Squarespace Marketplace Part 1: How it works — Squarespace Circle: Build your web design business

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Friday, July 5, 2019

Squarespace Marketplace Part 1: How it works

This guide will help orient you to the Squarespace Marketplace, covering how it works, and the unique client and designer experiences.


Squarespace Marketplace, powered by 99designs

What is Squarespace Marketplace?

The Marketplace is a private area of 99designs full of the most experienced Squarespace Circle members (aka Experts). Leads that come through squarespace.com/designer are funneled directly to the Squarespace Marketplace. Only Experts are eligible to receive client leads that come through this way.

What is 99designs? 

99designs is a creative platform that makes it easy to work on client projects in a safe, secure workspace. Their powerful matchmaking technology and project management tools power the Marketplace experience. 

How does the Squarespace Marketplace work?

Clients that come through the Squarespace Marketplace use 99designs’ 1-to-1 Project setup, which sets clients up to work with one designer (rather than creating a contest for multiple designers to participate in). Here are the two potential client user journeys, Browse and Match.

Browse Flow 

Great for clients who want to search for a specific designer 

  1. Client finds their favorite Squarespace Expert in the directory

  2. Client starts a project brief and sends to their selected Expert for review 

  3. Client is redirected to 99designs to discuss the project with their Expert

  4. Once the Expert and client feel it’s a good fit, the Expert will create and send a quote to the client.

  5. Client accepts and pays the agreed upon price.  Payments are released to the Expert later, either at project milestones or upon completion.

Match Flow

Great for clients who need help narrowing down the field

  1. Client starts by submitting a project

  2. 99designs analyzes the project and curates a list of the best Experts for their needs

  3. Client selects up to five Experts to invite to their project and is redirected to 99designs to start conversations with their Expert(s)

  4. Client and Expert(s) build rapport by discussing the project, and interested Experts then provide customized quotes.

  5. Client selects the best Expert for them and pays the agreed-upon price. The Expert can set up payments to be released either at project milestones or upon completion. 

For more information about how Squarespace 1-to-1 projects work in 99designs, visit the help article.

What about fees?

You can learn about 99designs’ fees here. Important to note for Squarespace Marketplace Experts specifically: 

  • Squarespace Marketplace projects are not subject to the 99designs Client Introduction Fee.

  • Circle members who joined the Squarespace Marketplace prior to February 6, 2019 receive the Top Level designer Platform fee. Circle members who joined the Marketplace after February 6, 2019 receive the Mid Level designer platform fee. 

Here’s an example fee structure for an Expert who joined Marketplace after February 6, 2019:

  1. Expert quotes $100 for a project

  2. Client accepts and pays an invoice for $105 ($100 project fee + 5% client platform fee)

  3. After work is complete, Expert receives a payout of $90 for their work ($100 project fee - 10% mid-level designer platform fee)

Processing payments and circumvention

Keeping your communication and payment on 99designs helps them protect you and the client. “If a designer takes a client off-platform to bypass 99designs’ fees, it is considered circumvention and the designer will be suspended or permanently banned.” (source) Be sure to review their payment circumvention policy page to make sure your practice are in compliance. 

Written by Erin Petree

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