As a business owner, you’re always keeping a wary eye on your expenses. Each dollar you spend takes away from your profit, so it’s important to spend wisely. However, one of the hardest lessons to learn as an entrepreneur is that there’s a huge difference between cutting costs and cutting corners.
In today’s “outsourced” economy, finding cheap work is as easy as 1-2-3. There are dozens of sites, from Upwork to Fiverr, that make it simple to hire labor for pennies on the dollar. In many cases, these cheap services can be too good to be true, and business owners learn the hard way that it actually is. The pain of bad work, even at a low price, just wasn’t worth it. Rather than risk your reputation, lose money, and give yourself a headache, you can learn from the mistakes of others who have been in your shoes.
Cheap Logo Design Services.
Logo design is necessary. This is how people identify with your brand. Logo design work can range from five dollars to the thousands range. Fiverr is one of the most well-known platforms for cheap logo design, but it’s also been the brunt of much criticism. Sacha Greif, a Paris-based designer and developer, did some investigative reporting to learn more about the true value of cheap work, and his results helped prove that in the majority of cases, you really do get what you pay for.
Greif created a fictional company called SkyStats and hired three different graphic designers on Fiverr to see what they could come up with. What he found was that each logo was extremely low quality, and the only logo that slightly resembled a high quality logo was actually made using stock art and a basic font, and took fourteen days to complete. Countless others have found similar results. The cost of good design is usually worth it. For quality and reliable work, it’s best to shell out a couple more dollars to work with designers who put the time and effort into your project.
Web Design Plagiarism.
Believe it or not, website designs can be plagiarized just like anything else. Unfortunately, it’s much harder to detect when someone has built a plagiarized site for you. There isn’t currently a tool that scans the web for similar website designs the way Copyscape scans for duplicate content. Therefore, there’s a lot of trust that needs to be instilled in your designer.
One marketing and design firm found that there was another site in the same industry that had a nearly identical design. This happened because the freelancer that the other site hired was in a rush and needed to copy certain “elements.” As a business owner, you never want to be on the receiving end of a Cease and Desist. It’s embarrassing, and you’ll lose valuable credibility. Your website is your business’s first impression, and you have mere seconds to engage and convert your visitors. To truly capitalize on that initial impression, you’ll need to enlist the services of a web design firm with a solid track record.
Hiring the Right Writer.
Writing is easily one of the most outsourced task because, plainly put, it isn’t a walk in the park. Great writing isn’t easy to fake. Writers are expected to take on certain tones, appeal to different audiences, and execute a desireable “voice.” The issue with outsourcing writing is that for many writers on sites like Upwork, Freelancer, and Fiverr, English isn’t the writer’s first language. This often leads to low quality work, or, in the worse cases, plagiarism.
The writer you choose should have a verifiable history. Don’t just rely on writer portfolios — especially if the portfolio heavily consists of ghostwritten projects. You should be able to see writer bylines, as well as request references. Writers who have issues or object to providing references should be avoided. Furthermore, always check the work you receive against plagiarism tools like Copyscape.
Plagiarism isn’t the only issue to be aware of. One business owner, a blogger who teaches others how to succeed at work-from-home jobs, vowed to never hire a writer on Fiverr again after a bad experience. She requested a very basic 500-word blog post and shortlisted four writers who had great portfolios and quick response times. Two of the writers turned out to be non-native English writers; one was plagiarized; and the last disappeared before the job could be complete.
In addition to checking references, you might want to hire a writer on spec or have them complete a trial article before awarding a larger project.