Before I started my profession as a graphic / web designer I had come across a website called fiverr.com . On this site people give you things for $5.00…not even £5.00! I knew of this site but never told my boss about it, why would I want to tell him? It was like a chicken that lays golden eggs, if i told him would it put my job in danger? After a while I decided to tell him when he asked me how to increase his twitter following quickly..he didn’t care about who followed him so the niche market didn’t really matter…all that mattered was…he won a bet with his friend! In the end telling him about this website made my boss very happy so I guess that’s a designers job at the end of a day, to make others lives more enjoyable.In this blog post I plan to discuss the good, the bad and the ugly of fiver from a designers point of view.
Okay lets start from the good, sunshine and rainbows..I am a relatively young designer in terms of career, after studying for over 10 years in varying industries I eventually managed to find a position that allowed me to show my abilities that I have gained over so many years study. I managed to do some free work for family & friends, creating websites, logos & advertisements to increase my portfolio.
Unpaid work is good to some degree but to get $5.00 rather than nothing for your effort will make it a bit more worth your time than a free project for a friend plus working with friends and family is never a good idea as you might end up destroying your relationship with them if things don’t go according to plan.
Keep the creativity flowing
Fiver gives you a platform to allow you to get your designer tastes buds flowing, increase your portfolio to give you more cv power when applying for jobs and making sure that your imagination doesn’t dry up if your jobs are becoming less creative and more technical.
Oil your freelance wheels
As a freelancer, if work is pretty quiet , its a good way to bring in a few extra pennys into your account because although it says $5.00 you can sell things for more than that value. I have often seen extra items priced over $20.00 which is a little more reasonable seeing how long it takes to create a good logo design.
Other Services you may need
There are all kinds of professionals on this site, from seo specialists, website analysts, performers, musicians, photographers & more! They may have skills you need but you can’t afford the mainstream professionals. Good for those starting up a small business on a budget.
The thunderclouds have gathered, the rain has started and fiver starts to show its ugly side..
Not everyone is a professional
The first problem with hiring someone on fiver is that although a lot of people will be professional on the website some will just be trying their luck to try and earn a few extra pounds. There is a little risk that you are not going to be happy with the finished but am a strong believer that you do “get what you pay for”..
For a designer, someone selling their services for $5.00 that you may charge $500.00 for is really undermining the industry you work for. It is devaluing important creative skills that not everyone has and with the client only risking 5 dollars they arent too worried about loosing the price of a burger on a logo.
Whether we western designers like to admit it or not, Asian Cultures can charge a lot less than us and more often than not, do just as good a job. The value of 5 dollars in developing countries is a lot higher than in the west so we do have to compete with other nations but the advantage we have over these competing talented folk is that we are local, so if problems do occurt, it is easier to contact us and rectify any issues…but, I guess this argument is really just clutching at straws..we creatives best emigrate to these hotter climates :-).
Is Fiver giving designers a high five?
When we think of fiver, we think cheap cheap services and products! Bargain basement and with bargains usually comes lack of quality..will you find a pair of Armani sunglasses in a high street pound shop? I think not.
Higher level clients with money will still look for agencies and talented freelancers. What fiver does is give the starting designer a platform to showcase their skills and work the way up the ladder into an agency or create a greater awareness of their freelance portfolio.
It is also good for start up businesses that really can’t afford really flash services so all in all , i think fiverr.com is a great website especially in this economic climate.