How good are you at graphical design? Not that great? Me neither. What about composing a jingle? Also not that great? Me neither. But that is no big problem. You don’t need to be great at everything because there are experts out there. You just need to know where to find them.

How outsourcing can save your time and money

When I started my business, I tried to do everything myself – probably like most people. I designed my own logo, wrote all my reports, transcribed everything myself, researched everything myself and even tried to create my own jingle. While it is entertaining and interesting, it is a waste of time!

I’ve been committed and tried hard, but in the end, the quality wasn’t very good. Of course! Because I’ve never trained those skills and wasn’t really knowing what I’m doing. I lost a lot of time trying to improve something that I’m not good at, just to be frustrated about the result. So I had a choice to make: Continue wasting my time with operational tasks that I am not good at anyway or outsource such type of tasks and rather focus on the value-adding activities. I chose the latter.

A friend of mine recommended Fiverr, an outsourcing provider that works with independent contractors. There are of course more platforms like this, but they all work very similar: You post a request of what you are looking for, name a budget, and contractors can provide an offer. You can then review all the offers and decide for one (or several) providers to go with. My first outsourced job was my first logo. I received approximately 30 offers, chose 1 provider, paid 5 US-Dollars and received 3 high-quality logos to select from. My friend was amazed where I got the logo from. When I shared where I got it and how little I paid, he almost freaked out because he just spent 3.000 Euros for his logo! What a price spread! Even if I had commissioned 10 providers at the same time, mine would have still been 6x cheaper! From that moment I outsource all my creative work to Fiverr. I asked someone to compose a jingle, got 2 more logos, outsourced extensive research tasks, got great proposals for book and course titles, 2 book covers and a PowerPoint template. Each of them for less than $30.

What to look out for when working with Fiverr?

When you have never worked with Fiverr, let me briefly explain how it works:

As first step you create an account for free. Now you can post a request. You briefly describe what you are looking for, chose a the type of service you are looking for, your timeline and a budget. After posting your request, Fiverr will review your post. This can be seen as a quality gate and ensures that potential providers understand what you are looking for. If you have no idea which service type to choose, just go to the general navigation of Fiverr, which is organized by different service categories (e.g. “Graphics & Design” or “Music & Audio”). Each category has subsequent filters. For example, when you look for a logo, you go into “Graphics & Design”, “Logo Design” and then you can see additional options like style, included services or file formats. Instead of posting a request, you can also look for provider profiles and search for somebody that can provide the service you are looking for. This is a good approach if you have a request that is not time-sensitive.

You will receive offers after your request was published. I would recommend to wait one day to get several offers to compare. You won’t only get offers that match your budget, therefore take a little bit of time to compare. My three most important criteria for selecting a vendor are:

  1. How many positive ratings does the provider have? You don’t want to work with total beginners. Make sure that there are in best case several 100 or even 1000 ratings. Then you know that you are working with somebody that knows how to handle requests and asks the right questions. Also look at the details of the ratings. What exactly did the other buyers rate as positive or negative? What comments did they leave?
  2. Look at the style of the provider and review if the work results match your expectations and preferences. If you are looking for someone to design your business book cover, but you only see romantic, pink covers as previous work samples, this is probably not the right provider for you. Or if you want a nicely designed smooth logo, but the provider only showcases comic style logos, you may want to continue searching. You want a provider that matches your style. You can check their samples and previous works in their profile. If you don’t see many samples, you may want to pass on and look for somebody else.
  3. Another point I always have an eye on is the number of revisions. This is the amount of corrections that you can request without additional charges. If possible, you want to chose a provider that offers unlimited revisions.

For any other extras, e.g. commercial usage, source files, etc. make sure to check in the category itself which options are the most requested ones and select them appropriately.

What should you not outsource?

Don’t outsource strategic tasks. You need to do the thinking for your company, the idea creation, the networking, the social media postings, marketing and sales. Rather get yourself an assistant who you can train to support you with these tasks, if it is too much for you to handle by yourself. Trying to outsource such core tasks can create serious trouble.

With this, you are ready to go and use Fiverr for your best benefit. Try and test smaller work scopes first to become more familiar with this platform.

 Which tools do you use for outsourcing?