Reviews, Views and Adventures in Content Creation

Monday, December 4, 2017

Gig Magic: My First Exposure to the Gig Economy

Until I became a user of freelance "gig" sites, I hadn't given them much of a thought. I knew Fiver existed but hadn't given it much thought. My first impression was that it was a site where you could get cheap labor to do less than professional work. It didn't have much of an appeal to me as a consumer, and certainly not as a freelancer that needed to make a living.

I was collaborating on a series of a video for a client that had requested an animation. In particular, a colleague pitched a "whiteboard" animation, the story of presentation in which a hand seems to draw a series of photos and illustrations.  I would have had no idea how to obtain the animation locally, what the turnaround would have been, and would have guessed that it would have been prohibitively expensive for the small project we were working on. 

To my surprise, my associate was able to present, seemingly overnight, a beautifully produced whiteboard animation for $150, including changes Our client was thrilled. The service had been purchased on Fiverr, and I started exploring the site for other possibilities.
My latest book international collaboration.

Then, as I began to prepare to publish my fourth book, I was presented with a challenge. I wanted to illustrate the cover of the book with an illustrated cover in the style of a World War 2 propaganda poster. With my previous books, I had used photo elements, which my designer manipulated to create my cover. A specialized illustration required a different approach. Though I had a limited budget, I was determined to see my vision through. I searched Fiver, and eventually found a talented artist in India would do the job for $100. Another Fiver talent treated the book cover. I was able to get exactly what I wanted.

That's when I started considering how I might take advantage of these services to offer my own skills. I wondered if it would be worth the effort. I wondered which of my professional skills would be my best bets. I'm an Emmy-winning producer/video editor, I'm also a prolific writer of four novels and numerous blog posts (like this one).

I began to seek out my online competition and find out what was possible. I knew I had services to offer, but would it be worthwhile? Could I expect to be paid a fair rate? Was this, as some have suggested, a race to the bottom? Are clients only looking for cheap work?

In the next installment, I'll share what I discovered, (and why I decided to move ahead and give it a try regardless!).

Remember, you can follow me on Twitter @Rickflix

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