My First Experience With Fiverr

Ever since I first read (listened to) The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris, I have been intrigued with the idea of outsourcing work to a virtual assistant for a low price. So when my friend Herby told me about Fiverr, I knew I had to try it out.  

This is my new logo which took over a month & several revisions.

This is my new logo which took over a month & several revisions.

Fiverr is basically an online marketplace where "sellers" offer "gigs" that start at just $5.  Gigs range from celebrity impersonations, to professional voice overs and graphic design.  Each seller provides a description of their services and once you order, your order goes into a cue to be fulfilled.  The seller can contact you with questions and once your order is delivered, the seller gets paid.  

I know there are a number of services out there like this, but i was drawn to Fiverr because of the low, $5 price point.  Since I manage my website by myself, I figured it would be great to get some help in a few areas for just $5 and I really wasn't risking much if it didn't work out.  

My Experience

I decided that there were two different projects that I would outsource through Fiverr: a logo design and a short promotional video for my e-book.  In all, I ended up using Fiverr three different times for these two projects and spent a total of $25 on three different sellers.

My First Project

My quest began by looking for a seller to design a new logo for my site.  I completely understand that you get what you pay for and any designer reading this is probably cringing at the thought of getting a logo made on Fiverr.  But I didn't have anything and figured that a temporary, $5 logo would be better than anything I could create, so I started looking at samples.  

After looking at samples from a number of different designers, I found two designers who had fantastic designs.  They were both experienced and their samples were fun, creative, and powerful.  Deciding that I wanted multiple logo options, I purchased a gig from each of these two designers who provided me with two different logo designs each.

The first designer was actually my second choice and provided me my designs in just a day or two. The service was fantastic, but the designs were very vanilla.  They looked like they came from a business card maker template as they were very shape-based and really didn't represent my brand at all.

The second, more promising designer provided two designs that were much more creative. I had to wait a bit longer for the original prototypes, about a week, but the longer wait appeared to be worth it.   While one design (below) looked too much like the Golden Arches, I really liked the other design (the second image) with one minor exception - the design contained a "d" instead of a "b".  

As the name of my company is Businatomy, I requested that the designer invert the logo so that the "d" became a "b".  I figured that this was a simple request and I should have my final product within a day.  The seller said that the changes would be made and then I waited.  And waited.  All in all, it took over a month and numerous revisions to get what I wanted in the design. Also, this designer charged an extra $5 for the transparent file, which I needed for my website header.  In total, I spent $15 on a new logo for my site but had the frustrations of waiting over a month and going through multiple revisions.

My Second Project

My second experience on Fiverr was much different.  I was at lunch one day and saw a gig that advertised delivery in less than 6 hours.  This gig would provide me with a 30 second animated white board video for just $5.  As the seller requested that any potential purchaser message him first, I did.  To my amazement, he replied immediately.  His response was fantastic, so for $5 I decided to try getting a video.  

To create the video, the seller requested a script which I threw together over lunch.  Upon receiving it, he said it would cost $15 as it would have to be a 90 second video.  He was right, my script was HUGE for a 30 second video.  So I cut it back, but only got it down to a 60 second video.

Sure enough, within just 2 hours my video was done.  The funny thing here was that the seller provided me with a watermarked video until I closed the gig and gave him a positive rating and review - what an innovative idea it is to hold the final product hostage until you get a perfect rating.  In total, I spent $10 on this video and had it done in less than 3 hours (including writing my script).

What I Learned

I learned two valuable lessons through my first experience on Fiverr.  First, you get what you pay for.  While the logo designers had fantastic samples showcased in their gig offerings, these samples really were their very best work.  In fact, the second designer that took over a month to deliver my order told me that he had essentially outsourced my gig to other designers. 

The second thing I learned is that the product is only going to be as good as my communication allows it to be.  As was the case with the logo design, I found that the language barrier made it extremely difficult for me to request a very simple change to a design.  We went back and forth and I finally provided a mark-up of what i wanted to which the seller thought that it was his design (and didn't realize it was my mark-up).

Also, the video turned out fine, but I realized that it probably would have been even better had it been a bit shorter.  My script really was too long.  The seller did a great job of bringing my idea to fruition, but the overall quality of the video was actually limited by my poor direction.

What I will Do Different

My experience on Fiverr was fun and makes for a great blog post.  But I also believe that it will be extremely beneficial for me to use their services again in the future.  The challenge, however, will be for me to ensure that my use of Fiverr is effective. Therefore, here are three things I will do differently next time.

Be patient

It is easy to get excited about getting a project done quickly. This was definitely the case for me when I ordered the animated whiteboard video over lunch as I had given myself less than an hour to figure out what I wanted.  Had I been more patient, I would have ended up with a shorter, less expensive, and ultimately, a more effective video.

Have a clear vision of what I want

The second thing I will do differently when I next use Fiverr is that I will make sure I have a clear vision of exactly what I want.  Yes, part of the reason I outsourced the logo design was that I was hoping to capitalize on someone else's creativity.  The challenge with this, however, is that if I don't provide any guidance, it is very likely that the final product will not be as good as it could have been.

Refine my communication

As many of the sellers on Fiverr are located all over the World where English isn't the primary language, it is important for me to be as clear as possible in my communication.  In dealing with people in person, I do my best to give them liberties so that I don't micro-manage them as is my tendency. When I am working with people online, however, I have found that clear communication makes a major difference in the outcome of the product.

A Question For You

What experiences have you had using Fiverr?