Published on April 26th, 2015 | by Tom Wake0
Case Study: How to make a great income selling on Fiverr
It’s a place where sellers can offer micro services online to buyers from across the world.
You can offer things like proofreading, writing, drawing, logo design, voiceovers, singing… dancing, you name it. Payments are made through PayPal so transactions are quick and safe.
These kinds of sites have seen a huge upsurge in users because they offer flexibility for both buyers and sellers. With many of us feeling the squeeze financially, sites offering small, useful services for a low price will be a welcome breath of fresh air.
If you’re unfamiliar with Fiverr you can get a free ‘gig’ here via this link.
“I really didn’t think I could ever be one of those people who works online, who earns money via the Internet…”
I wanted to find out exactly how Fiverr works for sellers from someone who’s already using the site very successfully so that I could share any insider hints and secrets with you.
Let me introduce you to ‘MadMoo’ (or Ang).
When I interviewed her she’d sold more than 900 gigs since she joined Fiverr. She’s now just topped over 5,000 sales.
She specialises in making quirky but brilliant pictures using household goods like cappuccino froth and even spaghetti hoops (YES, spaghetti letters!).
One of her gigs is a daily account of her experience using the site which she’s very kindly agreed to let me turn into an interview for Insider’s Edge.
Here’s what she had to say:
How did you get started/what got you into this?
An Internet friend (a fellow photographer) told me about the site at the same time as he joined it, in November last year. He said it would change my life. I should have believed it could happen but I really though it was pie-in-the-sky. I had (still have) a routine office job and yet am creative in my heart and this was ideal as an outlet for all that. I love what I do here!
What sort of hours do you work?
I really should set a fixed amount of time to get the best out of it… I think I have got faster, but I’m also a little more organised – so I can do 4 or 5 coffee gigs at the same time. I usually line up the stencils ready to go, along with any newspaper requests or specific colours.
Could this be made into a full time job or is this more a way of making some extra money?
This started as a way to make small amounts of extra money but seriously I could see this as being a full time option. The more available time to do the orders, the more money to be made. I would probably make even more effort to promote them on Twitter and Facebook. I now work part-time three days a week – I couldn’t have taken that step without Fiverr work.
What are the positives and are there any stresses involved?
The positives are all the nice people I meet here and all the nice things they say – regardless of any income I’m making. I don’t get the daily praise in my real life job. And I get to be creative, learn new skills and keep active!
It’s stressful for me if I have a long queue of jobs… and I sometimes worry that I might go over my deadlines. I have so far never had any negative feedback.
Have you had any surprise successes/failures?
The whole Fiverr experience has been a surprise success. I really didn’t think I could ever be one of those people who works online, who earns money via the Internet. I was really pleasantly surprised to get a $50 tip for some work well done. That was very unusual but lovely! I’m not even Internet savvy really but I have learnt a lot. Failures? Not really no. Maybe not meeting my own high standards sometimes.
Are they any big costs involved? What cut do Fiverr take of your profits?
No big costs for me – I buy and keep a stock of cans of spaghetti, boxes of coffee sachets, loaves of bread, cookies, card and paper to print on – cartridges for the printer etc.
I will buy props – different coloured card, tablecloths, fresh flowers, and so on. I have a good quality camera and laptop, iPad, iPhone etc.
You pay $5 per gig you buy and we as sellers get $4 so Fiverr take a 20% cut. There are also costs involved in transfers to paypal and dodgy exchange rates. But all in all it’s great!
Do you think you need to be at all ‘techie’ to be successful on Fiverr?
Yes, it’s straightforward, and no, absolutely no need to be technically minded. You can set up an account on Fiverr within a few minutes then you need to customise it so you’re not an anonymous grey sheep.
Everyone likes to see a face or at least some indication that you’ve done more than enter a name and email address. Of course, you CAN use technical language on your gigs but really it’s pretty straightforward if you read the instructions. You can’t really use punctuation other than commas in the gig title and you are limited to a set maximum number of characters, but if you are concise and to the point, it’ll be more easily understood. Bear in mind that English isn’t necessarily the first language of the sellers or buyers, but if it IS then I also suggest you check and double-check your spellings and grammar.
I for one would never buy from someone who had made basic spelling errors in their gig descriptions. If they can’t pay attention to detail (or get someone who can to look it over) then I think they probably won’t care too much about what they’re offering.
Before you set up a new gig, make sure you have some relevant photos to illustrate it and if you’re that way inclined, a video intro gives you more scope to explain your gig. Describe it concisely and clearly and don’t make promises you can’t keep.
What advice would you give for people just starting out
I would say not to set your expectations too high and you need a lot of patience. It takes a while to get established and if you’re expecting a quick fix, then this won’t be it. But if you’re willing to put in the work and don’t mind spending a bit of money to make your gigs as good as they can be, then in time you will reap the rewards.
Make sure you do some research and check the gigs currently on offer – mainly to make sure you’re not duplicating what’s already there, but also for inspiration. Often you’ll see a gig that leads to an idea for something different and hopefully better.
You want to be sure that you are not just copying – you may get sales, but you’ll be competing against an already established seller. Unique and the best unique is what you should be aiming for!
Once you get a gig featured, sales really take off. Be sure you are able to fulfil your promises. Set realistic lead-times or you’ll be late with deliveries and get negative feedback. Negative feedback will affect your sales and reputation so you should aim to always get positive reviews and keep your customers happy.
Don’t offer a gig for $5 if you’re not willing to do it. There’s no point moaning that ‘all’ you get is $4 for all your hard work – no one is forcing you to post the gig or to do it. Remember it’s someone else’s money that is being invested in you – treat it like a $50 gig every time you do one and don’t cut corners.
Under-promise and over-deliver. Keep the buyers informed. Don’t ignore messages. Be polite and never make assumptions – if you’re not completely sure what you’re being asked to do, don’t hesitate to ask the question and clarify. You won’t always get an answer, but at least you’ll know you have done your best to get it right.
And finally good luck!
Great stuff, thank you Ang. You can see her Fiverr page here
If you’ve made money using this service please share your comments below or check out other ways to make money online.