What is Fiverr?
Fiverr, once known as the marketplace of cheaply-paid gigs for cheaply-produced results, is no more. Fiverr, where freelancers with a dream and a little extra time can build their careers for hundred or even thousand-dollar contracts, is our new reality as we enter its tenth year of existence. With millions of gigs in 120 categories of products and deliverables, there is truly a little something for everyone.
For those new to or yet to enter the Fiverr workplace, their M.O. is quite simple:
Sellers – the freelancers – create gigs that clients purchase.
Buyers – the clients – purchase gigs or post want ads that sellers can apply to.
Advantages of Fiverr:
- Freedom in your day-to-day, your clients, and your hours
- Beginner-friendly, both for new freelancers and for those new to their entire craft
- Guaranteed payment through Fiverr’s system – buyers can even leave tips!
- Variety in buyers and gigs
Disadvantages of Fiverr:
- A commission of 20% off every gig on the freelancer’s side; buyers can expect to pay Fiverr $2 per gig under $40 and 5% per gig over $40. In essence, Fiverr is guaranteed up to 25% of a gig’s total value.
- High competition, even for beginners – because so many freelancers are willing to sell themselves cheap to get buyers, and the poorly-performing freelancers never rise above the cheap, unfortunate gigs, there is a lot of competition at the bottom for very low-paying work.
Where to Start?
Fiverr is a fairly self-explanatory website, but there are a lot of little steps along the way. The key is to make sure you have a decent chunk of time for initial set up and gig creation, so you can truly pay these crucial first steps the proper amount of attention.
- Account Registration. Like most registration systems, all you have to do here is follow the prompts. When you actually reach the point of entering unique information – your username – make sure you choose something eye-catching and appropriate for your desired field.
- Flesh Out Your Profile. While it can be awkward to do so much self-marketing, freelance sites are where it’s absolutely critical to do so. The trick is to be honest without scaring away clients with a doomsday pronouncement while also letting potential buyers know you’re willing to put in extra effort. Your profile is every client’s first impression of you, so make it an impressive one.
- Create Your First Gig. Your gig is both a job description and a representation of your abilities, so make sure it’s impeccably presented and an accurate depiction of what you can deliver upon.
- Step 1: Write a clear, brief title – for the gig, not the service – select your category and subcategories, and choose a minimum of three relevant words or phrases that describe your final product
- Step 2: Write a clear, brief title – this time for the service itself – and describe the offer. Follow the prompts to choose your timeframe, any included revisions, and price.
- Step 3: Describe your gig and preemptively answer any FAQs. These can be questions you’ve received before from clients outside Fiverr or questions you expect to receive. The benefit of answering them now is in the time you’ll save not having to answer them repeatedly for multiple clients through the months.
- Step 4: List any requirements the buyer will have to fulfill for you to get started.
- Step 5: Add any related or appropriate photos (up to 3), a video on your service or yourself if you have one, and up to two documents buyers will need to see up front. Note that only the first three pages of each document will be visible to potential buyers.
- Step 6: Publish your gig and promote it on any social media you may have.
- Apply to “Freelancer Wanted” posts. While this is optional, applying to gigs buyers have posted is the best way to get your first few gigs and begin building your profile.
Where Does Success Begin?
Success begins with you – more specifically, with your profile, which is merely a digital extension of you. The key to a successful profile is to be professional, appealing, and real – add real photo and video, accurately and openly discuss your abilities, and throw in a little humor to make your future buyers smile.
In your gigs and on your profile both, you have a chance to stand above the crowd and be seen by all those potential buyers. Highlight your best qualities at the top, especially if you can offer faster-than-normal delivery. If you can’t, be sure to explain why your buyer waiting three more days is actually beneficial to the outcome.
Using SEO can help your gigs rise to the top of the search results while you rise to the top of the crowd. Fiverr has its own internal guidelines for SEO: use your target keywords 3-4 times per gig and 1-2 times in the title(s) if at all possible. Don’t saturate your gig with stiff, unnecessary language, but be sure to build it with your target ranking in mind.
If all of this fails – or if you don’t want to take the chance that it could – marketing your gigs and services on social media can help you build your profile that much faster. As awkward and dislikable a process as selling yourself can be, sharing your gigs with the network you’re already familiar with may be the key to branching out into new networks. Platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn can be very valuable in beginning your new freelance career.
In all of this self-marketing and upselling, it’s important to keep in mind that you need to be able to deliver the sun, moon, and stars if that’s what you promise. Experienced Fiverr-ers recommend sticking to products, deliverables, and topics you know, or at least very closely related fields – if you’re a website designer, don’t tell the world you can write the content too if you can’t; if you’re the best darn writer on the block, don’t go telling everyone you can illustrate their children’s book if you don’t know a pen from a marker. In short: build yourself up only to a level you can reasonably attain. Pushing your professional limits is fine and can even be profitable – switching channels suddenly is asking for a failed profile.
Your success on Fiverr is measured through their leveling up system, which is done by completing quality projects quickly. All new sellers begin as, reasonably, “New Seller;” the ultimate level to reach for is “Top Rated Seller.” Each level in between comes with its own perks that can help you rank higher and get more business. Those who truly become top-rated sellers are granted their own special badge, VIP seller support, and an opportunity to be listed among Fiverr’s promotions.
What’s the Point?
Making money on Fiverr doesn’t have to be difficult for those who go in prepared and ready to work. Some of the most important work, from building your profile to posting your gigs, will unfortunately have to be done for free – but a good freelancer will be more than able to make up for lost time when the buyers and moolah starts rolling in.