I got an email the other day from someone who had download the free report (“11 Simple Principles You Absolutely, Positively Must Understand Before Marketing Your Small Business Online”) from my site.
He had an interesting question for me about outsourcing…
“I did read the report and, you did make some great points. One thing stood out for me when reading through the report. You mentioned pick one thing and get very good at it. The other things that are important should be outsourced. I am wondering if these principles are for a company larger than mine?”
Here’s my response:
“In regards to picking one thing and outsourcing the rest, I’d say that especially applies to smaller companies. Yes, budgets are tighter, but so are your time constraints. There is a lot of time involved in learning how to do SEO, PPC, email marketing, etc. and, more importantly, doing it the right way.
I see so many business owners struggle in trying to do everything themselves (and not just in relation to online marketing) in an effort to keep costs down. But in the process they waste money on courses that are outdated or just flat out give bad advice, create AdWords campaigns that aren’t set up correctly so they blow money on clicks that have no chance of resulting in business, approach SEO in a way that takes twice as much time and is half as effective as getting an expert to handle it, etc.
A bigger company may be in a better position to hire a skilled internal marketing person to handle all this stuff…a small business usually can’t and, in most cases, would be better served outsourcing things that they’re not good at or don’t enjoy doing.
In a non-marketing example, I hired a bookkeeper last year because updating QuickBooks was always a chore for me. I didn’t enjoy it, I knew I wasn’t entering all the data correctly and it would take me forever come tax season to go back and figure out what I’d screwed up. Now I don’t have to worry about that because I have an expert who takes care of the hard part for me and I just need to spend a little time keeping an eye on things to make sure it looks right and the business is growing like I want it to. The time I used to spend on QuickBooks I can now spend my time focusing on things are in my area of core competencies and help generate leads and sales.”
I totally get trying to do everything yourself in an effort to save money. When I first started out, I didn’t want anyone else touching any aspect of my business. But over the past few years, I’ve hired outsourcers to help me in areas that I’m not good at, don’t enjoy doing or could pay someone $10 or $20 per hour when I could spend that same hour on tasks that could generate $100, $1000 or more per hour.
Yes, I’m biased toward outsourcing because I’d like companies to outsource their online marketing to my company. But I’ve seen first hand the difference finding good, strategic outsourcing partners can have because making that change from a “do it all myself” approach to a “outsource so I don’t run myself ragged focusing on stuff others can do better or cheaper” approach has been a major part of my company’s growth over the past 2 years.
I got the above gig by a woman out of the UK who also does photos of fortune cookies with custom messages and other cool stuff. You can check out what she offers here.
In my last post, I mentioned there are some gigs that I’d recommend staying clear of on Fiverr. Here are 4 I’d avoid…
1. Link building.
There are a ton of link building gigs on Fiverr from sellers promising that they’ll help you with SEO. The gigs offer anything from a few links on high PageRank websites (high PR sites tend to have more authority in Google’s eyes) to 10,000+ links from who knows where.
Link building is a very dangerous business these days and you really have to know what you’re doing. With all the changes Google’s been making lately, even top SEO professionals are struggling a bit with link building.
You get what you pay for and, on Fiverr, you’re playing Russian Roulette with your website if you hire someone there to do link building for you (even if they’re a highly rated seller).
So don’t take a chance of getting your site banned from Google. Avoid the link building gigs on Fiverr because the $5 you spend could end up costing you a heck of a lot more than that.
2. Web design.
As we discussed the other day, you can have success with small graphics projects on Fiverr. But, when it comes to designing a whole web site, what do you really expect you’re going to get for $5?
I’m not going to tell you that you absolutely, positively can’t get a halfway decent web design on Fiverr. But, the time and headaches involved in finding someone good are not worth it. Better to hire someone local or, at least go to an outsourcing site like oDesk or Guru.com where you can see more comprehensive ratings, reviews, etc. of designers before hiring them.
3. Web installation/programming.
Again, it’s possible to have a good experience here. The problem is that there are scam artists out on Fiverr. I would not take the chance of giving someone I don’t know access to my website. It’s not worth the risk.
4. Social media.
Here, I’m talking about gigs like “I’ll tweet your message out to my 5000 follower” or “I’ll get you 500 Likes on your FB page in 24 hours”. These are just scammy gigs and the quality of the people who see or Like your message is going to be very low.
The Bottom Line on Fiverr
Hiring outsourcers on Fiverr is a mixed bag. There are some true gems out there and, if you find them, hang on to them and give them as much work as you can (either on Fiverr or off).
But there are scam artists out there too. Luckily in ordering the $35 of gigs for this series of posts, I didn’t encounter any.
Though I wasn’t thrilled with the results I got from my design gigs, at least everyone delivered as promised. But not everyone’s so lucky and I know there are a number of people who are very disappointed in how poorly Fiverr has handled their cases when they got scammed.
But all in all, so long as you avoid the types of gigs listed above, the worst you can lose on any one gig is $5 so your downside is pretty low.
And, by far, the best gigs I got on Fiverr are the fun, creative videos and the ransom note that I shared throughout the posts in this series. They’re probably not going to get me any business, but the laughs and entertainment value I got out of them were certainly worth the $5 each.
And on that note, I leave you with two last gigs.
Here’s a fun video by an “Australian Nature Enthusiast” (who you can find here) promoting Words That Click…
And here are 4 adorable women from India doing a traditional dance (I’m assuming!) with my website name (spelled wrong!) behind them…
One thing I’ve used Fiverr for in the past, with some good success, is graphic design. There are a ton of graphic designers on Fiverr offering all sort of different services…logo design, banner ad design, custom cartoons, photo retouching, website header design, etc.
Putting Fiverr Designers to the Test
I’m developing a course, The Local PPC Blueprint, which is a step-by-step guide to setting up a Google AdWords account for a local business. I’ll need a logo and an eBook cover for the course. Nothing fancy, just something professional looking.
So I decided to see what I could get on Fiverr. I ordered 3 “gigs” (a gig is a project on Fiverr) for a total of $15 and here’s what I got…
1. For the first gig, I got 7 custom logo concepts developed. This was an “Express” gig on Fiverr and, exactly 7 hours 59 minutes and 19 seconds after ordering it, I had my logos.
The only direction I gave the designer on this one was the name of my course, that I was looking for something clean and professional and that the product was for local business owners. Here are the logos…
2. This one was another “Express” logo design from a highly rated seller and was delivered within 24 hours of my ordering it. I provided a bit more detail on this one (the seller had a short questionnaire for me to fill out after I placed the order). They asked for:
1. Logo type (text, image or both)
2. Text or image to be added, if any
3. Color choice
4. Target audience
5. Your website, if any
They delivered an editable source file (which is helpful if I ever wanted to tweak the logo) and also offer lifetime support for further help or support on the design. Here’s what they came up with…
3. This last one is a cover for my eBook. It was designed by a Top Rated Seller on Fiverr and, unlike the logos, was not an Express gig. But I still got the design within 24 hours of sending the information to the seller. Out of the logos I got above, I liked the last one best so I sent that, along with some copy I wanted on the eBook cover, to this seller. She came back with this…
So, in all, I spent $15 and, within 24 hours of placing each order, got the finished design back.
I’m not crazy about any of the logos above. Though I think a few of the logos have potential and could be tweaked into something I’d be happy with.
And I think the eBook cover is dreadful…I don’t like the yellow background at all and I’m not sure that I can (or want to) use Google’s logo on it. But it only cost $5 so no big loss.
6 Lessons Learned About Using Fiverr for Graphic Design
So what have I learned from ordering these, and other, graphics gigs on Fiverr?
1. The more direction you provide the sellers about what you’re looking for, the better your chance of success. I provided very little direction to the sellers above and the results reflect that. Even just providing some samples of company logos you like to a seller would be very helpful in guiding the finished product you receive.
2. If you need high quality, custom, original graphics done that reflect your business/product/service, Fiverr isn’t the place for you. To get that level of attention and service, you need to spend the money to hire a skilled professional designer for a lot more than $5!
3. Fiverr’s great for generating ideas and brainstorming. For $20, you can hire 4 different people for your graphic design project and get 4 different concepts. You may end up with either a concept or two you can run with or, at the very least, have something you can use as a starting point. And, if not, you’re only out $20. Very little downside here!
4. The most successful graphic design gigs I’ve gotten in the past on Fiverr have been for creating headers for WordPress sites I’ve built. In those cases, I knew the words and images I wanted in the headers but just needed someone to lay it out for me. In a few cases, I went back to the seller to have them make some minor changes to their original work to get it just right (most sellers will do minor revisions at no additional charge). But, overall, I’ve been very happy using Fiverr for this type of work.
5. It’s great for finding people to make simple tweaks to your existing graphics. It’s probably not worth your time to mess around with graphics or photos in image editing software. If you know what you want and it’s pretty straightforward to do, you can find someone on Fiverr to take care of it for you and spare you the time and headaches of doing it yourself.
6. If you need decent graphics fast and cheap, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better place to get them than Fiverr.
While you can have success on Fiverr for graphics projects, there are some types of projects I would never use Fiverr for. I’ll cover those, and share some more of the gigs I ordered, in my next post.
And, out of curiosity, what do you think about the graphics above? Any stand out at you as being particularly good/bad? Are they worth $5?
Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.
There’s a lot of talk about outsourcing these days. And for good reason. You can have people from all over the world do things for your business at dirt cheap rates.
My favorite outsourcing site is Fiverr. This site is built around the concept of hiring people to do things for $5. And you’d be amazed at what people will do for $5.
Among the popular offerings on the site are graphic design, SEO, writing, voiceovers, help with WordPress sites, and even fun, off-beat projects like this one that I got last week (the ending is the best part!)…
I’ve watched it at least a dozen times and still crack up every time!
Sure, there were some rough edits and there’s some inaccurate information (though I was named to a list of 20 “Smokin’ Hot Pieces of Brain Candy”, it was not a list of the top 20 Internet marketers). However, all I did was send him a very rough idea of what I wanted him to talk about and he ad libbed most of the video and did a great job of it!
Now I’m probably not going to put this on the consulting services page of my website, but I’ve posted it on YouTube and embedded it in this post. And for the $5 I paid, whatever posting it in those two places does for me is totally worth it!
Over the next few posts (click to read Part 2 and Part 3), I’m going to share the lessons I’ve learned on using Fiverr.com…what it’s good for, what you want to avoid and also share some of the other gigs I recently ordered (some more serious and others, like the “preacher” video above, more on the fun side!).
Until then, if you want a “preacher” singing the praises of you or your company for $5, check out my new buddy banjoman15 on Fiverr.
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