Call it heresy but Fiverr is inherently flawed. What is more, it is this year (2017) which has finally made me realize why and it is all to do with workflow.
To paint a picture of why Fiverr is flawed, it goes like this:
As of January 2018, I will have been freelancing for 5 years. Actually, it’s all a bit crazy now that I think about it. In fact, it’s even crazier when I realize that during this 5-years I have only supplemented my freelance income with 11 full months of… Er… Waiting tables and making a fool of myself as a wannabe chef.
What I forgot until this year, however, is that I actually built the foundation of my freelance career off-Fiverr.
When I started freelancing I went all out on a number of platforms, with no less than two very badly designed websites to boot. Then, however, I discovered Fiverr in December 2014, and slowly, Fiverr started to demand (and eat) all of my attention.
It made sense at the time. Fiverr offered me $500 just coming in the door without much effort. On other platforms at the same time meanwhile, I had to keep on bidding for work. Then, as Fiverr orders offered me, even more, money, I stopped using other platforms almost altogether. I would have to keep on bidding for work there, after all, whereas here it was a literal work wet t-shirt fight.
But then, alas, the algorithm change happened,
In the space of a month, my usual work mode went from sitting actually working to sitting relisting myself everywhere. This and me bidding for work again and actively funneling one-off off-Fiverr clients into repeat clients.
All that said, thanks to a wee bit luck and a wee bit ingenuity, the above strategy has seen me end 2017 pretty comfortably. There is just one problem…
Over the past few months, Fiverr has really started picking up speed for me again and I just can’t handle it. I extended my delivery times astronomically prior to Christmas and work still kept coming.
Of course, work is good. The thing is, with my secondary freelance platform, their system gives me much more flexibility. I.E. When I am available, I can list gigs, and when I am not, I can still communicate with clients via email and when it comes to new orders, discuss project details via email before arranging payment through that platform.
This alone has been phenomenal for me over 2017.
Today I have negotiated turning a book into an ebook and managing a basic book launch for the same client, all via email, and guess what? I’m not going to risk asking them to pay by PayPal, instead, they will (hopefully) soon be accepting my offer to process payment via my off-Fiverr freelance platform and that is basically how I do business there now. (All within their site TOS).
Now, this is starting to nag me as on Fiverr I can’t pause gigs but still communicate with and process payments from regular buyers. Moreover, really I would like to do that…
Right now, I could make more money, deliver every order on time, and provide better quality work to my clients on Fiverr, if I could freeze my Fiverr profile but still have free communication with regular clients, as well as the ability to communicate off Fiverr with said clients if I need to.
- Today I had a person message me whom I would love to work with (and could if they had found be via my other platform). Here, though, I can’t. In reality, it’s an at least $200 job which would require full two way communication to do properly.
Of course, I know a lot of people won’t understand this and to be honest, I didn’t really understand my own need for this kind of flexibility with the standing Fiverr TOS before this year.
The thing is, my vision for professional development as a freelancer in future sees me having a 90% off platform client list whom I process orders from via places like Fiverr. This and a 10% ‘we just found you on this amazing place called Fiverr as you seem to be available’ group of people.
Now, of course, the how do I mek sellers would ruin the idea of Fiverr allowing off-Fiverr contact immediately and things won’t ever change because of that.
How about, though, Fiverr relaxed those rules for TRS sellers? I’m not a TRS and at the moment, I don’t care to even try and be one. If, however, the kind of thing which I have just detailed was part of the TRS package, I would be looking to reach that status in 2018. - As it is, I’m just starting the year thinking… “Mmmhh, there’s a bit of time management shit fight and a lot of missed opportunities here.”