Freelance Business Advice: How to Hire Really Competent Freelancers to Help You Grow Your Biz for Just $5 – Really!

I posted the following link on my SEO writing company’s Facebook page: The Frugal Content Marketer’s Secret Weapon. One freelancer commented, asking, “Is that $5 per hour? Why would such talented folks work so cheaply?”

Note: This post contains affiliate links. Please see my disclosure statement for full details.

I gave my thoughts on why and thought I’d share this info with you because I know that as a busy freelancer, you probably wear many hats. I know I do, eg, freelance online writer, self-publisher, blogger, affiliate marketer, newsletter publisher, social media account manager, SEO writing company manager (which means managing other freelancers), etc. The list could go on and on.

There are just not enough hours in the day to do everything. So in case you’re thinking, “No ‘good freelancer’ can be hired for a mere $5;” au contraire mon frere, they can. And, they can help you turn what may be a side gig into a full-time, online business. Following is why and how.

Why Good Freelance Help Can be Hired for as Little as $5

Independent contractors like those found on Fiverr have different reasons for freelancing. Some want to make a go of it full-time; others just want to earn side money. And with many people being so tech challenged, it’s a win-win for all.

For example, I know how to work in WordPress, but it took me forever to figure out how to do a WordPress install. Until I learned how to do it, I outsourced this function of my business. And my tech guy — he can do it in about two minutes. Now that I know how to do one, I know why it’s not so hard. But I had to sit my toukas down and figure it out first — which I wasn’t prepared to do at the time, so I paid someone to do it.

Another example — do you know how many people don’t know how to set up a Facebook page? Takes about a minute, right? Well I paid someone to do my first one for me. I didn’t know how to do it, was in a rush to get one up and just outsourced it.

Now that I know how easy it is to do one, I feel silly for telling you that, but there are many people like me who don’t have time to learn something new before they want/need it done, and will gladly pay someone a few bucks to do it.

And, there are others who never want to learn how to do certain things and will gladly pay others to do it for them. Hence, the success of Fiverr (just my 2 cents).

Projects I’ve Hired Freelancers from Fiverr to Handle

How to Use Fiverr to Grow Your Freelance Business

I’ve used talent from Fiverr to create cover art for an ebook; do a video for an affiliate product and set up social media accounts and pages.

In short, anything that’s kind of tech-oriented and outside of my area of expertise and/or that I don’t have time to figure out and I’m on a deadline, I’ve used freelancers from Fiverr.

Again, the reason is, if you know how to do something like set up a Facebook page or do a WP install – it can take you mere minutes. For someone who DOESN’T know though, it can take them a few hours. And in business, time is money.

Think about it this way — the person who can set up 20 Facebook pages can probably do so in less than an hour. That’s $100 for them; hence the success of this site (again, in my humble opinion).

Do Reputable (Freelance) Businesses Really Use Fiverr?

Just in case you’re thinking, “Nobody credible would use freelancers from this site,” you’re wrong. Following are some links to buzz about the site.

Kim Roach (FT internet entrepreneur) over at BuzzBlogger.com: 3 Unusual Ways to get Traffic with Fiverr;

New York Times Small Biz Writeup: How Small Businesses Use Fiverr, TaskRabbit and Other Services; and

Heather Lutze (Search Engine Speaker) over at Findability.com: How to Use Fiverr to Get What You Need.

And here’s a great example of a blogger who uses Fiverr as kind of an “on-demand virtual assistant” (her words). She’s hired giggers to do everything from draw a picture of her in a Christmas sweater to use on her social media pages during the holidays, to design landing pages, to tweet for a Kickstarter campaign she was doing.

These are just four examples; there are many others — and again, so many types of gigs you can hire people to do.

Types of Projects I Would Not Outsource to Freelancers on Fiverr

Writing. As a writer, I know the time it takes to write even the simplest article. Hence, I’m too skeptical of the quality I’d get, and I just wouldn’t feel right paying a writer $5. But that’s just me. FYI, there are plenty of freelance writers on there with good reviews.

The Downside of Hiring Freelancers from Fiverr

Some of the talent on there is flaky, as in, they never get back to you. This happened to me on a couple of occasions with a video project. The great thing about Fiverr though is that you don’t pay until the project is complete, and you can see feedback on all contractors before you hire them.

Warning about Using Freelance Talent Found on Fiverr

I once hired someone to integrate a subscriber sign-up form on my site. I wasn’t happy with the job (it was beyond unprofessional) and decided to cancel the job. The gigger had my AWeber account sign-in info. They sabotaged my account, ie, deleted subscribers (almost 2,500 email addresses), sent obscene messages to my list, put offensive graphics where my logo should have been, etc. It was a hot mess!

And I’d even told the person that I wasn’t going to leave them bad feedback; all I wanted was to cancel the gig. Well, before I could change my password — which I didn’t get around to for a couple of hours because I never dreamed that someone would be so vindictive — the gigger had wreaked havoc with my account. Luckily, AWeber was able to restore all of my email addresses, which is why I’ll forever be loyal to them.

Oh, and what did Fiverr do when I reported the person? They said since I didn’t have proof, they couldn’t do anything. I know it was that gigger though because they’re the only person I’ve EVER given my AWeber log-in information to, and the snarky message they sent when I confronted them about it verified what I already knew.

So don’t trust Fiverr to come to your rescue if something like this happens. Based on my experience, I’d say you won’t have any luck. So if you do have work done where an exchange of sensitive info like passwords is given, be sure to change your password as soon as the job is complete, and keep backups of everything.

Other than this horrific experience — and a couple of times where people just didn’t get back to me — I’ve had nothing but positive experiences with Fiverr.

Make Money as a Freelancer on Fiverr

If you have a skill, eg, managing social media accounts, writing, creating videos, creating ebook covers and other graphics, illustrating, doing story boards, converting docs to various formats (eg, from Word to pdf), etc. — you can create an account on Fiverr (it’s free!) and start earning. There are thousands of different types of gigs you can do.

I interviewed some successful giggers (what freelancers on the site are called) for my book, The Ultimate Freelancer’s Guidebook. They gave some great insight into how they make a full-time living on Fiverr. One even bought a new house from his earnings on the site.

Related Post: 15 Ways To Make Money On Fiverr

Bottom line: If you’re a busy freelancer and want to expand your service offerings and/or need help in a pinch, there’s some good talent to be had on Fiverr. FYI, here’s the story of how/why Fiverr got started. Click the graphic below to give it a whirl and see what you think.

Your Take?

Would you use Fiverr? Have you used Fiverr? What’s been your experience if you have? Would you use them again? Will you now consider using them if you hadn’t before? Please share in the comments section below.

Note: This post was first published on May 15, 2013. It was updated in June of 2017.

P.S.: How to Land Social Media Consulting Clients — First-Hand Advice for Freelance Writers. Get all three for one low price!
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    1. Terry S says:

      I haven’t used Fiverr yet, but I’ve been getting acquainted with what’s being offered and by whom. I’ve noticed that a lot of gigs have “extras” you can choose, and those can bump up what the freelancer ends up getting for it – e.g., +$10 for faster turn-around.

      • @Terry:

        It’s a genius part of the site for freelancers IMO.

        Like the 99 cent or $1 store, they “hook” you with the low “regular” price, then once you get in there, there are other things for more than a buck that you usually buy. Hey, I ain’t mad at ’em!

        Good luck if you try them. Like I said in the post, I find it great for tech stuff that’s too challenging for me.

        Thanks for sharing.

    2. I’ve used them several times for marketing stuff and had really good luck. I actually did use a writer for a couple of articles for one of my websites just because I was curious how they would do and I was being too lazy to write them myself. She did a great job.

      I wouldn’t work this cheaply, but I figure who am I to tell them what to charge or how to run their business. They must have their own reasons for offering their services on Fiverr.

      If they are happy for the business then I see it as a win / win situation.

      • @Beth:

        Thanks for sharing your experience with writers. I have a couple of affiliate blogs I’m constantly behind on updating, so may need to revisit my thoughts on using writers from Fiverr for this purpose.

        As for “I wouldn’t work this cheaply, but I figure who am I to tell them what to charge or how to run their business,” my sentiments exactly.

        Continued success!

    3. I’ve used fiverr for e-book covers. I know how to write, but putting together pictures with text that flows well is not my forte. The woman who did my e-books probably did it in five minutes with some free stock photos — nothing fancy.

      I tried to create a blog header using picmonkey.com which is supposed to be easy to use — way easier than photoshop. It took me about 12 hours to figure out how it worked, get the colors I wanted, and try out fonts! And you know what? It still looked terrible! Way too much time and effort on my part. I’d rather just pay someone else $5 and get it back in 2 days so I can focus on other things.

      • @Halona:

        You just illustrated beautifully why Fiverr is so popular and successful. I feel the exact same way.

        And I feel ya on the cover art thing. I create all my non-fiction ebook covers, but fiction requires a whole different skill set, which I just don’t have, so I outsource this.

        Thanks for sharing!

    4. @Jean:

      I totally agree with what you said. But to me, if ppl are willing to sell their skill set for $5, who am I to tell them not to.

      To me, it’s like telling freelance writers what to charge — we both know how that argument usually ends.

      In the end, each person is in charge of his/her own destiny, and as Niall’s input so perfectly illustrates, freelancers use Fiverr as a launch pad to do their own thing.

      When used this way, it’s really kind of genius IMO.

      Loved the story by the way, esp the way the company owner was invoiced. Can’t argue with that! 🙂

    5. @Niall:

      I suspect that’s why many freelancers use Fiverr, so good for this freelancer! That’s entrepreneurism at its best (aka leveraging one platform to build your own so you earn more).

      Love it!

    6. @Monique:

      Thanks for the insight on using Fiverr freelancers for lead generation; hadn’t thought of that (I’m not on there often).

      Thanks for sharing your experience with the site. It helps to get as much feedback as possible from those who’ve actually used the site.

      Continued success!

    7. The vast majority of gigs you’ll find on Fiverr promise great things but usually don’t deliver anything close to their promises – especially in marketing gigs.

      Now with that being said there are some fantastic gigs on Fiverr that I use on a regular basis, and yes it does seem almost criminal to be paying some of these guys $5 per gig.

      Except…the really clever Fiverr gig providers build up a great reputation there and then parlay their $5 into a $25 – $50 gig elsewhere instead. I’ve seen a couple of people do this and just today I spent time on Google tracking one of them down.

      She’s now charging 5x as much as she did on Fiverr but I’m happy to pay her that or more.

      Perspective counts for a lot, both as somebody hiring people from Fiverr and the really smart marketers using it to build a mass audience very quickly 🙂

    8. Yuwanda,

      I truly don’t believe anyone who has the skills that probably TOOK them hours to learn should sell their talents short (and ask for just $5) just because they can NOW do it in just a minute. That talent and skill took education, time and talent. Their knowledge is highly valuable. OUR knowledge and talent is highly valuable.

      I’ll let a true story make my point, told to me by my dad, a retired aeronautical engineer (helped build the rockets that powered the Apollo astronauts to the moon).

      One of his mentors was a genius at fixing large, technical (for the 1960s) machinery. He’d been doing it many, many years, learned by sweat equity and education.

      A large machine at my dad’s firm was on the fritz. Many talented employees tried to fix it, but couldn’t. So my dad suggested calling in his mentor. The mentor came in, looked at the machine, took out a wrench, tightened a bolt. Voila! The machine worked; they were back in business making money!

      The mentor sent the president of the company his bill: $5K. Which in the ’60s was some pretty good coin.

      “‘Five thousand dollars!'” my dad said the company owner said when he saw the bill. “‘All he did was tighten a screw! He needs to redo this bill!'”

      So the fella who fixed the machine did:

      Invoice: Repair of Machine.
      Parts and Labor: 5 cents.
      Knowing which bolt to tighten when all your techs, college-educated managers and mechanical and aeronautical engineers didn’t: $4.999.95.

      The owner of the company paid the bill.


    9. I use fiverr all the time. I use them consistently (well, a specific contractor, at least) for research. I can get a list of names, URLs, and website addresses (about 100) to market to for $5. I’m sure he’s using a script, but that’s okay with me, because it would take me HOURS to get that many leads. I’m happy to pay for them.

      I’ve gotten logos, recipes, and other stuff on fiverr. I’m there a few times a week.

      By the way, the contractor gets $4, and fiverr gets $1.

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