There’s no denying it, Fiverr is a controversial platform. You either love it or hate it. On the face of it, you pay $5 for a service you are looking for with a quick turnaround. Simple enough, but does that massively devalue not only the design industry, but all industries based on the platform?

Fiverr’s marketing campaign uses this simple message to attract customers, and one of its advert asks, “Why Pay $100 For A Logo?”. Now, $100 for a logo (which is around £70) is already incredibly cheap for a professionally designed quality piece of work, so to devalue that even more is quite insulting to all the professional designers out there who work hard on their craft and produce high quality work for their clients.

The advert then goes on to state that you should “put an end to being ripped off” and “ …to get design help without paying ridiculous prices!”.  This, in my mind, is a underhanded way of advertising to gain customers for the platform. Just because many designers charge more does not mean that they are ripping you off. It means that they have many years of expertise to offer you, and they are being paid accordingly.

However, taking a deeper look in to Fiverr you will quickly see that $5 is only the starting point for many services. Some can go much higher in price, and once the designer has built up a relationship with a client, they can quite often continue to work with them at the normal price range. In that respect, Fiverr is a great way for clients and businesses to try out a designer in a low risk way, and it is a great way for a designer to gain new clients.

Fiverr also gives the opportunity to many hobbyists to get a logo for their blog or YouTube channel without having to spend a fortune when they have no income from said hobby. It makes these otherwise inaccessible professional services available to people with a much lower budget. Great! Not everyone shops from Louis Vuitton; for some, good, old Primark is king. And why not? You can get a good product, at a good price. Is it meant to last forever? No. Is it made of the best possible materials? Definitely not. But does it look good and do the job you need it for? Absolutely!

What we need to remember is that within every industry there are different target markets. We all have our own ideal client. For some that is large scale companies who have thousands of pounds in their budget to spend on high quality branding packages that encompass every possible detail, for others, it’s small to medium sized companies who have a couple of hundred pounds in their budget but still need a professionally designed brand that is on point, encompasses their vision and speaks to their ideal client. And so why can’t there be designers (and other professionals) whose target market are start-ups with no capital who need a design quickly and who they would be happy to replace once they have the budget, or hobbyists who want something that they can use on their blog or YouTube channel?

As with everything, there are going to be bad designers, who copy other people’s work, or don’t produce good quality work, and there will be bad clients who expect a full-on branding package with bells and whistles for $5. This can happen anywhere, and I don’t believe that it’s just prevalent on Fiverr. The way to avoid this is by doing your research and speaking to the designer to see if you gel together. If you clash from the start, then it’s going to be a bad experience whether you pay $5 or $5,000.

When I started this blog, my initial feeling was that Fiverr was devaluing the design community. I was one of those that hated it. I hated the fact that there are clients looking for a high-quality logo design that takes a good designer many hours of research, creative exploration and finishing to produce for $5. But the truth is that there are always going to be people who don’t value your services and who don’t understand your processes. They will always want to spend a minimum amount of money for a maximum output. They are never going to get a high-quality product with that mindset. And that might be ok for them.

However, it’s all about target market. You need to know exactly who your ideal clients are and appeal to them whether they are on Fiverr or not. You need to know where you are aiming and price yourself accordingly. Then with great marketing and hard work the clients who you deserve will come, and that is all any of us need to worry about. We should let others work out their ideal market, and if that’s high end, great, but if it’s the lower end of the market, then that’s great too. There’s a place for everyone.