Fiverr is an online marketplace for people from all over the world to buy and sell services — starting from five dollars. Basically, you offer a service called a Gig, which has to be delivered within a set turnaround time.
The notion of a $5 marketplace can be a double-edged sword, especially for freelancers. On one hand, Fiverr attracts a large number of clients due to the potential of getting quality work at affordable prices; but valuing your services at $5 as a graphic designer can be hard to justify, even if you’re just starting out.
However, Fiverr can be a solid source of income for you — if you take time to do your research and understand how the site works. In fact, many freelance graphic designers have found success there, so it’s definitely possible for you to follow in their footsteps. Let’s consider some pros and cons before you decide whether Fiverr is a good fit for you.
First off, you’re wrong to assume that there isn’t much income potential on Fiverr. Although the site did start out as a $5 marketplace, it has come a long way in satisfying sellers’ needs.
One example is the introduction of Gig Packages, which allows you to charge much more than $5 by bundling additional features into your basic gig. Besides Gig Packages, you can also offer Extras so clients can customize and upgrade their purchases. In other words, Fiverr gives you the freedom to price your services based on how much value you attach to them.
See also: Pricing Your Services
As a global marketplace, Fiverr definitely has huge market potential. In fact, a look at a popular logo design gig shows close to 2,500 reviews and 30 orders in queue. With such a large audience, it’s a golden opportunity for you to build your client base and work with clients you might otherwise never reach.
Unlike other marketplaces such as Upwork, there is no need to spend time searching and bidding for projects. Of course, you have to do your research and create gigs that are attractive to clients. However, once a gig is set up, it’s basically a matter of promotion.
In addition, you can transfer your earnings instantly to PayPal, and there is no withdrawal limit.
Fiverr rewards quality work and good service by increasing your reputation using its Levels system. Becoming a Level 2 seller (the highest earned level) isn’t hard, and comes with better exposure on the site.
With millions of gigs available, competition on Fiverr can be really intense. Many freelance graphic designers are already established on the site with hundreds, if not thousands of positive reviews. Furthermore, there is a large volume of graphic design Gigs that offer similar services. In short, it’s hard for you to build a reputation and stand out from the crowd.
As a $5 marketplace, you will likely encounter clients who are looking to exploit your services. In a typical scenario, they might not be willing to pay for more revisions than originally specified, while threatening to leave a bad review if you don’t accept their demands.
Although there is an escrow system in place, some clients will try to cancel an order and get their money back — even after you have delivered the finalized designs to them. While Fiverr’s support team will usually resolve such cases favorably to you, it’s still a headache to have to go through them.
CREATING AND PUBLISHING YOUR FIRST GIG
If you have decided to give Fiverr a chance, then it’s time to sign up for an account and create your first gig. The process is straightforward, with tips along the way to guide you through the different steps.
Your first step is to provide an overview of your gig. Because a title can only have 80 characters, think about making it unique and detailed. Instead of I will design a logo for $5, try I will create an awesome vintage-style logo. As for your description, keep it short and sweet. Clients don’t spend much time browsing through gigs, so put the most important information at the beginning.
More importantly, you have to determine the pricing and scope of your gig. Here you can either use packages or create a basic gig with extras thrown in. To make the process easier for you, Fiverr has provided a list of features for you to pick and choose, such as Number of Revisions, Extra Fast Delivery and Commercial Use.
In addition, be sure to set a delivery time that is comfortable and realistic for you, since you will be penalized for late work.
You should consider having a design brief under Buyer Requirements. Getting as much information from the client as possible will allow you to better customize the design to their specifications.
See also: A Typical Design Process
First impressions count, and the portfolio photos in your Gig Gallery will often determine whether a client checks out your gig. Your first photo will also be used as a thumbnail when clients browse through services. As such, it’s a good idea to make use of mockup templates for a more professional look and feel.
Finally, you can now publish your first gig!
TIPS TO SUCCESS
After receiving your first order, the turnaround time that you set will begin to count down, and everything should happen pretty naturally. However, a single order isn’t enough; your goal should be to turn Fiverr into a source of income that is sustainable and reliable. It can be an uphill battle — but hopefully these tips will make it easier for you to find success on the site.
Promote your gigs
Promotion is key to getting the word out there, especially if you can reach out to clients that need quality work done quickly and affordably. Consider sharing your gigs on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Essentially, you’re aiming to get your first client as soon as possible so you can start building your reputation on Fiverr.
Build a solid reputation
With Fiverr’s Levels system, building a solid reputation is easy as long as you follow their guidelines. As stated on the site, great customer service, on time delivery, high quality service and great ratings will earn you a new level status and benefits.
On that note, you should always ask your clients to leave reviews for your services. Others are more likely to purchase your gigs if you have many positive reviews.
Learn to deal with late work
Be aware that late orders will also affect your ratings. Some clients will request a modification at the last minute. Even worse, if you deliver an order with ten hours left and the client requests a modification eleven hours later, the order will be late.
Fiverr hasn’t really looked into the issue yet. However, one (unofficially) workaround is discuss further modifications with the client through the inbox instead of the gig page. Most clients are quite understanding in such cases, so don’t be afraid to explain the situation to them.
Focus on communication
Communication is an integral part of the design process. Some clients don’t have experience working with graphic designers, and might not provide enough information for you to start the design process. As such, you have to provide guidance as a graphic designer — by encouraging them to fill up the design brief before they purchase the gig.
You will also encounter clients who become uncontactable. At this point, there isn’t much you can do apart from delivering your best work based on the information provided. Orders are marked as completed after 3 days, so you will still receive the earnings for the time and effort invested.
Don’t overvalue or undervalue your services
It can be hard to accept the fact that your services are essentially worth $5 on Fiverr. With competitors offering cutthroat prices, you might even consider undervaluing your services. However, competing on price will only result in a downward spiral, and leave a bad taste in your mouth. In many instances, these so-called designers will come up with designs that are low quality or even worse, copied from others.
Instead, you should focus quality in order to justify costlier services. Also, consider taking advantage of Price Packages and Extras so as to entice clients to pay more for your services.
Once you have build a solid reputation on Fiverr, you might actually be overwhelmed by too many orders. There’s nothing wrong with earning more income — but be careful not to burn yourself out. As the saying goes, slow and steady wins the race. Be sure to pace yourself and set turnaround times that won’t hurt your productivity.
In addition, don’t be afraid to use the Vacation Mode or turn on Limit Orders in Queue. Doing so allows you to properly handle orders, while continuing to provide great service.
Don’t be afraid to refuse and cancel orders
While it’s good to get as many orders as possible, you aren’t obligated to fulfill all requests. If you feel uncomfortable with a client or a request, don’t be afraid to say no. Graphic design is a partnership between you and the client, so both parties should always reach a mutual agreement before starting a project.
At the end of the day, earning good income on Fiverr is about doing your best work and delivering on time, while being polite and clear with clients. If you follow the advice above, then it won’t be long before you create your first gig — and receive your first order.