Freelancing is a buzzword that you must have heard from time to time. Recently as the pandemic hit in 2020, it gained a lot more attention. As technology has advanced, it has made things much easier for businesses and companies big or small want to delegate some of their work to freelancers. So, in short, this is the best time to be a freelancer.
Now, let’s talk about my journey. The good, the bad, etc. My first freelance job was working at “VideoPlasty” in 2016. It was a great experience, I got to know their style of work and met many new people with different experiences in motion design.
I left that job in 2016 to start my freelance journey, went from Upwork (Previously ODesk), Brybe, Freelancer.com, Guru, PeoplePerHour, and then to Fiverr. At the time when I started, it had a poor reputation as people used to think of Fiverr as a “Five Dollars” job, and still to this date you will find people that want to get amazing work for just 5 dollars.
My Relationship With Fiverr
In 2017, I created a Fiverr account with a weird name and never expected to earn anything from it at first. A customer did come through and asked for a 5-dollar logo design at an unusual time and being I thought I would not get any orders, I ignored the possibility of someone placing an order and the customer got angry and canceled the order. After that, no orders came in and I did not put any new gigs on that account.
Then 2019 came and I created a new account called “MotionArtz” and closed the previous one as Fiverr terms & conditions only allow one account active per IP address. Although there could be two accounts if you want to provide two different services but be cautious and always ask customer support before opening a side account on Fiverr.
So, back to “MotionArtz”. So far, I have earned 12,515$ and got the level 2 seller role from one gig on Fiverr and that was a “Social Media GIF Animation” gig. Recently, I have started focusing on my other businesses but have been working on Fiverr on the side and rebranding the logo, and publishing more gigs on the platform. My goal with Fiverr is to see how far I can go freelancing here. I would love to update this blog as I progress in my freelance journey to share with you guys how it went.
My point is to not give up and focus on the journey of creating new things and the growth and money will come as a byproduct of the input that you put into your work. This goes for all other businesses as well. Be it blogging, youtube anything. Growth in business takes time, it’s the constant effort and work that you put in day in and day out that leads you to grow in your business.
The biggest weakness that stops you to do something is addiction, mine was gaming. I had to cut all sorts of gaming from my life. It consumed me to the point where I would have thoughts around the game all the time. Look around and see if you have some sort of addiction that is stopping you from working towards your goal, remove it from your life or find some alternative to it.
Ha Ha, enough of my blabbering about addiction and lifestyle. Let’s get back to the topic of Freelance and Fiverr.
So, starting in Fiverr was easy. I made a flat design character logo as my profile pic and made a few gigs, copied some data from other sellers for example I had to research the search tags, description, title, and more. Once gigs were created, the wait time to get the first order was 3 months (for some users it’s 6 months and for some, it’s 2 days) and I remember being soo excited as I got the order and that small Fiverr icon popped up on the screen. It was like the best thing in life.
Started my freelance work with the customer at 10 dollars per animation. Quickly realized that I am undercharging and had to raise up the price after 5-10 orders as I received a few weird experiences. One of these experiences was an Indian fellow who had a business on Fiverr as well and was delegating all his work to other new Fiverr accounts at 5 dollars per animation. The thing about these customers who delegate their work to earn some profit is the worst, once you are stuck with them. They will be like vampires. Every 2 hours will be a new revision because they couldn’t understand the first time what their customer wanted and it felt like to go and talk to their customer one on one.
The most important thing is to provide good premium services, your GIG title, search tags, description, GIG image & Video should be on point and professional. Search around and find other gigs that are in your competition. Check their data and see what they are doing, it could be the gig video or the search tags, etc or maybe you have not given your gig enough time to rank on Fiverr. Fiverr today works as a search engine exactly like Google & YouTube.
What Fiverr Doesn’t Tell You
Fiverr is really good for new or experienced freelancers but there are a lot of downsides as well working at Fiverr. Some of them are listed below.
- Fiverr takes 20% of each sale.
- Buyer has full god mode on Fiverr.
- It’s competitive, need to up the skills to rank and earn.
- Once order is done, it takes 14 days for your funds to be cleared.
- The level system is a problem.
Let’s talk about my other experiences and what I heard online. As you now know that Fiverr takes 20% of each sale, yes that’s true. Recently there is another % of the money that is taken away as tax. For example, if you earn 10 dollars, you will receive 8 dollars after the order is done and 0.5 dollars will be cut as well for tax.
The funny part is Fiverr takes an extra 20% on every tip that your customer gives you. I hated that part but you can’t blame them. It’s a free platform and you are not paying any monthly fees to them to join.
Next, we come to the point of buyer got full god mode. Yes, they do. If the buyer decides to cancel the order after the delivery is done – they can do so without any problems. Basically, they got the free work and got their money back.
This is an issue and I feel it usually happens with low-value orders compared to high-value orders. For example, if you are selling your GIG for 5 dollars compared to 100 dollars.
Currently, I got around 100+ Five-Star reviews and 70+ on this one GIG with around 5-6 of these 4 Star reviews. I communicate with my customers a lot and give them the best work possible, haven’t received a 1 star or 3 stars yet. I hope not in the future as well.
The thing is if you get a 1-3 star review and you feel to talk to the customer or solve the issue then be careful – the system on Fiverr might catch you for “disturbing the customer” or if you write some words like “money”, it might catch you again. You can’t ask for their emails, etc, and once reviewed by the customer support it can end up with a level demote or warning or straight account ban.
Also, the way the level system works. If you are a level 2 seller and get a bad review, you will be demoted if your % of star rating for the 2 months that is calculated goes down or if you get less than 90% of the order completion rate or response rate and the order completion issue can happen if you get some orders and decide to cancel one or two because of some issue with the buyer. Despite the order value being high of these orders, they don’t care.
Some Tips To Improve On Fiverr
based on my own experience so far, these are some of my tips to be successful on Fiverr.
1. Get ready to become “Yes-Man”
Yes, you heard it right. Become a Yes-Man like Super-Man.
When you are first starting out freelancing on Fiverr and have no reviews. Try advertising on social media, or ads on google or anything to get more orders and reviews. If you get an order, just hug their feet and say “YES” to all their revisions. If they ask to do something different but in the same field that you can’t do but can learn and do it then do it.
Being a freelancer is a journey. You will find that you get more experienced over time. So, best to say “YES” to everything.
I was experienced in flat design motion graphics but people have asked me to animate a photo that I didn’t know how to I had to in the early days and I learned how to do it on the fly. Got many weird requests that I never imagined I had to do, but I said Yes and learned them and did it. Always try your best to do it even if you don’t know what they are asking. Today you have soo much information online for anything that you want to learn about on YouTube, Skillshare, etc. It’s impossible that something that they ask for is not something that you could do.
2. Premium Quality Video
Yes, you need a video on Fiverr. According to them, the gigs that have promo videos on them sell 200%++ more than the gigs that don’t. Have a premium quality video, do whatever it takes. Learn, implement, check other gigs. See what they are doing. It’s a must, the video is the first thing the customer sees.
This is my promo video for the social media animation gig that I recently launched on Fiverr.
This was the old promo video for that same gig but I still received all the orders till today.
So, imagine. It’s the video that can help you sell a lot even if it’s not that great. It shows the customer who you are, what you do, how you can help them etc. It’s really a must.
Oh and yes your BIO on Fiverr needs to have good content there as well. Try to connect with the client and make them feel as if they already know you. Have words there which make them feel as if they are welcome to talk to you.
Back to the video part, if you are a person who is providing a gig that requires you to be present then ensure that you have a good quality camera, sound quality should be really clear, the background should be minimal, and get good lighting as well.
For example, I don’t require myself to be in the video as I sell motion graphics and video services that require me to show my art and motion design skills but for you, it could be different.
3. Become Patient Monk
Yes, you have to be very patient. This is true for every business not just freelancing. 70% of my earnings that I received from Fiverr was in 2020 end when I increased my rates high and got reviews. Before that, I was earning very low per client.
It’s really simple. If you have no reviews on your profile, no one will trust you and you can’t charge those high rates and expect to get rich overnight. So, you have to be patient and charge low for the first few orders and get good reviews then you can charge high as you establish yourself. Be prepared to invest at least 1-2 years before you start charging high to your clients.
Be like a monk!
4. Chant The “Professionalism” Mantra
Basically, be professional as much as possible. Respect clients and respect yourself, If a client is rude. Best to cancel the order then earn a few bucks.
Make sure to communicate with the client till the end and if possible even after the order. Even if they did not tip you and you feel they were a bit off. Still, it’s better to go into their chat and thank them even if you don’t feel like doing it.
Never miss the deadline with an order, try to deliver 2-3 days before the deadline. It creates a better impression and the client might tip you for it.
Always reply to your client’s messages and be respectful to them and ensure they are happy in a professional way. Don’t reply to your clients as if they are your friends, always be respectful, take it as a business from day one.
If they say they need something correct and the order is completed. It’s best to do it without taking any charge for it. Considering it’s a small job. Chances are high, he might order again from you.
If the client gets angry like I said, best to cancel and let him go his way. Chances are he will be doing the same thing with other sellers as well. If you don’t, you might get a 1-star review. Sometimes, the client might be happy but he still gives a 1-star review and you can’t do anything about it. Recently Fiverr changed the system so that a buyer or seller can’t change his review once given. Oh well…
5. Pay Attention To Everything
Reply to all the messages even if you don’t want to reply to them and be online. If you are online throughout the day, your gigs are seen and can result in getting more orders and messages from new clients.
Get the app on android on the play store or if you have an iPhone then on the apple store (me an android user, always will be). This ensures if they reply to you then you can reply back instant as you will have your mobile with you all the time.
It’s best to say a “Hi, let me read the message and get back to you!” and then read the full message and reply to them as this ensures they know you have read it and are attentive. They will likely wait for your reply before going to another seller in this case.
If you take your time and do not reply to anything for like an hour or two. It’s best to assume that you have lost the order as it’s a fast marketplace and there is a lot of competition. In that case, they will have placed an order with another seller already while you start replying to them.
Be prepared to deal with rude clients, low earnings, support issues, and more but there is light at the end of the tunnel. Some people have earned more than 100k dollars per month on Fiverr. If you don’t give up, you might end up there as well. Then you can branch your Fiverr Business into a website and sell your services on your own website or you might have enough time to work on some other side business while you work on Fiverr.
Just don’t give up and learn. Keep going and you will do good on Fiverr. Start today, start now. You got this. Go for it. Make an account today!