Most advisors allot at least some money for marketing. The smart ones squeeze the most value out of every dollar they spend.
With the growth of online marketplaces that connect small businesses with freelance service providers, it’s easy to hire creative professionals at a reasonable cost. From designing business cards and logos to writing and editing, advisors increasingly use job-search sites to shop for digital services on a per-project basis.
Using websites such as Fiverr (FVRR) and DesignCrowd, advisors describe their project and agree to a price. With some platforms, they field bids from freelancers, choose a winner and work with them to deliver the goods.
The process usually flows smoothly, although advisors can hit speed bumps. They may find the results disappointing. As a project evolves, a freelancer might abandon it or struggle to complete it.
Selecting experienced workers with consistently high ratings from other employers increases your odds of success. Better yet, set clear expectations from the outset and establish good back-and-forth communication.
Ideally, you want someone who’s responsive and receptive to your input. You may never see the person or chat by phone, so you’ll need to express yourself clearly via email.
In 2009, Erika Safran used Logobirds.com to create a new logo for her firm. The New York City-based certified financial planner offered $150 and submitted a short description of the tone she wanted to convey. Nineteen designers replied with bids that included their portfolio.
After picking a freelancer, Safran worked to refine the final image with the designer, whom she later learned lived in the Philippines.
“We never talked,” Safran said. “It was all by email. But there was good communication and the result was beautiful. It ended up quite different from the initial design. Recognize that what people present to you is not the final outcome. If designers are amenable to making changes, and they should be because they’ll get good ratings, they just keep at it.”
From Animators To Editors, Freelancers Deliver
Even though Safran was satisfied with her experience — she still uses the logo 11 years later — it didn’t go entirely smoothly. When she sought to print business cards, she learned they were not sized for the American market.
“So I reached out to a local graphic artist who further refined the design,” she said. While that designer charged $1,500, Safran estimates she would’ve spent $7,000 if she had hired the local artist from the get-go.
Many advisors turn to Fiverr to find creative professionals. If all goes well, they come away with an affordable, fast service that meets their needs.
In 2018, Patrick Dinan wanted to develop two animated videos for his website. So he hired a freelancer through Fiverr.
“It cost only a few hundred dollars and it worked out great,” said Dinan, a certified financial planner in Glendale, Calif. The cartoons, each around 30 seconds, explain his firm’s approach to financial planning and sustainable investing.
Mark Wilson, a certified financial planner in Irvine, Calif., has used Fiverr since 2017 to find editors to polish his marketing articles. Separately, Fiverr has linked him with a designer to customize his Zoom background and provide other services.
“They’ve all been great,” he said. “The line editor I use for my articles is fantastic and an amazing value.”
Set The Right Price For Your Project
In terms of price, advisors may prefer to shop for freelancers who post their own fees that reflect the scope of work. That’s easier than declaring what you’re willing to pay and then waiting to see who bids for your job.
To beef up his content marketing, Mike Metzger perused candidates on Fiverr by clicking on their profile and noting their price range. A certified financial planner in San Luis Obispo, Calif., Metzger hired a designer and editor to help him produce a 12-page e-book in 2020.
“There was a little bit of negotiation (over price), but it’s all by email on the (Fiverr) platform,” he said. “I paid the e-book designer what he asked for, $750, but he threw in some design features” to seal the deal.
Metzger also used Fiverr to retain an Australia-based digital marketing expert to customize his social media content and align it with his branding. He was so pleased with the designer’s work that he agreed to pay her $500 a month.
“Over three months, she came up with 90 images to go with my daily content,” Metzger said.
To find top performers on Fiverr, he suggests searching for a highly recommended verified “pro seller.” He says they tend to charge more, but he raves about their work.
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