I have to admit, when I first heard about Fiverr last year, I quickly dismissed it as yet another start up that wouldn’t see the year out. I mean, paying people just $5 to do a job?! Surely no one in their right mind would work for that kind of money!
Well, as it turned out, I was very wrong. Not only do people work for just $5 (in actual fact, Fiverr keeps $1 so the workers are only taking home $4!), some of them do really useful work that can genuinely help a small business.
Even though a quick glance at the Fiverr homepage may have you doubting the usefulness of “I will sing you a song dressed as a sexy cowgirl!”, delve a little deeper and you’ll quickly discover that Fiverr has a dearth of excellent services… and all for less than the price of a Big Mac!
I have no qualms in admitting that I have used Fiverr both for Shotkit and also for my own photography business on several occasions and have nothing negative to report. On the contrary, I have found that all the Fiverr workers that I’ve used have been efficient, enthusiastic and good at communicating, regardless of the country they’re working from.
Thanks to the Fiverr system of rating their workers (much like eBay does with buyers and sellers), everyone seems to give the best service possible to ensure their rating improves, helping them acquire more work.
After more than a year’s experience with Fiverr, here is my selection of 10 Fiverr gigs for photographers that I believe are genuinely useful, and that I hope will help you operate and improve your own small businesses.
1. Photo Editing
This is first and foremost in my list because I think Fiverr Photo Editing (Photoshop) services are the biggest time saver. Now, I know that most photographers want complete control over their workflow, especially in something as important to your final product as post production, but just hear me out here!
I would never entrust the post production of my wedding photos to another person, and I’m sure the majority of you guys wouldn’t either. Not only does it rob you of creative control, but it’s also expensive! However, there are definitely some areas of post production that I would happily pay for, especially when the cost is only $5!
Whilst I’m ok at Photoshop, there are many people on Fiverr that are much better than me, and can save me a lot of time. This is really what it boils down to with many Fiverr gigs – how much is your time worth?
As an example, here’s a photo I took recently, where it was impossible for me to remove the distracting rail/plant ‘in camera’. I wanted the pyramid to be symmetrical and centred, so the only option was to shoot it like this:
Cloning out the mess out the side of the image would have taken me ages, so instead I hit up this guy on Fiverr… $5 and 1 hour later, I had this in my inbox:
Not bad, eh?! So the next time a client asks you to Photoshop a dinosaur chasing the bridal party (or whatever other ridiculous trend is currently popular!), save some time and sanity and outsource it to Fiverr.
TIP – A lot of Fiverr workers don’t have English as their first language, so explain what you want as simply but precisely as you can. Write as if you’re talking to a child! It may be seem a little condescending, but at least you’ll get the point across and save both of you countless back and forth messages.
2. Logo Design
I know that when starting a small business, sweating over design details like the logo can be considered a waste of time. Some argue that the only person who really cares about your logo is you and that the client couldn’t give a cr*p. I disagree, especially when you’re offering your services as a photographer, i.e. a ‘creative’. I believe your logo is an intricate part of your personal brand.
Last month I was hired by an architect/graphic designer couple to shoot their wedding, and their final decision to get in touch was based solely on my logo. Sounds ridiculous, right?! I guess when the market is as saturated as wedding photography, small things like this can help sway a client.
I predict a flood of hate mail from graphic designers for saying this, but you can get a decent logo designed for your business on Fiverr. I’m not saying it will win any awards, but as long as you know roughly what you want and can give good direction, you may be pleasantly surprised.
Before I launched Shotkit, I fretted over the logo design for one month. ONE WHOLE MONTH. Ridiculous, right?! and I’m not even particularly happy with what it currently is! On the first day, I mocked up this dodgy logo in a couple of minutes:
…then for the rest of the month proceeded to contact about 5 logo designers, (both on Fiverr and professional graphic designers), and go back and forth searching for the perfect logo, which of course doesn’t exist. In the end I spent 2 minutes playing around in Photoshop with a font and then launched with what you see today.
Anyway, I just wanted to illustrate that whilst I do believe that logos are an essential element of personal branding for photographers, you can save a lot of time, money and messing around by contacting one of these guys on Fiverr.
TIP – if you have something in mind, sketch it out on a piece of paper, take a snap with your phone, and use the Fiverr app to upload it as an attachment with your gig request. Much easier than trying to explain it in words!
3. WordPress Troubleshooting
Even though there are plenty of ‘all-in-one’ website building services out there, I think it’s safe to say that a lot of photographers still choose to use WordPress to create their sites. I use WordPress for Shotkit and for my own photography business, and whilst it can drive me up the wall at times, overall I think it’s a great platform. There’s a slight learning curve, and a hell of a lot ‘under the bonnet’ which I daren’t delve into, but for getting a simple website online quickly, it’s unbeatable.
Although I built Shotkit from scratch on my own, I’m by no means a WordPress expert, and when something goes wrong, I know better than to waste hours pulling my hair out trying to fix it. Been there. Done that. I am not a coder!
So, what do I do now when the WordPress gremlins are about? I hit up one of these guys on Fiverr! If you catch them when they’re online and have no other gigs to take care of, your problem can be sorted in minutes. Of course, it’ll depend how much of a mess you’ve made, but in my experience, one Fiverr gig is all it has taken.
If you’re like me, we’re losing hair fast enough as it is! We don’t need this kind of stress, so do yourself a favour and outsource your issue to Fiverr.
Of course, this also applies to whatever software you’re using, not just WordPress – there seem to be ‘technicians‘ for everything on Fiverr, so go try your luck ;-)
TIP – backup your site first! I can’t stress this enough! You’ll need to give the worker your login credentials, which means a certain level of trust is required (hence going with the Fiverr star ratings), so if it all goes pear shaped, you’ll need your backup to fall back on. These guys are good, but we all make mistakes – make sure your a** is covered! Then change your password when the job’s done.
4. Business Cards
Yes they’re old school, but do photographers still need them? Absolutely! And my personal opinion is to spend a bit of money on getting them done well.
My preference is white matt 350gsm card with either a UV spot or raised print on the black lettering/logo. Letterpress is awesome too but still way too expensive in Australia. I’m starting to sound like American Psycho a little but my point is, you need that impact when you hand the card over. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve given one to a girl at a wedding who responds “ooh that feels nice!” (I’m still talking about business cards here guys!) It’s a small gesture but think of it as the bait on your fishing line to your next job ;-)
On Fiverr there are a whole host of business card designers. Admittedly, a lot of them showcase quite tacky, multicoloured offerings which aren’t suited to photographers, but in general, you’ll just be wanting your logo and some text, so perhaps give them a rough draft and just get them to line it all up for you and make sure the colours/bleed and whatever else are set up properly.
Once again, I’m not saying Fiverr workers do a job anywhere near that of a professional graphic designer, but for $5 and a clear set of instructions, it’s worth a shot.
TIP – As you’ve saved some money on the design, splash out a bit on the product! Remember you’re handing over your brand on a tiny piece of card here – make sure it doesn’t go straight in the bin ;-)
5. Virtual Assistants
You’d be amazed at what you can get a Fiverr virtual assistant to do for your small business for just $5. At time of print, there are several virtual assistants on Fiverr offering 2 hours of work, for just $5. TWO HOURS WORK FOR FIVE DOLLARS!! Honestly, how do these people feed themselves?! Let’s help them out by hiring them and recommending them to our friends!
Sometimes the hardest part of hiring a virtual assistant is deciding what jobs to give them. If you’re like me and have done everything by yourself from day one of launching your photography business, it’s very alien to ask someone to help you do something administrative or secretarial.
These are some ideas off the top of my head which you may like to implement with your Fiverr Virtual Assistant. Remember that if they do a good job, leave a sparkling review!
- Outbound marketing – need to contact 50 vendors in your area to tell them about your latest photography package? Simple! Just hire a Fiverr virtual assistant, set some boundaries for their searching, and come back a few hours later with 50 email addresses and URLs ready for you to start spamm… I mean, marketing to!
- Image Alt-text inputting – this one’s a bit geeky and somewhat controversial as to whether it holds any decent SEO benefit, but it’s generally agreed that a descriptive alt-text attribute (something that describes the image in words to google) will always be found quicker than an image without one. If you’re posting 100 images though, this can get tedious quickly. Sure you can batch process them with the same alt-text, but why not make them all individual by hiring a hardworking Fiverr virtual assistant?!
- Data entry – got an inbox full of emails but no list of addresses to contact at the end of the year with a ‘Merry Christmas, how about a referral?’ email? Easy! Get your Fiverr virtual assistant to rummage through old emails pulling out the addresses and sticking them in an Excel sheet with names and addresses – throw in some sticker printing paper and you’ve got one click envelope labels!
- Excel work – maybe you’ve got your cost pricing on albums, and need a quick and easy way to calculate your profit when a client chooses a large album with a leather cover, gold embossed lettering, 25 extra pages and a clamshell box. Send all the variables to your Fiverr virtual assistant and let them do the hard work creating a fancy pivot table in Excel for you.
You get the idea. Hiring a virtual assistant from Fiverr to do your menial tasks for an hour or two allows you to concentrate on shooting, editing, or just lazing around, dreaming about the Four Hour Work Week!
TIP – again, over-communicating is key here. Whether English is their first language or not, something that seems very simple in your head still needs to be explained in detail to your virtual assistant. Think of it this way – writing a comprehensive email to your virtual assistant may take you 5 or 10 minutes, but you’ll not only have saved yourself 2 hours of mind-numbing work, but if you save it as a template, you can ask another virtual assistant to do the same thing another day.
6. Website Critique / User Testing
Your photography website is the virtual shopfront to your business, and you want it to make an impression. However, a fancy website can’t be at the detriment to a logical and enjoyable user experience. Even if you’ve spent time creating the most impressive website that’s totally individual and could win a web design award, it’s all in vain if your potential client has no idea where the ‘Contact’ button is.
When your client hits your webpage, you’ve only got a few seconds to grab their attention. Sure, it’ll be the quality of your actual photography that does this, but soon after, your client’s going to start clicking around.
I think it’s a fair assumption that the average bride-to-be will get to your site, decide within the first minute or so whether she likes your style, then if she does, try and find your pricing, then will try and contact you. She’s also more than likely got 5 other browser tabs open with 5 other excellent wedding photographers’ websites. If she doesn’t realise that your pricing is hidden in your FAQs, under the sub heading ‘Investment’, which downloads a pdf wedding brochure, that states that packages start from $X,000… well, she’s just a click away from the next guy whose page is more user friendly.
My point here is, get a second opinion. You can even ask someone who knows nothing about photography. That’s where the Fiverr website critique and/or user testing gigs are invaluable. Here you’ll get a completely honest opinion on how your website sells – not just how pretty your photos are. Your friends won’t tell you this – they know you’ll get annoyed when they tell you ‘Investment’ is an wanky way of saying ‘Pricing’, and that the flutter of birds that follows your cursor across the page is distracting. However, your Fiverr user tester won’t care about your feelings! You’ll get an honest opinion – take it or leave it, but at least you’ve got something to think about.
TIP – usually a user tester doesn’t care much for pretty design. Remember that you’re paying them to test your marketing funnel, that is, how simple it is for a potential client to get from the homepage to your inbox. It may sound simple, but you’d be surprised how wrong people can get this.
I’m a content writer by trade, so good spelling and grammar are particularly important to me. If you’re trying to sell a product (your photography), it’s important that you come across professionally, both in your images and in your writing.
Everyone makes typos, so why not hire a Fiverr proof reader to correct them? It might seem like a tiny thing to correct a ‘your’ to a ‘you’re’, but in the grand scheme of things, poor spelling might be the reason another photographer is chosen over you. Your website advertises your whole package – not just your photos, but who you are and what kind of service you can be expected to provide. Do yourself a favour and remove those tiny stumbling blocks that can put off a potential client.
TIP – you’re probably thinking that a proof reader needs to be native English, right? Actually, I’ve found that many proofers with English as a second language are often more thorough, and more grammatically knowledgable than natives. After all, they’ve often learnt the ins and outs of the English language more recently than us, and being a proficient wordsmith has nothing to do with how well you can speak a language. Give a non-native a go – you might be pleasantly surprised!
This will obviously depend on the geographical location of your Fiverr worker, but you may be able to take advantage of one of the oldest forms of advertising, all without leaving your home – flyer hand outs.
Here’s an example – high school senior portraits is a growing market for the portrait photographer. Getting your business proposal to the client (fancy way of saying handing a flyer to a student!) is now as simple as hitting up one of the numerous students on Fiverr who are offering their services to hit the pavement for you!
How great is that?! Whilst you’re at home with your feet up, you’ve got an enthusiastic Fiverr worker handing out your flyers and sticking up your posters on a University campus, all for only $5!
Obviously, flyer promotion won’t be for every photographer, but for those just trying to get their foot in the door of a market that’s dominated by google ads, emails and banners, physical flyers or posters are still a refreshing advertising alternative.
TIP – one way to ensure your posters are being put on walls and not simply dumped in a bin is to ask your Fiverr worker to send a mobile snap of the poster in situ. Many of them offer this. Or you can be sneaky and say that you’ll be on campus the next day to check they’re up – they don’t know you live in the next State!
9. Social Media
It seems like the power of Facebook as an effective marketing tool is quickly diminishing. Facebook Likes aren’t what they used to be, and getting your message to your Facebook Fans has become like a game of roulette.
Having said that though, used wisely, Facebook is still an immensely powerful channel to market your photography business.
Whilst it may be harder for you to reach your Fans organically (ie. without paying for Sponsored Posts or advertising), there’s still a good chance that your potential client will visit your Facebook page before or after they visit your site. Some of my wedding clients in the past booked me solely via Facebook, without having once seen my actual website.
Having an attractive and well maintained Facebook Page is yet another string in your marketing bow. However, creating a Facebook Page isn’t as simple as just uploading a nice cover photo. For example, you can create Facebook Tabs and Apps, including:
- Promotion App – drive traffic your way by holding a 10% discount for clients who book a wedding before the end of the month, for example.
- Reservation App – show what dates you’re available to shoot and allow clients to book you via your Facebook Page.
- Testimonials App – encourage your past clients to leave a testimonial. Sure they can do it with the Facebook star rating, but it’s nice to have them all in one Tab too.
- RSS Feed App – you can even bring your photography blog right to your Facebook Fans.
I have to admit, I’m pretty lazy on Facebook, but if I got around to pimping my Facebook Page, Fiverr is the first place I’d turn. There are so many Fiverr workers on there whose expertise is turning your bog standard Facebook Page into something that’s custom, and in a saturated market, that might be just what you need to increase interaction.
TIP – There are tonnes of gigs on Fiverr that offer Facebook Likes, i.e. you pay $5 and in return magically get hundreds (or even thousands!) of Likes on your Facebook Page. Whilst this might seem awesome for small businesses, especially those just starting out in social media, I strongly advise you to steer clear. Aside from all the ethical reasons, having thousands of fake Facebook Fans can actually negatively impede your future Facebook marketing efforts. You’ll find it impossible to reach your ‘real’ Fans. Don’t be tempted!
10. The Mystery Gig
As far as I know, this final Fiverr tip is something that’s never been done before in our industry of professional photographers. It’s an idea I had that I think will give your photography business that little something extra.
Anyway, without wanting to reveal too much, I’ll give you the 10th and final tip in exchange for your email address – how does that sound?! Sign up for the free Shotkit newsletter here:
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(If you’re already a subscriber to the Shotkit newsletter, I thank you for your support – you will of course be receiving the 10th tip in the next edition due to go out soon.)
Writing and researching this post took quite a bit of time. If you enjoyed it and would like me to write more, do me another favour and hit the Like button and share it over your social media networks.
Thanks for your support and I wish you all the luck in growing your photography business :-)
Disclaimer: The Fiverr links included in this post are affiliate links. This will no affect your Fiverr purchases in anyway whatsoever. It just means that if you choose to use any of my recommended Fiverr workers by clicking on the links, I will receive a small payment which helps to pay the running costs of this site. I’m grateful for your support.
Blog post by Sydney Wedding Photographer and founder of Shotkit Mark Condon | www.shotkit.com/about