Q. How long have you been on Fiverr?
A. I’ve been working on Fiverr for just over three years. I first signed up in November of 2011, right when I lost my job as a senior editor at Suite101.com. By March 2012, I was working on Fiverr full time. I currently maintain a small handful of clients outside of Fiverr, but over 90% of my work is now performed via Fiverr.
Q. What is your area of expertise?
A. I have a diverse range of talents and a very varied background. A majority of my orders involve writing — content, scripts and slogans. I also offer an array of other gigs too, from voiceovers, to SEO consultations, to graphic design and photo editing and beyond.
Q. Can you talk about some pros and cons that you have experienced with Fiverr?
A. I absolutely love Fiverr. I love the variety of projects. It’s definitely not boring. I could be writing about skin care tips in one article, and the next hour, writing a script for a promotional video. I find it very enjoyable and it makes the work day go quickly. And, of course, you can work wherever and whenever you want, which is a benefit! It’s tremendous flexibility, which is great.
Unlike many other freelancing sites, the clients come to you, the seller, on Fiverr. You don’t need to waste time sending project proposals, hoping you’ll get the job. So that’s nice. And it’s a very dependable work source (knock on wood!)
There are a couple of downsides. Fiverr does have some technical issues. The notification emails that alert you to a new message or client update on an order page don’t always go through. Also, the orders don’t always post immediately on the order page (or they’re posted in the system, but don’t always appear on the order page straight away.) A portion of deliveries never show up on the order page, necessitating a re-send. I’ve notified tech support, but it seems they haven’t rooted out the issue yet. But it’s not the end of the world. It’s just a matter of checking in again to ensure everything is kosher. I’ll admit it gets a bit confusing when you have a high order volume as I do, but it’s workable. And every site or system has it’s faults. There are glitches wherever you go, so I don’t don’t find it off-putting. Once you’re aware of them, the glitches are easy to work around.
Q. Would you recommend Fiverr to others starting out or would you recommend something else?
A. Yes! Absolutely!
Just be aware that it can be slow going in the beginning, but once a gig gets a few orders and some positive feedback, the orders will pick up.
Also, be strategic when you price your gigs. Work out an hourly base rate and then, determine how long it takes to complete a given task. For instance, I have a $40/hour base rate. I can write about 1,000 words per hour, so I charge $5 per 100 words (I’ve factored in the 20% fee that Fiverr deducts.)
Also, keep in mind that you may need to time yourself and adjust your rates if your initial estimate isn’t accurate.
Q. What has been the most important lesson you have learned in your Fiverr experience?
Oooh, that’s a tough one!
I’ve learned the importance of presenting yourself in a professional manner, while setting yourself apart in some way. On my gig pages, I discuss my relevant experience in addition to what I’m offering, which is important. Lots of clients tell me that they selected my gig because of my experience, which is important because it gives you credibility.
I also learned that negative feedback will occur every once in a while, whether you like it or not. Sometimes, it’s the result of a miscommunication. Other times, it’s one of those impossible-to-please clients. But fortunately, they’re relatively few and far between. So don’t dwell on the negative feedback. As long as you’re offering a high-quality service, with lots of positive feedback, you’ll be golden.
I’ve also learned that people are willing to pay more for quality. I charge a lot more than many other Fiverr writers, but I have years of experience and the quality is higher than average. I still don’t charge what I feel I’m ‘worth’, but what I earn is very fair.
Q. Is there anything else you would like to add about your Fiverr experience?
A. Let’s see…
I’d offer a few tips.
Always instruct your clients to use the ‘request modifications’ tool if they require a revision or have a problem. This returns the order to the queue and makes it much easier to keep track of your orders.
Don’t be afraid to charge a significant fee for expedited orders. People will pay it.
Include a little extra whenever possible, as it goes a long way to earning points with your clients. Everyone loves receiving more than they expected. For instance, on this article, I had more to share than the 400 words that was requested. I felt it would improve the piece, so I included a bit extra. For me, it’s an opportunity to turn something good into something great. I take pride in my work, so I invest the extra time.
If your order is late, make it a concerted effort to include something extra to compensate for the delay. Delays happen. Don’t ignore it. Address it with the client, apologize and provide something extra whenever possible.
Make it a point to read Fiverr’s rules and adhere to them! You can’t communicate with client’s off-site; if you violate the rules, you will get caught in very short order and your account will be restricted, limiting your potential for growth. They’re very strict about enforcing the rules. So just familiarize yourself with the rules and make it a point to follow them.
Set yourself apart in some way, while remaining professional. For instance, my profile photo is of me holding my dog, Sasha-Simone, and you’d be shocked how many clients say ‘I picked you because I noticed your dog in your photo’ or ‘I love dogs, so I chose you.’ It’s not the most professional photo, but it’s good quality (not a snapshot). I selected that photo as it’s the only photo of me that I really like. But it has proven to be something that sets me apart and enables others to connect with me. That was very unexpected.
In all, I recommend treating Fiverr as a real job, not a hobby. That’s really what’s required to succeed. Work in a professional manner, offer something that people need and treat your clients as you’d like to be treated. That’s the key to success on Fiverr.