Fiverr Forum

Getting Through the Sales Slump - UPYOUR


#1

What can you do when your sales have suddenly plummeted? For many people the solution is simple - come on to the forum and complain about something else which “must” have caused this. It is probable that an outside force has caused you to not get as many sales. What is also probable is that you have no control over this “outside force”.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good rant or moan every now and then as much as the next guy but I never expect my moan or rant to actually change anything. When it comes to my business, I rely on myself to make things happen and if “outside forces” work in my favor then great - but that is the cherry on the top, not the cake. If forces beyond my control work in my favor I believe it is important to take advantage of them and try to build sustainably from there - you never know when those forces will change.

Anyway, this post is part of my UPYOUR series based on This Poll and aims to help sellers to deal with issues related to the following four parts of the poll:

1 Too many sellers offer the same thing - 48%

2 Buyers won’t buy from new sellers - 23%

3 Buyers won’t buy from level 1 sellers - 12%

4 I don’t get orders since I became level 1/2 - 12%

As you can see, there are many options when you want to blame outside forces - I haven’t even included the popular ones like search algorithms, recessions, holiday seasons, bad buyers, that one bad review you got, etc.The list of possibilities in endless and if you focus on it, you can even come up with some more obscure or far-fetched reasons.
My favorite excuse of all time was when I worked in retail and one of my staff’s reasons for us having a slow week was that a particularly well-known man in the community had died recently and everyone was too upset about it to think about shopping… To put it in context, roughly 1% of our sales came from the local community but even so, let’s say this was the reason - what could we do about it except hope that he comes back to life, wait for people to get over it or perhaps, if we were deciding to be proactive - we could hire some clowns to cheer everyone up.

Anyway, I digress.
The simple fact is that there is no point in trying to control outside forces. Aside from that brief period of making you feel better, rants and moans don’t really work either. Instead, I want to focus on a couple of ways to get over a slump or to kickstart things for yourself. These methods can be used whatever level you are at and whatever the reasons there are for you not having sales. Whether you have never had many orders or if you have just recently had a slump.

  1. Add some free extras: In January this year, I was experiencing a slump in sales due to the fact I had just finished three large translation projects totaling around 400,000 words. I had been turning down work, extending delivery times etc as I could not do orders in my usual time-frame. Now that these were finished, I had no sales. Zero. What I did was simple but effective. I offered my services at my extra fast time at no extra cost. This got some sales which I otherwise would not have gotten and kept me working while waiting for larger orders (which is what I specialize in).

  2. Lower your prices: This is my least favorite option but it can be effective. If you are a TRS or Level 2, the chances are that you are charging more than you used to (If not, Why? How To: Click Here). Why not consider lowering them a little to get some of the business you used to get? Sure, you don’t get as much as you have become accustomed to but at least you are getting some money. In my experience, dropping a price by 20% can stimulate sales and there is one key part to doing this - Shout about it! If you are dropping your price, you need to mention this in your description and I find it is better to do it for a limited time. This creates a sense of urgency and value for the buyer while also allowing you to go back to your usual prices without your new buyers complaining too much.

  3. Advanced Buyer Requests: No, this is not a secret place on the site. This is a technique I use where I browse buyer requests and look for specific ways to make them choose me. Two of the 3 large projects I got in December were from BR and using this method. First, choose a larger buyer request which is interesting to you and ignore their budget. Make your offer in the usual professional manner but also include some add-on info. For example, mention that even though you are an experienced seller (if you are) you are currently not too busy and mention a discounted rate/faster delivery time etc that you are prepared to offer for this project if they order within “X” number of days. Before doing this, think carefully about what you are offering, if you can manage the offer etc.

  4. Special offer for repeat clients: When you are delivering an order, mention that you are prepared to discount/do more/give a free extra to that buyer if they have something else for you to do. This can be particularly effective if you know that the buyer has more to do. You can also look for crossovers where your client had you proofread their website, perhaps you can offer to do a blog, SEO, translation etc on their site at as a special offer. This has been quite good for me, I have ended up doing a lot more for clients than they originally asked for with one very specific example of a business who hired me to proofread a document for $10. Since then, I have helped them rebrand, come up with their tagline, written letters for them and will be starting SEO on their website in a couple of weeks. To date, that $10 order has grown to $180 and that should triple in the coming weeks. It would not have happened if I hadn’t taken 30 seconds to write an offer along with their deliver.
    Please note: I NEVER send messages to former buyers without them requesting something first. The offer I mention above should only be sent as a “PS” along with your delivery. Sending messages to former buyers is SPAM and may be flagged by your buyer.

Bonus Tip: The above are short term measures for when you are not busy. An alternative action for you in slower periods would be to begin implementing some of the longer term strategies for building your business that I and others have posted in the past.

Whatever you decide to implement, whatever method you feel suits you best, remember that doing something is better than doing nothing. If you are waiting for things to change by themselves then you need to rethink your business strategy. On Fiverr, there is huge competition for sales and the only way to grow is to do something about it. Unfortunately, even those who are the best at what they do need to also be able to market themselves and attract clients in order to deliver quality work to them. Thinking of trying something out? Let us know in the comments and maybe do a post about it yourself afterwards and let us know how you got on - whether it was a success or not!

This post is one of a series of posts I am doing which are aimed at helping sellers to Up Their Game and begin to earn more from their work, gain new clients and make the most of being a freelancer. The posts will be based on This Poll which is still open so if you haven’t made your voice heard, please do so as the more that vote on an issue in that poll, the more likely I am to post about that issue.
To see all posts in the series, Click Here


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#2

I, personally, hate waiting long time for an order. Which is a strange thing for me to say, since I’m rarely ever in a hurry.

I troll the forum and whenever I see a seller, I like or have worked with before, mention he/she is lacking sales, I jump at the chance to buy before someone else does. Maybe I’m an attention seeker and just don’t know it.

Nothing I like more than early deliveries. I absolutely go berserk when an order is late, even though I typically don’t need it for another 3 months. I guess it’s a pet peeve of mine.

Several of my favorite sellers have offered me discounts, special prices or even 2 for 1. Although I know they offer it to all their clients, I like to pretend that it was just for me. :grinning:

I just can’t take the lower price on something that I’m already getting a great price on. I’ve never accepted. Don’t get me wrong, I love getting that special offer. I actually remember which sellers offered me what and when. It’s weird, I don’t take it, but it makes me feel good that it was offered. :sparkling_heart:


#3

This Thread is a Fiverr Bug! Don’t care what Eoin is moaning about! :laughing: (just complained)

:muscle::muscle::muscle:[quote=“eoinfinnegan, post:1, topic:134932”]
Buyers won’t buy from level 1 sellers - 12%
[/quote]

I’m crying. :sob:

Me too!
Why should I put some extras? Buyers may take those extras as useless as they don’t need that.
Why should I lower my prices, I’m spending time, delivering quality products. If buyer loves that, I deserve extra :stuck_out_tongue: instead of lowering my prices.
etc. etc. etc. :wink:


#4

[details=OT on pretending ;)][quote=“gina_riley2, post:2, topic:134932”]
Although I know they offer it to all their clients, I like to pretend that it was just for me
[/quote]

I´m pretty sure that while of course all sellers strive to give 100% to every order and buyer, Eoin’s point 1., free extras, is something where it comes into play that even sellers are only humans after all :wink: so you might not know but just assume and only think you pretend. There are extras a buyer ‘can see’ like additional work that´s not really in the gig description and there even are extras a buyer won´t necessarily see, like their order getting moved up the queue or a seller even taking an order from one person in the first place while overbooked and doing over time, which they might have declined else/from another person/new buyer.[/details]

On topic, your #3 works best for me, Eoin, and I can vouch for the method, #1, free extras is more something I decide on a case-by-case basis and I see it more as a thing to make customers happy and regular customers than as a method to increase sales in low times, but it´s a good tip for that for sure.

#2 I guess is more a last resort thing for me, because one of my personal issues is raising prices, what you´ll end up having to do if you lower them too much, same for #4, which probably is a really good method and of course perfectly fine, just, again, a bit of a problem for me personally and I´d have to push through feeling pushy with that lol I know, it´s not pushy if done like you describe, it´s just me, but I´ll keep it in mind for another last resort method together with #2.

I think it´s a bit difficult ‘as a PS’ too, since you might only realise you don´t have enough to do once you already delivered all the orders where a PS might have been a good idea, that´s maybe where experience comes in though, recognizing a sales slump when it´s starting, not in the valley.

Well, bookmarking this part of UPYOUR too, for the next slump, and back to work now while it´s piling up. :slight_smile:


#5

I agree, #2 is the weakest but easiest method to implement. It takes little effort to do but it also reduces earning rate, weakens your negotiating position and does not particularly result in repeat buyers (those who choose a seller by price only are likely to move on when your price goes back up).
If price is a seller’s only selling point then they need to become accustomed to difficult buyers, long hours and very slow growth. However, an experienced seller with a decent client base CAN use price to simply overcome a slow period. It is vital that the discount is not too high as regulars may be annoyed or ask for the discount rate in future. Anything over 20% discount is too much IMO but different industries may be different.


#6

Thanks for all of these tips!

Is there any indication if selling one gig affects the ranking of other gigs?


#7

It’s a good question. In as much as anyone can figure out the rankings, I believe conversion rate is an important factor. An order on any gig will increase your overall conversion rate (shown in your analytics dashboard), however it is difficult to know whether this affects all gigs or if the conversion rate for each gig is analyzed (from your gig stats).
Aside from that possibility, I really don’t know.


#8

Helpful! Thanks for posting! :slight_smile:


#9

Against slightly better judgement, @eoinfinnegan , I’m substantially changing my Fiverr gig. When it comes to working as a fortune-teller online, there are really only two ways: live (phone, video, or text chat), or email (send-and-receive text, MP3, video, or photograph.)

I’ve been using my Fiverr gig as a way to sell email readings (MP3 + photograph), and it’s been a pretty good seller, but even charging $60/hr. I’m still only netting $20-$28/hr. after I include processing time and Fiverr’s 20%.

So this past Friday I changed my gig to be a way for clients to schedule live readings… and I increased my hourly rate to $100/hr. Because, cost of living - amiright?

I rather expected that sales would drop off, but they pretty much vanished. The client base that I built on email readings and that was delivering a solid $40 to $100 of business every day disappeared in a cloud of smoke. This taught me two things:

First, it’s very difficult to convince even repeat buyers to buy a service different than what they’re accustomed.

Second - judging by the fallout - they’re not actually my clients. They’re Fiverr’s clients, and when they can no longer get the service they want at the price they want, they can and did jump ship for somebody else. Really makes me wonder how much of my success came from learning how to optimize my gig for internal attention and how much of it came from my other martkeing and efforts for external attention (such as getting my gig ranked on the first page of Google.)

So I’m in the position right now that even with a catalogue of over 1.6k positive reviews, I’m rebuilding my business from scratch. This is rather painful since I use my Fiverr income to pay the bills, but it’ll surely be an educational exercise in just how long it takes to build a new client base. I’ve learned a lot over the past two years, so I sincerely hope it’s not going to take another two years to get back to work, but I’ll keep the forum posted on what happens.


#10

Why change something that ain’t broke? Of course, you should trust your judgment.


#11

I’m just finishing for the night and I’ll reply more substantially tomorrow but the first thing I would say is to not leap to any conclusions just yet about your/Fiverr’s clients. There are a whole host of variables to consider before taking big action. Just the changeover from email to Skype consultations alone is a big thing. Many people, possibly your target market, are simply not comfortable using Skype with friends and family - there is no way these people would do something so personal through Skype. It is a big change from receiving a video which they can watch at their leisure. Secondly, having to arrange appointments is difficult - the element of an impulse or “following your lead” from Google to G+ to gig to order is lost when they then need to arrange a time in advance and hope you can do it.
That’s just 2 hindrances for your regulars and those finding you in search (Google and Fiverr), not to mention that your gig may be still under review after a major edit.
Anyway, I’ll have a think and look at the gig tomorrow - if you can, send me your previous gig description in PM here and if you are really up for analysis, send me some screenshots of your Fiverr gig stats based on both 30 days and 7 days for me to mull over.
Talk to you tomorrow.


#12

I love the idea! People want to get in depth counseling of a psychic nature on their problems. I can imagine a steady regular group of clients who rely on you.
You can just use text if they dont want to be on cam.


#13

In the fortune-telling industry, when you get to a cetain level of expertise you can expect that clients will wait for you. I’ve got a couple of very experienced friends and coaches - both published authors, too - who’ve both told me at least twice that I’m charging too little. The impulse buys are surely good money, but they can also be among the most problematic of clients. Without doing a major geekfest over the industry particulars of working as a fortune-teller, what it boils down to is that impulse buyers often aren’t interested in building a relationship with the reader.

There are some clients who are reluctant to speak over the telephone, but my experience has been that they’re a minority. Now, video chat - that’s definitely intimidating for clients, and that’s why I don’t offer it by default. Telephone is my first choice because everybody has a phone. Video chat requies people to know how to log into a Google Hangout, and for some people that’s just not going to happen.

As far as being under review, I’m finding my gig when I search for it using an Incognito window on Chrome to browse as a stranger.

At any rate, sent you an email here on the forum so you can see the numbers I’m looking at.


#14

It’s done by telephone, but video chat is an option. I know from watching my professional peers that the service I’m offering is a proven method, and that’s what I want to be doing. Short of a face-to-face reading, voice-to-voice readings are the next best thing and allow for the most interaction between reader and sitter. Well, video chat is very nice, too, but I try to keep it simple and reduce the potential for technology to interrupt the reading. I’m very hopeful that I can grow the kind of client base that I want - just going to take a little time to turn around.


#15

Thanks for the nice advice


#16

Very nice and very helpful details writing. Thanks a lot to the author.


#17

Thanks brother for posting such an awesome stuff. I really enjoy reading your tips.


#18

gina_riley2. Yes, good explanation


#19

That’s great advice, my problem is that sometimes my competitors do more than I do, and even offer things I don’t do in their cheapest packages.

It’s hard to compete with that. It’s also hard to compete when you’re honest, when you’re not offering unlimited revisions, satisfaction guaranteed, etc.


#20

Of course, there will always be competition to your gig - especially as an established seller, there will always be people trying to undercut you so they can get a foot on the ladder. What is important is that within your honesty, you communicate the value of your gig. We all know that a lot of the “unlimited revision” and “satisfaction guaranteed” sellers actually don’t deliver on that and don’t deliver on value. If I have to request 20 revisions then that is a waste of my time. If a seller agrees to cancel after not delivering what I need, I am not satisfied with that transaction, even though I have got my money back - it has wasted my time. Those two phrases are things that I see as warning signs about sellers. It makes me believe that they do not value their time properly and that generally means that they won’t value mine either.

Communicating the value of your gig, expediting the order within the agreed time/reasonable time, offering revisions when you make an error - that is what leads to satisfaction. The other stuff is just bad sales talk which appeals to lower quality buyers. Why? Because when they go for cut price services, the majority of the time they get bad results and so the concept of unlimited revisions sounds attractive. What they actually need is not more revisions but a better seller.

Check this post from the series for more about the importance of communicating value: