I spent $40 on Fiverr as a biz boostrapper

I spent $40 on Fiverr as a biz bootstrapper

They say you can outsource almost anything.

Laundry. Gardening. Phone calls. Email. Making stupid Book Week costumes…

And your entire business too apparently!

To be honest, every time I’ve tried to hire a freelancer for something they’ve completely wanked it up, but perhaps that’s just me and my OCD control freak nature.  There are going to be bumps as you find the right freelancer for you, but there’s no doubt – at some point you will want to use one.

Either for a skill you don’t have or something you don’t have time for.

Outsourcing the little, repetitive jobs or things you plain suck at will be the turning point between making enough to pay rent and making enough to go on a business class trip around the world.

It’s the key to big jumps in your business.

Just ask Tim Ferriss and his 4-hour workweek. And pretty much anyone clearing $100k launches. It’s outsourcing for the win, but you do get what you pay for when you’re not able to keep them on and train them.

Ie, in the add-to-cart Gig Economy. Sites like Fiverr provide a great place to grab your freelancers for a low price (or a high one), but the communication between you and your new freelancer is limited to what they offer as part of the gig, a limitation that sometimes you can roll with, sometimes not.

As part of my upcoming launch I’m all about keeping costs low, so onto Fiverr I went.  Ordering all these gigs was a lot of fun, like a buffet of getting shiz done while I made it rain.

Here’s what $40 got on Fiverr

  1. The Virtual Assistant PowerPoint specialist

$5, 3 day turnaround

Her brief was simple – take my Funnel Design Workbook (PDF) and create a PowerPoint presentation with NO voiceover or animations. Along with the workbook, I gave her a word doc with the presentation outlined, clearly stating what was to be on each slide. The task was essentially copy & paste with a pretty design.

I received a PowerPoint. Check.

And OMG was it ugly. I showed it to some friends and they were shocked – I mean, bubble font???!

Everything was in bubble font. And by everything, I mean she’d copy & pasted my notes onto the slides and intentionally made them blue bubble font.

(sorry, I deleted that one in disgust, so here’s an example)

To be fair, I didn’t request a specific font…but I also didn’t see clues in her portfolio that she designed like an 8 year old.  (Deservedly harsh)

2.  The Facebook ad copywriter

$10 for the ad copy, $10 for the detailed targeting, 3 day turnaround

The brief was “write an ad for this landing page” – that’s it. He goes off to the landing page, has a squiz around your brand a bit and comes up with the ad copy and if you pay extra, he’ll give you detailed targeting. Since your standard ad should pretty much mirror your landing page – which was already done – this would have been easy.

I received a word doc with ad copy and targeting. Check.


Actually, the copy isn’t bad per se. It’s just not great for the online biz market where the focus is on establishing expertise and ‘hey I’m just like you’. But if you had no clue what to write, this could be a good starting draft. At the moment, it feels like he’s advertising a local deli and I’m the daily special.  If you were able to talk to the copywriter and share some examples of ads that have worked well in your niche, he’d probably do a great job.


So you know on Facebook you can target people by interest? Like fishing, cats, football, bondage etc? Good-o. This is his recommendation. Only the US, and only women aged 21-30….errr ok? His narrowing of interests is okay (except they should be layered to narrow down and be properly specific), but only US women in that age group? That’s a HUGE limitation and I suspect it’s based on laziness. While I can’t be sure without getting nosy, I doubt anyone in my audience is in their early 20s. Late 20s maybe…

Do you think he caught my language and decided I’d only appeal to a younger audience? Eek! Right, a more mature Shell coming up…*snort*

3. ‘Clever’ Facebook posts 

$5 for 1, or $10 for 5, 3 day turnaround

Okay, so I know my sense of humour ranges between dry wit and ‘that dog has a puffy tail!’, but I was game for some broader humour and cleverness for my FB feed. And design is definitely not my talent so if these were decent I would have picked her up as a team member.

The brief: She asked for a bio – I help women with online business & sales yada yada yada, and the home page URL. She evidently goes off and has a squiz around to pick up some key phrases and turn them into visual posts. Super!

I received my images and it seems we have a different definition of clever and what looks nice. Pity. She must have assumed that just because my logo looks like a confused bumblebee, I must want that colour scheme all over social media.

4. Funny cartoon of me

$5, 3 day turnaround

Okay, how could I resist this? I sent in a headshot and requested to be cartooned into working at a desk wearing PJs. He returned a sketch of my face and asked if it looked like me. Um sure, I guess. Imagine if Photoshop stripped out all the colour and depth of a photo and just left the lines  – that’s what I had to judge by. Probably would have been better NOT to see that step, because wrinkles are lines too apparently….I’m a potato!

The next stage is much more attractive…and then what comes next? No idea. The 3 day turnaround on this one is wobbly, but so far he’s the most impressive out of the bunch – and I grabbed it on a whim. Check out that brow game, meeow baby!

I’ll let you know if the PJs appear.


Okay, so clearly bootstrapping your biz on Fiverr is a bit of a gamble. Sometimes you’ll luck out, sometimes you’ll wet yourself laughing, and sometimes you’ll get a mad case of WTF this looks nothing like your portfolio.

My best recommendations for getting the good freelancers

  • Ask around: Get a referral from someone who used them and was really happy – but make sure you see what they got. Your standards might be different.
  • Go pro: All these freelance marketplaces let you see how long they’ve been at it and some, like Fiverr, will give a special rank to freelancers who have very high success rates.
  • Spot the unicorn: Many new freelancers with FABULOUS skills are on these sites, undercharging as a way to build their portfolio and get their ranks higher.  The only problem might be in them not having firm processes yet, but once you find a unicorn, you can keep them on as a your go-to freelancer. Their prices might rise and they might ditch the freelance gig sites, but you’ll always be treated well since you gave them their big start. My gal pal Brazen Adventuress got her entire website for $100 and it’s great. I started out for $60 and I’m great too 🙂
  • Headhunt on Facebook: There are entire groups full of people willing to pitch you. Drop in, let them know what you want and let them impress you.
  • Check their investment: If the freelancer has their own site, packages and has properly invested in themselves and their brand, you’ll get a better result. They’ll be motivated to get on a call with you and go beyond simply completing your task – they’ll become part of your team.
  • Spend more than $5
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