When it comes to freelancing, Fiverr steamrolls all other freelancing marketplaces such as Upwork, 99designs and peopleperhour etc. This is something I’ve heard from other freelancers and I can attest to that personally as well. In my first month on Fiverr, I earned $50 revenue and soon enough, it became my primary earning source.
However, here’s the sad truth about Fiverr: At times, you never get an order for days, and then there are days when you receive orders as big as $300 for a gig. Often there seems to be no rhyme or reason to the platform and all your assumptions and calculations go out of the window.
But what if there was a certain way to start getting sales? What if there were some proven and time-tested tricks to get that first order that brings many more to you? Forget the “motivational and inspirational” talk and high philosophy and let the real tricks of the trade show you the true north.
Here are some proven methods to grow your brand on Fiverr and make a good, recurring income out of it.
How to Make Account on Fiverr
Alright, let us get to the basics first. Making an account on Fiverr is not a big deal and you can even log in with your Google or Facebook account.
Yet, there is something important to discuss here. When you want to “continue with” Google or Facebook, it takes your real name from your Google account or Facebook ID and most of the people make mistake here and opt for that particular name.
This is not an issue in case you want to use your real name as a brand (we’ll get to it in a jiffy), but in case where you want to run an account under a company or agency name, or where you want to use some pseudonym, you better stop for a moment and insert the proper name. If that name is still not taken, Fiverr will let you have it.
You must know this secret if you’ve been shedding your blood and sweat on Upwork (to no avail) that companies and individual customers specifically mention (and prefer) individual freelancers over so-called agencies or companies.
Here’s why! They are cunning enough to learn that many agencies outsource their highly paid work to underpaid and substandard freelancers and as a result, the $50 logo looks like a $10 one. So make sure that your profile is under your own name or even a pseudonym, with your real and PROFESSIONAL photo.
Since we are talking about profile names and personal branding, it is very important to talk about a certain trend among Pakistani freelancers. That is using VPN or RDP to make US or UK accounts under native names.
In all honesty, the buyer behavior on Fiverr is somewhat biased towards non-native freelancers, especially those who are from sub-continent, but I can still show you a lot of Pakistanis and Indians on Fiverr who run their accounts under real names and with real profile photos, and guess what …
They are not only successful, but some of them rose to the standard where they were picked by Fiverr to represent Fiverr community in their respective countries. Pakistan has got two of these super sellers: Aaliyaan Choudhry and Nouman Saeed.
If you feel like you can perform better and easily blend in with a native English speaker name, go for a pseudonym. It is not a violation of Fiverr rules as long as you do not change the proxy settings and thus maliciously change your location.
If you go to Fiverr, you will see that they have categories for all sorts of micro services. So, if you go to the main category Writing & Translation, you will see many sub-categories e.g. Business Copywriting, Press Releases, Articles & Blog Posts etc. Then there are a few sub-sub-categories to the sub-categories.
For example, if you click Business & Copywriting, it shows you more filters from which a buyer can further narrow down the search: e.g. Website Copy, Product Listings, Ad Copy etc.
What is all this ado about? If you try to be a Jack of all trades and master of none, serious customers will ignore you since they are looking for the best people. You’ll also be competing in main categories and competition will smother you. As a result, you will have no luck on Fiverr.
So you better narrow down your approach to one main category and then further narrow down to a sub-category. Here you can make 3 to 4 gigs covering all sub-sub categories, but folks, the best way is to go deeper and try to accomplish expertise and dominance in a sub-sub-category.
For example, if you go to Digital Marketing > Social Media Marketing > Instagram, you will see that the bestselling Level 2 (easy to achieve) sellers easily get 100 to 300+ positive reviews. This means that the number of actual sales (since not all of them are reviewed) might be from 300 to 900. So, the point is to tell you that even those who narrow down to the sub-sub-category can make decent money.
Quality Always Trumps Quantity
This is a very important point. There are a lot of people who still think that Fiverr is nothing but a $5 micro-outsourcing website. Well, this is not the truth.
The matter of fact is that Fiverr has evolved into one hell of a melting pot of good talent and big bucks. You can touch the skies with custom offers and Fiverr’s new Pro program is now introducing handpicked niche experts.
What is the approach to go from $5 gigs to $200 and even up to a $1000 gig? The answer is quality.
I remember listening to Fiver Super Seller Aaliyaan Choudhry and he so rightly mentioned that the aim should not be to find 20 sellers with 20 $5 orders but to find one big fish worth $100 or perhaps $1000.
There are a lot of people looking for $5 services and it’s easy to make a lot of revenue is a short amount of time. Right? Here’s a reality check: When you engage 20 or more sellers for petty $5 each, it is not only about getting the order, delivering and making some quick bucks.
It is mostly and mainly about wasting time on finalizing order details, listening to the grievances of each customer, making sure that no one leaves a review less than a 4.5 and making sure that your delivery does not get rejected.
In contrast, one buyer with deep pockets is easy to communicate with, please, satisfy and turn into a repeat customer. All you have to do is to gear your search, keywords, gigs, and efforts to bag such big buyers. Leave the $5ers to those who find solace in a meager $500 to $700 revenue per month.
The Ultimate Loophole
Loophole might sound a bad word but here’s how you can use it to make your customers happy and line up your pockets.
Let me explain:
Some sellers just focus on this method: find customers, get orders, deliver and dump the customers in order to serve the person next in the queue of sellers.
This is the wrong approach!
The best idea is to create a loop with a hole through which the buyers keep falling into your lap just like Newton’s ripe apple.
Here’s how you do it:
Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. So what kind of buyers come to Fiverr? I guess that from your experience you can tell that they are mostly inexperienced, young, ambitious and tight on budget internet entrepreneurs.
Majority of them have some sort of online business idea for which these buyers need a website, graphics, business names and taglines, SEO, social media marketing, content writing and a lot of other services.
So, suppose you sell graphics or animated video and a customer comes to you, gets their job done and now they are happy with the work. The million dollar question is whether you just let them go with the delivered work by doing the bare minimum and being happy with the high rating or will you try to convert them into a repeat customer?
You should think proactively and predict their next move and next need. Now do some market research on Fiverr and see the rates for the services that your customer might need next, prepare a quote, be realistic and try to hook them for the next gig.
“The next gig? All I can do is make whiteboard animation videos!” Wrong!
Here comes to your rescue the good old skill of reselling. I interviewed this Karachi-based young entrepreneur not too long ago and that lucky chap made more or less $5,000 by only reselling other people’s services.
How you do it?
You let your customer know that you can offer SEO services, writing, social media marketing, logo design etc. of the same standard that you maintained and exhibited when you made whiteboard animation video for them.
Once you get a green signal, consult your go-to writer, logo designer or SEO expert etc. (that you already picked as per rates, performance, delivery timing and reviews etc.), and forward your customer’s requirements to them.
The order deadline must be two or three days before you are supposed to deliver the said service to your customer. This way, without doing anything, you retain your customer, you sell them more services, you make them repeat customer and you win more 5-star reviews as well as referrals.
Intelligent, isn’t it?
If you have attended some Fiverr junkie’s web seminar or you have been to seminar such as Payoneer ones, you must have heard this word: “upselling”. What is it?
Upselling is basically the skill to sell something additional, premium or special to the customer, which, in most of the cases, is the new level of the same service that you have just sold them.
Let us assume that you have already sold a customer a script for a whiteboard explainer video that they needed. Now, you can upsell by offering them a whiteboard explainer video and while placing the order, ask them for an authentic native-English voiceover that you can arrange for them.
Shoot some samples immediately and change the order and by doing this, you upsell $20 worth of video + $15 worth of voiceover, while the actual order was only a $5-10 video script.
The Approach Towards Buyer Requests
Most of you who have worked on Upwork will either find the Fiverr gig system a blessing in disguise or total unfair advantage offered to already successful sellers.
Well, you do not have to win impressions and clicks to get a nice order. You can always go to the Buyer Requests under Selling tab (once you sign into your Fiverr account) and find out the Buyer Requests as per the categories that you deal with.
How you pitch to a buyer and how you place the bid matters a lot. Most of the people who fail with Upwork or Fiverr Buyer Requests are those who will:
- Look for highly priced requests,
- Choose a request that requires a somewhat different expertise,
- Load the offer with unnecessary details
The best way to get jobs from Buyer Requests is to:
- Hunt the least expensive orders (because you have no ratings and experience as of yet)
- Double check that what client wants is within the ambit of your skills (a meek blogger cannot write technical reports)
- Add bullet points to your offer and those points should show why you should be picked e.g. 3 years experience of Java, unlimited revisions, 100% money-back warranty etc.
Importance of Keywords
Paddling away from the shores and sinking deep into the deep blue ocean of freelancing on Fiverr, one must have to be aware that gig titles, search tags, and descriptions need to be infused with proper focus keywords.
For instance, we Pakistanis do not know how to differ between a slogan and a tagline, but Americans know this very well. Suppose you are a copywriter and you offer Business Names and Taglines (slogans), but the keyword you choose is “slogans”; how likely do you think it is for your gig to reach an American entrepreneur who searched “taglines” in Fiverr’s search box?
You’ll have no luck. Try to learn how buyers think of a service they need, what are the American terms and jargons for that service, and how Americans use long-tail keywords.
On Fiverr, a gig is actually known as a skill that you can sell to the prospective customer. For example, coding is a gig, voiceover is a gig and every skill that you can sell is a gig.
Since there are thousands of gigs in the “deep web” of Fiverr that never come to the surface, you have to make sure that your gig gets noticed as soon as you make it. There are a few tricks that help with that and most important of them are the gig photos/videos.
A photo is worth a thousand words. This is coming from a person who always got lucky with his new gigs, so listen closely: your own image in your gig photo or your own video explaining your gig to the prospects is what leads a customer to send you a query, and a query has a good chance to be converted into your first sale.
In the end, the probability of getting your first order trickles down to the gig description. Suppose you have done everything carefully, but your gig description does not have the quality of a good sales copy, you will not be able to sell it.
Get it peeps:
You are selling on Fiverr and no one ever sold anything without a cheesy, corny and compelling sales pitch. There has to be a proper use of options like Bold font and highlighting the important phrases.
Start with establishing an authority e.g. “Coming from a savvy business card design expert who has made business stationery designs for over 15000 buyers on Fiverr …” tactfully explain the detail of service and then finish the description with an impressive and catchy call-to-action.
Do not forget that your work stats, bullet points of your offer and the mentioning of the value that you can offer to the customer are the most important essentials of a good gig description.
Try these practical tips coming from a freelancer who served more than 3000 businesses and individuals on Fiverr (see, I did it again) and you’ll soon see some greens rolling in.