Freelance marketplace Fiverr today announced that it’s getting into the online education game, where it will compete with the likes of Coursera and Udemy.
Called Learn from Fiverr, the new elearning platform offers courses covering skills most freelancers need, such as how to create a proper brief for a client and how to conduct market research. Other courses are more industry-specific, like how to advertise on Instagram, how to make content go viral, and SEO optimization.
Many of the courses at launch are being taught by industry executives, who are participating in a revenue-share program with Fiverr. For now, classes start at $19 and go up to $38. All the classes are taught entirely online.
A Fiverr spokesperson didn’t say how long each course lasts — it varies by topic, and classes are designed so that students can complete different sections at their own pace. After completing a course, students get a badge that they can put on their Fiverr profile to show off their skills to potential clients.
Learn by Fiverr’s main pitch is that it creates a unified way for freelancers to learn new skills and tout what they’ve learned on Fiverr. So taking a course on Fiverr makes the most sense for freelancers who make a significant percentage of their income on the platform.
In May, Fiverr launched a Digital Workforce Development Initiative alongside Udemy and Samaschool that is designed to increase the number of freelancers in four cities across the U.S. The program gives participating freelancers access to networking events, as well as courses on Udemy that walk them through starting a freelancing business — courses it appears Fiverr is mirroring with today’s announcement.
Founded in 2010 and active in 190 countries, Fiverr gained attention for allowing freelancers to offer their services starting at $5. While it was a good deal for the “lean entrepreneurs” that Fiverr caters to, critics felt it was promoting a “race to the bottom.” Today, Fiverr says $5 services only constitute 5 percent of its revenue, though it doesn’t disclose average freelancer earnings.
According to a study from the Freelancers Union, more than 57 million people in the U.S. are freelancing.
Today’s announcement comes less than a month after fellow freelancing marketplace Upwork went public at an initial market value of $1.5 billion. Upwork says it has about 375,000 freelancers on its paltform.
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