by Kimberly Schramm –

Last week, I was part of a conversation with some of my NAWBO colleagues and Fiverr.com was mentioned as a source for help with office tasks. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the site, it’s one of the “digital sweatshops” that are operating on the Internet.  There are many similar sites, where you can find freelancers in practically every occupation.  The unique selling proposition for Fiverr.com is that you can go there and find people willing to do services for $5.00.

It’s one of the facts of modern life that everything can be done by someone else, cheaper.  Professions once considered immune to price competition, including medicine and law, are being outsourced to less developed countries.

Examples of the services offered on Fiverr include recording voiceovers, various word and data processing tasks, and anything related to web design – creating headers, Facebook covers, etc.  While there are some tasks that can be done for $5.00 and produce a fair wage for the worker, many of the tasks should command a far higher price.  Others are probably better done by real professionals who can justifiably command a higher fee for their services.

I have used Fiverr.  I’m currently creating a podcast to promote my upcoming book.  My podcasting advisor suggested Fiverr as a way to get a professional voice intro.  So I created an account, found several voice demos I liked, and chose one who had good recommendations.  I wrote the script, emailed it to him, and had my completed audio file in record time. If he keeps up that pace he definitely earns a decent wage.

Most of the “gigs” as they are called, cost $5.00 for one increment of work.  For example, the reading of the voiceover was $5.00.  The script was read exactly as delivered, and any changes or a second recording would cost an additional $5.00, as would recording a script longer than 150 words, or adding background music.

One of the most popular services offered on Fiverr is “logo design.” I contacted Donna Watson of Designer Mouse to get her input because this is her area of expertise.  Like all true design professionals, Donna charges more than $5.00 for a logo. But a design professional does far more than quickly create a graphic image.  The design process is about capturing the essence of your company and translating it into a visual message. This is a major step in the branding process, and that is worth far more than $5.00.

Today, it’s possible to find a “cheap” service provider for almost anything.  If the needed service is tangential to your business, using a Fiverr gig may be the right choice.  For anything else, using faceless freelancers can be a costly decision.  In my experience, it’s better to do business with someone you really know, like and trust.  Nothing replaces the personal and professional relationships we develop when we do business face to face.

Kimberly Schramm
Kimberly Schramm, owner of Like A Boomerang, is a Certified Inbound Marketer who helps her clients develop and implement strategies to target prospects and deliver their messages in a variety of media, online and offline.