I’m seeing more and more articles decrying the depressing actual results for the people providing services to sites promoting the gig economy: Uber and Lyft drivers, DoorDash and GrubHub food deliverers, and so on.
One of them even has the headline “The Sharing Economy Was Always A Scam.” Harsh.
But, we have our own gig economy in the world of performance. It’s called Fiverr.
How long will it take for people to realize that sites like that can just as depressingly destructive as working for a big corporate behemoth?
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Hope this helps!
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Loving all the work you’re putting into the videos and the content, especially — I abhor Fiverr! It’s devaluing or work as artists and performers in such a big way.
I get why people do it, but I don’t think it helps for the bigger picture – not to mention their wallets or self worth.
A friend once urged me to join the VO Fiverr train, because it was cheap and and “easy” way into VO. my gut instinct hesitated and am so glad I did. Fast forward later, and education and research within the professional VO community has been wonderful about opening my eyes and truly understanding the impact of Fiverr for VO artists. I don’t have a problem with Fiverr in general (I’ve used it myself for other projects), but I don’t go to Fiverr to find my dentist, doctor, or attorney – and it shouldn’t be the “go-to” place for VO projects either. It seems it will take time to truly educate newcomers the truth and information about how the VO industry works, and encourage them to stay out of the Fiverr VO game.
Regarding the side gigs, I drive for Postmates, and just started Doordash this week (more of an experiment, really). I feel the key to this work is managing your expectations. Can you make hundreds a day? Sure. But you can also get a lottery ticket and win millions of dollars too. Sure. Impossible? No. But highly improbable? Yes. My expectation going in was to do it part time to generate some income to fund my VO training, classes, coaching, conferences, etc.
Not so much to depend on solely for my living expenses, but it has done well for me part time.
I had a very realistic and practical set of expectations, and so far, it’s proven solid. Also, I invest in my services so my customers have an excellent experience. I retired from Human Resources, and I know the spectrum of employee work ethic is all over the map. There are those who barely meet dress code, and those that stay after hours to get a project done. Same thing here. I get out of it what I put in, stay positive, and take what few bad experiences (like a penny tip) in stride. There are good people and a few bad apples in the world, no matter what industry. I find it helps me interact with other people, gets me out of the house when I’ve been working on VO business, and lets me clear my head. (and jam to some tunes)
I learned long ago to take information on the web (except for your sage wisdom, naturally) with a bit of skepticism. Sadly, it seems the ones who scam the most – whether at their day jobs or doing gigs – garner the most attention, and/or get away with it. It’s our job in our professional lives to be the best example of always doing the right thing for the best end results.
Thank you for bringing this subject to the table today.
People who engage in the gig economy seldom consider the cost of participation. For drivers, it’s the cost of maintaining and operating a vehicle. Uber and Lyft would have you believe something like “hey, I already have a car, so this will cost me nothing except my time”. Nothing could be further from the truth. For any venture, if you’re not calculating the cost of ALL expenses (like fuel, oil changes, tires, insurance, repairs), AND the opportunity cost of not being able to do other things that make you money (i.e., how much your time is really worth), then you’re not going into it fully informed. This means (generally) that you will lose money in the long run, not make it.
I am about to open a can of worms here. I think that the entire VO industry is a gig industry. Sure, you might have repeat customers and there is more money offered from some customers compared to the customers found on Fiverr or Upwork. When the job is done you have to go find another job. Isn’t that the definition of a gig? A musician goes to a gig whether it pays $50.00 or $50,000.00.
A position that I had for 12 years was made a union position by the company. I gave notice two weeks later. I can’t work within a union structure. The union in VO is there to try to set minimum pay which only works if the people involved agree to it. When someone agrees to work a gig for less than scale (maybe a lot less) they are accused of getting involved in the gig economy.
The gig economy is really a bunch of independent contractors all looking for their next job. Some people prefer to work for less per gig and do more gigs while others prefer to spend more time hunting for higher paying gigs and don’t do as many gigs.
Hi! I do VOs on Fiverr and have really enjoyed the platform. I set my prices up to make about $50/hr. I’m personally cool with that. I like working from home, and I enjoy finding the right effects and music and making it sound the best that I can. I did hire a sound engineer to come trouble shoot some noise floor problems I was having but other than that I’ve figured out the technical aspects on my own and I have enjoyed learning as I go. I had been going a more traditional route before joining online platforms and although I also enjoyed that, I really like not having to audition, invoice, market myself, etc…I really only enjoy doing the actual VOs and am happy to give Fiverr a cut to not have to do that. It’s the same percentage my agents took anyway. The biggest differences between the two as far as my role are that I do the technical work myself instead of going to a studio. So the VOs bought through online platforms are never going to be the same quality as going through an agent, renting a studio with an engineer there, the director and client piped in, etc…Also, unless the take totally sucks, they get one take where as before I might say one line for a national spot 100 different ways for them to choose from. I feel like I get to be more creative in this regard as much of the time they are just trusting me to come up with the style, pace, and vibe myself , or to just “get” the direction. Also the variety of projects is all over the map, however I have never voiced any that I suspected would be anything that competes with what I was doing before. Nothing for any major brands I have ever heard of. The most lucrative stuff on there is pretty boring, things like translating accident reports from Chinese manufacturing plants into files read by someone with a standard American accent. But 10 20,000 word reports at $10/100 words is a great project to plug away at for a month while my toddler naps. Anyway, I know the VO world isn’t fond of Fiverr and I can see both sides of the argument and actually agree with points made by each side. It was simply a way for me to take a skill I already had and adapt it to a new life situation (getting married, moving out of a major market, and having a baby). Just thought I’d answer your question as someone who has worked in both worlds. They are totally different so far in my experience. Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Kari