Are you wondering how to start an online business on Fiverr that can help you pay your bills, develop your portfolio, and build up your brand online? While I’ve written several posts about Fiverr on Growing Your Biz, I know that a lot of people are wondering how to best tap into this popular microjobs platform (and any of its serious alternatives) and turn their efforts into a profitable business.
If you do some research on how to make money on Fiverr, you’ll find a lot of content out there that will show you how to optimize gigs and provide good customer service. (I highly recommend that new sellers check out the Fiverr Forum; many successful level 2, featured, and top rated sellers, have offered some great tips on how to be successful on Fiverr.) But, while many of these tips are extremely important, there are several essential points that just aren’t emphasized enough, and it is precisely these points that can make or break your Fiverr experience.
That said, the following is a list of 10 things I’ve learned about how to really make money on Fiverr from over two years as both an active buyer and seller:
To Make Money on Fiverr, Learn How to Create Fiverr Gigs That Sell
1. Keep in mind… you’re running a business. If you really want to make money on Fiverr over the long-term then you have to go in with the right mindset. If you think of your time and effort there as part of running a business, then it will change the whole experience. There’s a lot that goes into running a business. Just because you put up a gig on Fiverr, it doesn’t mean that the nitty gritty and hard work of running a business goes away. You still need to know how to market yourself, manage your time, deal with customers, and produce work that is both good and fulfills a customer need. What Fiverr does is give the seller potential exposure and an infrastructure to conduct transactions. These are not small things. But, they will only have value to you if you know how to properly leverage them.
So, the key take away here is to define your needs and goals with Fiverr right from the beginning because this will determine your over-all strategy. If you are looking for full-time or almost full-time income and want to build a long-term presence on the site, you’ll go in differently then if you are just looking to make a quick few extra bucks.
2. Prepare yourself for bad buyers. Who doesn’t want to be connected with buyers who appreciate your skill, hard work, and service? The reality is, though, that some buyers will be a pleasure to work for, while others can be a real pain in the you know where. The Fiverr forum is full of sellers sharing their stories of buyers who were inattentive, demanding, manipulating, or just plain crazy.
The best way to deal with this is to remember the first point above. If you consider your gigs on Fiverr to be a business, then this means that you should expect that sometimes, just like any other business, you’ll have difficult customers. Fiverr really has the best and most fair rating system around. Over the years, I’ve watched them spend a lot of time and energy tweaking it and making improvements along the way in response to comments and criticism from both buyers and sellers alike. I give them kudos for that. But even with this, you’ll still get those bad apples every now and then. So, be prepared to write off work on occasion. I know from experience it doesn’t feel nice to work and not get paid for it. But, remember this is just part of running a business. Crying over it just won’t help you.
3. Don’t be too focused on the competition; focus on building a brand instead. Unless you have a very specialized gig, be prepared to face a lot of competition. But again, this is all part of running a business. My best advice is to find a niche and start from there. Here’s a good example of what I mean. If you plan on offering writing services on Fiverr, you’ll probably find literally hundreds and hundreds of other sellers offering exactly the same gig you are. So, instead of offering to write a “Quality SEO Article,” try to narrow it down. Be a writer that focuses on business finance, LGBT issues, or nature articles. Also, if you’re not camera shy, create video. Let people see who you are, what your style is, and how you express yourself. Once you find a good niche, if you are providing quality work, then you’ll start to get repeat buyers. Not only will this help you generate more income, but keeping your gigs active will help them to appear higher in the search results.
4. Spend some time on the site studying what works. This is another mistake that I see many newbie sellers on Fiverr make. Before you activate even one gig, spend some time looking at the gigs that are already in the channel you’re planning on working in, and take notes! In particular, consider how successful sellers describe their gigs, what they are offering, how long the turnaround time is, and how many outstanding orders there are. You should also pay attention to the reviews buyers have left to gauge interest and to see which qualities of the gig seem to draw the most excitement. Another point to consider is that when you do this research, don’t just look at the top rated and featured sellers in the category. They already have an advantage because their gigs tend to appear at the top of category pages and search results. Instead, look for the “rising stars,” the sellers with the newish gigs that are attracting a lot of early attention.
5. Accept that success may take some time. If you are working in a competitive channel, then before you can really make money on Fiverr you will need to “nurture” your gigs till they start to generate some momentum in terms of new sales. What this means is that you may have to over-work a bit at the beginning to encourage those first buyers till you’ve built up a strong reputation of sales and reviews on the gig. This will take time, and it requires that you have long-term goals on Fiverr. So, back to the writing example. You could create a gig writing business finance articles, 500 words for $5. After you’ve made 30 sales, drop it down to 400 words, 50 sales 300 words. By the time you’ve reached 100 sales, you could even drop it down to 100 words for $5. I’ve done this myself. Not every buyer on the site is looking for the cheapest option.
6. Form partnerships with other sellers. Here is another technique that many newer sellers don’t take advantage of: teaming up with other sellers to create one gig with many add-ons or gig extras. For example, voice impressionists could team up with animators, app developers could team up with graphic designers to create an app icon, web developers could offer logo design. You get the idea? They could then just come up with an appropriate way to share the income from the sale. If you are looking to build up momentum on a new gig or one in which there is a lot of competition, this could be an option to explore. Just keep in mind that you should be selective in terms of who you partner up with and you should also give some consideration to cash flow since you may need to put up money in order to purchase your partner’s gig.
7. Know how to create and convey value without putting in more work. This goes back to point number 3 above, building your brand. The majority of the buyers on Fiverr are looking to get the most professional work they can for the least amount of money. It’s why they are on Fiverr in the first place and not other, more expensive freelance platforms. Even if they are paying you only $5 to design their logo or write their blog post, they’re still hoping you’re going to give them professional results. Remember this always. This means if you have a labor intensive gig, such as writing, editing, coding, and many design-related jobs, you’re are going to feel burnt out and under appreciated mighty quick if you don’t learn how to add value to the gig without having to expend much more effort. This added value can show up in some cleverly crafted “gig extras,” but it can also be created by clearly revealing your experience, skill, and knowledge within the gig description and introductory video.
8. Create a mix of gigs. While it’s good to have one or two main gigs that you know you’ll hold on to for a while, at the same time don’t be afraid to test new ideas, delete gigs, and start new ones. Once you have built up a reputation on Fiverr it helps- especially once you get to level two status. Some potential buyers will check out your profile page and be swayed to purchase from you simply because of your other successful gigs.
Something you should keep in mind is that brand new gigs show up closer to the top of the main category pages for the first couple of weeks. You want to get as many gigs as possible during that time to start building up momentum. Again, if you have long-term goals, consider it an investment. Another tip is to try to tap into seasonal demand. So, a writer could create a gig to write love letters leading up to Valentine’s Day, and a graphic designer could provide seasonal touch-ups to business logos, such as adding a Santa hat or snow flakes around Christmas time.
9. Promote your gigs off-site. As I’ve mentioned a few times through out this post, it’s getting harder and harder to get gigs to stand out on Fiverr. So, if you really want to give your sales a boost, you need to be doing some off-site promotion. The best ways to promote your gigs off-site will obviously depend on your gig and your target market, but some things to consider are:
- Your own blog- you can create a blog around the type of work you do on Fiverr and make sure to promote your gigs to your readers.
- Social media- make targeted updates and posts on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, and Pinterest
- Forums- lastly, you could promote your services are relevant forums
10. Keep track of how you are feeling. For me, one of the most daunting parts of selling on Fiverr was actually the gig countdown clock. Having multiple deadlines and demanding customers can weigh on you, and if you are not careful with your time and energy, you can easily burn out. If you are in need of a breather, simply extend the expected delivery date or suspend your gig for a little while. I know many sellers are afraid to do this because they feel it will hurt their rankings. Whether or not this is actually true, you’ll have a much harder time trying to recover from negative ratings and failed deliveries. I know for a fact, that many long time sellers regularly step away from Fiverr, and it’s definitely the healthiest way to go.
In short, in order to make money on Fiverr, you have to approach it like any other business. It will take some knowledge of your target market, hard work, and a bit of patience. But if you go about it with the right attitude, you can use the platform to earn some serious income.