This way, companies can avoid keeping too expensive professional profiles on staff and also not take the risk of high turnover.

A recent example of how we’ve seen freelancers and businesses adapt to new trends is AI. In the past 6 months, searches for AI-related services increased by over 1400%. This tells us that companies go on platforms like Fiverr for finding talent who can handle these new tools. I think new technologies bring new opportunities that companies can quickly embrace through working with freelancers.

One of the platform’s key features is Fiverr Business. How does it work and how is it different from Fiverr Marketplace?

Fiverr Business is oriented toward businesses that need additional tools, advanced billing and payment options, and a collaboration with select Fiverr Business sellers who work with bigger businesses. To take quality to the next level, every Fiverr Business freelancer has undergone an individual hand-vetting process to ensure their experience and expertise.

Moreover, on Fiverr Business, businesses have access to features that the Fiverr marketplace doesn't have. For example: track all the freelance activity, do a single shared payment, work smoothly between internal teams and freelancers, and save and share favorite freelancers.

Fiverr Marketplace is oriented toward all Fiverr customers, and has a broader selection of freelancers to choose from, to cater to any and all projects, budgets, and requirements.

You recently launched the Project Partner feature. What is it exactly and how does it benefit customers?

As part of Fiverr’s upmarket trajectory, we are innovating and offering new solutions geared towards medium and large businesses to work with a freelance talent for larger and more complex projects.

Project Partner is the latest addition to the benefits that a Fiverr Business customer can enjoy. Specifically, customers with a complex project that involves a large budget and a team of freelancers will have the option to leverage a Project Partner to manage the project from start to finish.

During the free consultation, the Project Partner learns the project’s scope in order to match the best talent for the project’s specific needs. As the project unfolds, the Project Partner bridges all communication between Fiverr freelancers and the customer, ensuring delivery on time and on budget.

From website development to marketing campaigns, or video production, Project Partner helps businesses to execute complex projects with ease, confidence, and maximum efficiency.

How do you think brands can leverage hiring freelancers and what are the advantages?

Businesses nowadays need to be more resilient than before. A dynamic core team supplemented with highly skilled comms and marketing freelancers will enable businesses to learn, discover, and grow while concentrating on the day-to-day responsibilities of brand building.

The beauty of working with freelancers is that they bring diversity, and so different points of view, as businesses can have access to a global pool of talent, without boundaries.

Furthermore, freelancers are adaptable by nature and they are ready to support complex projects. Integrating freelancers into your workflow helps businesses to avoid the pre-existing hurdles that may come with hiring full-time employees.

Fiverr has a strong focus on community and collaboration. How do you foster that sense of community among users? What are some examples of successful collaborations that have taken place on the platform?

Fiverr emphasizes its community by using freelancers to personify and humanize the brand: if they feel part of the brand they will help you build it, they will be your ambassadors, your evangelists, people who will help you embolden your brand, make it more diverse, and creative.

This is why we have included members of our community in many marketing campaigns. From TV spots to Out-of-Home campaigns, from social advertisements to competitions: in each of these cases our freelancers represent Fiverr, showing their skills and competencies.

For example, when we launched our first Super Bowl Ad, we offered microgrants for businesses to use towards working with Fiverr freelance talent. This was awarded to five small businesses in the form of $1,000 in Fiverr credits but resulted in 54,000 submissions from across the globe.

In 2022 we challenged top designers across the world to enter our contest to design the new Red Star (French football club) jersey and we surprisingly got 5,000 entries.

Fiverr’s mission is to change the way people work together. What plans or initiatives do you have to stay true to this goal?

By 2027, it is expected that more than 50% of the American workforce will be freelancers. This means that we are only at the beginning of remote and freelance work. To embrace this phenomenon, both strategic and technological developments play an important role for us.

We will constantly work to keep the platform resilient to new changes and to make it increasingly localized and customized to achieve a perfect match between companies and talent around the world.

From a technological perspective, we believe that tools, like Fiverr Business, enhance a more efficient collaboration between businesses and freelancers, which will be increasingly important.

In this regard, we have also recently launched Project Partner that, as mentioned before, helps customers with a complex project, from start to finish.

Finally, what advice would you give to brands considering hiring freelancers for the first time? What resources or support can they access to help them navigate this process successfully?

To establish a resilient organization that can adapt to changing circumstances, it's important to incorporate flexibility into when a company is expanding its workforce, by onboarding freelance talent.

Businesses should consider hiring Chief Freelance Officer to manage the process, as well as have a clear scope of work to manage expectations. This will help facilitate onboarding freelancers into your teams, by having someone who understands the freelancer experience and can ensure a smooth transition.

Thank you for your time, Gali Arnon. Best of luck to you and Fiverr!

Keep up with Fiverr on LinkedIn and read about other successful businesses here.

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