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What Will You Do for $5? Buying & Selling Five Bucks at a Time on Fiverr

In the United States most of us have heard of the Dollar Store or Dollar Tree, where you can get various things like placemats and plastic food containers for $1.  Cost cutting creativity is a critical skill in the current global economy.  In the world of service creativity, let me tell you about a website where people post offers of what they will do for $5.  It’s called Fiverr and it is changing the way worldwide freelance gigs work.  For the average small business person who has some tasks she needs done (think social media) but doesn’t have the time, you might be surprised at what you find.

Social Fiverr

First of all let me tell you that digital marketers and web guys have known about Fiverr for a while.  To me it was knew and I’d bet it is to you too.  In fact I found out about it by taking a few online training courses on digital marketing.  I’m not an affiliate for Fiverr; for God’s sake this is Dime store eBay, Buy-it-Now stuff.

Fiverr has people all over the world (it uses the flags of the country of origin to represent where sellers are from) who create a standard service offering, usually digital delivery of something like video, for $5.  If you want it, great.  If you don’t, don’t expect heavy conversation with the seller or professional customer service.

Here are some of the typical social Fiverr things you can find:

Folks, I link to this stuff so you can see I am not making it up.

So what does that do for your business?  Well, nothing.  Just painting a portrait of what Gen-Yers are doing to earn money in a global recession.

Business Fiverr

Now here is where the cheese gets a little more binding, my friends.  There are plenty of cool business things you can find on Fiverr as well.  Everything from video intros to social media likes, Fiverr has it all and you’ll find many sellers trying to out-do each other to get the business.

For example:

I don’t need to go on, you get the point.  Fiverr seems to be the place to be to get backlinks to your site, Facebook likes, etc. very inexpensively.  Much like eBay sellers, Fiverr sellers are ranked according to how they delivered, if that gives you any comfort.

Why did I focus on Social Media?  Because all of us in small business realize it is something we need to do but most don’t have the time to do it, at least for business that is.  All those links and likes and +’s not only increase your relevance on the internet at large, meaning better SEO or Social Media juice, but they also create a processionary caterpillar effect for the Sheeple out there.  No one wants to be first on the dance floor, but when there is a bunch of people out there already, we all want to dance.

Is this stuff Black Hat?

That depends on who you ask.  Are the 300 Facebook likes getting you 300 potential customers who know and love you and want to hear from you?  Hell no!  That’s not what they are for.  They’re nerds on the dance floor to draw the cool people in, and that’s what makes the Yearbook Photo.

Fiverr Social Media gigs are about as disingenuine as you can get.  Abdul from Saudi Arabia doesn’t care about your business.  However, one could convincingly argue that they are about as real as buying a full-page ad in the magazine for the next 6 months to get an editorial puff piece written about your company.  In fact, American business people do this every day on all the social media sites and internet at large through link trading, like trading, reciprocal anything and No IDK (I don’t know you) linking for the express purpose of building contacts, back links, and other Social Media Marketing (SMM) and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies that work.

Let’s just call it a gray hat, and if that color doesn’t fit you that’s great, but millions are finding that it suits them fine.

5 Small Business Use Recommendations

Of course speaking about Fiverr you’d get five recommendations:

  1. Know What You’re Doing – In other words, specific to SEO and SMM, you will find just about anything on Fiverr.  Know what you can delegate that won’t get you into Google jail and know what is realistic.  If someone says they will write 5 blog posts for $5 for your site, common sense tells you that they will be crap, indecipherable writing not specific to your business.  Use discretion.
  2. Test – See what happens when you do a gig for $5.  For instance, right now I have a test gig in place to increase Youtube views to 1 video on Video MarketingLet’s see how he does.  I also did one to get .edu and .gov backlinks and got sort of what I expected.  I was posted on the comments of those sites with a linkback to my site, and my comments had nothing to do with the blog, but provided 75 .edu links back to my site for link juice.
  3. Don’t Expect Personalized Service – Come on, you can’t really expect even a conversation with the seller for $5 can you?  There is a link to contact the seller before buying with any questions.  They won’t answer.  Any of them.  If you like what you read, order it.
  4. Templates and Knock Offs Rule – Take the video example above.  You get to put your words in a standardized fiery video template.  1000s could have the same looking promo video.  When I do Executive Video Interviews with customers, each one is unique and special.  They’re making a bolder statement.  Having said that, there are over 100 million websites in the world.  Chances are your prospects will not have seen your knock off video and will never know you spent $5 on it.  And trust me, you can get some pretty innovative and outlandish marketing stuff that might work.
  5. Understand Your Risk – Re-read recommendation #1.  Make sure that if you got the crappiest job back on earth, that your risk capital is a finback, $5.  You’ll never get it back if you don’t like the service and therein lies the charm of the site, you won’t care.  Try something else, have fun with the personal birthday greeting stuff, or move on.

Let me know your Fiverr Experiences or any other similar bargain basement, gig-oriented site and if it is a real cost saver in the end or not.


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  1. Cannon September 28, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    Great survey, I love your post.

    Buy Zojirushi Bread Machine

  2. Jason Laffan January 22, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

    I wanted to add my 2 cents. I found fiverr.com from a co-worker and thought what could you possibly get worth $5. After an hour or so surfing around and checking out all the gigs I thought it would be worth it to get someone opinions about our non-profits website. I bought 11 gigs for a total of $55 and then waited. I was stunned at the results. Of course some people just took my fiverr then gave me 3 a three sentence review in the fiverr response area but over half of them really took their time and gave honest opinions that we who look at the site everyday overlooked. Out of the 11 gigs 4 were over the top and I would say were worth $50 each. Which I then after putting their suggestions into our site I went and hired 11 different reviewers on fiverr and got their feedback. I would say the best $110 our organization has ever spent on our marketing.

    Just wanted to comment and thanks for the article.


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