I can still remember the first time I heard about Fiverr. I had read an article about a university student, who had a start up project. Presumably it was in a newspaper. The article asked her if she had any lessons to share or things she’d wished she’d known, and that’s when she mentioned Fiverr. She said that she regretted spending a bunch of money on logo and graphic design, when she should have just got one from Fiverr that was good enough to use.
Now, I didn’t think I had any particular needs for a logo, but it piqued my curiosity and I checked out the site. There were all sorts of “gigs” you could purchase, including proofreading documents, customized video intros for your site or business, writing names in the sand and taking a picture, writing (fake) product reviews, making video product reviews and testimonials, graphic design jobs and more.
I filed this information away for later, not knowing when I might find myself in a position that could utilize a Fiverr gig.
When it Happened
The local curling club has those old-school stacking wooden chairs. The ones with the brown metal frames, I know you know the ones! On the back of some of the chairs, there is Jiffy marker drawing, an outline of an icon mountain range with a curling rock set at the base, looking like a lake. It’s very much a logo, a simple black line drawing, with crisp edges and zero detail.
The curling club wanted to get a new sign made for outside, plus a few jackets and to update the website. I figured that this was the perfect Fiverr gig! Making a digital version of the logo would be straightforward for someone who knew their way around photoshop, plus they didn’t even have to dream up a design, which is part of a lot of gigs! I snapped a picture with my phone and approached two people who listed their graphic design skills as including logos.
Result Number 1
I still get mad when I think about this one. I’m getting mad right now, while typing this. I had decided that I should pick one person based in an Anglophone country, to make sure there weren’t any communication problems, and one person from somewhere else who had a few positive ratings. The first guy was in his early twenties and American. I sent him an email, explaining I wanted a digital version of the attached picture, explained that it was mountains and a curling rock, in case it wasn’t clear or he wanted to look at more reference material for the design, and could I please have the .jpg and the .vps files.
He responded that he would be able to do it, no problem.
“Okay, awesome,” I thought to myself. I went on Fiverr and paid this guy $5. I was stoked that I was going to finally have a digital version of this logo, to plaster on whatever I felt like!
A day or two later, I got a file back. When I opened it, my jaw dropped.
It was worse than if I had made it in paint.
It was worse than if I had asked a ten year old to make it in paint.
He had gone into paint, picked the spray paint paint brush, and drawn a VERY vague approximation of what I had sent, and attached it to an email to me. No multiple files, not even a close version of the picture I had sent, just a 30 second freehand version. I tried to find it to show you how terrible it was, but I seem to have deleted it from the face of the planet, for good reason.
I was LIVID. This was a few years ago, and there wasn’t yet a dispute forum. Plus, because I had requested a custom gig, there was nowhere attached to the job for me to write a negative review. I could, however, write horrible reviews on the posted gigs that this guy had, and I did. Part of the problem with a $5 job is that I only wanted to expend so much effort on attempting to recoup the money. Mostly, I didn’t want this jerk to rip anyone else off. I bet there is a way to deal with this, now, but I haven’t looked into it.
Result Number 2
After the first attempt, I was rather hesitant to proceed, but I saw so many great reviews and examples of what other people had managed to have made on Fiverr, so I decided to try again. This time I was a little bit worried about the language barrier, but again, the job was pretty simple – recreate this basic black outline from a photograph, in a vector file.
I am so glad that I risked another $5! The second person had super-fast turnaround time, gave me both file types, made sure that it was what I wanted, and overall did an excellent job. Happy Anne!
My Thoughts Going Forward
I don’t peruse the site very often, because I haven’t needed much lately. There are certain things that are a natural fit for Fiverr gigs, like editing short documents, making pre-set videos and changing the text to your company’s name, writing comments and ghostwriting very basic articles. There is a lot of blogging support available on Fiverr, like easy code tweaks and plugin installs with configuration. Remember that some things that would take you all day will only take a few minutes for people who know their stuff!
I have heard of people having success with getting articles ghostwritten from Fiverr, as well. The best match tends to be articles that do not require a lot of research and aren’t terribly long. A great example would be writing a sponsored post, where you have the link(s) and a rough topic idea, that isn’t too complicated.
Doing Your Own Gigs
If you are looking to pick up a few bucks on the side, take a look at the types of gigs offered on Fiverr. Perhaps you could do a better job, quickly. Perhaps you can do the same thing, quickly. Maybe you have another skill that’s not overly represented, or you are looking for a way to build your portfolio that isn’t completely for free. Take a look and see if there are any good fits!
Notice the trend? Quickly. My understanding is that you earn $4 for performing a gig, so you want to ensure you aren’t spending an entire hour on the job, unless you happen to live somewhere where that is a reasonable and useful wage, or you really desperately need the dollars.
Do you have any experiences with Fiverr? How did they go?