Updated: Apr 20
Why we think your brand should be worth more than a fiverr
With the gig economy in full swing, many companies find themselves outsourcing tasks to third parties. If done right, this can be an excellent way to complement a small team with a skill set that wouldn’t make sense dragging another desk into the office for, and is highly effective at lowering the overall cost of completing projects that require multiple disciplines.
Whilst this can feel like a great deal for many SMEs, some of the solutions to this look a lot like a shiny magic box that will solve everything for 20 bucks. In reality, these “game-changing” platforms have an unfortunate result that is only apparent after money has been spent and valuable time wasted: mediocre results (and passive aggressive emails).
This is not to say that there aren’t incredibly skilled people out there working away in their Mums basement making logos good enough for Instagram; certainly there are projects launched and companies in existence right now that would not be, without the resources made available by freelancing sites.
Unfortunately the chance of you being lucky enough to actually get one of these basement unicorns, is roughly the same as if you were to walk into a Starbucks and start throwing money at anyone with a MacBook. Using the quick and easy solution often ends up costing either more resources allocated, or the integration of weak links in the quality of your brand.
But what is it missing that, more often than not, makes for such a poor result?
Nothing gets in the way of great collaboration between a company and an outsourced partner, than the lack of a constructive relationship.
Ideally: Relationships built by longer and more structured interactions between client and provider, create the kind of synergy that helps to build a relatable story and strong strategy behind your brand.
But: Freelance sites are not built around developing these kinds of relationships; they make revenue every time a relationship is initiated and paid for, irrelevant of the quality. This means you risk running it too close to the line and having to settle for results that your grandmother could have provided, and without the freshly baked cookies.
- Seriously, Gran, stop feeding me cookies and then telling me I’m getting fat; get back to your Fiverr job.
Aside from a ranting 2 star review, or perhaps a 4 out of 5 (because eventually after 7 re-works and 6 weeks of delays they managed to suggest a “great compromise”); it’s the accountability of this third party that can be difficult to asses.
Ideally: Trust between you and your chosen outsourced partner is the signature of a worthwhile relationship. Knowing that they hold the results to the same standard as you and can actually deliver them is paramount.
But: There is no centralised platform around today that is immune from fake reviews, ghost followers, and click farm likes. And who’s to stop them from saying that perhaps you just weren’t clear enough with your instructions or didn’t provide the right collateral for them to work with, after all “Carole” was very clear in the FAQ’s that it’s your responsibility.
- Well played, Carole!
The Reality of Freelance Websites
Expectation: @Gabby_GroovySolutions_Fontana, sent you a message with some generic questions and always delivers on time. This should work nicely!
Reality: Gabby copy-and-pasted content into a template for a different industry, and doesn’t actually have the professional experience to deliver what you need on time.
- Did you even try, Gabby?
Expectation: “Erik” has a 94% rating, so you trust him to create a slick Corporate Identity like the ones he has pictures of.
Reality: Erik copied some nice designs from a google image search, and then paid his friends $5 to give him a nice rating. He provides you with a “super cool” napkin drawing of a flying Eskimo.
- Thanks, Erik.
Expectation: “Meiko” spent 2 days asking questions and outlining how she’ll deliver the market research you need. She gets it!
Reality: Meiko made the effort, but after just 2 days she doesn’t fully understand your company’s story and what she sends you doesn’t actually help in the long run.
- Seriously, Meiko, I already knew all this stuff.
Expectation: Ok fine, you found “Bob” and you’re almost certain he knows what to do! Surely, he can’t be as bad as these other people… right??
Reality: Bob looks good! But he’s also got 20 other projects and can’t dedicate the time and effort your project needs.
- Not again, Bob!
Expectation: “Steve” only costs $20 and...
- For F&@$ sake!! Steve already took $20 upfront and can’t even spell your name!
So what’s the solution? Is there a way to easily find a third party to outsource your work to that is worth the cost and delivers valuable work and insight that you can happily integrate into your own? Yes! But it won’t be on websites that offer a “quick and cheap” solution. For Fiverr in particular, it’s even in the name! Do you really want to spend $5 on something that is going to affect how you connect to your consumers??
Perhaps what it takes is a little bit of patience. Perhaps the dream of a tap that you can turn on that pours out instant work from highly skilled freelancers that make your life worthy of a Disney song, hasn’t quite materialised yet. Until then, consider the next best solution: Great work, from a third-party that you spent a little extra time finding and getting to know before departing with your cash and time-table.
Great outsourcing happens when your chosen expert takes the time to get to know you, your company, and exactly what needs to be done. They build a relationship first that gets everyone on the same page and they dedicate the time and effort needed to generate the trust that allows for a project to run smoothly. And this relationship shouldn’t be one-off. As the market place and consumer interests shift so must your strategy, and your chosen outsourced partner should be there for that because they understand your needs.
And who better to help you tell the right story to your customers than a partner who understands you and is in it for the long run? Trust M A K E R S to get it right. There might even be some cookies in it for everyone.