Fiverr, the online gig marketplace for just about anything, today launched a white glove service for big-budget buyers. Called Project Partner, the service pairs customers with a project leader who manages their project end-to-end. (I struggled mightily, dear readers, to find a synonym for "project" here, but couldn't. Please forgive me.)
Shai-Lee Spigelman, the general manager of Fiverr Business, Fiverr's premium offering that caters to medium- and larger-sized businesses, said that Fiverr wanted to create an option for the growing number of hiring managers coming to Fiverr Business. It's an outgrowth of Fiverr's Stoke Talent acquisition in 2021, which added freelance management tools for employees to Fiverr's platform.
"Our Project Partners are experts in their fields, with years of experience in project management," Spigelman said. "With a tight labor market and still some recessionary predictions in the air, many customers are turning more and more to freelancers to fill skills gaps, or add capacity to their teams. Options like Project Partner can help streamline this process."
Project managers indeed often face an uphill battle. According to a 2020 survey from the Project Management Institute, only 46% of organizations make project management a top cultural priority. Across all organizations, 11.4% of all resources are wasted due to inferior project management processes, the same survey found.
"Medium-to-large businesses that are outsourcing projects may also want to outsource management of those projects," Spigelman said. "Our project partners are here to help right from the start to [help] complete those projects."
Project Partner is available to any Fiverr Business customer with a budget of at least $3,000, although Fiverr says that minimum may increase in the future. During a free consultation, the project partner learns the needs of the project, helps in scoping it and determines which Fiverr freelancers would best be suited to complete it. The project partner then manages those freelancers to ensure the project is completed on time and on budget.
Each Project Partner fee is one-time only and project-based: 12% of the total project scope. For example, if a finalized project budget is $5,000, the project partner's service fee would be 12% of that budget -- $600. In other words, the project manager would have $4,400 from their budget to use for the project and would receive the remaining $600 for their service fee.
How's that compare in terms of the industry average pay for project managers? On Upwork, project manager services range from $19 per hour to $45 per hour. Assuming an eight-hour workday, it'd only take around four days to blow past Fiverr's service fee -- not factoring in Upwork's cut, of course.
But Spigelman believes the fee to be competitive -- and points to an early success story as supporting evidence. Similarweb used Fiverr's freelancers to create video assets to complement their blog posts and -- ideally -- to drive more traffic. In a statement, Similarweb senior creative manager Robin Morley said: "Having a project partner coordinate and manage the entire process made the commissioning and production process extremely straightforward."
Take that with a grain of salt -- it's just one perspective. Still, it's praise from a name brand, and I suppose that counts for something.