As a freelance writer (or another content creator), it often feels like there’s a disconnect between the poor rates you expect to make as a beginner and the larger rates you hear experienced pros command. How do they get there? How do you? It can be a tough nut to crack, and may even feel like it’s entirely up to the connections you make – which business relationships or friendships you have to leverage to land those better-paying gigs.
When I heard about Fiverr buying ClearVoice and examined their business model, I knew it was something I had to share with my followers. Their carefully vetted talent pool and collection of clients just might create a bridge for freelancers, giving them a leg up as they strive to increase their rates. Let’s take a closer look.
The ClearVoice Opportunity
ClearVoice was founded in 2014 and has spent the last five years building relationships with growing brands like Intuit, esurance, CarFax, and Cabela's to provide them with quality content. They’ve done this by creating a talent pool of tried and true freelance writers to supply their clients with that quality content. Their strategy has never been about creating a race to the bottom like work bidding sites that pit freelancers against each other as they drive their own market value down. Instead, you set your own rates and they recommend you to their clients where your expertise matches their needs. The client then chooses which freelancer they’d like to work with. This business model puts the emphasis on attracting and retaining high-quality content creators; it also proves to brands today that they need quality content over quantity, and quality content commands a reasonable wage from seasoned freelancers.
Here's what they do: they provide a space for you to build a CV Portfolio showing off your specialties and samples of your work, invite you to join their talent network once your CV’s strong enough, and from there suggest you for assignments that match your set pay rate and advertised expertise. You can also keep your portfolio refreshed with new work you're proud of and share it to attract more clients – there’s even a way to automate the process. Their in-app messaging system makes it easy to discuss assignments with your clients, and ClearVoice makes sure you're paid once an assignment is approved. Payments are made via PayPal.
Getting Started with ClearVoice
Signing up is incredibly easy. From the footer links on their main page, click the “For Freelancers” link, then fill your name into the form at the top of the new page. Hit Get Started to get started! The next page will give you a few options on how to continue the sign-up process – you can do so by connecting your Twitter account or signing up with email. They also offer an option to sign up via Google+, but that service is going away in April so I recommend you not do so. (If you do use Twitter to sign up, make sure it’s from a professional Twitter profile that will help your business and not harm it.)
After you create a password for your account, you’re ready to start working on your profile.
You should create an appropriate CV handle, which defines the web address for others to visit your page – going by your name (or business name) is likely best. There's space for a tagline and bio. You'll also need to choose up to 5 content categories that you specialize in, and define your usual content roles. Listed roles include titles like Writer, Ghostwriter, Copywriter, Editor, Managing Editor, and so forth.
You can connect several social profiles directly on your CV Portfolio page – these include LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Google+. You’re encouraged to add at least one connection, and your profile won’t be considered complete until you do.
Once you’ve got all the basics added, it’s time to start uploading or linking to samples of your writing or other work. Hit the green “Add Content” button at the bottom of the screen. If you have publications on the Internet, you just need to copy and paste the link: ClearVoice will import sample text from the beginning of your piece along with an image, if available. If you upload your own file, it must be a PDF, JPG, PNG, or GIF file that is 100 MB or smaller.
Once you've uploaded or linked to a sample of your work, you'll be able to add up to 10 topics or industries that your publication falls under, your primary role in the creation of the content (Ghostwriter, Graphic Designer, Videographer, etc.), the type of content it is (Animation, Blog Post, Email Newsletter, etc.), and a description of the content. You can further organize your Portfolio into sections – like Marketing Articles, Lifestyle Articles, Newsletter Samples – to make it easier to show off your different skills to prospective clients.
Once ClearVoice indicates that your CV is complete, you’ll be invited to hit the button and apply to join their talent network. Someone on the ClearVoice team will review your portfolio and get back to you. Once you’re in, you’ll start being matched with opportunities.
So, How Much Can You Make Writing for ClearVoice?
That all depends on you! You set your own pay rates, after all. Decide on what your time is worth and don’t be afraid to ask for what you deserve. If you’re not making any matches at first, you can revise your price until you find a point at which you’re selling work while still making it worth your while. The more clients you work with, the more you can inch your rate up until you’re satisfied with the numbers. To feel out whether you should be charging $100, $200, $300, or more, do a little research and frank analysis. Determine which industries you offer to work in that are in demand, what brands are shopping, and how much content is generally required and work from there.
Carol Tice of Make A Living Writing tried writing for ClearVoice a few years ago, and she discussed being recruited for an opportunity where she made $400 on one assignment. She received several more match emails while she remained on the platform, all offering opportunities in the $250-$350 per post range. This isn't the place that'll lowball you and offer only pennies on the word, and it sounds like a good place for mid-level freelancers to level up.
A few things to know:
- ClearVoice takes a 25% service fee for each job you accept
- The amount you see for a gig is the amount you get paid (ClearVoice have already taken their cut)
What People Are Saying About ClearVoice
Reviews of ClearVoice have been mixed, and suggest that you get out of the platform what you put in. If you have built your freelancer experience with plenty of quality content to show off on your portfolio and specialize in in-demand industries, you should find yourself with matches that can turn into gigs.
One aspect of the platform that is consistently praised is how easy it is to set up a beautiful portfolio, and how efficient the process of sharing work and looking for matches is. While you may not want to rely on ClearVoice for supplying enough assignments to make a living on, it’s worth considering as part of your network in looking for freelance content creation gigs.
The news broke in the second week of February that Fiverr has acquired ClearVoice, which has made some people concerned about the fate of their business model. Fiverr is built on the concept of the $5 gig, with overseas creators exploiting currency conversion rates to offer everything from logo design to blog posts for incredibly low prices. Could that signal a similar direction for ClearVoice? Joe Griffin, one of the CEOs of ClearVoice, says that’s not going to happen and that the acquisition is actually a sign of Fiverr investing in upstream businesses.
Time will tell. But for now, why not sign up with ClearVoice and see what gigs you can score? Don’t forget to come back and tell us what you land and what you make for it!
P.S. Looking for more high-paying writing opportunities and expert advice? Check out the Freelance Writers Den.