Fiverr Community Forum

$21,000 in sales in my first year, and then... Nothing

Ugh, I hate to have to add my voice to the chorus singing this sad refrain, but I’m at my wits end here, and I don’t know where else to turn for advice.

I do voice over professionally, and started working here on Fiverr in mid June of 2018. I enjoy the work from home aspect, as it’s a nice aperitif to fighting traffic here in Nashville to make a 9am call time. :wink:

Things started slowly here, as they do, but by the holidays I was working pretty steadily. I was doing an average 7-10 jobs a week and receiving between 8-12 additional messages from potential clients. Things were good…

Then, right around the one year mark (maybe even to the day), everything just stopped. It’s like someone flipped a switch, and all of a sudden I was receiving no new messages from potential clients. No inquiries for quotes, no questions, no first time orders.

The only work I’ve done in the last month has been from returning clients who know to come straight to me. (thank the heavens for them)

My metrics are all at 100%, and I haven’t had so much as a cancelled order in months. There are currently 131 5 star reviews on my gig, and the only 2 reviews I’ve ever received that weren’t 5 star, we’re 4 star, so… whatever.

I went back and forth with CS about the faucet being turned off, and got all the same ‘not actually an answer’ answers that we all get. (They sure are polite though…)

I can’t figure out what happened.

Perhaps the algorithm is designed to heavily promote new sellers for the first year, and then basically stop promoting them at all at the one year mark. Maybe… We’ll never know.

Perhaps something changed with the way search works, and for whatever reason, they’ve decided to bury me in the rankings. I’ll never know.

Perhaps it has something to do with TRS, as I’ve been ‘eligible’ for it since right around the one year mark. I’ve been passed over for TRS twice in a row now, even though there is literally nothing I could be doing better, here at Fiverr. Customer feedback is uniformly positive, my metrics are all green, and my gig page is about as populated with stuff as a page can be.

I’d appreciate any insight anyone here might have. At this point, I’m probably going to just take my business elsewhere and let this set for a while, as I have no other options, really. Virtually everything about the way this site is run is so shrouded in mystery as to seem completely arbitrary.

Thanks for listening, folks. :wink:

-T

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This may be helpful to you: Getting Through the Sales Slump - UPYOUR

As you are on the Fiverr platform suggest you remove the name of another website from your post.

Enjoy the forum. :slightly_smiling_face:

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Ugh yuck, thanks.

I didn’t realize that if I typed it in that way, it would actually create a link. That wasn’t intentional.

yeah, this has long been discussed by now. sorry to hear about your financial struggle. it very much sucks when it happens, but business is a risky venture. This is the challenge that makes or breaks a gladiator.

Personal Story
My first big dip in income happened in Q4 of 2016, but on my income graph it didn’t look threatening because it was only the beginning. By 2017 I knew something had to change. My family told me to forget the “pipe dream” of freelancing and return to being an employee, like I used to be.


I had fully committed and was NEVER going back to working for anyone – ever.

Not knowing what to do and feeling I had no new skills to offer the market, by 2018 I had reached rock bottom. I looked for other income sources.


Did the Uber/Lyft thing to fill the gaps. Nearly decided to move in with roommates (split up cost of living amap). Jumped into affiliate marketing. Learned coding. Dropped the Photoshop thing. I tried to find services that would increase my base price and created a higher barrier of entry so to keep competition low.

In the meantime, I simply held on tight for the wild white-knuckle ride, yanking my prices all over the place, reading forum posts, reddit posts.

It was a blood bath.

I guess most of us felt somehow entitled to our stay-at-home income, and having the rug suddenly pulled was a rude wake-up call.

Charlie Munger has a list of common human cognitive biases. In this case, the one he calls “Deprival-Superreaction Tendency” seems to apply to us sellers who ‘felt’ it. We were kids used to having our candy, but we secretly knew it wasn’t the right way to view the whole thing. When something we were accustomed having was taken away, we cried.

A New Hope
A better business mindset I learned from a very successful online entrepreneur was,

“Overestimate the risk. Underestimate the reward. You’ll always be pleasantly surprised.”

…I guess it’s another variation of “hope for the best, but expect the worst”, so that you’ll be covered in case something bad happens.

The uneducated will tend to spend exuberantly, treating their income projections as actual reality, and so they increase their cost of living in tandem with their income. It’s an old fool’s trap. It takes great discipline to do the right thing and not feel that we have to "keep up with the Jones’ ", and feel compelled to buy a new car because our friends just got one, or eat out 5x a week because we “earned it”. Those are all irrationalizations that only serve the ego but completely undermine a stable and growing business.

When you have a ‘good’ month that exceeds your usual standard deviation mean income, don’t spend it! Save it to cover you on ‘bad’ months, so you preserve your mean income (mathematically speaking). Treat your business like the machine that it is. It’s a numbers game, and the numbers move with your performance.

Emotions don’t run it. And ego breaks it. Stay strong. Stay on your balance beam. Only the strong survive. Get back up, lesson learned. Thicker skin. All that stuff :muscle:

All this is fun! Even after the wipe outs and bruises. I’m still here.

More Hats = More Power
We have to break the old parent-child relationship way of thinking, and begin to shift into a partner-partner, win-win type of situation. They are always evolving and adding great features. Occasionally, break away and see the 10,000-foot view of the entire ecosystem, where the competition is going and how the online marketplace is transforming.

We are creatures existing within fiverr’s ecosystem and fiverr’s rules. I don’t believe fiverr owes us anything.

Simply put…

Learn to market your own services and depend on yourself to attract new clients. Fiverr will be here as the middleman to handle your payment transactions smoothly.

If you’re still getting those “nominated for TRS” emails, kiss it goodbye. Face it: your status ain’t coming back unless you triple-down on your effort. What those emails are intended to do is grab you by the shirt and say, “Hi, little buddy! Guess what? You’re staying at the bottom of the totem pole…again. Just like we told ya last month, and the previous 6 months before that. Wha’cha gonna do about it…hm?”

Freelancers wear multiple hats. We are “Jack of all trades, master of none, still better than master of one.”

Time to learn a new skill. Marketing.

Have you checked out their Learning Course section? :grin:

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Holy…

@freddyfiver1 you nailed it with this reply. :100:

Very valuable information and we all should learn from your story straight away.
Been exactly there some time ago and I didn’t fully recover yet. I have also been waiting for the last 6 months to get back as TRS but it will never come. Better learn to market yourself. :wink:

Thank you, Freedy!

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Hey man, thanks for all that.

I suppose I would have put my initial post in the ‘rant’ section, had I known it was a thing. :wink:

It just seems odd to me that initial inquiries would drop to zero (basically overnight) when they had been so strong, and considering how little they actually tell us about the way things work behind the curtain, I feel like I’m fumbling around in the dark looking for a solution (or even an explanation).

I realize you never want to put all your eggs in any one basket, and seeing as how I work primarily here locally, the idea of working in my own studio doing gigs at Fiverr - where I don’t have to chase down invoices or do dry run auditions - was turning out to be a pretty great plan B.

I don’t mind the general ups and downs in business - freelancing just kind of works that way - but this is something beyond the pale. I’m finding it hard to chalk it up to summer doldrums.

Who knows…

I think you’re reading too much into it.

Perhaps you didn’t change…but did your competition become better and you missed it?

If the system was built for new sellers only you should have created a new account.

I’m a big believer in driving whatever traffic I can to the site - and getting business that way - whatever Fiverr can help me with is a bonus.

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it’s in these forums and other online forums. When the first wave hit us sellers, it was panic (we hung around to cry on facebook, reddit, blogs, private text chats…)

No one will ever reveal their secret sauce: not restaurants, not Coca-Cola, not Google’s SEO ranking algo and not fiverr.

…unscrupulous players would hack the system (and I’m sure hundreds are fiddling with the lock every day!)

Yeah, I’ve also been through the ‘fumbling in the dark’ phase. It’s normal. Elon Musk had a friend who told him that being an entrepreneur is like “Chewing glass while staring into the abyss”.

It literally means you will be in pain most of the time and you can’t see what’s coming in front of you.

Entrepreneurs, we are modern-day gladiators. Gotta compete. Gotta stay tough. Gotta keep strengths up and stay sharp. Make it look easy to others and smile pretty, but be the unflinching lion underneath.

Fiverr is also competing. They’ve got competition themselves. That’s why I switched away from the “us VS them” mentality and realized it’s “fiverr and me together”.

There are plenty of clues, if you look closely. Follow the trends. See where the demand is and meet it with your skills. Wish you the best, fellow seller (and to all others reading this)!

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In addition to Freddy’s great post, I’d like to make a suggestion. Whenever you have the “fold shop feels”, remember that one of the awesome things Fiverr gives everyone is the chance to start and have some gigs without any upfront cost and to keep them for free, even when not selling for a while. Sure, the server space for that is covered by the 20% those who successfully sell gigs bring in but especially as you have successfully sold and paid those 20% already for a whole year, just keep your little space here.
Maybe reduce your offerings to the bestselling one and turn the “allowed orders in queue” down, so you won’t struggle if suddenly orders come in again and you’re already busy with other things, and experiment with one or two new gigs.

Two other things, I’ve read several times of sellers here whose business had gotten bad but suddenly revived, and for no reason they could see, also, like many others, I’d also gotten those “sorry, not yet” TRS messages several times and then it did come yet. There is always hope. Don’t waste time on “actively hoping” though, do your thing, or your things, and watch what will happen with interest.
My two euro cents and my best wishes for your on and off Fiverr life.

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I’m loving the motivational speech, it definitely motivated me. Cheers for this post as well. Chin up as we say…

Great point. One’s performance is only one factor. And just because that’s going well, that doesn’t mean it will override external factors.