Cheap comes at a cost - review of Fiverr
It may be tempting to get a logo designed for your small business by hiring a designer on Fiverr (or other similar platforms), it's cheap! But anything that's cheap is 'costing' somewhere else, so what are you compromising on?
Looking into Fiverr, I went in with a bias view but I wanted to genuinely see if this platform would benefit designers to make it easier for them to find clients and earn a living without the usual 'Feast or Famine' business lifestyle. Unfortunately, looking into the platform only confirmed my biases. Bear in mind that I'm coming at this from a designer point-of-view and would love to hear from you if you've had a different experience so I can learn from a different perspective to mine.
What is Fiverr?
Fiver is a platform bringing designers and clients together in order to provide a cheap alternative to getting work designed for small businesses and clients that either can't afford or don't want to pay for a higher cost service. It is global, which could be helpful if you're a global or international business and need international design sensibilities. Prices start at $5, hence the name Fiverr. That's $5 PER JOB, not by the hour! Very cheap! So what's the downside?
There is a power imbalance, the power is most definitely on the side of the client ('buyer') and not on the designer ('seller')
Designers progress onto a higher status through completing a certain amount of successful completed transactions and positive ratings, if the buyer isn't pleased for any reason, they have the power to rate down the seller and this will hinder their progress and status within the platform
The relationship between buyer and seller is restricted to the platform so there's no real opportunity to create a long-term relationship outside the platform, in fact it's strongly discouraged
Communication also seems to be a compromise, there doesn't seem to be an opportunity to dissuade the client if they're going down the wrong design path. As the designer, it's our responsibility to steer the client in order for them to get the desired result and sometimes conversations could feel combative, this seems impossible on a platform like this, no matter how much the designer has the buyers best interest at heart
As a designer, you can only market yourself within the platform designers are not permitted to market/advertise on Google, which means you can't advertise any of the work on your own website or social media, which means any work done within Fiverr cannot form part of your portfolio
Copyright is also confusing, as the buyer pays in advance to the platform, in theory this means that Fiverr actually own the copyright to all work produced by the seller, so any unused designs may well belong to the platform and cannot be used to promote the sellers work outside Fiverr either
Because Fiverr work as a mediator between buyer and seller this also puts a question mark on Stock Images, making the rights very confusing and open to manipulated. Currently only Getty Images have agreed to be available for purchase and again will be owned by the buyer and the platform, the designer will have no right to the image in any way shape or form, even if the opportunity to retouch the photo so that's it's unrecognisable to the original, the rules are so restrictive and Getty are well known for being highly litigious so this builds another barrier in the business relationship between seller and buyer
It's an opportunity to earn a bit of money on the side of your full time job
If you're a diligent designer, you could potentially move up the ranks and earn a higher amount from jobs
You don't have to network and seek out your own clients
There are many benefits for the buyer, price is the top one, it's a very competitive platform so you're bound to find someone to help you at a price you like
If you're a buyer that can write a very clear brief, you're likely to receive work you're happy with
The buyer doesn't necessarily come out of the experience unscathed either, if they're paying for a logo to be designed at such a low cost that most likely means a very short discovery phase, no long-term branding planning, no growth strategy, an incomplete handover discussion to help the buyer implement the logo within a brand to the fullest advantage in growing the business. If you're after a placeholder, throw away logo then perhaps this platform would benefit you but if you're looking to create a business that gives the perception of one that will last then I'm not sure that Fiverr (or other similar platforms) would benefit your business.
In comparison, hiring a designer outside the platform will give you a lot more of an intimate service. At Mystery Hare:
Hiring a freelancer:
Logo design starts at £350 but it also includes being designed as part of a brand and at the end of the design process you'll be able to implement your brand effectively to give your ideal client a predetermined impression
We begin with defining your brand personality and then I'll go off and do some research, this is the Discovery Phase
We'll then discuss the direction, colour palette and font selection and the information found within this process will enable me to start sketching out some ideas
This is a collaborative process because you know your business the best and will have an idea on how you want to grow so we'll have a few regular touch points to confirm trajectory so there's no wasted time and money
Upon final approval of the logo, you'll receive a selection of assets
logo file formats for all possible uses
mini guidelines document explaining the colour and font theory and a few marketing ideas to point you in the right direction
During the whole process, we'll most likely look at your current brand collateral and discuss how to make changes to show a consistent brand to your ideas customers including printed literature and online presence
My hopes are to work with you again in the future but I don't make it impossible for you to work with other suppliers, you'll receive the choice to work however you're most comfortable and hopefully, you'll feel like the money you've spent with me if an investment to growing your business and knowing that your business will be a success because you've invested your time and money into yourself as a business owner
Jacob Cass, Just Creative Fiverr Review >
If you'd like to start defining your brand personality then visit my shop. You can buy a Brand Personality Definition Worksheet (digital download) for only £2.99. It's an exercise that you can do yourself to discover the human element behind your business so you can work at discovering your ideal client and what would attract them to working with you.