My journey with outsourcing
I started outsourcing in 2010. I was working with a large data set in Excel that needed re-formatting and minor calculations. The first time I tried it, it took me over 8 hours to do. This was going to be a monthly project and I was not looking forward to fitting this project into my already overflowing schedule. I ended up finding an engineer in the Philippines that not only did it faster than me, but whose hourly rate was significantly less than mine. It made for an easy approval when I asked my supervisor to spring for the cost. This was done through Odesk.com. Odesk was great for building a long relationship with this contractor, but I faced a lot of frustrations when working on small, one time projects.
Turning to Fiverr
Fast forward to December 2013 and I am starting on my own freelancing adventures. Over the past few months I have had a random smattering of tasks (see below) I needed to complete. I turned to Fiverr and have been floored at the quality, ease, and speed of the services. Fiverr has been around since 2010. The premise is that their gigs start at $5. A seller can go up in price from there with additional services, but each seller has to offer some baseline product.
Example: Proofreading 3k Words ($5)
– For including the track changes function (additional $5)
– Providing feedback on your writing style (additional $15)
You get the picture. Now, here is where Fiverr has shined compared to my prior outsourcing experiences:
Great for when you are looking for a product, not a person. Odesk is geared more so to finding the right person to compete a task. You see a profile picture of this person and a resume of sorts with their qualifications. It takes time to go through all these and make the best selection. Fiverr on the other had has a higher emphasis on the product. Gigs are classified by the product, not by the person’s expertise.
Express Gigs- 24 hour Delivery Guaranteed. On the filter options you can search for gigs that will be delivered in less than 24 hours. Once your order is placed, a countdown timer starts. If that seller does not deliver within the 24 hour timeframe, your account will be refunded.
Expansive, visual portfolios. This is one area where Odesk is really lacking. When I bring up the page of a contractor, I have to dig to see samples of his work. Fiverr has this front and center for every contractor. While this does not apply for every type of gig (e.g. proofreading) it is very helpful when working in graphic design gigs. Fiverr also occasionally has the contractors recording a video talking about their product and services. Videos are one more valuable layer to understand who is going to be working on your contract.
Process flows very easily. Setting up an account is a fairly seamless process and payments can be done through Paypal. Once you order a gig, an automated message with the seller appears in your inbox probing for the requirements or necessary files to get started on your project. From this point there might be some back and forth for modifications, but communication is pretty minimal. Granted, I have learned the best practices over time for communicating with contractors and bottom line is this: the more information you can provide up front, the easier the process will be.
Completely random, fun things. Since the website has a great interface, I have found myself mindlessly clicking through the offered gigs just to see what was out there. One of them that I ended up getting was the Paper Truck Logo gig. I sent it as a thank you to a client in the transit industry with their company logo. I actually printed it out, assembled it at home, and then mailed it in a box. It made for a fun “crafternoon” activity and as you can imagine, the client was not expecting this type of thing to come in the mail.
As of today, I have ordered 23 Gigs from Fiverr. Here are some of the final products:
Logo design– I needed something with my name that I could use for personal branding. I have used this on Letterheads, documents, etc.
Creating a graphically enhanced resume– This was something that I had been wanting to do for a while and got it done quickly once I found out that I could pay someone $5. I am not knowledgeable about Photoshop and it would have taken me an immense amount of time to create something like this on my own. The idea behind these resumes is that they read more like a website. The human eye is becoming more trained to read in this format compare to the traditional resume. How/when to use this type of resume is a topic for another day, but if you do go the graphic route keep a traditional resume on hand.
Illustrating a quote– In recent marketing material I needed to have a quote to illustrate a point. I looked high and low on Pinterest. No where to be found. Fiverr to the rescue! My quote was illustrated in less than 24 hours.
Creating an eBook Cover– I started writing my first ever eBook in late 2013. The estimated completion date is late August (hold me to it!) and I just got the cover done last week. I brainstormed a couple of ideas and the seller really took my ideas to the next level.
Other Purchases (no cool graphics to display)– Proofreading, installing an open-sourced software on a server, asking an expert 10 questions on a software, creating a flash enhanced intro, and reviewing my LinkedIn profile.
Ready to get started? Check out the Fiverr website and the thousands of gigs available today.