Selling Your First Gig on Fiverr

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 five bucks as a graphic designer can be hard to justify, even if you are just starting out.

However, Fiverr can be a solid source of income if you take time to research and understand how to make your Gigs attractive to buyers. In fact, many freelance graphic designers have found success there, so it’s definitely possible for you to achieve the same. Let’s consider some pros and cons before you decide whether Fiverr is a good fit for you.

( updated with new information as of June 2020 )

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PROS

INCOME POTENTIAL

First, it would be 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

LARGE AUDIENCE

As a global marketplace, Fiverr definitely has huge market potential. In fact, a look at one of the more popular logo design Gigs shows more than 3,000 reviews and 29 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.

One of the more popular logo design Gigs on Fiverr
one of the more popular logo design Gigs on Fiverr
HASSLE-FREE

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.

UPWARD MOBILITY

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 website.


CONS

COMPETITION

With millions of Gigs available, competition on Fiverr can be really intense. Many freelance graphic designers already have established profiles 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 can be hard for you to build a reputation and stand out from the crowd.

BAD CLIENTS

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.


(NEW) Fiverr Pro

Introduced recently, Fiverr Pro eliminates a lot of the cons mentioned above and takes selling on Fiverr to the next level for a freelance graphic designer. As a Pro Seller, you will be able to offer your services to businesses and brands at professional rates.

This is what it means to be a professional on Fiverr
this is what it means to be a professional on Fiverr

You will need to go through a vetting process in order to become a Pro Seller — your chances increase exponentially if you are an experienced graphic designer with a quality portfolio of work and sizable social media presence.

For those who are starting out, you can use Fiverr to build up your portfolio and reputation for now, before applying as a Pro Seller further down the road.


CREATING YOUR FIRST GIG ON FIVERR

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.

Gig Overview on Fiverr
Gig Overview

Next, 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.

Be sure to set a delivery time that is comfortable and realistic for you, since you will be penalized for late work.

Determining the scope and pricing of your Gig
determining the scope and pricing of your Gig
Adding Gig Extras
adding Gig Extras

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

Tell your buyer what you need to get started on a Gig
tell your buyer what you need to get started on a Gig

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; it’s a good idea to make use of mockup templates for a more professional look and feel.

You can showcase portfolio photos through your Gig Gallery
You can showcase portfolio photos through your Gig Gallery

Finally, publish your first Gig!


TIPS TO SUCCESS ON FIVERR

After receiving your first order, the turnaround time that you set will begin to count down. However, a single order definitely 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 there.

PROMOTE YOUR GIGS

Promotion is key to getting the word out, especially if you are able to connect with clients who need quality work done quickly and affordably. Consider sharing your Gigs on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Aim 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.”

As such, 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 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 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 get paid 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, focus quality in order to justify costlier services. Also, take advantage of Price Packages and Extras so as to entice clients to pay more for your services.

PACE YOURSELF

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 and mental health.

In addition, don’t be afraid to use the Vacation Mode or turn on Limit Orders in Queue to better manage orders, while continuing to provide great service.

DON’T BE AFRAID TO REFUSE AND CANCEL ORDERS

While it’s good to fulfill 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 should be a partnership between you and the client, so both parties should always reach a mutual agreement before starting a project.


MY EXPERIENCE WITH FIVERR

When I was starting out as a freelance graphic designer 5 years ago, I gave Fiverr a go to improve my skills and build a portfolio of work. Back then I offered my logo design service for just five bucks (excluding extras), so naturally I had a ton of orders. During that period I earned more than $700 — which might seem like a lot, but it took a toll on my mental health as I struggled to meet deadlines and produce satisfactory work for my clients. As such, I deactivated my Gig after just a few months on Fiverr.

My earnings on Fiverr to date
my earnings on Fiverr to date

However, it looks like Fiverr has improved tremendously as a gig marketplace over the past few years, especially with the introduction of Fiverr Pro. I just submitted my application yesterday with hopes of being accepted as a Pro Seller.

In addition, I have started offering my logo design service again. The difference now is that with Gig Packages I’m able to charge much more and cater to a wider range of budgets — hopefully I will be able to achieve the same level of success as when I first tried Fiverr out.


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 transparent with clients. If you follow the advice above, then it won’t be long before you receive your first order and be on your way to success there.

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