And not only on Fiverr!! So, you’re a graphic designer, a marketer, a writer… and you have services to offer, but no (or few) clients. Freelance marketplaces such as Fiverr can help you solve this problem, but be aware that getting started may not be easy. Fortunately, there are a few tips that should help you with this. Let’s take a look.
- Here's the program
- What is freelancing?
- What is a freelance marketplaces?
- What is a gig?
- What are the differences between Fiverr and UpWork?
- What services can you offer on Fiverr?
- What are the certification levels at Fiverr?
- What are the tips for success on Fiverr?
What is freelancing?
Before we get into the nitty gritty, it’s important to know what we’re talking about. First of all, the term “freelance” is a term used to describe independent contractors who work with different types of clients (companies, businesses, individuals…) on a contractual basis. This freelance status has various advantages, including the freedom to choose the projects they want to undertake, as well as when and where they want to work.
Freelancing is a great way to earn money and gain experience in your professional field. It is an increasingly popular career choice for many people who are not satisfied with their current job. However, it is not for everyone. For example, some people prefer to work in a company where there is a clear hierarchy and where they can always count on the support of their colleagues in case of problems. In addition, freelancers do not always enjoy the benefits that other workers do, such as health insurance or paid vacations.
What is a freelance marketplaces?
Freelance marketplaces are online marketplaces, a bit like Amazon or eBay, but for freelance services. They connect freelancers, who offer services in a wide range of professional fields, with clients looking for these kinds of services.
I’ll mostly talk about Fiverr here because it’s the one I personally use the most but also because it’s one of the most popular, but the tips I’ll give are, for the most part, valid for some other platforms. This article is also mostly for sellers because that’s where there’s the most to say, but if you’re a buyer, you should pick up some interesting information here.
What is a gig?
On Fiverr, as well as on some other platforms, you will see the word “gig” appear frequently. This term simply means a short-term job that can be done in one go by a freelancer. This is the task that your client will give you.
So, when we talk about a gig, it means the creation of a logo rather than a WordPress website, or a musical jingle rather than the creation of a complete album, for example. This was indeed the case when Fiverr started, but today, the gig encompasses just about anything a freelancer can do, even tasks that can sometimes take several weeks to complete.
What are the differences between Fiverr and UpWork?
Because yes, these two platforms don’t really work the same way. On Fiverr, you offer various services, and it is the customers to find you through the rather intuitive search interface while on UpWork, it is the opposite.
On UpWork, the client creates a request, via a form where he exposes the details of his project, to which all interested freelancers can answer. This doesn’t mean that the client can’t contact and hire a freelancer directly, but that’s generally how it works.
Another difference is that on Fiverr the evaluation system is based on 3 main criteria (response time, quality of work, and respect of deadlines), whereas UpWork uses a ratio between positive and negative results left by the customers after each order.
The prices on UpWork are higher, but this platform is more exclusively for “real” professionals while even “newbies” can register and start selling on Fiverr. Note that the prices on UpWork are hourly rates, but on Fiverr they are flat rates.
And then, big black point for some “monoglots”, UpWork is only available in English while Fiverr offers the choice between 7 different display languages (English, French, German, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, and Dutch), and to filter the searches to display freelancers speaking other languages (more than 30!).
If you want to know more about these differences, I refer you to this article.
What services can you offer on Fiverr?
At the beginning the services offered on these freelance marketplaces were limited to a few, but now they are very numerous. So, I’m not going to show you the whole list because among the categories and sub-categories, there would be too many elements, but here are the main and most interesting ones:
- Graphics and design: logo, illustration, web & app design, drawings, branding, etc.
- Digital marketing: social media, advertising, SEO, affiliation, crowdfunding, etc.
- Writing and translation: writing of blog or book articles, translation or proofreading of various texts, transcription, etc.
- Video & animation: video editing, advertising creation, visual effects, logo animation, subtitle, 3D, GIF, slideshow, etc.
- Music & audio: singing and vocal background, music composition and production, jingle, autotune, remix, audio book or commercial, etc.
- Programming and technology: website and ecommerce development and maintenance (WordPress, Shopify, Wix…), mobile application, programming, database, AI, etc.
- Business : virtual assistant, e-commerce management, market research, CRM, ERP, consulting, data analysis, business plan, financial consulting, etc.
- Lifestyle : e-learning, practical advice, travel planning, various photo services, astrology and genealogy, gaming, etc.
What are the certification levels at Fiverr?
As you may have already noticed, there are different levels of “certification” on Fiverr. There are three of them (“level 1”, “level 2”, and “Top Sellers”), and they are displayed in each vignette, under the username. This level is based on the monthly performance of each seller.
Each level can be reached by respecting a certain number of criteria (quality of service, customer satisfaction, and respect of delivery deadlines) and can considerably increase your credibility in the eyes of buyers, and thus help you get more customers and orders.
Here are the details to reach each level.
There is also a “Pro verified” certification. This is awarded to carefully selected confirmed professionals and opens access to new sales channels on “Fiverr Business”, a marketplace specially dedicated to professionals.
The acquisition of this certification varies according to the category in which each freelancer operates, but they all have to go through a similar verification process. This consists of filling out a form, and attaching various information and documents attesting to training, professional experience, projects completed for clients outside Fiverr, and portfolios.
Once you have submitted your application, Fiverr will review it and inform you of their decision within a few days. If you make it into this circle, you will be able to raise your prices, your profile will be regularly highlighted in specific searches, and this should boost your sales.
What are the tips for success on Fiverr?
As soon as they appeared, freelance marketplaces have quickly become very popular. It’s a win-win situation for the customer, but the concern for you is that you’ll have to face more or less competition depending on the service you want to offer. So I give you here some advice that will allow you to put all the chances on your side to succeed on this platform.
1Have the necessary skills: It seems obvious, yet many young freelancers start without having all the skills required to ensure a professional quality service. They end up with negative first reviews left by dissatisfied clients. Only offer services if you have acquired real skills.
2Make sure there is demand: If possible, offer gigs that are in high demand, even if the number of gigs offered is already high. The main element of success is to have as many clients as possible, so it’s hard to reach your goals if no one is interested in the service you offer. And if you unfortunately fall into one of these deserted categories, you will have to work harder to attract the few customers towards you.
3Show your face: Even if you have complexes and unless you have the face of Dr. Frankenstein’s creature, show yourself. People like to know who they’re dealing with, whether it’s on video or in a photo, show your best side.
4Create a video presentation: This is not always necessary, but it is sometimes very useful. For example, let’s say you offer to translate or correct text. How can users be sure that you really have the required skills? A video where you speak the two languages you master, if you are a translator, or only one if you are a proofreader. When I asked Amy to proofread the articles I write in French and then translate myself into English, she was just starting out, and it was her video presentation that convinced me. Fiverr is one of the few sites that offers video, so take advantage of it.
5Show examples of your work: If you offer to do voice-overs, record some examples, and if you do logos, show what you have already done. You get the idea. The more evidence you show of your skills, the more likely you are to get commissions.
6Create a bio: Explain in a few lines who you are, what your background is (academic and professional), and what you do for a living, plus any other info that might be of interest to your future clients. Don’t hesitate to include elements that could make you even more likeable.
7Explain in detail the service(s) you offer: I still regularly come across vague descriptions that don’t make people want to order. Explain clearly what you offer, create bulleted lists, examples, etc. The more specific you are, the more the customer knows what to expect, and the less likely there will be a conflict.
8Look at what others are offering: If you’re a graphic designer, for example, search for other graphic designers, sort them by “Best Sellers” using the search filter, then visit the profiles that have the most sales on the meter and try to identify the elements that contribute to their popularity (portfolio, bio, description of the service, price…). Take inspiration from them, but don’t copy them!
9Start with attractive prices: The competition is tough on this kind of platform, and it will be even harder for you to find your first clients since you haven’t received any evaluation yet. Starting with a low price of 5€ will allow you to get your first sales more quickly. And then, as soon as you have reached a certain number of sales, let’s say 20, and you have managed to keep a good rating above 4.8, you will be able to gradually increase your rates.
10Make sure you understand the client’s needs: If you’re already a freelancer, you know how crucial communication between you and your client is. Poor communication, and therefore a lack of understanding of the client’s needs, will cost you both time and money. If you don’t fully understand what your customer wants, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.
11Be rigorous: Each order must be carried out with the utmost rigor and professionalism. A botched job will at best generate a request for revision, at worst a negative review. And negative reviews are what you want to avoid at all costs.
12Don’t be overly optimistic about your deadlines: A common mistake among beginners is to promise a gig within 24 hours, only to realize, too late, that this is not enough. Estimate the time it takes to complete a gig and double it. Not meeting your deadlines will result in negative reviews, and this can be very penalizing in your search rankings.
13Respond to messages immediately: When a client sends a message, it is not uncommon for them to have sent the same message to other sellers as well. Customers, when they need a service, are rarely patient. Hence the importance of being responsive.
14Take care of your communication: How many times have I sent a specific question to a freelancer and received a terse “Okay, I can do that” response? So, please, when a client takes the time to write to you and ask you several questions, at least try to answer each one of them and put a minimum of enthusiasm in it.
15Find a catchy title: For each service you offer, find a title that catches the eye and makes people want to click on your link. For this you can use a service like Rytr, or better, find an SEO writer on Fiverr who will help you with this. This title will be used to rank your service page on search engines, so it is an important element.
16Install the app: Fiverr has an app for Android et iOS. Install it. This will allow you to see new orders, manage your account, and be able to respond directly to messages left by your customers.
17Promote yourself on social networks: Whether it’s on YouTube, Instagram, SoundCloud, LinkedIn, etc., try to create relevant content related to the services you offer. This can be a very dynamic video editing if you are a video editor, beautiful photos if you are a Photoshop/Lightroom editor, music or jingles if you are a musician, etc.
18Create a blog: If you specialize in a particular field, especially if it’s related to the world of writing, you could create a blog to showcase your talents. And even if your area of expertise is on the opposite end of the spectrum from writing, you might have some very interesting things to say about it. Again, any way you can show that you’re good at what you do is good enough.
19Every client counts: It’s important to find new clients, but it’s crucial that each one of them is completely satisfied with the services you’ve provided. So don’t hesitate to keep them informed of the project’s progress, ask them a question if necessary, and deliver work that, if not beyond their expectations, at least meets their needs. And if one of your regular customers suddenly stops working with you, ask him nicely and diplomatically if there is any problem. If necessary, offer them a 50% discount on the next job to try to get them back.
20Fire toxic clients: Because unfortunately, yes, there are some. You know, the kind of customer who is eternally unsatisfied, who will blame you for not doing more than you said you would on your gig page, who argues with you about your prices and tries to convince you that you are “too expensive”, or the one who made a mistake and asks you to fix it. FIRE THEM!
21Ask for multi-line reviews: I know this is a little tricky, but you should ask your customers to leave a review that is a little more elaborate than just a classic “outstanding experience”. Be careful, don’t ask them to lie but to just write a few lines (3 or 4 sentences) rather than a few words. New clients often read these evaluations, so they hope to find information about the nature of the work done, as well as the level of satisfaction of the client.
22Don’t cheat to get positive evaluations: For some people, “the end justifies the means”, and they don’t hesitate to cheat to get positive evaluations. I don’t think this is a good idea, and I don’t recommend doing it. The decision is yours, of course, but you should know that the risk is high because if Fiverr discovers your little scheme, you will be purely and simply banned (account deleted without warning). You have been warned.
Of course, I could write hundreds more lines on this subject, but I think you now know the basics. If you follow the few tips I’ve outlined here, you should quickly find your first customers and ultimately reach level 1.
And then, don’t just stick to Fiverr, there are other similar platforms like Freelancer, UpWork, PeoplePerHour, 99designs, etc. If you see that it really isn’t working for you on one platform, there’s nothing stopping you from signing up on another.
What matters most is that you are good at what you do, that you meet all your clients’ expectations, and that you have a minimum of professional rigor. This is the only way to succeed in such a project today, especially in the face of ever-increasing competition.
This is just awesome man, thanks.
Thank you Gab. 😊👍
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