I’ve been a member for a long time, but I only started selling on 7 February, and I’m just coming up on my one-month anniversary. In my first 18 days I created several gigs, made some sales, and earned my level 1 badge. I didn’t know my way around Fiverr when I started, but by combing the forums and really paying attention to what made other sellers successful, I feel like I managed to stand out in a very crowded category. This is what I learned, and I’m sharing it here because it would have saved me a lot of time if I saw it a month ago.
1. BE AWESOME: Deliver a great product. Customers want pure awesome-sauce for $5, and if you’re not giving that, they’ll go somewhere else. There’s plenty of room for mediocre sellers on Fiverr, but if you want to stand out from the crowd, you need to be really, really good at what you do. If you’re not really, really good at what you do, then you really, really need to get better.
2. BE VERY NICE: Customer service. It sounds silly, but you have to make your customer believe that he or she is the most important person in the entire world. Communicate quickly and be charming – you have to make them feel special and important, because the truth is, they are: your livelihood of Fiverr depends on positive reviews and repeat customers.
3. FAST DELIVERY: All your customers will want to be priority #1. Obviously, you can’t do that, so you should set a minimum delivery time of 2 days to give yourself some wiggle room for when you’re sick or just having a really bad day. You can also choose whether or not you’re going to offer extra-fast services – I recommend that you do, because you can set it to any time you like. For example, standard delivery of two days, extra fast in one day. Or, standard delivery four days, extra fast two days, etc.
4. LAST WORD: Leave unique feedback to every review. Your buyers will always read your reviews before they buy anything from you, and this is your first chance to show them how you interact with your customers, and more importantly, how you’ll interact with them.
5. DIVERSIFY YOUR PORTFOLIO: If you’re not getting views, it could be because you’ve only got one gig. Diversify your portfolio and create multiple gigs in the same category. This will get you more impressions and ultimately more clicks. Do like the pros and cast a wide net to catch more fish. Also, a strategy that I use is featuring my other $5 gigs as $5 extras. So in other words, you can look at my gig for an in-depth Tarot reading, but the gig extras also show my 20 short readings, 10 medium readings, past life reading, etc. This lets customers see what I do without having to click through to my profile and then click through again to my other gigs. Cross promotion has helped my customers find what they want even when they weren’t necessarily looking for it which in turn has resulted in more sales for me.
6. PROMOTE YOURSELF: If you’re a writer, start a blog and use it to promote your Fiverr page. If you don’t like to write and enjoy speaking, start a podcast. Or if you enjoy video, do regular Google Hangouts and make use of your YouTube channel. Focus on having fun, being personable, and creating or sharing fun content. If you’re only using these platforms to sell, you’ll get ignored really fast.
7. MONEY-BACK GUARANTEE: No matter how small an amount $5 has become in today’s world, for a lot of us it’s still something we don’t want to risk on a bad experience. I promise my customers that I’ll respect their money and if I can’t make their order right, then I’ll give them a refund. A mutual cancellation is a lot better than a negative review, and my customers appreciate knowing that I won’t try to strong-arm them. If a money-back guarantee makes you nervous, just remember that if your customer gets cranky and complains about it, Fiverr won’t have your back and they’ll probably cancel your order, anyway.
8. COLD-CALLING: If you’re getting no orders, you can always troll the reviews left by customers on other sellers’ gigs in your category. Send them invitations to learn more about your service, but be as nice as possible: cold calling via email is still spam email, and nobody likes spam. You have to be really charming to pull this off without offending your customers. I haven’t tried this strategy yet, but I’ve read on the forum that other sellers do use it… and that other buyers often don’t like it.
9. MATCHY-MATCHY: Write your gig so that the title, description, and tags all match. Having at least one of the same key-words in all three areas helps your search ranking on Fiverr. Also, if you offer a niche service, don’t use just niche tags: also use tags related to the larger category so you’ll get in front of more eyes.
10. POSITIVE REVIEWS ARE GOLD: Good reviews build confidence and make customers more likely to buy. Do everything possible to take care of your customers and earn their 100% positive, five-star reviews, and don’t start buying or creating fake reviews. If your work’s not outstanding, customers will see through the fake reviews and figure out that you’re padding your own gigs. Plus, when you’re a new seller, you get special ranking from Fiverr, but as soon as you start padding your gigs with fake orders, you lose that special ranking.
11. START ON THE RIGHT FOOT: Speaking of your special new-seller ranking that you get from Fiverr, be sure to get off to a good start by completing everything on your gig at the same time. Don’t write a title, add one photo, write a description, and publish it, because you’ll make a bad first impression on your buyers. Write all the content, select all the photos, create your banner, record your video, write a couple PDF files, pick your tags, and settle on your extras ahead of time so that when publish the gig you’ll hit the ground running.
12. WRITE A GREAT TITLE: One of the best tools you can use to improve your chances of getting noticed and making sales is meta-analysis, and what this means is doing an analysis of multiple analyses. For example, look at a seller in your category who has a lot of success. How is that seller’s title written? Look at the key words in the title and think about why they’re there. Then, do the same for another successful seller in your category. And another, and so on, until you start to see patterns emerge. If you want to do this the easy way, you can use an online word-cloud generator to aggregate all the titles of big sellers in your category. You will see patterns emerge. There is a reason certain words are chosen.
13. WRITE AN HONEST TITLE: On the subject of titles, describe exactly what you will do for $5. Speaking as a buyer who wanted to get a logo designed, I got thoroughly frustrated shopping for an illustrator because they all did some variation of the same thing: insist that all buyers must contact them first, and then doing all business on the basis of custom orders. That was an un-fun shopping experience for me because I had no idea of knowing ahead of time what sellers would actually do and for what price they’d do it.
14. WRITE A GREAT DESCRIPTION: Do the same for the gig description that you did for the title. What words appear most frequently among a dozen or more successful sellers? These sellers aren’t working together, but a meta-analysis will show that they all have some things in common. There’s a reason for this. And don’t just copy another gig word for word, because that’s bad, m’kay?
15. PARAGRAPHS & BULLETS: Also, look at the formatting and paragraphing of the gig descriptions of successful vendors. People like lists, and there’s a reason successful sellers create small blocks of text that focus on one thing at a time.
16. GRAMMAR, SPELLING & PUNCTUATION: And remember the importance of grammar, spelling, punctuation, and all those other goodies that create a professional appearance. Your buyers may not be grammar nerds, but they know poorly written ad copy when they see it. And like it or not, Fiverr is a marketplace created predominantly for English-speaking customers, so the odds are stacked against non-native speakers. If you don’t trust yourself to write your gig, find somebody who can – there’s a bunch of ’em on Fiverr who could probably help.
17. USE EVERYTHING: Upload a banner photo. Upload a video. Upload as many preview pictures as your gig will allow. Upload as many PDF files as your gig will allow, and if you’re not sure what to put in them, then use them as areas for extended descriptions of your gig or an opportunity to talk about what you do. Just add everything, because the more relevant stuff you add to your gig, the more “complete” your gig looks to your buyer, and in turn the more likely your buyer is to get an accurate picture of what you can do for him or her.
18. HOW TO WRITE ADS: As for activities outside of Fiverr, you can do an ad campaign. Set your budget whatever you like – $5 a month, even. Limit your ad-groups to just one set of keywords and don’t dog-pile a thousand keywords into one ad-group. Then, do a Google search for the keywords in that ad group and look at the top ads. The top ads aren’t there by accident, and the people who wrote them are spending a lot of money to get results, so you can be sure they’ve got a good recipe to follow. Copy those ads word-for-word and edit them to be relevant to your keywords and listing. As it happens, though, I’m not running an ad campaign anymore because my experience was that clicks that came from outside Fiverr didn’t convert well. This might be different for people offering different kinds of services, but for me? The Google ad campaign I ran for a few weeks generated a LOT of traffic and LOT of clicks, but no paying customers. Fiverr’s internal search and ranking system works well, so these days I’m letting it bring the customers to me.
19. SOCIAL MEDIA: The customers that come to me from outside Fiverr are the result of social interactions on my platform of choice: Google+. This doesn’t mean it’s better or worse than Facebook, Twitter, etc., it’s just my preference. But the point is, the customers I met there never actually saw an ad or heard a sales pitch because I used social networking for just that: to be social and friendly. Trust me: people will want to know who you are, and they will troll your profile to learn more. If you fill out your profile information with links to Fiverr, traffic will follow.
20. FIVERR FORUM: The Fiverr forum is an odd place, but there’s a lot of great stuff and smart people here if you can sift through the rubbish. If you need to talk to Customer Support , then you have to create a ticket for that with them, but the community (such as we are) have a lot of knowledge and experience if you can find it. If you don’t see it, ask a question – you’ll probably get a good answer.
21. IT’S STILL THE INTERNET: On the subject of the community forum, it’s worth saying that even though you’re on Fiverr, it’s still the Internet, so you need to grow a thick skin. People will say stuff that you don’t like and don’t agree with, and that’s not necessarily against the rules. Deal with it.
22. NO SALES? If you’re not getting any sales, there’s a reason for that. If the problem is that you’re not getting enough views, then you need to fix your title and add a video. But if you’re getting enough views and yet still not getting any sales, then the problem is in your gig description and how you communicate its value to your customers. Write from your customer’s perspective. For example, I work in the Astrology & Fortune Telling category as a cartomancer. My gigs used to say something along the lines of, “I’m a professional cartomancer with 10 years’ experience and I can answer any question,” but that’s not appealing to the customer because it talks about me and doesn’t recognize the customer’s needs. I changed my gigs to read more along the lines of, “I offer detailed, accurate, and professional readings for love and romance; money and business; advice and direction,” and so on. This describes my service in terms the customer will understand and highlights the exact reasons my customer is probably looking for a psychic.
23. SAFETY FIRST: As others have said before me, keep your account secure by completing all the profile steps: connect your FB and G+, set a password, and so on. Not only will this help protect you against the hackers that I’m told are out there, but customers will see this when they read your profile (and they will read your profile.) Speaking as a customer, it makes me feel more confident about working with a seller who has a 100% complete profile. Also, as others have said, don’t open email attachments from other Fiverrs if you’re not sure what it is. So I’ve been told, there have been (or still are?) hackers on Fiverr who’ll try to get you to download an attachment that turns out to be a key-logger so they can get into your account and fragglesrock.
24. NO FREE WORK. Speaking for myself, I refuse to do free work. I don’t care if my customer wants a one-card pull as some sort of psychic test, I’m not doing it because I’m the seller and I set the terms of engagement. If this customer is going to bully me for free content without a purchase, I can be sure the customer is going to bully me for free content after the purchase, and that’s a relationship I don’t want. When somebody asks for free work, I refer them back to my gigs where each one has two PDF files demonstrating the work I do. If they can’t make a decision based on that information, then there’s nothing else I can do to help them.
25. BIG PAYCHECKS? How much do you want to earn on Fiverr? How much will you earn on Fiverr? These things aren’t the same. If you’re frustrated with Fiverr, remember that the competition in your category is probably pushing prices down and customer expectations up, so adjust accordingly. After all, even Fiverr advertises itself to sellers as a part-time, freelance lifestyle, not a full-time job (even though there are some successful people who’ve gotten just that.) Remember, too, that customers are willing to pay higher prices for sellers with higher reviews. Build a strong portfolio of positive reviews and your ability to charge higher prices will rise accordingly.
26. BUYER REQUESTS: On the present layout of the Fiverr website, if you navigate to the top right and hover over your name and the grey down-pointing arrow, you’ll see a drop-down list appear. From there, select “My Sales” to open a new section. Toward the bottom of the new drop-down list you’ll see the words “Buyer Requests.” This is where buyers post invitations for sellers to send offers. For graphic designers, illustrators, voice-over illustrators, writers, and data-entry sellers, this place is a gold mine. For me? Not so much… but I still check it every day.
27. MISOGYNY DOESN’T SELL. I didn’t think I’d have to say this, but sifting through some rubbish on the forum made me change my mind. Listen up, men: objectifying women in the Fiverr forum, on your profile, or on your gigs isn’t just offensive and tasteless, it will also lose you sales. If you don’t understand why objectifying women is offensive, then I can’t explain it to you because I don’t have the time or the patience to educate man-children. Be aware that female customers are voting with their dollars and taking their business to sellers who respect a woman for more than her physical appearance.
28. NO COPYCATS. I think I covered this earlier, but it’s worth saying again: in your hurry to create great gigs and start selling, don’t copy other sellers’ gigs. Don’t copy. Don’t do it. Copying is bad. Not only is this totally rude and completely dishonest, when the original seller finds out what you did – and the original seller will find out – and reports you to Customer Support , not only will your gig get taken down, your entire account could get closed. Plus, unless you’re able to deliver the exact same quality as the original seller, the gig won’t match your services and customers will post honest and probably negative reviews. Don’t copy gigs. Don’t copy. Don’t do it. Copying is bad.
29. CHANGE IS GOOD. To coin a phrase, “the work will teach you how to do it.” Fiverr’s internal search and ranking system works really well, so if it’s been a few days and you’re not getting any orders, chances are good the reason is because there’s something to do with your gigs. Play around with the title, change your video, re-word the description. Whatever you do, just pay attention to what works and do more of the same. It takes a little while to get your footing on Fiverr, and if you’re observant, the platform will teach you how to use it. Try new things and when you see what works, write it down! Change is also good because – with respect to your preview video – Fiverr gives more search impressions to gigs with recently updated videos. Update your videos once a month for best results
30. DON’T FIGHT WITH SUPPORT. The time will inevitably come when there’s something wrong with one of your gigs, or you’re having a problem with your account, or a buyer left a completely unfounded negative review, or some other Awful Thing will happen that can only be fixed by Fiverr’s Customer Support department. Chances are excellent that you’ll be really upset about it, and chances are good that the customer service rep who takes your ticket doesn’t want to deal with it. These people are your life-line, so show them some respect.
31. GO TO BED, SLEEPY HEAD. Customers love getting their gigs really fast, and I know I’ve been in the position where I check my email one last time before I go to bed just to find a couple orders sitting in the inbox. Which is great – I love getting orders – but I learned from personal experience that the only thing customers love more than getting their gig fast is getting a good gig, period. If you’re tired and up past your bedtime, the quality of your work is going to suffer. Unless your customer is a jerk (and there’s nothing you can do to fix that), he or she will understand that you had to go to sleep so you could finish their work while you’re alert and refreshed. If you deliver bad work in the name of fast delivery, you’re going to lose a potential return customer and might even get a four-star or lower review on the order. So respect your limits and remember that there’s a time to work, and then, there’s a time to sleep.
32. RETURN TO SENDER. Buyers won’t think twice about returning your delivered order for revisions, or asking for more services than you originally offered on the gig. So it follows that you shouldn’t think twice about asking your buyer as many times as needed to clarify what he or she wants. Some sellers don’t need this information – you buy and they deliver a fixed product – but some sellers, like myself, deliver a better product based on the more information or the more specific request the buyer submits. My gigs always include follow-up instructions, but about a quarter of my orders I have to send back to my customers for more information. This doesn’t mean they didn’t follow the original instructions, it just means that I see a way to improve on what they asked me and I need their input to proceed. Practically speaking, this results in a better product and a happier customer, and those are both good for me.
33. ESTABLISH YOUR SELLER RECORD. This goes along with previous notes that positive reviews are pure gold, but a good way to establish yourself is to collect a portfolio of 50-100 positive reviews by selling a killer $5 gig. I mean, this is practically going to be charity, but doing this will collect a record of positive reviews, and this gives new buyers confidence and helps them trust you. After you’ve really established yourself as a Level 2 seller, then you adjust the gig to reflect what you’re really charging. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that people will pay extortionist prices, simply bring the price up an honest reflection of the amount of work you’re doing. For example, I built my portfolio of five-star reviews selling full 10-20 minute readings for $5 each, but after I got +70 reviews, I changed my rate to $5 a minute. This price honestly reflects my $60/hr. rate as a professional cartomancer with +10 years’ experience, but a micro-pay format made it accessible to a wide range of clients. After I changed my prices, I made more in two days than I had in the previous two weeks combined.
34. DON’T GET PLAYED. It happened, folks: as of 13 June 2015, after several months of selling, I finally got played by a buyer. Here’s how it happened: Buyer ordered a gig with 2-day delivery. I delivered in under 24 hours. Buyer wanted more of the same. I sent buyer a custom offer. Buyer sat on the custom offer until a couple hours before the three-day deadline when the first order would automatically be marked as complete. Just before the deadline, customer accepted the offer and in a matter of minutes the order was automatically marked as late and the customer had the option to cancel. The first and second order totaled $60 US, which is actually $73 for me in Canada, so I really didn’t want to cancel this order. I completed the second half of the order and delivered that, but at this point the Fiverr system gave the customer the option to cancel and receive a refund at any time. I won’t bore you with the predictable conclusion, but here’s what I learned: UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES, EVER EVER EVER, SHOULD YOU START A NEW ORDER FOR THE SAME BUYER UNTIL THE PREVIOUS ORDER IS MARKED AS FINISHED.
35. TAKE BACK. Once upon a time in my life, I sold cars for a few weeks. One of the tools I learned as a salesperson is the “take back,” and that’s when you tell the customer you don’t want to sell to him or her anymore. The reason to use the take-back is when the customer is beating you up on price or keeps asking for extras and additional services that aren’t included in the original sale. Same thing on Fiverr, when you get a client who wants to haggle you down to bottom dollar and then keeps asking for immediate delivery and extra services outside of what they’re willing to pay, you use the take-back: request a mutual cancellation and send a message along the lines of, “It breaks my heart, Mr. Smith, but I’m refunding your order. You don’t seem certain about what you want, and twice you’ve asked for work beyond what we agreed. For these reasons I think it would be best if you found another seller to complete your order.” At this point, one of two things will happen: Either your buyer will accept the cancellation and go away, or the buyer will give up being problematic and get with the program. Nothing hurts a buyer more than saying “I don’t want your money,” so if you’re going to use the take-back, be sure it’s for a good reason.