This year, freelancing and working online has become the new norm. In this article, Debbi Shibuya, shares how you can leverage Fiverr as either a full-time gig or side hustle in order to build experience and gain long-term clients.
Five months ago, I was unemployed and uncertain about my future.
Now, I freelance on the side as a proofreader and copyeditor through Fiverr Pro. In my first month on the platform, I made over $1,000 USD (after the 20% commission was taken out, as well).
I want to show you how easy it is to get started with Fiverr and start making more money today.
What is Fiverr?
Put simply, Fiverr is one of many freelancing platforms online in which you can make a steady income if you put in consistent work. Its mission is to “change how the world works together” and connects businesses with freelancers who offer digital services in 300+ categories.
The platform was founded in 2010 and has been listed as one of the top freelancing sites of 2020. According to the Wall Street Journal, Fiverr’s website transaction volume has grown over 600% since 2011.
It’s one of the easiest freelancing platforms to navigate and allows you to offer your services to anyone in the world. Unlike many other sites, you can also be a seller from any region (not limited to just Americans).
There are multiple ways to receive your income via Fiverr. Fiverr takes 20% of all earnings after the seller has made a sale, but once accepted into Fiverr Pro, all outsourced clients (that you find on your own) yield 100% of your earnings.
My experience with Fiverr
Truthfully, it took me a month to go live on Fiverr. I had written two gigs as drafts but was too scared to publish them. I told myself that I “needed more experience” in order to go live.
However, you build up experience when you publish a gig. Every client becomes part of that experience, and you’ll only gain more and more confidence and reputability with the more projects you complete.
I never had certification in proofreading or editing – I just knew that I’ve always been pretty decent at writing and catching grammatical errors. You don’t need to be a “professional” in anything before you sell your services on Fiverr. Consistent work and lots of effort will eventually pay off!
Getting started with Fiverr
You can easily sign up for Fiverr, create a “seller” account, create a gig, and then publish it – all within a matter of minutes.
Just keep in mind that you should be marketing services that you enjoy doing and know that you’re good at. If you’re not sure, ask your friends what you’re known for. What are the top areas that they value your knowledge in?
Here’s an easy checklist to get started on Fiverr:
- From the Fiverr homepage, click “Join”
- Sign up with your e-mail, create a username (cannot be changed once you create your account), and password
- Activate your account via the e-mail
- Click on your profile picture > My Settings > Dashboard > Start Selling
- Click Become a Seller
- Watch the videos on how to use Fiverr as a Seller
- Start drafting your first gig. Once your account is verified, you can make your gig public.
Some of the latest gigs that have appeared in the past week alone include:
- Graphics & design: Signage design, AR filters & lenses, album cover design
- Video & animation: Unboxing videos, article to videos
- Music & audio: Audiobook production, sound design
- Programming & tech: Development for streamers, online coding lessons.
Is Fiverr right for you?
One thing to keep in mind is that Fiverr is for freelancers, and this lifestyle might not be for everyone. It isn’t a typical 9-5 job. You don’t have hours; you make your own schedule and basically work around your client deadlines.
When a new order arises, you should do everything you can to finish it as efficiently and as high-quality as possible. Your main objective is quality customer service and to maintain a 5-star rating as a seller.
You have the option of limiting orders in your queue, and you can also “pause” your gig at any time (which I do quite often to prevent burnout).
However, be aware that once you’re accepted as a part of Fiverr Pro (more info on that below), they advise you to keep your gig live at all times because they have limited program eligibility.
My personal tips for Fiverr
- Set your starting prices low (mine began at $10 for 100 words of copy to be proofread and edited), and then raise them every 6 months depending on your financial goals and consistent workflow.
- If you’re unsure of pricing, use other gigs in your field as examples. Don’t set your prices based on the Pro sellers, since you shouldn’t be charging their high prices when you first start out.
- Offer unlimited revisions (for applicable gigs) when you first start out.
- Include a video in your gig to make yourself stand out from the competition
- Add in the line, “Please message me first before submitting an order to ensure that I am an ideal fit for your project” at the top of your gig. This starts an open dialogue between you and the buyer to determine whether or not you can take on a project, without it affecting your response rate.
- You’ll receive many order requests overnight. Don’t fret – make sure to answer the messages in the order they were received. Ensure that you’ve accepted and/or sent out all orders as necessary, and then manage your projects wisely by working on the most time-sensitive ones first.
- When offering unlimited revisions (or more than one revision), make sure that the buyer marks the order as complete first. If the buyer asks for additional revisions, send them back to the buyer via message. They don’t need to start another order, especially since those revisions should be included in your quoted package price.
- Remember that when you submit a completed order, it’s never truly finished until the buyer is satisfied. If there’s a misunderstanding, ensure that the buyer is happy (after all, they’re paying you), and do whatever you can to fix or revise the project.
Mistakes to avoid on Fiverr
There are a few “no-no”s when it comes to using Fiverr as well.
Never copy and paste someone’s gig and rip it off as your own (because that’s flat-out plagiarism, even when you tweak the words). Be original, especially since you don’t want your own business to be someone else’s words!
Never ignore a message or decline a project. You should always be looking for ways to build up your experience, and chances are, you can research whatever it is that the buyer needs assistance with. If they’ve reached out to you, they’re putting confidence in you that you can get the project done. You most likely should know (and can figure out) how to complete something to their standards.
How to make more money with Fiverr
One of the best ways to make more money with Fiverr is to apply for Fiverr Pro, in which the minimum price for your gigs would be $100 USD. Some custom offers can go up to $50,000 USD!
As a Pro Seller, you’ve been hand-picked by the Fiverr team as “best-in-class talent” for your specific field(s). You’ll be recognized with a “Pro” symbol on your profile, meaning that buyers will trust the quality of your work more than with a regular Fiverr seller.
The application process is pretty straightforward with Fiverr Pro, and there isn’t a time minimum you need to have been on Fiverr in order to apply. I applied after three months of being a copyeditor and was accepted into Fiverr Pro within a month.
Just remember that you need to have quality examples of your work in the specific field you’re applying to be a Pro in, so ensure that you can send sample documents, PDFs, and screenshots of feedback from past clients if you’ve already been freelancing in that particular area.
There are also other ways you can make money on Fiverr:
- Apply for projects
- Follow up with past clients to see if they need additional work
- Attach samples of your work before a client asks
- Offer discounts (i.e. “I can offer you 4 blog posts, 500 words each, for a package price of $300. That’s $100 off my usual rate!”)
- Tips (usually from larger projects or working with existing clients)
To further your career growth, I highly recommend these sources:
- Alex Fasulo: Known as the “freelancing fairy,” she’s most famous for becoming a self-employed millionaire by age 27. Check out her TikTok for the most helpful tidbits.
- Sample Fiverr profile: My friend, Brittany’s Fiverr profile displays how you should structure your gig professionally (but add your own personality).
Whether you’re keen on a career shift or just looking for another side gig, Fiverr is an amazing way to work remotely and still allow yourself the ability to travel (safely).
Remember that the hardest part is always starting; once you get the ball rolling, clients will inevitably flock to you (just keep up those 5-star ratings).
BTB guest writer – Debbi Shibuya
Debbi is a Californian ex-pat based in Sydney. She’s a lightsaber-wielding avid hiker, who finds every possible way to incorporate Star Wars and witty puns into her outdoor adventures. When she isn’t writing, hiking, or birdwatching, you can find her stuffing her face with food and petting every dog she comes across.
Follow Debbi at My Debstinations for solo female travel, outdoor adventures, and geek guides.
All photos and graphics in this article are the property of BTB guest writer, Debbi Shibuya, except for the screenshots from Fiverr.
Have you used Fiverr or another freelancing platform? Tell us about it below!
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