Fiverr.com – Your Law Firm’s Low Cost Personal Assistant

fiverr

If you have not yet experienced the joy that is Fiverr.com, you are in for a real treat. Fiverr is the world’s largest online marketplace for $5 services, with weird services such as “I will write any message on my lips and take a photo” or “I will make fun of someone in my stand-up comedy routine”. But don’t dismiss Fiverr as a joke site. Used properly, you can glean some amazing values from the site for your law firm marketing efforts. My search for an e-book cover provides a good illustration of how you can use Fiverr successfully and save some serious money.

In the real world, the going price to create an e-book cover (yes, even an e-book needs a cover) is about $250 (although it can go all the way up to $1,200). On Fiverr, there are dozens of graphic artists offering the service for just $5. There are lots of up-sells offered – an extra $5 if you want it in less than 48 hours, another $5 if you want it in multiple formats, etc. – but the basic service is $5.

I had used Fiverr for some other things, but for my first e-book cover I decided to give six different sellers the assignment. With three of them, I gave an idea of how I wanted the e-book to look. With the remaining three, I gave far less guidance in the hope that they might come up with an idea that was superior to my own.

Of the three who were trying to implement my idea, two created unacceptable covers, and one never delivered anything (I wasn’t charged). I don’t blame the bad covers on the sellers who were trying to implement my idea. I think it was my crazy idea that was just too difficult to implement in the space available. As to the three that were left to their own devices, all three covers were fairly decent, but one was far superior. Even that cover had some things I didn’t like, but with a couple of follow-up emails, the e-book cover came out just like I wanted.

Of course if you were willing to take the time, you could hire each of the six people in turn, and see what each produced before moving on to the next. I don’t have that kind of time or patience, so I much prefer to invest the $30 to have six different artists provide their proposed covers.

When I produced my next e-book, I went through the same process. You might expect that I would have simply used the one artist who had successfully completed the first job, but I like the idea of having different artists come up with their own ideas. Sure enough, the next time around, the winning cover was not produced by the same artist who succeeded the first time. I used the same approach each time to have the e-book text formatted properly.

As you go through your days marketing your firm, assign a few of your brain cells the task of asking, “is this something I could delegate to Fiverr?” I’m the guy who suggests that you should create a blog and website at least once so you know how it’s done, but once you have that skill, you can certainly assign work on the sites to someone on Fiverr. For example, say you have a blog that you want to use to request the email addresses of visitors so you can follow up. You’ve seen other blogs that pop up a request when someone visits the site, but you have no idea how to make it do that. Sounds like a perfect job for Fiverr.

Incidentally, giving someone access to your blog or website is a scary experience. What if instead of installing the email plug-in, they decide it would be quite the lark to trash your site? Here is how you protect yourself.

First, backup your blog. If you are using ManageWP (affiliate link) to administer all your WordPress blogs, that is a simple process. Then, even if the person goes insane and crashes the site, you can restore it all with a few clicks. Next, to give limited access to the person who is going to be working on your blog, create a new user. WordPress, for example, makes it very easy to add a user with administrative privileges. Give the user name and password information to whomever will be working on your blog. As soon as the assignment is completed, simply delete the user. It’s still a little like turning your baby over to a babysitter you’ve never met, but so far I’ve never had a problem (with my blogs that is; I’ve never actually turned one of my children over to a stranger).

Thus far I’ve never seen a posting on Fiverr for “will draft your Motion for Summary Judgment for $5”, and I don’t think that will happen anytime soon. But for your marketing – logos, intros for your podcast, formatting freemiums, creating a graphic intro for your videos, adding functionality to your blogs, creating a fan page on Facebook, etc. – Fiverr can be an amazing resource.

[UPDATE:] Learn from my mistake. I do a podcast on California SLAPP Law, and in order to submit the podcast to the State Bar so listeners could get MCLE credit, I needed to have the episodes transcribed. Using the technique discussed above, I sent three different episodes to three different transcribers. One just rejected the project, and it was clear that another had just run it through Dragon Dictate with no efforts to correct any of the mistakes. But the third did a fantastic job. I really couldn’t believe it. She got the transcript almost letter perfect, and even created bullet points for some of the areas discussed. With about five minutes of editing, I could have published the transcript as an article.

I was so pleased that I tipped her five dollars and sent her four more episodes to transcribe. (She charges $5 for 15 minutes of audio, so each show was $10 to transcribe.) She wrote back thanking me for the work, but explained that Fiverr ranks her in part by the speed at which she completes projects. By sending her four jobs all at the same time, the other three would be sitting there raising her average response time while she worked on the first. I had no ability to cancel the work requests, and although she could have rejected the assignments, apparently that is frowned on by Fiverr as well. We figured out a way to fix the problem, but the moral of this long-winded story is that once you find a great service provider on Fiverr, don’t flood her with a bunch of work all at the same time.

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