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Why I Won’t Source Freelancers Through Fiverr

When you read books about entrepreneurship, one of the common themes you’ll find is learning how to let go of tasks and hire a team. Whether it’s in the form of staff or freelance contractors.

You are one person and you can’t do it all.

This is something I’ve thought a lot about as it pertains to my voice over business and my coaching business. Sometimes it feels like there just aren’t enough hours in the day for me to get all the work done and still have time left over for more important things, like family.

Many recognized entrepreneurial writers and bloggers all talk about Fiverr as a brilliant place to find and source affordable freelancers for your projects.

Recently, I signed up.

I even started looking for a couple freelancers for projects I had in mind.

All the while, though, something didn’t feel right about it.

Double Standards

I’ve been an outspoken critic of Fiverr, as it pertains the voice over industry. It erodes rates, and causes nothing but problems. I don’t care what argument you throw at me, I don’t believe I’ll ever be convinced there’s a good reason to be offering your professional voice over services on Fiverr for those rates.

How, then, in good conscience, could I source freelance talent through the site thereby eroding rates in other professional industries?

I couldn’t. That’s what didn’t feel right.

To hire someone on Fiverr would be hypocritical of me.

Your voice over business growth is limited to the size of your team. #vopreneur
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Doing It Right

So within an hour of signing up for my profile, I changed direction.

I went to another website and posted my project for more than 4 times some of the rates I was seeing on Fiverr.

If I expect to get paid fair-market-value for my voice over work, I believe I have a responsibility to pay fair-market-value to the people I hire.

So that’s exactly what I’ve started doing.

Hiring Freelancers

There are many different tasks you can outsource to a freelancer, and it’s still more affordable than you might think.

Before you say you can’t afford it, let me ask you a question.

How much is your time worth? If you paid a freelancer a sum to conduct tasks you aren’t great at or don’t enjoy doing or shouldn’t even be doing in the first place, and in turn you were able to devote the time and effort you saved to more productive things… like looking for and booking voice over work, is it worth it?

I heard a great analogy once when it comes to investing in your business.

Let’s say you’re in Vegas and you found a slot machine that pays $10 for every $1 you insert. What would your gambling budget be?

In other words, if you can invest in things that pay for themselves and produce great profit, it’s not a question of whether you can afford to do it, but whether you can afford to not do it!

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A Fiverr Voice Over Math Lesson

Fiverr is an insult and slap in the face to the voice over industry, and I can’t imagine that any self respecting voice over professional would ever offer their services on the site. However, more and more voice over rookies are turning to Fiverr to “jumpstart” their careers. But is that what they’re doing?

I don’t think so.

A Fiverr Math Lesson

overworkedGranted, math was never one of my strongest subjects in school, but I’ve double checked my figures and used a fancy calculator app for my iPad.

I’m pretty sure I’ve nailed this.

Want to build your voice over career on Fiverr? Here’s what it’ll take…

$60,000 / year salary (a respectable annual income)

50 weeks of work / year (assuming you take a two week vacation)

$1,200 / week (required weekly income to make your annual salary)

5 days a week (assuming you want to enjoy your weekends)

$240 / day (required daily income)

48 jobs required daily at $5 / job

12 hours a day in the studio (a long day… but you’re doing this to yourself)

4 voice over jobs booked / hour.


Got that? If you want to earn $60,000 a year doing voice over, and you plan to do this on Fiverr, you’ll need to book 4 voice over jobs every hour for 12 hours a day, five days a week, 50 weeks a year.

Are you really sure Fiverr is the place to build your career?

I didn’t think so.

Go ahead… delete your account right now. I’ll wait.

Do yourself, your family and the voice over industry as a whole a favour… respect yourself enough to know your worth and put in the effort to find and book voice over work at fair market value.

Your future will thank you!


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Competing With Fiverr

A potential client you’ve been trying to land sends you a note…

“I’ve recently started hiring professional voice talent on Fiverr. I love your voice, and would love to work with you. If you’re able to compete with those rates, lets talk.”

How Do You Respond?

A) Laugh. Choke on your donut. Then tell the client to take a flying leap.

B) Ignore the client. Pretend Fiverr doesn’t exist. Carry on with your blissful life.

C) Say, “Heck yeah I can compete. Any work is good work!”

D) Educate the client as to what a professional actually charges and why.

Here’s A Hint

The answer you choose offers a great deal of insight into not only how you run your voice over business, but how successful your business will ultimately be.

It’s also what will distinguish you as either a “professional talent” on Fiverr, or an actual legit pro.

Choose wisely!

FOR COMMENT: How you would respond?


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Fiverr: What Will $5 Cost You?

I received an interesting question from an aspiring voice talent the other day.

Being new to the business, and having no paid gigs yet, they were uneasy about the idea of a Pay 2 Play sites like Voice123 or Understandably, $300 is a lot of money to spend if you’ve never booked a job before. It’s not an investment I’d recommend to anyone. Not until you’ve got some experience under your belt.

Freelance Options

Putting the P2P sites aside, other sites were then discussed like Elance and Freelancer. My experience with these two sites is limited. To about 5 minutes. I signed up for accounts with both a couple years ago. When I saw the rates being posted, and the bids “professionals” were placing on certain gigs, I knew I was wasting my time.

Accounts closed.

The next site mentioned by this aspiring talent was Fiverr.

5 Bucks… 5 Bucks… 5 Bucks…

Hands holding five dollarsIn case you’re unfamiliar with the site, it works like this. For $5 you can find anyone, anywhere in the world, who is willing to do just about anything, for the low, low price of $5.

To be honest, the concept is intriguing.

Need a new logo? Get one for $5.

Need a web guru to solve a WordPress problem? Find one for $5.

Need help troubleshooting software? Tech support… $5.

Want to photoshop a zit off your head shot? Airbrushing… $5.

I’ve surfed the site. You really can find just about anything you can think of and there really are people who will do it for $5!

How Much Does It Cost?

The question I had to ask myself, and in turn, the question I asked this aspiring talent is, “how much will it really cost?”

The obvious answer is… $5. But is that the correct answer?

I’m not convinced that it is, and here’s why.

If someone is looking for a “professional voice over” but they’re only willing to spend $5, I can assure you, they’re someone who knows little to nothing about working with a professional voice talent.

In all my years of voice over, here’s one of the hardest lessons I ever learned. The clients that pay the least are the clients that expect, or demand, the most!

The clients that pay the least are the clients that expect, or demand, the most!

What Is Your Time Worth?

fiverr-logoWhat is your time worth? Is it really worth $5?

Here’s a tip. A :30 voice over, is never really just :30. You need to factor in all the other aspects of the process.

  • Talking to the client to sort details.
  • Recording.
  • Editing.
  • Re-recording (once, twice, five times???).
  • Invoicing.
  • Chasing payment.

Is it still really only worth $5 to you?

Count The Cost

When you’re brand new in the business I know it’s easy to want to look for, and take work, wherever you can find it. I’m just not convinced that a site like Fiverr is the best place for you.

You can’t make a living on $5 gigs. You can’t pay a mortgage. You can’t feed a family. You can’t invest in training or equipment.

Take your time. Get good demos. Take some coaching. Make some contacts. Do some networking. Market yourself. Be patient and the jobs will come. And when they do, I promise they’ll pay a lot more than $5!

QUESTION: Have you tried Fiverr for voice over? Would you? Why or why not?