Every single design community I have encountered on Linkedin do not like the idea of crowdsourcing. I thought I’d bring this to your attention because this is what is going on right now. The traditional way of bidding a job when I was a beginner designer is probably getting replaced by this crowdsourcing sites such as: PeoplePerHour, Elance, Freelancer. Just to name a few.
Rob Cubbon, Designer & Marketer in UK,
doesn’t like the idea doesn’t recommend crowdsourcing to those who is just starting out. In his book I read he doesn’t encourage designers to do this. He said that you will not make as much money doing this.
Nothing beats face-to-face!
That is how I have always done in the past. I pick up that phone and call someone direct. I would pick up either a free magazine or newspaper on that rack where restaurants or ice-cream parlors displayed their items on the side. Look up the Advertising and/or Marketing department. Normally, most magazines do have their resources written in small print on the bottom. That’s how you find out their information.
What is crowdsourcing?
Let’s take a look at what Wikipedia said about this:
Crowdsourcing is, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people, and especially from an online community, rather than from traditional employees or suppliers. Often used to subdivide tedious work or to fund-raise startup companies and charities, this process can occur both online and offline. It combines the efforts of crowds of self-identified volunteers or part-time workers, where each one on their own initiative adds a small portion that combines into a greater result. Crowdsourcing is different from an ordinary outsourcing since it is a task or problem that is outsourced to an undefined public rather than to a specific, named group.
So in other words, crowdsourcing are a bunch of designers designing a logo (for instance) for one company and the company gets to bid the lowest one. Now designing a logo for $5…there is no way to make a living in America. Perhaps in some 3rd world country, they can live $5 a month. Maybe crowdsourcing freelance writers may not be as bad but for graphic designers it is a dead end.
Yesterday, I was browsing YouTube and I happen to see this one woman that did a research on “Top 10 Online Jobs” and she mentioned Graphic Designer. Hmmm…out of my curiosity, I’ve watched the whole footage and see what she had to say. Then she went ahead and said, one of the best way to market yourself is to go on some of these crowdsourcing websites such as PeoplePerHour, Elance, and so forth. I was dumbfounded. Or maybe I shouldn’t be surprised that she said that. But imagine some of these people being misinformed what the real job is suppose to be, as far as being a Graphic Designer online. Take a look at my graphics on PeoplePerHour…this is just one of their category.
…and the list just goes on and on.
I thought at first this is unreal. But when they mention this issue on Linkedin, how Fiverr is taking over the business, the discussion just went on and on.
One said, we should educate our clients. I’m contemplating…how?
When I first heard the bidding auction for graphic designers online, I was excited. I thought it was the old form of bidding like I used to do in NASA. I was one of their vendor. And we are all verified and passed clearance since I was working for the government. I was making $50-$250 per hour. It was no sweat. I made a pretty good living working for them in the past.
But the new technology of today changed all that…
So what is the best way to get decent clients?
I’d say pick up that phone and call the old fashion way. Do not rely on Linkedin connections. Or even Facebook for that matter. Best way to get clients is to pick up an old telephone book directory. Look at the “yellow pages” advertising. Chances are these people who are still advertising in the yellow pages doesn’t know that they can get their dollar stretch by advertising online which is much cheaper and much more effective. Everyone has gone digital.
These people who are advertising still in the yellow pages are probably the old folks who are scared that if they advertise online, it would be a waste of time, money, and energy.
Another idea where to get clients is, look up your newspaper for advertisers who are still advertising on there. Some people do not accept the new technology yet. And so they are afraid to make such move.
By the way, our newspaper here in the valley has gone down on sales 70% and their newspaper shrinked 30% less. That’s also true with the Phone Directory. Not only they have gone down in size, their book also became 50% thinner. How sad is that?
And so…there are still people who are reluctant to do advertising online. But that’s probably because they don’t know about it and/or they don’t know how to go around advertising online. So they are probably stuck paying $100 per week to $4000 per month on just advertising alone. That’s a lot of money!
In fact, that $1000 could go in a designer’s pocket because that’s how much it would cost to start a decent website, at the least. That’s if your client want quality design and not some people in the 3rd world country doing it for $5.
So have you used one of these crowdsourcing sites?
I’m sure some of my friends have used this. Steve Scott, the famous 6-figure income man, said in his book that he had used Elance for Freelance Writers. Even Rob Cubbon said to me that it’s good to hire someone from Elance but not to work for them.
Then some people on Linkedin said, “Well, if you hire someone from Elance that just degrade your work. And you are supporting the system!” Um, what do you think guys? I have my own opinion about this.
Some people can be so literal. How does a Designer keep his integrity? Or say…how does a Freelance Writer keep her integrity? Have you ever work for one of these crowdsourcing place? I know some pay $100 for a written article. I don’t know how many words is that. But Steve Scott said that some of the people in Elance are very good writers and he didn’t have to pay top dollars.
What is your opinion about this?