(Note: My affiliate links are used in this article.)
In the virtual world, there is quite a debate over sites like Fiverr and Upwork, and if it’s worth your time as an online service provider to look for work in those places. I’ve heard it all, and arguments for and against those types of sites are very interesting.
I’m the type of person who believes that you need to do your own research and form your own opinions. This is why I was quite interested when the creator of a site called Freeeup, Nathan Hirsch, reached out to me and asked if I thought virtual assistants would be interested in getting work there.
What is Freeup?
The idea behind Freeeup is that it connects those in the ecommerce industry who are looking to outsource to virtual service providers at all different skill levels. Naturally, I had a lot of questions for Nathan.
I only want to recommend credible sources to the New VA Advice community, so I wanted to know more about his company before I recommended that people check it out. I thought the best way to get the information out there to the masses was to record an interview with Nathan and then provide it to everyone so that people can make their own decisions.
Besides the questions that I already had in mind for Nathan, I reached out to the New VA Advice community, both those who subscribe to the blog as well as those in the Virtual Assistant Empowerment Facebook group, and asked what they wanted to know about Freeeup.
Some really great questions were sent in, along with a wonderfully healthy and respectful conversation about online working sites. People seemed to be coming from two very different places with their opinions.
On the one hand, you had people who felt that these sites demean service providers by offering such low rates. They mentioned that the sites are often littered with scams and fake job opportunities.
When I started my virtual assistant business, I personally did not have much luck finding work on these types of sites, as potential clients only seemed to want to work with the lowest bidder. And I knew I was worth more than that. This is why I developed my own twist to online relationship marketing in order to connect with clients that I loved to work with.
On the other hand, I’ve heard from virtual assistants who say that sites like these really helped them get their start. They were able to build their confidence in their skills, and were eventually able to move on to market and get clients of their own.
Some have told me that it was a great way to practice certain skills that they wanted more experience in before they felt they could offer it as an area of expertise in their virtual assistant business. And others have told me that they’ve even gotten one or two clients who then decided to work with them in a long term, one-on-one relationship and leave the site altogether.
Naturally, a lot of these concerns came up in my interview with Nathan. He feels that Freeeup is different than Upwork and Fiverr in a lot of unique ways.
Here are the questions that I asked during the interview:
Can you give us an idea of the types of services that potential clients need who come to Freeeup looking for help?
Is there a fee for the virtual worker to sign up? Is there a fee for the potential client to sign up?
Your site mentions one could work with an online worker and pay anywhere from $5 to $50. Most virtual assistants that I know who are serious about creating a business that can support them full-time would need to charge their clients a minimum of at least $25 to $30 to start. Do you have a lot of opportunities on your site for virtual assistants on that $50 end that you mention on your site?
What do you do at Freeeup to help avoid “scam job opportunities” for virtual assistants? For example, there are a number of interview scams going on at other sites lately.
What is your vetting process for both virtual assistants and the potential clients coming to your site?
What is your commission structure when it comes to payment for the virtual assistants?
What is the payment process? How and when do the virtual assistants get paid?
How does your “try working with someone for free for 3 hours” program work?
Do you have a rating system on your site for the virtual assistants performing the work?
How are disputes handled?
As I said, I feel it’s really important to form your own opinions when it comes to your business and what’s right for you.
You’ve now heard what’s worked for me personally to grow my business and what has worked for some other virtual assistants, as well as more information about Freeeup.
Have you used an online site to get work for your business? What was your experience? Would you try a site like Freeeup after listening to the interview?
If you decide to sign up, let them know that you’ve read this article. At this point, I’ve become a referral partner. But I would love for you to come back and tell me your thoughts. Give me your feedback, tell me what you think of the site and if it’s something worth my mention.
Mature, respectful conversation is welcome in the comments!